25 April 2007

Brain Like Mush

At the risk of being a driving bore; I'm having actual conversations about the routes I take to get to work for god's sake! In my defence I'm only answering questions I don't discuss this stuff willingly, what do you folks consider to be be good fuel economy? I'm getting about 43 mpg, that's a petrol engine but I don't know whether that is average or good.

I've getting fascinated with how many miles I can eke out of each full tank, partly because I'm mean and I don't want to spend any more than I have to and partly because there is a bit of me that feels guilty about adding to the atmospheric pollution and the better fuel economy I can get the less damage I add.

Becky always said that the commute between my old flat and Lynn gave her a chance to think up blog posts, think through the wording, and get the final article polished up in her brain before she got to the Lynn bypass. I'm finding the complete opposite, after driving to and from work my mind is a blank and any coherent thought I might have had has disappeared with the early evening mist.

20 April 2007

Avoiding Being A Numpty. Or How To State The Bleeding Obvious.

I've been driving to and from work in Cambridgeshire and home in Norfolk for just under two weeks now. It's a route of many roundabouts and plentiful fields, the towns on the way are either bypassed or just skirted through so it should be a fairly quick route except for....

Tractors, lorries, caravans, coaches and buses. Now I don't mind those too much, well all except caravans they ARE the spawn of Beelzebub as we know, they all have restrictions on the speed that they can go on the open road. So they are not numpties well the caravan haulers probably are but they don't have the chance to be one with a caravan behind them.

No, the numpties are them others, the idiots who drive too fast and cut you up, who over take with lorries thundering towards them so that get a chill sweat and start to ready yourself for an emergency stop when the accident happens. Then there are the gibbers who seem to think that it's perfectly acceptable to bimble along at 45 miles per hour when the speed limit is 60 but speed up to go through towns at 50 miles per hour when the signs are saying 30. They really shouldn't be allowed out. They take the racing line when they could be outpaced by an asthmatic moped and worry me considerably, swing out wildly when a pedestrian is walking along the pavement and never ever use their indicators at any time during the journey.

I've also noticed as I wend my way back and forth that along each stretch of road there will be at least one numpty, the trick is to ensure that a) I'm far enough away from them and b) that I'm not the numpty.

16 April 2007

we r in ur ikeas eating all ur meatballz

I'm beginning to think that Ikea know full well when they've chosen a name that is going to make their more infantile customers snigger into their big yellow bags We were *cough* more restrained than that and anyways I had remembered to bring my big blue bag.

I think we were fairly successful we didn't source all the innovative storage solutions we were after but we got stuff for the kitchen, bedroom, a really really lovely dark purple duvet set and two throw cushions and a new floor lamp for the living room. We avoided buying the attractive, fun, but ultimately useless stuff that Ikea is so well known for. I was tempted for a short while by the multicultural, male, Russian dolls but sense and lack of space restrained me.

14 April 2007


It's not fucking news!

Collecting the Collections

CD towers, originally uploaded by Jane Goth.

Today I've been mostly sorting out our CD collections and making them into one collection. And I really enjoyed myself I've been dying to get my hands on Simon's CD collection and have a proper look through it. There was remarkably little overlap so there are only a few CDs for Ebaying.

And then I made dinner, using a variation of a recipe I saw on Mid West Rock Lobster and very nice it was too. Now we are waiting for Doctor Who to start. So while we've been busy it's not been wildly exciting just a life bimbling along nicely.

11 April 2007

LInkage 11 Apr 07

I keep thinking up bits of blog post but really not enough to hit the publish button for. I'm driving back and forth from Lynn to work, slowly getting used to the distances and the basic tedium of it. I think I'm going to get to know my music collection a lot better as I've found that I've been turning off Radio 4 news programmes this week, as I'm sick of the artificial sound and fury over the misguided decision to let the service personnel sell their stories. I'm really loving the new Kings Of Leon album - Because of the Times at the moment, I've got a bit of a soft spot for southern bluesy rock.

But I don't mean to give the minuta of my daily commute rather I thought I would do a quick upload of things what I have spotted recently

I still don't really get Second Life, it's too empty, slow and hard to use for me, but things like this, using Second Life to try influence the decision of the Paris council town planners struck me as a very good use for the technology. As they are about the first people to do this, it gets them publicity but more than that with a 3D representation of proposed designs for the garden it has the potential to really capture people's imagination and goodwill.

