Tuesday, 28 September 2010


It's yet another damp and wet period here in the smoke, perfect conditions to see whether the previous snail-surge for the algal patches would be repeated.

The viriginia creeper is in its last flush of greenery, but still contains a fair amount of lush green leaves.  Out of six snails, five were happily munching on algal growth and the sixth tackling its way through the bush; eye-stalks straining to their fullest extent as it strove like a maddened rabid dog to partake in whatever goodness these green squelching mats hold for these speeding gastropods.

Another test is obviously in order; something like a glass bottle placed mid-way between the algal patch and other greener bits, then simply watching which direction the snails speed off to.

Talking about racers, boy racing wonders have been a bit thin on the ground recently, do hope they've found that ditch - unharmed naturally!

Friday, 24 September 2010


 1, 2, 3… testing…

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Where shall i begin …

… since the line's now drawn.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Home delivery perils?

For the first time in a few years i thought i’d brave the old home delivery service of one of the big uk grocers (yes sainsuburys this is about you) once more; especially with a bout of growing agrophobia, passionate dislike for shopping, twinned with an even greater dislike over the herding and pushing that normally equates to a usual shopping experience, so entailing that i generally manage to miss the majority of bargains displayed somewhere in some aisle and upon reaching home find half (well, one or two) of what i’ve brought is either out of date, fit for the bin or otherwise not quite the right item i'd wanted in the first place.

Yes, i do indeed zone out when in shopping zones. 

I thought that after a few years, the online grocery shopping experience would had improved by leaps and bounds.  Like opening the curtains in the morning and instead of being greeted by a rising sun you're killed by a gamma-ray burst instead.

It took about a week for me to carefully craft the shopping list to my exact requirements.  Despite squashing initial qualms and successfully batting away worst-case scenarios - that eventually fled the roost - i pottered around expectantly, expecting this first order to proceed swimmingly and without a hitch.  Well, i did place it with sainsburys!

The day came and the hours fled, and i noticed i’d missed a text message.   I soon realised those scenarios i thought eliminated, had simply taken up roost elsewhere along the line, and as i read the sms i’d received saying i should call them, I realised the game was probably up and everything would head downhill from there.  Which it promptly did. 

The first glitch was my own.  Somewhere amongst the process of entering card details i’d apparently entered one wrong digit, which was a worry as it was all supposedly verified when the order was submitted.  Eventually it processed and went through, and the order was still supposed to arrive within the allotted time frame i’d picked; which came and went.  After an hour of nothing, i called.

The very pleasant and helpful lady tried to contact the online/orders department - who weren’t answering.  She was frustrated, i was intrigued, that the two worst case scenarios i thought might happen, had indeed happened.  Why is it never a lottery win?

I decided not to scream and rant (which bizarrely seemed to be present just below the surface – better than the usual amounts of visualising i have to bat away), after all they are just doing their jobs, and somewhere along the chain outside of their direct control something had gone screwy.  As i picked through the motley scrapping of butter beans & onion with a side-order of salt & vinegar crisps - until re-delivery turned up something more edible – i took to pondering instead of pottering.

It’s being an interesting first foray back into the grocery delivery world, not surprised that it went belly up, even before it had the opportunity to leave the starting gate.   Saying that, i suppose i really shouldn’t grumble, at least i along with others have the option to have food delivered or otherwise trudge out to centers with elbows ‘oft.

So sainsburys, six hearty raspberries to you – well i would, if they’d been delivered!

Update 1

08:24 hrs – spoke to another charming employee who went off to speak with one of his colleagues in the store delivering the items.  They informed him that they had no idea what had taken place last night, but would print out a report and call me back in an hour to see whether i’d want a re-delivery or refund.  I happily expressed my gratitude and waited.

Update 2

09:24 hrs – arrived and 09:24 departed.

