Sunday, October 31, 2010

10,000 and up.

The photo above shows a wrecked phone kiosk in Manor Road earlier this week, after a car stolen by some local low lives had rammed into it. The kiosk was effectively destroyed; the next day it was removed by a couple of BT engineers, and it appears that it will not be replaced. You can read more about the incident on the Erith Watch website here. Please feel free to sign up and join Erith Watch - the site already has the support of both local MP's: Teresa Pearce (Labour) and David Evenett (Conservative). The website has been set up with the intent to become the "village notice board" for the neighbourhood watch and local community.

Cult E4 superhero television series Misfits is filmed on location in Thamesmead, mainly around Southmerere Lake, and the areas originally used by Stanley Kubrick when he filmed A Clockwork Orange in the town, back in 1971. I have not seen the show myself, but according to the article in the Telegraph on Saturday magazine yesterday, it is an influential and important piece of teen drama. It features a group of chav young offenders who gain super powers during an electrical storm, and their subsequent adventures. You can read more about the show by clicking here.

The Bexley Chronicle reports this week that both Bosworth and Carrack houses on Pier Road, Erith (see  the photo above - click for a larger view) are potentially threatened by fire, as thieves have stolen the bronze and gun metal fire hydrant fittings that form part of the dry risers on each floor of the blocks of flats. The worry is, if a fire broke out, the fire brigade would be unable to connect their hoses, or run any water up the building. This is a direct result of unlicensed scrap dealers and scumbags deliberately endangering life in order to make a quick buck by selling the somewhat unusual alloy. I understand that the stolen parts had been physically marked in order to deter metal thieves, but this did not have the desired effect; it strikes me that there is a local scrap merchant who is conspiring with the thieves, and is turning a blind eye to all the marked metal that is turning up on his doorstep. He is just as guilty as the people who are taking the fire fittings to my mind.

The classic Monty Python comic musical Spamalot is going to be visiting the Orchard Theatre in Dartford in April next year. You can read all about it here. I hope to be in the audience, as I missed it in its' award winning West End run.

You are probably wondering what the title of this weeks' blog entry signifies; well, since Blogger enabled statistical monitoring in June of this year, the humble Maggot Sandwich has been visited by something over ten thousand unique individuals since then. I am getting approximately three thousand hits a month; allowing for re - visits and mis - hits, this is a pretty satisfying number. I know that the local newspapers, police, politicians and other opinion formers read my weekly online submissions (why?) This week alone I have had nearly a thousand people from all over the world reading my humble meanderings. The screen shot above shows one of the statistic reporting views within the Blogger control panel. Click for a larger view.

I cannot understand why platform two of Dartford station does not get a blue plaque; it is where Mick Jagger and Keith Richards first met, and subsequently went on to form the Rolling Stones. There has been much in the press about Keith Richards and his new autobiography over the last couple of weeks, including a very interesting television interview, where he makes several mentions of his former home town. It strikes me as strange that Liverpool makes so much of its' connection with the Beatles, but Dartford seems almost faintly embarrassed by the Rolling Stones.

A slightly surreal photographic view of the Erith fish sculpture I took a while back. I still don't like it.

I had to spend a couple of hours in Medway Hospital at Gillingham on Friday. Part of my normal job of work involves identifying how people and processes work in the office or industrial environment, then analysing if technology could could be utilised to improve efficiency or change processes to make the business easier or run more smoothly. A bit like the old "time and motion" concept. As I was sitting in the hospital waiting room, I noticed that the reception desk had five receptionists, who seemed to spend as much time talking to each other as they did dealing with the long queue of patients who were waiting to register. I reckoned that in private industry you would have had two receptionists doing more work that the five. I also noticed that  although all patient records were online, there were also duplicate paper records in old fashioned folders that had to be looked out and taken to the relevant doctors' office for each patient - a lot of double handling and unnecessary work. There seemed to be a lot of people being paid to hang around and not do very much at all - some of the volunteer helpers appeared to be busier than the waged staff. No wonder the NHS is the UK's biggest employer. From the example at Gillingham, it would seem there is massive over employment within the health service.