05 April 2007

Hanging On The Telephone

It's a common compliant I know, the length of time you can be kept listening to tinny music and insincere expressions of regret for you wait as "all our operators are busy" I'm currently waiting for NTL Virgin Media disconnections department to talk to me so that I can cancel my phone and broadband subscriptions. I've been waiting for 11 minutes now most of that time has been spent listening to the same 15 second snippet of dreary guitar music looped ad nauseum, being asked to hold the line as they rack up the pennies as the free phone number I should be able to use doesn't seem to work.

It's 19 minutes now apart from a brief interruption from a human being I thought he was going to be able to actually help what with questions about the length of my inside length and whether I scored "not placed" or "did not finish" in the Primary 3 egg and spoon race for security reasons, but no it was not to be and I'm back to listening to the same crap music in all it's fifteen second glory.

24 Minutes


To vague 1990s style ambient but it doesn't seem to be on a very short loop

29 Minutes

At last someone can help me! Service from a man called Lee from the North East judging by his accent who was able to deal with my request in two minutes flat. I asked him to register my complaint about having to wait so long and he told me that the company were aware and it had been even worse up until recently! I think I got away lightly with only 31 minutes to cancel down my services.

04 April 2007

Neo-Classical Sardine-Tin Swimming Pool

Did you watch Grand Designs tonight? it featured a chap called Dean Marks who had a passion to convert an unloved Georgian Church into a family home. He's a builder and he decided to go it alone, no conservation expert to guide him, no architect to create the design, he did all this himself and got planning permission for his design through 300 meetings with the planning officers.

Some of the things he did, were not to my taste but I would have never had tackled what Dean and his wife Hilary did, because I don't have the vision or the imagination or the drive to do it myself. His love of the building and his strength of vision were stunning. There were times when Kevin McCloud visibly blanched as Dean outlined his vision for the building but he shouldn't have worried too much. Dean saved the building he went to the experts when he knew he didn't have the skills, he listened and learned from it and he gave his family a house in a million. I was entranced the determination, the blind optimism, the canny reclamation and the sheer determination had me won over.

Dean - I salute you!

02 April 2007


Daytime bus travel, originally uploaded by GDStinx.

I'm now into the count down of lasts - last proper weekend in Fenlandshire, last time I catch the bus to work on a Monday. Last time, hopefully, I stand in Arctic like winds for 50 minutes waiting for a bus that forgot to turn up, that's something I won't miss.

Bloody buses, they are environmentally friendly often very comfy and at the end of the day it's great to let someone else take the strain of thinking about driving and just relax on the way home. But round here, the buses seem to be staffed, with a few honourable exceptions, by misanthropes and curmudgeons who would be better suited to working with the dead or inanimate objects. They won't make any difficult demands of the drivers - like simple politeness, basic hygiene standards or rudimentary customer service concepts like saying please or thank you.

The photo was taken by GDstinx, found on Flickr.

01 April 2007

The Slowest Swimmer In Town

In a vague attempt to get fit, svelte and generally toned by October, Simon and I have taken to going swimming. We went to the adult lanes swim tonight at the local pool. They had three lanes set up fast, medium and slow. I joined the slow lane, Simon joined the medium one - within 3 minutes I had proved one thing.

They need 4 lanes - fast, medium, slow and "my God, I've never seen anyone swim so slowly and not sink" for me. I was by a fair length or two the slowest swimmer in the pool, even the hunchback with misshapen arms and the little old lady who left her zimmer frame* by the edge of the pool were lapping me.

I'm quite a good swimmer, my technique is OK I'm fairly strong but fast I'm not, I never have been, when I learnt at school the teacher would be ready to pack up for the end of the lesson by the time I had finished my length. I put it down to the anti thorpedo effect - just as Ian Thorpe has massive feet and hands that helped propel him along at a great rate of knots, I have tiny feet and hands (for my size), and when I swim I can only displace thimblefuls of water compared to the buckets that everyone else can so no wonder I go so slowly.

I think I'm going to take up water aerobics when I move to King's Lynn, less likely to be humiliated by a one legged 80 year old.

*OK that may be a slight exaggeration.