Update 3

10:24 hrs – spoke to another charming employee who quickly read through the notes and called the store - no prevaricating here.  Apparently the store had called me and left a voice message just after 10am.  Unfortunately, i’m not exactly sure where they left the message, since nothing has yet come through on the mobile nor the landline phone, which has been remarkably silent in its cradle.  She went on to tell me that the store had decided to re-arrange my goods delivery between 3-4pm utterly ignoring the original delivery time of 8-9pm as any indication of the actual preferred time.

Update 4

10:46 hrs – the very nice, helpful and charming member of staff called me back, informing me that i should expect my delivery between 7-8pm.  Sadly no extra loyalty points, but i will be in receipt of a voucher for £10 to use on or off line,

I can rapidly see this tentative foray back into the world of grocery home delivery being my last for a long while, as i take those silly notions of ease, relaxing whilst shopping, taking the weight off my tree-trunk legs, not having to fight the hordes; and stuff them heartily back into their boxes.

Update 5?

Day 2 - 20:03 hrs and neither delivery nor phone call from sainsburys relating to anything food-worthy, so time to give them a call and gather up my spending portfolio and take the whole thing elsewhere. So before i wave good-bye to edf, so long to argos, and good riddance to sainsburys, i will make that final call to see what the excuse is, obtain my refund and - shudder - go out shopping.

Update 6

Day 2 - 20:15 hrs and finally it's arrived, the driver wasn't, apparently, the same one from yesterday so had no idea what had taken place. As i slowly unpacked everything i realised the disaster continued apace: the fish had defrosted, the meat was in containers expanded to twice their size, one of the items was missing (despite the paper having it included and included on the receipt), i was surprised all the eggs seemed in one piece and bottles hadn't been smashed. So fish and mince refunded, the voucher is only an e-voucher though and i'm really not sure i wish to place another order with sainsburys and subsequently impact my health if this is their way of impressing.

Did someone say ocado?

Monday, 20 September 2010

Yipper yapper, yipper yapper…

I shamelessly purloined the following:

“At the same time, Coalition Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries Ed Vaizey  says in the official explanation of the changes that the Government plans to do no more than is necessary to make only the changes explicitly demanded by the new EU rules, as the Government is committed to improving conditions for business by ‘reducing the regulatory burden in the UK wherever possible,’ and that the Directives won't end up ‘gold plated’ by Westminster.”

Public Technology.Net -  Fri, 17/09/2010 - 11:53

Which, of course, could be read as saying “come on business we’re ready to party now,”; or could be read as “rights? A break! You want to have a lunch break?  Listen laddy, when you’ve clocked up 58 unbroken hours, then you can have a break!” 

Which, with the ever straining glut of unemployed who are squeezed for having the temerity for being unemployed, will probably occur anytime soon.

Not quite sure what, if anything, this has to do with the coalition minister for culture, communications and creative industries (except for not giving tax breaks to the gaming industry and chopping the film board in twain), which doesn't really have anything to do with anything any how.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Vote poor

Less than 220 years ago in these fair isles, of the 8 million (oh if only) populace only 230,000 people had the right to vote, or put another way, less than 3% had any real say in who was going to represent them.

Some would say that under the current duopoly things appear to be trammeling backwards at a spirited pace, to a state where even less real power will be dolloped into the bowls of those with greater need; as everything is instead doled out to huge private firms who only count the bonus’s flying past, in ticker-tape parade majesty.  But at least there are now numerous fronts for the centuries struggles of hard fought p’fdoms to be easily chipped away, whilst the general populace happily remain informed by the nose that “everything’s really being done, for your own good.”

I’m just another armchair swivelling, popcorn popping, poisoned by bus exhaust watcher.  But it really does appear that people  (well as reported by the press at any rate) only need to hear the term terrorist, or pedo, or any other current bogey-man scare word before they run off demanding retribution, or laws be tightened, and thus more intrusions to take place, so they and their off-spring can feel the comforting words of security telling them how secure they now really all are. 

Even though the above is a wide sweeping exaggeration of the whole populace, in truth not enough of us care, or really know what to do apart from putting a mark down once every few years.  After all why bother with all of that, when we can play with the latest ipod/phone/pad/touch/mac – or one of their imitators, which in the eyes of so many is all that really matters.

