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I seem to have volunteered to help with the Prince of Wales (Moseley) Literary Festival this year. Well, "seem to have" - that's a phrase I hunted down mercillessly from the WIP. I have volunteered and if there had been similar things in Kingston I would have done so there (that there weren't is possibly telling). Just back from the MAC which does put me in mind of Riverside Studios (Hammersmith) but is mostly like itself. Apparently it used to be very run down but is now bright and shiny and I seem to be in there many days of the week, whether for classes or for coffee while walking the dog.

Today I have also been to the dentist with an aim to getting my teeth improved. They work OK but they could be a lot better aesthetically. Mind you when a dentist with many years experience opines that she is not certain whether to label a particular tooth as a 3rd or a 4th tooth you suspect you are in the presence of Weird Dentition (certainly one of my upper teeth originally grew behind the others and had to be removed when I was quite young - this is in fact what is behind the dentist's hesitancy re labelling). The work will take a while (and cost) but should be worth it.

I can't scan and post the picture I have found: a black and white snap showing a woman I suspect is my maternal grandmother,  astride a bicycle. She is wearing a knee length dress and the bike has a crossbar which may have made mounting and dismounting tricky. It's annoyingly devoid of referents - the bike could come from a wide range of eras and the picture looks as though it was taken in a back garden somewhere. It sort of looks 1940s but the hat she's wearing may give us some clue.

A book I found recently is called "Notes from Overground", by "Tiresias" (the poet Roger Green). In this tome he scrutinises what many have not really looked at - train commuting. And as it was written in 1984 it also gives us a view of the last years of nationalised rail services in the UK, a now nostalgic era of diesel engines and uniformly blue or blue and white livery and occasional pens of steam locomotives. Not even Thatcher tried it with the railways, realising they were dear to the nation's heart and also you do not try the patience of railway workers for they are bolshy and quick to (industrial) action. It is also in this book that we find the original investigation of that curious graffito CLOSE AT HAND IS FAR AWAY IN IMAGES OF ELSEWHERE painted near Paddington station in the 1970s and destroyed when the wall that bore it was demolished in the 1980s. That one joins the repetition of CHRISTIAN GOLDMAN? in such places as Hammersmith Broadway and Shepherds Bush in the 1980s, and the solitary THE NIGHT on the street wall of Nazareth House on Hammersmith Road which lasted until a few years ago and finds its way into my story "Cow Lane" in Music for Another World.

I'll stop here and refer the reader to this item by [ profile] sbisson of this parish:
which deals with all this. (I'd forgotten btw that I'd found a picture in the H&F Borough archives that shows that THE NIGHT graffito as existing in 1980, which either suggested my use of it in "Cow Lane" or else vindicated it, depending on when I found the picture - I suspect it would have been in 2003-4 when I was working on the pubs book so later than the writing of the story. I suspect the "90% crack up" item with its reference back to the French expression "metro - boulot - dodo" ("tube - job - kip") has gone as well. & between my comment to Simon's piece and now, the THE NIGHT one has indeed gone.

I suspect this is an example of "Circular reference, see, circular reference," as 'spride''s comments to Simon's article include a link to "Notes from Overground." I must have heard of that book somewhere, so why not in that comment?
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Until 2 June last year I would have confidently said I'd rely on my skill to get me out of tricky situations while cycling. Unfortunately that works only up to a point, I found, and past that point is an ambulance to A&E (lucky it wasn't far). Still apart from nipping down Kingston Hill in gathering darkness with differently working (that's non-working) lights on Saturday evening after the choir performance ('concert' gives it far too formal a sound), I have been the soul of carefulness especially yesterday when I exercised the newly-modified route between home and Chiswick, by Airnimal. About 16 miles in all (there and back). And the lovely thing about that route is that once you've done Richmond Park it's flat into London and you're at least psychologically much nearer the centre.

A curious thing re the lights: the rear light that was on the Airnimal, intermittently didn't work and is now on the Brompton, once I fitted new batteries to it, has two bulbs. One goes off and on depending on pressing the switch, as they should. The other, dimmer bulb is on all the time. Permanently on. I just went and looked and it's on now. No switch appears to turn it off.