Whilst making my way from Gillingham railway station to the hospital via the town centre, I was accosted by an extremely dirty and smelly scrote who appeared to be on his third or fourth can of Stella - at 8.30 in the morning. It would seem that it is not just the Woolwich and Erith area that suffers from these people. I do think that I seem to attract the unusual members of society. On my way back to Erith on the train, it stopped at Rochester to pick up passengers. A group of well - heeled Norwegian tourists boarded, after what would appear to have been a day sight seeing in and around historic Rochester. The chap that sat directly opposite me appeared to be suffering from both Autism and Aspergers Syndrome - at any case he was rocking back and forth in his seat and occasionally barking out what I took to be Norwegian swear words. His companions were obviously used to it, but I have to say although I had sympathy for the chap, it did leave me feeling somewhat uncomfortable. I suppose I could have moved elsewhere in the carriage, but that would have only signalled my feelings, and to be honest, it was not like the guy or his fellows were setting out to cause problems. Anyway, once the train arrived at Dartford I was able to change for one stopping at Erith, and the issue was at an end.

I was mortified in the week when I saw that rock God and all round icon of cool Lemmy of Motorhead has sold out, and is appearing in a TV commercial. I suppose it is his way of ensuring a comfortable retirement, but to appear on the telly, playing an acoustic version of "Ace of Spades" in an advert for that abominable devil's wee, the gassy and chemical laden Kronenbourg 1664 really is taking selling out to the limit. I thought more of him that that, but it would appear he too has feet of clay. I know it is a bit ironic embedding the commercial here. but if you have not seen the TV ad, it makes sense to make you aware just what depths Lemmy has sunk to, I am sorry to report.

I have come to the conclusion that the checkout staff in most major supermarkets have been trained in advanced interrogation techniques. Almost every time I visit, I get the third degree. "Would you like a savings voucher"? followed by "Would you like me to help you pack"? then supplemented with "Are you collecting the vouchers for schools"? I just want to get my groceries, pay for them and get home, not play the game of twenty questions.

This weeks' ending video is a bit of a plug for the forthcoming movie Tron: Legacy. I was a fan of the original movie, which was one of the first to make use of CGI, albeit in a rather primitive form. Things have moved on quite a bit now, and it will be interesting to see how the new film compares to the original. As always, please feel free to comment below - moderation will usually be completed within a day at most.


  1. You mean people apart from me, Erasmus and The PubSpy from The Newsshopper read the Blog??!
    Who knew!

    Just to correct you slightly Misfits isn't a teen drama it's more in the same sort of vein as Skins or The Inbetweeners as in it's *ahem* "edgy" and full of sex and swearing.
    It's actually very good but as a comic book fan it's the sort of thing I was reading 15 years ago but I've been watching them all. The acting/characters are great even if they are ASBO scumbags.

    I have a friend who thinks it's quite um…"enterprising" of his 15 year old son to "find" scrap metal and make a bit of money, he almost seems proud of the fact that he's helped him take stuff he knows damn well is council/nicked to the scrap dealers locally.
    Hey 100 years ago I'm sure they would have been chasing after the horse and carts for the manure…

    LOVE the Fish Sculpture photo!
    Nice colours and framing.
    Here's a question "Why?"
    Why is the Fish Sculpture there? Why is a Fish? I mean Erith wasn't known for fishing but was known as a port/industrial area also does it have a name the Sculpture?

    As for the NHS being overstaffed, not sure watching one Reception point for afew hours really means the WHOLE service is overstaffed.
    Could be the only points where there was PC access so although only a couple of staff were needed a lot of staff were sitting there or it could just generally be a quite time/shift or as you said it could just be their over staffed!
    As for the folders and paperwork that's down to the fact that there was supposed to be a huge National NHS database but due to hugely rising costs and the change in Government it was cancelled (my Brother In Law worked on helping to create it) so paperwork is the only other way of keeping records.

    Oh God THAT advert and reworking of a classic.
    The ad's crap, the tunes TERRIBLE (although if you want to hear Motorhead do great acoustic blues Google "Whorehouse Blues"), hell it doesn't even sound like the melody of the original and yes I'm perfectly aware of the fact I said "The melody of Ace Of Spades", sarcasm is not intended!
    Actually Lemmy has pimped himself a couple of times before the best being about 10 years ago for a life insurance company who's camera crew catch him out documentary style on the stairs discussing insurance on the phone and when he sees them he changes tact and pretends he's reading out the list of demands for his tour rider "Yeah so that's 4 virgins, 13 creates of Jack…", now that was funny!

    Tron: Legacy.
    Want now.
    I already have the soundtrack by Daft Punk on order…Google "Bedazzled" (I think).

  2. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (One should study history to avoid mistakes of the past).