But, people witter on about the mother of all parliaments etc., when it really has nothing to do with democracy, nor indeed anything what-so-ever to do with fairness covering the whole of the population.

Another reason why councils, organisations still get away with so much, is simply due to laws (usually put in with good cause and spirit) end up neutered by too many clauses allowing a whole set of coaches to career through them.

in the 1800's chartists struggled to redress the distribution of wealth imbalance, 200+ years later the gap is greater than ever, as more and more people are forced to do more than one job, or spend more time working despite the fact that the means of production has exponentially increased; but those at the top continually reduce staffing levels so ensuring those saved costs happily find themselves paid out in greater salaries & fuller fatter pensions for those on the top, with a few extra crumbs falling down to the fortunate's below.

It is telling, not only with the last labour government, but the current coalition too, that those who will not be struggling come pension age, or waiting for days to see a doctor or a dentist - if they can find one, or decide whether they can afford that pint of milk, or a brief beer, or take a hit, are the ones who believe that they know what’s best for everyone.  Which strangely equates to those who are the poorest, being savagely hacked at the worst.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Acceptable noise?

When is 93.3dBA noise acceptable in a built up urban environment on the height of a sunny autumnal day?

Apparently, when the metropolitan police decide its embracing the "local younger person" in a show of cuddly bro-mage, but is it really necessary to do so complete with loudspeakers and a pa system that would put many a large festival to shame?

Metropolitan Police sound gig generating 93.3 dBA

When people mention brixton and gentrification in the same breath, it's usually the parts outside of the triangle.  The parts from the tube station going towards the town hall which appear to have received all of the ‘fication. 

This little bit appears (like the titanic) to be used as nothing more than a convenient dumping ground for the more troubled projects that cause too much noise, as evidenced by the glc forcing through the brixton academy license against resident objections; as evidenced by the council and tfl allowing even more buses to use the stand here - despite complaints from residents regarding the increasing levels of pollution, vibration and sound.  Things they dare not measure, as even a days worth of measuring would show them to be in breach of their mouthed concern for residents.

A brief glimpse of moving sound, and yes the sound is coming from those tents in the background. 

So that you can get a feel for the distances involved, take a quick peek at the following pictures showing distance of residents (boundary in cyan/turquoise/blue) to the nearest venues (bounded in yellow): (a) skateboard park to residents, (b) bmx track in brockwell park to the nearest residents.  Do see whether you can, spot the difference!

Whatever happened to the wonderful bmx track in brockwell park - which seems hardly ever used?   Even if the council turned that particular elephant into a concreted over skateboard park, double the size of the one here, it still wouldn’t impinge on residents as badly as this one does; but, that would mean upsetting the gentle fairer folk who live in that part of town instead of the smelly proles here.

As other residents said, it probably wouldn’t have been that bad, it might have been slightly more acceptable, had they had the decency to undertake a leaflet drop – if upchuck pizza deliveries can manage to pop hundreds of unwanted bundles through residents letter boxes, council/met pol, you can too.

So met pol, way to go getting one section of the community on side and angering others on the other from 10:15am until- well it’s now after 5.30pm – and still going strong!

With each passing day continuing to prove that this really is the lost sector of the twilight zone, why is there never a tornado around when you want one.

Friday, 17 September 2010

‘Er, mit’s in ‘is hole

The problem with hermitising in a hell-hole is that it not only warps your outlook, but it really can cramp your expandability; as you become pre-occupied with the middling mess of minutiae denuded all around. 

Thursday, 16 September 2010


Yes after a brief hiatus (migraine) i am more or less back in circulation.

It’s so much nicer being able to look at a screen whilst your heads not trying to explode.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Burning hot heads

Without a radical mindset change to our way of life: living, social interaction, consumption, just imagine how things will be when the world has a population of 9 billion, or if the population was represented as non-burning double-decker buses, imagine adding another deck making it into a triple-decker; with the extra requirements needed for fuel, materials, an increase in running costs, more paint, sturdier wheels, a conductor to race up and down the stairs (or lift) quelling trouble and so on, but all the while utilising the same amount of raw materials on the triple as used on the decker. 

