Sunday, October 24, 2010

October means Nectar.

The photo above shows the view from the Slade Green end of Manor Road, heading back towards Erith Town Centre; from the shot it is not quite possible to see that that £1 million per mile road surface, laid only a year ago by contractors for Bexley Council is now breaking up under the pressure of the juggernauts and double decker buses that frequent the road. Action will have to be swiftly taken to remedy the situation. You heard it here first.

The burghers of Erith seem to be submitting quite a number of business related planning applications at present. The red brick set of industrial and shop units, redolent of Soviet era Berlin that are located adjacent to the hideous fish sculpture roundabout have got a total of three planning submissions in place. The first one is from the owners of Town Kebab, Erith's only town centre kebab shop. It has applied to retain its' current extended opening hours. I get the feeling that the place has been somewhat struggling since the closure of the atrocious Tease (formerly T's) nighclub a few years ago, The kebab shop nowadays does not get nearly so much passing trade as in years past, now there are no homeward bound clubbers needing some sustenance to soak up the skin - fulls of cheap lager and alcopops they had previously imbibed. I have had a kebab from Town Kebabs a while back; it was not bad, but nothing remarkable. Thinking about it - it was indeed a while back, a bit before Major Steve Fraser was awarded his much deserved MBE. I must be getting old.

The best kebabs in Erith are most definitely those cooked by the excellent  Yildiran grill in West Street (see the photo above, though unfortunately at the time the photo was taken, the place was closed and shuttered to the view) - even the local Police and other emergency services eat there. It has been reviewed online a few times, most notably by local resident and food critic Craig E. The other planning applications are from the Celestial Church of Christ and the Redeemed Christian Church of God, who seem to be two facets, or trading names of the same organisation. They have recently been in trouble with the council regarding noise, parking violations and other low level annoyances. The churches are both very popular with the local African community, and may not be using the most ideal of premises; they might well be better off finding an industrial unit for conversion, as many non conformist churches seem to do nowadays. The last planning application has been submitted by Erith Snooker club, which also shares the same building.

I was waiting for a 244 or 380 single decker bus in Woolwich town centre earlier in the week at just after 1.30 in the afternoon. The stop is opposite Woolwich Arsenal station, and is extremely well used. After being unable to board the first suitable bus, due to the throng of people who pushed forward in front of me as the doors opened (has no-one in Woolwich heard of queuing? Either they have, and hold no truck with it, or they really are not bothered). I resolved to await the next bus, as they are generally pretty frequent. I heard a disturbance behind me, and turned to see a middle aged woman collapsed in an untidy heap on the ground a few yards away. She was unconscious and looked in a pretty bad way. There were at least thirty other people at the bus stand, most of whom were closer to the collapsed woman than I. Not one other person moved to help – they all stood there watching like it was some kind of bizarre street theatre. Not personally being versed in first aid, I rushed as fast as I could across the road to the railway station and collared a couple of staff members – I know rail staff all have first aid training. They ran back across the road, and between us we gave aid to the woman. It then became apparent that the reason she had collapsed was that she was pissed. She stank of strong white cider and stale wee in equal proportions; I would not have been surprised if she had also been supping Brasso or Cillit Bang on the side as well. I left the unfortunate rail staff with the alcoholic woman and turned to go back to my place in the bus queue – only to discover I had just missed a second bus!

Now we are well into the month of October, Shepherd Neame have released their superb autumn seasonal beer – Late Red Ale. Simply put, it is the nectar of the Gods in a pint glass. The only down side is that Shepherd Neame have recently given their web site a rather unsightly and unnecessarily trendy makeover. I am sitting in my customary corner of the incomparable Robin Hood & Little John, writing the Maggot Sandwich on my now rather long in the tooth Asus netbook, supping a pint of Late Red and listening to the Doobie Brothers on the streaming Internet radio playing gently in the background in the pub. I am awaiting delivery of my lunch - today's home cooked special - a quarter of a roast chicken with a tomato, chilli and basil sauce, served with chips, mixed green salad and grilled mushrooms. Life does not get much better than this.

