Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Wavy Lady.

News has reached me that the move of Bexley College from Tower Road, into central Erith is looking more than likely. The News Shopper reports that the current brown field site in Walnut Tree Road, between Erith Station and the old Erith Library building (shown in the photo above) is now the probable location for a new college building. It would be great to see the currently under - used library which sits opposite get incorporated as part of the new college. The Andrew Carnegie donated building houses Bexley Commission for Racial Equality in the basement, but much of the rest of the excellent structure has been unused since Erith Library moved into the new, faceless and corporate building in the town centre a couple of years back. It could be just for once that the authorities are having an attack of sanity. More news as it happens.

I was astonished to see a television advert mid week, for that flagship of the trampagne lifestyle - Frosty Jack's white cider. I guess that they are trying to take over the high alcohol / low price ratio market previously dominated by that notorious electric lemonade, Diamond White. Who on earth would be stimulated to buy the vile, synthetic rocket fuel by a telly advert? The people who habitually indulge in the stuff need no encouragement, and the rest of us are wise enough to leave it well alone, though I understand Frosty Jack's is good for removing patio grease stains and unblocking drains.

I am partial to the odd glass of cider, but stick to the premium quality brands such as Weston's, Aspall's and Thatcher's, and craft produced, cloudy scrumpy as sold in certain pubs of note. Decent cider does have a rather unwelcome laxative side effect - something regular drinkers of this fine apple based beverage often discover to their horror.

Practical Communications magazine in the USA are in my bad books. They still have not paid me my fee for the article I wrote for them, way back in March this year. You can read it for free below, if you did not see it back then. Fortunately I retained copyright on the article everywhere outside of the USA, so they cannot sue me for republishing my own work.

The Europa Gym Centre in Fraser Road is shortly to move to new premises in Crayford; the owners of their current building - a converted warehouse on the Europa Industrial Estate, have put up their rent to the point where the gym club have been forced to move. This has rather backfired, as due to the understandable fuss and publicity, the Gym has been appointed as an official training centre for the 2012 Olympic Games. You can read more about it in the News Shopper here.

Although I get some sporadic feedback and comments posted on the Maggot Sandwich, I have always known it got a far bigger audience than those who contact me. I have always resisted installing hit counters and web analytic tools, mainly on the grounds that you never really know what they are doing, and who they are talking back to. Recently, those nice people at Google added statistical reporting functionality to the back end of Blogger, enabling users to really get a good idea as to who was reading their blogs, and where these viewers were based. I was somewhat gobsmacked to discover that the Maggot Sandwich has readers all over the world. Here are a couple of screen shots showing the break down of viewers over just the last month - this will give you a pretty good idea of my readership. Click on either shot for a far larger view:

As you can see, my audience stretches all around Europe, the United States and as far East as Taiwan and  India (I have a rather good idea who the Indian readers are - the HP NOS team in Banglore, but that is another story). I am surprised at the large number of American readers - I really have no idea who they can all be, but thanks anyway. Looking at my annual cumulative hit count figures, I am now getting 8,500 unique visitors in a year, and just under 3,000 page hits per month. Obviously some viewers are regulars, others hit the site once and do not return - not too bad for something knocked up every Sunday afternoon. When I post this into live, I am going to be able to watch the traffic in real time as readers join the Maggot Sandwich for another weeks' local news and trivia.

Do feel free to leave a comment below. Due to the actions of spammers, I have to moderate all comments, and it may be up to 24 hours before your text appears online.

Every afternoon when entering the grounds of my dad's nursing home, I would pass by the window of a lady resident who habitually sat in her wheelchair, watching the world go by. We waved and smiled at each other, though we never actually got to speak, separated by a window as we were. It became a daily ritual, only broken if she was away, having her hair done, or similar. A few weeks ago, I noticed she looked suddenly very old and tired, and her smile was looking like an effort. A few days later her room was stripped and empty. I never even knew her name. Goodbye, wavy lady.

The area has got its' own new pop star, the rather strangely named Tiny Tempah, who hails from the mean streets of down town Plumstead. His music is not my thing (he would probably be horrified if it was), but in interviews I have read, he comes across as thoughtful and creative. I hope that his career carries on as well as it seems to have begun. You can see his website by clicking here. The Plumstead Integration Project continues apace; they meet on the first Tuesday of every month in O'Dowd's pub in Plumstead High Street at 7.30pm. You can see their website here.

Last week I filled in a personality test on the BBC website here. It was a bit of fluff designed to match your personality to the type of television shows you like. I completed it honestly (just for once) and was surprised at how accurately it determined my kind of television preferences. Click on the picture above to see what it came up with - pretty much spot on, as I am sure you will concur.

This week there have been calls from John Graham - Cumming (the guy that launched the successful campaign to have Alan Turing pardoned by then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown last year) to obtain funding to actually build the Babbage Analytical Engine - which would have been the world's first computer, albeit mechanical and steam powered. This fantastical piece of real steam punk would have revolutionised Victorian Britain and completely changed the course of history, had it actually been built. You can read all about the Analytical Engine by clicking here.

I had a somewhat surreal thought earlier in the week. I wonder how different the world would have been if Marxism had been based on the teachings of Groucho, rather than Karl Marx? I think one can safely say that the world would have been a happier place. Perhaps it is time for someone to write an alternative history based on the idea?  Oh bugger - I have just given the idea away...

The video this week is back to video chef Titli Nihaan of Titli's busy kitchen. The woman is absolutely bonkers, but she does cook a mean curry. It is a while since I featured a recipe, and there is nothing like a really good chicken dhansak to set you up. Bog rolls in the fridge right now.

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