But in our current non-changed mindset, the sharks, sorry vultures, no speculators circle everything that hints at the whiff of a promise for higher than inflation returns.  Regardless of whether the hunt for those returns leaves swathes of devastation impacting the environment, destroying the habitats of thousands of species and affecting the lives of so many who don’t share the same need for greed or lust for power, or need for a dynasty rivalling the emperors.

With 16 (or so) non-sleep useful hours a day of scrabbling around to ensure they have those essentials like clothes, i(pods/pads*), rent or mortgage, a holiday or two, oh food and work - all taken care of; whilst on the other, those (the vast majority?) who are just scrambling around fast enough to ensure they have at least one meal a day; is it really any wonder why those of us with access slump in front of some sort of screen at the end of a hard days work and watch the endless flow of inane nonsense pouring from it.  Not because we don’t care or aren’t interested (and yes i know that’s been remarkably charitable), but after fighting all day at work - in a job they may or may not enjoy, wasting hours getting there, then back home to look after off-spring or been a carer, or to undertake one of the many hundreds of things we all do on a daily basis, before we call time and relax.  It’s probably not too inconceivable a stretch to understand why most would rather just subsume in to the flow, than consider the needs of a few stupid stranded dolphins up the river duff.  With an avalanche of information and mis-information for people to wade through, is it really any wonder?

What is freedom?  We hear it bandied about like a hat been stuffed with notes before the conclusion of a cock-fight.  It means something.  It’s obviously viewed as precious as millions die fighting for it and just as many are manipulated into fighting to restrict it as their version truly is more free.  Those acts, which when viewed under the guise of waving banners of freedom, oddly transform into oppressive insouciance when experienced elsewhere.

But seriously, if you want to be a burning hot-head, consider being a burning hot-head for the whole planet – we all live on. 

* delete as appropriate

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Welcome to the 22rd century a re-run of the 12th?

Might have to get a very large popcorn bucket, along with my hat for this one.

A civilised species that’s so fragile we demand people don't even think of poking fun at anything we believe in else our (some of the populaces’) foaming incoherent rage immediately explodes following any knee-jerk baiting, showing they’re as bad as us who are just as bad as them – whoever ‘them’ happens to be at any particular moment or time or space.

Easily provoked into reaction, following a mad rush to prove who has a bigger set.   Watch for who the balls toll, as the brass balls’ll be a clanging!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Goring rise

As the book burning, flag trashing, effigial pimping, masses of the world continue with their centuries same-old same-old; the next generation's proudly packed off - to begin anew - the goring rise of intolerance.

Life in the other place

"I have 10 million people who say my parrot's a bigger, badder, more gentle, loving, peaceful and wise shaggy parrot than your shabby parrot!"

"Oh really! Well I have 10 million and one people, who say otherwise; and will fight you to the death to prove to it!"

Friday, 10 September 2010


A time honoured missive of dubious proportions.

Slash or burn

Upon hearing a leading politician talk about people treating being unemployed as a 'lifestyle choice', i hope that i'm not the only one who raised his eyes, and released a very slow controlled exhalation of air, and imagining it disappearing into the outer reaches of the vacuum of space before turning ones thoughts back to taking our new chancellor by the head and have him closely acquainted with a nearby batwing table; in the hope some sense seeps from it.

So he thinks that people would prefer to stay on benefits than have a job that pays them a living wage, that enables them to eat good nutritious food, that would allow them to enjoy the odd holiday or "treat", that would allow them to do more than just pop down to a dole office once a fortnight to receive a pittance that would make most people wonder whether that's enough to buy tiddles food let alone more than a couple of days fine food for themselves. 

Remember, the odd few that hit the headlines hides the many hundreds of thousands who manage within their means, who play by the rules and who take umbrage at this governments blinkered charge hoeing everything unemployed into the 'wasted chaff' bin.