As mentioned, my Asus EePC 901 Linux based netbook is starting to show its' age. It has been a great lightweight, portable workhorse over the last couple of years. It has proved invaluable as a test bed for a huge number of different operating systems, including over a dozen Linux distributions and several versions of BSD Unix to boot, The one OS that has never tainted the Asus is Windows. I have not time or inclination to use Windows; indeed, the only time I spend using Windows is when I am being paid cold, hard cash to do so. I have bills to pay, but outside of earning a crust, I have absolutely no time for the output of the Beast of Redmond. As most of you know, my main personal computer is a 24” Apple iMac running OS X Snow Leopard. I also have an old iMac Mini which runs Fedora 12 Linux for PPC as my backup (or lifeboat) computer. I love OS X for the way it mixes extreme ease of use and intuition with a solid and supremely reliable base of BSD Unix underpinning the whole operation. I have to admit that I have begun to look around for a successor to the Asus netbook, and after looking at a few small form factor laptops (though it is difficult to find ones without Windows 7 preinstalled). I have been lookng at the brand new Apple MacBook Air 13” laptop. Apple announced two new models this week; a 11.6” screen sized netbook / sub note book, and the midi sized 13” machine. I feel that for me the netbook format is just a shade too small – my fingers are a bit too large for the small keyboard, and I find I make lots of typos where I take casual stabs at the too small for me keyboard. I have been onto the Apple UK website and specced up a 13” machine with the top end processor and memory options, plus a few add – ons. The result is a super thin, fast machine with an eye watering price tag. The old Asus could be likened to a Hyundai – it starts, stops and steers and keeps you dry in the rain. The Apple is more of a Bentley. It does the same with more power and style, but at a greater cost. It is all a very far cry from the very first professional computer I ever operated - the even then quite already quite venerable DEC PDP - 11/44 mainframe used by Silica Shop in Hatherley Road, Sidcup, where I had a Saturday job as a lad in the 1980's. 

On Friday morning I was getting ready for work, I was running a bath, and whilst it was filling with hot water, courtesy of my new Worcester Bosch boiler, I sat in front of my Mac in my home office in order to check my Email. It immediately became apparent that I had lost the ability to read – I could see the characters on screen, but was unable to form them into coherent words. This for me is the classic initial symptom of an impending migraine attack. I logged into my work laptop, and quickly wrote a note to my boss, saying I would be off for the day. I then took my prescription medication and swiftly repaired to bed. By midday I was feeling somewhat better, and got up to log into the laptop and check a few work Emails. My eyes then started playing up again (actually, it is caused by neurons mis – firing in the brain which has the effect of you being unable to properly decode and interpret visual information). I had to take another tablet and return once again to bed, I was knocked out for much of the rest of the day. I then had a recurrence on Saturday night which subsequently knocked me out for much of Sunday - as you can imagine, apart from a brief period of near Nirvana on Saturday lunch time in the pub, I have had a pretty crap weekend overall. The BBC News website recently broke a story that researchers have now discovered that Migraine is caused by a genetic fault. Hopefully this will mean that a cure should be on the way before too long, for what is an agonising and debilitating illness. You can read more about the condition by clicking here for the Migraine Action website.

UK based free radio station Laser Hot Hits are putting out an excellent signal on 4.026 KHz on shortwave - do give them a try, they produce some really excellent music shows. On top of that, American based free speech, opinion and unusual music radio station WBCQ can be heard on 7.415, 9.330, 15.420, and 5.110 KHz on the short wave bands. You can check out their website, and their live streaming service by clicking here. Do give them a try.

The News Shopper are reporting that EDF Energy have been let off the hook in respect of compensation after last years' widespread area power cut around the local area. You can read more about the story by clicking here. After the prevarication and back - pedalling from EDF regarding compensation, I cannot say that I am in any way surprised by the outcome. They have been evasive and generally dismissive of the criminal action taken when thieves stripped copper cables from their unsecured depot in Crayford, plunging thousands of homes in Erith, Crayford, Belvedere, Welling and Bexleyheath into darkness and total loss of power for anything up to five consecutive days. I dont have any dealings whatsoever with EDF, and have told their sales rep so when he approached me recently in Morrison's, much to his personal consternation.

The following video clip below was sent to me during the week by very long time friend Debbie; she was most definitely thinking of me when she forwarded it. I will leave the rest to your own imagination. Do watch it, and please feel free to comment below as always.

1 comment:

  1. Chav on a train! well that was worth turning the ADBlock plus off for! :-))