Sunday, May 08, 2011

Spam Curry.

Erith has been bathed in a sunny glow for most of this week; it has however been pretty chilly in the shade - we are not quite in to full summer mode yet. I took the photo above earlier this afternoon; it shows a bulk carrier moored on Erith Pier. It was around 200 feet long and at a guess somewhere in the region of 700 gross tons in weight - the largest vessel I have seen moored on the pier since it ceased commercial operation in the late 1980's. You can get an idea of the ships' length in the photograph below. Click on either shot to see a larger version.

Charlton based journalist and blogger Darryl of the excellent 853 Blog has uncovered some worrying facts about the local train services during next years' London Olympic Games. You can read his entry about the cuts in local services here. In effect there will be little or no service from London in to North Kent and back for the two weeks of the event. All train schedules are being re-jigged to serve the anticipated games visitors. This will massively impact those who have to commute into and out of London for work. I think it is going to cause a massive impact to many who work in town; Personally I am fortunate in that much of my job can be carried out from anywhere - there is a fair chance that I will just work from home for the duration of the Olympics. Many are not so fortunate and may suffer consequently. I have no personal interest whatsoever in sport, and the Olympics are a farce nowadays anyway. For example, Mexico is a great disadvantage from the outset, as anyone who is any good at running, jumping or swimming has already left the country for the USA. The organisers should allow performance enhancing drugs - the competitors take them anyway, so you might as well permit it, and then allow the drug companies to sponsor "their" athletes, just like Formula One. There would be a greater degree of competition, as the manufacturers would fight to come up with the best drugs - the technology in Formula One trickles down to road cars - I cannot see any reason why the drugs developed to speed up the athletes would not find use in medicine too. I think we need an update of the sports included on the games too - Rollerball would be a real crowd pleaser, as would Olympic standard Hide & Seek - only this would put Pakistan at somewhat of a disadvantage, as they have rather publicly just lost their world champion. He's now rather better employed as hors d'eoevre for the piscine residents of the Indian Ocean. Personally I would have thought Doctor Gunther Van Hagens could have plasticised his head for later mounting on a tastefully decorated spike at ground zero.

On a potentially similar theme, I was on the 380 bus heading back to Plumstead station on Tuesday after my daily Dad visit, when I noticed a lot of commotion on the slip road leading into the new McDonald's Drive through in Pettman Crescent. A dozen or so Police officers, many of them armed had detained three Arabic looking fellows and had them handcuffed, lying face down in the road, whilst their old green Mercedes Benz W124 was searched. Bearing in mind Pettman Crescent is only a few hundred metres away from the main entrance to the high security Belmarsh Prison (photo above), where many Al Qaeda terrorists are incarcerated, I wondered if the three arrested men were part of a gang carrying out reconnaissance on the place for a potential jail break; either that or the Police are having a rather robust clamp down on out of date car tax discs.

Three weeks' into the series, and I have finally realised what the Sky Atlantic / HBO drama series "Game of Thrones" actually is. The show is "Dynasty" with chain mail. Very disappointing.

Sunday afternoon or not, the Thames Harbour Master is still hard at work, patrolling the river at Erith. The blog does have rather a maritime theme this week, which is no bad thing. Erith is a riverside town, with a long history of connection with ships and the sea.

The scaffolding is still up around Erith Railway Station, and not much evidence of any work seems visible. The main station building has now been covered for over four months, and whatever time of day I check, nobody is ever doing any remedial work on the place. Yet another monumental waste of time and our money. As reported last week, a road bridge over the railway at Erith is planned by Bexley Council. This work may also coincide with the construction of the long anticipated new Bexley College building on the old tram shed site. The News Shopper has a report about the state of the plans if you click here.

Nick Jackson of Absolute Radio has been back in contact this week - he's Emailed me a couple of photos from our time in the late 80's / early 90's working for Radio Caroline on board their radio ship, the Ross Revenge. The photo below show Nick and I in the galley; I was making some soup, if I recall correctly. The stove in the photo was terrible, it was not designed to work on bottled gas, and it would take what felt like a week to cook anything in the oven, and the hob burners used to soot up, making a terrible pong. The port hole next to the sink would usually be open unless the weather was bad, and seagulls would sometimes land on the opening, looking for food. On one occasion I caught one smack in the head when I threw a raw Brussels Sprout at it. It did not come back! All the broadcasting and engineering crew would take turns at cooking and doing the washing up, with variable results. Nick's girlfriend of the time was an excellent cook - I recall a stunning lasagne she created on one occasion. At the other end of the spectrum was D.J Victor Hartman's notorious, noxious, inedible and utterly vile Spam Curry that looked like a pan of wobbly pink vomit with added chilli. I think he made it as a ploy to get out of ever having to cook again. It worked.

Some time ago I promoted the Flock web browser. Well it is now no more. The developers have decided to abandon the project and go and work on something else. It is a real shame, as Flock was quite different to most other browsers - it fully integrated with most of the popular social networking sites, which was a real bonus to those who use such things. Personally I am FaceBook phobic, and steer clear of such things, but if it works for you. A new alternative social web browser is Rockmelt. I have downloaded the OS X version, but am unable to give you a review, as you need to have a FaceBook logon in order to use it. Since I would rather saw off both my legs with a rusty bread knife than use FaceBook, I am somewhat painted into a corner. The Windows and OS X versions of Rockmelt can be downloaded here. Perhaps you can take a look and let me know what you think?

The video clip this week is the trailer for a new movie "Winter in Wartime" - a Dutch film about the final months of the German occupation of the Netherlands in WWII. It looks well acted and beautifully filmed; I will definitely be going to see it when it comes out. Click on the video to watch it in full screen high definition - dependant on your connection speed, of course.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sir,
    Why Oh Why Oh Why have you not published the recipe for this very English sounding dishes this most austere of times?!
    I bet it was mouth-wateringly gravy coloured but with a hint of yellow, watery wet and chock full with peas, carrot and Swede all boiled to mush. It probably had an nviting coating of grease pooling laquidly on the surface as well.
    Sir it's dishes like that that gave our country the cullenary level of foodie that Johnny Frenchman can only quiver at!

    Your sincerley faithfully

    The Right Honarable Captain Farquar Notice-Patpending-Biggy-Patang (Retired)
    Dalymale Road