What they should do is allow people to properly train, to gain and add new skills, even to allow them into education to gain those oh so necessary papers for the 7am to 8pm burger flipping shift. 

To once more enable a nation of shopkeepers* to vigorously thrive by utilising truly transformative innovations from whichever arena of life they happen to hail from.

Hope? Hardly. 

Not until someone in this government displays more vision than the screaming next victim in a slasher movie can they then truly say they not only have the best interest of the majority of the populace at heart, but they really do have a plan that involves more than just slash or burn.

*the term shopkeer is generic in its use.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Deep-deep-deep bass!

I had apparently missed a doozy of an evening, emanating from the innards of the entertainment venue - on top of the additional buses whose drivers have obviously never come in contact with the highway code, nor an off-switch.

Yes, the air was thick with extra-deep, deep-deep, deep-deep, deep deep bass.  The worst ever!  I'm glad i wasn't there, but instead experiencing the enjoyment of having someone else cook a veritable enjoyable and delightfully filling dinner: herby rice with chicken & mushrooms, with an exquisite helping of shredded carrot tossed in lemon vinaigrette, and followed by just the right size dessert to have me sitting gassing (from the right end), for many a while afterwards.  No red eyes from the relentless bus fumes (the penalty of living so close to the gutter), no pounding inner cranial matter courtesy of the holes from the venue next door.  

But that all came to light after listening to messages awaiting my return.  Messages indicating the new scale (or is that gauntlet) that has being climbed (thrown down) by those concerned with the running of the venue - yes o2, shame on you too.   After all, what hope for lowly residents against the combined mighty conviviality of so many - with election year a dim dot on the horizon?


Viva la-anything?

Ah the french. You have to love them for their good food, fine wines, flair for disdain, and generally snooking two-fingers to authority that we (the down-trodden and oppressed) in the uk look on, admire and applaud, or would do if we had any sense.

Especially when it comes to defending their rights.  What a difference a revolution makes. 

Although looking at the usa, we could be forgiven for not being able to put our finger on the precise moment their happy days started to derail.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Unnatural polyesters

The next time someone witters on about how unnatural something is, first take them through this starting checklist:

  1. Are you now, or have you ever had any tablets, injections or powders for a medical emergency – outside of naturally occurring ones i.e., licking the back of a hallucinogenic toad or happy 'rooms?
  2. Have you ever had any medical procedure which involved anything more than the use of a saw-tooth bone and dried pummelled plant fibre for thread to sow you back up?
  3. Have you ever used a bus, car, bicycle, aeroplane, tank, tanker, submarine?
  4. Have you ever used concrete, upvc, pvc, ipa, lycra, polyester, crack?
  5. Do you live in anything other than a wigwam, mud hut, igloo, a true grass hut (hay doesn’t count) made purely from naturally grown and locally produced materials?

If they answer ‘yes’ to all of those starter questions, then you can rest assured their utterances regarding all things unnatural can be viewed with more than the normal healthy hint of scepticism.  If they are, however, communicating via anything other than: carrier pigeon, quill, parchment or face-to-face non-technological interfacial means, tell them where to get off as you take their laptop and chase them off your land, beating them over the head with it as you do.


I am one of millions who collects (as per normal retail visits) coupons or vouchers, but especially loyalty points on my shopping, because all those 0.00001p’s that would otherwise be pooled and creamed off by the companies - at a rate they have already costed into their profits - regardless of whether people use the schemes or not - all those points over time (five years for an average shopper) add up to buy that special meal for one, at christmas!

I have, however, of late become rather aghast (too ebenezerish?) at nectar and their wee-twee-all-so-cutesy use of the word "treat" that drips from overuse on their website.  As if we were all a tail, wagging with gusto at the latest crumb hurtling from on high.  So much so, that whenever I pop onto the website and my eyes are assaulted by those never-ending permutating "treats" you can spend your treaty points on, an imminent need to assume the bone-jarring wobbly knee porcelain hugging position, briefly takes over forcing me to flee the page. 

