Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pavement pizza season

The photo above was taken by me this morning; it is an update of the posting from last week in respect of Erith Trades and Social club in James Watt way. The place has closed for good, having originally opened in 1908. Apparently it has been hanging on by its' finger tips for some years, but what finally tipped the balance was the recent theft of lead roofing, copper water pipes and electrical wiring from within the building, which I understand they were not insured for. Once again the scumbag metal thieves have caused grief in their search for a dishonest quick buck. I had originally thought of suggesting to Bexley Council that they invite one of the large African churches to use the building instead of the industrial units that they have recently been banned from occupying. Unfortunately I feel that the cost of re - plumbing and rewiring the building to make it habitable once again would probably be prohibitive. I get the feeling it will stay empty for a period before being demolished. Since we already have a KFC and McDonald's drive - through adjacent, I would not be at all surprised to see the site eventually occupied by a Burger King, in order to complete the junk food triumvirate. I wistfully wonder if we are really lucky, we might get a Nandos or Gourmet Burger Kitchen instead, but the chances of that are probably the same as seeing Elvis riding Shergar up Erith High Street.

Talking of fast food, I saw a surreal sight earlier this week as I walked onto the Kent bound platform at Plumstead railway station. The platform was empty, apart from myself and a large grey squirrel, which was sitting on one of the passenger benches, calmly eating a fried chicken drumstick - which it had picked up, and was munching as a human would. Someone had discarded a half eaten box of fried chicken and chips on the seat, and the squirrel was making the most of it. Over the seven or eight minutes I quietly watched as I awaited my train, the squirrel demolished two full chicken pieces and several chips - a huge blow out for an animal of that size. I have never seen anything like it before. I was under the misapprehension that squirrels were strictly vegetarian.

The title of this weeks' entry comes from an observation I made when walking along the pavement from Erith station on Wednesday evening. It was the first pavement pizza of the festive season. Some drunken oik had honked their guts up, making a perfectly symmetrical chunder circle, complete with obligatory diced carrot. The idiots drink too much and cannot handle it. They travel back from a night out in London on the dizzyade by train, but when the cold air hits them when the emerge from the station - bingo - full reverse thrust kicks off. Not a pleasant job for the street cleaners; though most likely the local foxes will clear it up first (yum!)

Around a year ago, a police office was scheduled to open in Erith town centre. It got unveiled for a week or so, then mysteriously closed again, to be re - covered in hoardings. My contacts tell me that originally the office was only intended for the use of the Northumberland Heath Safer Neighbourhood police team (why not Erith? I never got an answer to that one). Anyway, once work was completed, the top Brass in Bexley Police realised that the office was huge, and had enough space to house the North End, Erith and Northumberland Heath teams. The place was closed up to allow the internal modifications to take place, and that was the last I heard of it. I made some enquiries a few months ago, and I was told that the project had been put on the back burner due to budget cuts. I am happy to say that this decision seems to have been reversed, and the police office looks ready to open, as you can see from the photograph above - click to see a larger version. I will consult with my contacts and update you next week when I have some more details.

I notice that all round the local area, the new migrant residents such as the Nepalese community in and around Plumstead, and the mainly Nigerian community in Erith and Slade Green open restaurants that cater for their national cuisine. They seem to only target their fellow country people; I think this is a real mistake and that perhaps it might be a good idea to take a leaf out of the business model used by the Bangladeshi and Indian migrants of the 1950's and 1960's. Open up cheap eateries serving simple recipes, and target the indigenous population. This made many Indian and Bangladeshi families a lot of money, as the Brits discovered the joy of curry, and spent their cash on this, then novel style of food. I reckon that African cuisine could take off in a big way in the U.K if it was marketed correctly. Erith has a dedicated Nigerian takeaway (photo above) - Oyin's - you can see their website here. The trouble is, they don't market themselves to the local non Nigerian population, which I think is missing a trick. They should be leafletting the local area and maybe holding an open day to allow people to try samples to see what they have been missing. What do you think? Are you interested in trying different national cuisines apart from those that you are already familiar with? Leave a comment below.

Morrison's supermarkets have engaged in an exceedingly well - timed and clever project to replace their fleet of hand held shopping baskets with newer ones. The clever bit is in the psychology. The new baskets are between ten and fifteen percent larger than the old ones. This makes your purchases look smaller and lesser in number, subconsciously encouraging you to buy more. This is similar to the technique recommended to people dieting. You serve your food on a smaller sized plate, fooling your system into thinking you are giving yourself a bigger portion. All clever stuff.

Do check out the following,  really outstanding landscape photos I found on Flickr. Click here for a look. You can see my own Flickr photo stream by clicking here

I see that the technical press have recently picked up on something that I have suspected for quite a long time. Blu - Ray picture quality is frequently no better than standard DVD. It will not be long before the story makes it into the popular press - someone like the Daily Mail is bound to feature it soon. You heard it here first. You can read more about the story by clicking here. I detest 3D - a fad that will go the way of the Rabbit phone system, and don't think much of HD television either - most Hi Def content on Sky is so compressed that it looks terrible. I fear that it will not be too long before my huge, ten year old Toshiba standard definition 36" CRT television meets the end of its' life and I will have to buy a new model. Suggestions as to what I should go for would be more than welcomed.

The video this week shows the observation module on the International Space Station, and give the viewer an idea as to what the crew get up to. I notice that unlike NASA who use Nikon cameras, the ISS crew use Canon cameras.  Watch and comment accordingly.

1 comment:

  1. I can see a Prezzo restaurant opening in the Erith Trades and Social club, they seem to be popping up everywhere. What with them declaring a large increase in turnover over the last year I don't see the expansion stopping.