Perhaps I am becoming even more cynical than I thought (despite taking into consideration the visual appeal of imagining the crumpled remains of a boy-racer who whizzes by into the air as he becomes permanently detached from his bike, just as he goes hurtling past the stationary and quiet burnt out remains of a bus), whilst the idea of either a stone shack, igloo or wicker-basket in the middle of nowhere, continues to grow unabated.

But it doesn’t even end there! 

I pop onto yet another (once favourite) website - a supposed technical get your hands grubby with thermal grease - website, only to see that it too has succumbed to the tide!

“You’ll be getting a visual treat ... because it comes with a bright 15.6” screen and Intel GMA graphics” - yes morgan computers, this is you.

At some stage the continual compromise reaches the point where you feel like a sliver of a shadow of shadows gone befor- right!

Damnable boy-racer’s; never a pc, sps or traffic monitoring station around when you want one…  Where’s my bazooka!?…

Naturally, refusing a ride on a vmax would be the height of stubborn churlishness.  Cough.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Surviving an asteroid strike?

Surely, and I could be wrong here, but if a moderately sized asteroid haphazardly punches a hole slap bang in-between, let's say paternoster square & paternoster row in london, then no matter how much invested in anything, will actually do anything but momentarily (micro or nano second-ish) slow your transformation from relatively dense combined atoms into their bright & vaporised disparate counterparts.  
Rest easy, as the same sort of thing would already have happened a few micro or nano-seconds earlier, to those unfortunate enough to be within the strike zone of any incoming hurtling heavenly body - so why worry?  
For those in London and the south east, deciding where to go if our fair, gentle, slopping sectioned part of the country were unfortunate enough to be in imminent danger of being wiped off the map (by a 200m asteroid), would have to consider making plans to journey at least 100 miles away and somewhere in a ditch, before coming close to having  a 51% chance of survival; with the added hardship of many degree burns, loss of mobile signals and nothing handy in the nearest tesco metro.  
The choice, therefore, is simple: voluntarily head to coventry, or be wiped off the face of the planet, or spending thousands or millions, and briefly cocking two-fingers at every one else and laughing as they're being vaporised, before you to end up in the smoke cloud.
Coventry, wiped off the map, disapprobation?  Coventry...

Little clips

Having re-discovered (worked out how to use scribefire), i'm finding my tendency to utter has taken on a new leash.  

So mind the mistakes, as they'll more reflect a piece i've heatedly glanced through, missed most major points of and come to a conclusion devoid of the time honoured necessity of 'allowing to ripen', before regurgitating a couched nuanced and off-field, far far off-field, riposte!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Drawing near

With the passing of the 5th of September and only three and a bit months to go before another festive period of "thank the stars, finally some quiet," to look forward to, thoughts of partying and madcap revelry knock-up against the void, waiting to make their appearance. 

Fowl and gushing, what a way to go!


The problem with keeping records, is records really aren't meant to be kept - if you're a large organisation in charge of thousands of buses and hundreds of bus stands or terminus's that is.  

Indeed - as someone said to me "don't you think it odd that they don't know or say they don't know, how many complaints each stand or terminus actually receives?"

"Odd," I replied. "Hardly.  We are, after all, viewed as the twilight section of the community!  Now, if they were really interested they would have started off by managing to spell your name correctly!"

Sunday, 5 September 2010


As the saying goes, "strike hard, strike fast, and keep them off balance."

Replacing bus drivers?


Hurray, by 2030 bus drivers will be replaced by robots, oh happy day - can't it be tomorrow?

Of course, such happy joy would soon be eclipsed when some coronal mass ejection screws with the magnetic field, or a bored hacker mangles their programming, sending them into a murderous frenzy: running buses, into each other, or into bridges, or turning them into rude, obnoxious high on crack dangers to passengers, or even making them incapable of switching off their engines whilst stationary at bus terminus's/stands-... ah right, no change then!


Saturday, 4 September 2010