Chiswick House Grounds is pleasant at this time of year. There is nowhere like it nearer - Kew Gardens costs to get in, Richmond Park isn't sufficiently parklike and Bushy Park is too bland (although I do like riding there).

This morning I had yet another job interview - for a web developer job. I don't think I know enough .NET and CSharp - or particularly SQL. There was a written test afterwards part of which was writing lines of SQL and I don't think any of them would have worked! Nor did I know what a DOM is (tempted to write 'opposite of SUB'). Apparently it's a Document Object Model (my guess was Data Object Model), but I don't know what that is either. I shall hear at the end of the week but was certain to ask in the interview whether the intranet/website area is expanding (it is) because even if I don't get that job I could keep an eye open for others. This was in Kingston proper which would also be very convenient.
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I haven't been on the Kingston Cycling Campaign Organised rides very much recently.
This photo
sort of reminds me why not.
The Airnimal is a road bike, not a mudplugger!
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Just been on the bike down to Worcester Park and back via the Aroma Deli, Surbiton, which is slowly becoming my local cafe of choice. Also dropped in on the Chinese Medical Centre (also on Ewell Road, almost opposite Aroma) for info - some massage and Chinese herbal medicine might do some good. By the time I'd sat in Aroma for a while, and scribbled away including making a list of people I met last year who I feel good about - Jenny of course, and also Shannon who I met at Esalen - I felt a whole lot better*.

Got home and there is a message from Jenny. Okay so she's saying she doesn't know which weekend she'll be in London but she is coming down here in principle. Which is good.

I've also applied for two translation jobs and am looking at ProZ's translation 'webinars'.

*I think that was a Not the 9 O'Clock News sketch about 'Cult of the Year': this time it was (presumably) the est Training:

"And what does your training programme consist of?"
"I lock myself away in a hotel for a weekend with a bunch of people and call them assholes."
"Does it do any good?"
"Yeah, I feel a whole lot better."


Nov. 27th, 2010 08:59 pm
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50,208 words
The background needs some serious revision and the story isn't anywhere finished - but, 50,000 words in a month, including a week and a half away.

apart from that ...
- Went for a pleasant walk in a frosty Richmond Park this morning, not too many people about but there were some. Not all the way round the park but further than I used to go on the bike on a Sunday morning (up to the Richmond Gate and then back via Pembroke Lodge).
- Took the Airnimal into the local bike shop for them to have a look at it and see what needs repairing. This is a very small bike shop and somewhat traditional, but they have already had a look and I can pick the bike up on Monday.
- 6 pm felt v. tired and slept until 7. But at least I got up at 8 this morning, unlike previous days this week (10;8;10;10;11).
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A variation on the 'Canadian musicians' game is 'Welsh bands'. Catatonia, Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers, Magenta, GLC, Feeder, Super Furry Animals ... this was kicked off by going to see Magenta on Saturday night and a rendition (not by me!) of the Stereophonics' 'Dakota' on Friday night.

But today started off very badly. During the journey into work:
- someone kicked my takeaway coffee over me
- I tried to get off the train and a very large man tried to shove his way in before I could get off
- I nearly tripped someone up at the station on the way out

when I finally got to work I had to find someone (anyone) I knew and tell that unfortunate person that I had had it and was going to have a cup of tea for an hour.
Curiously my manager was also feeling crook and went home. Maybe it's the day.

Before all this started I was drawing up an ad for renting of the front bedroom, which could bring in some much-needed money. I've renewed my season ticket but only for a month - the annual season ticket was £1300 and I don't know where I'd find that just now. Besides, may be going to Brum for a while even though I didn't even get an interview for the latest job I applied for (and neither did the current incumbent. Makes me wonder what they're looking for).

Not that I don't like this place (I do) but I was wondering why, as I used to commute by bike every day, I moved somewhere too far to do that easily from. I was back in West Ken on Friday and remarked, "I don't know why I moved. Not that I have a great attachment to W14 - though in a way I do - but why move anyway?" "True," she said; "if you're used to Central London you don't want to move out." I do say that I only regret having moved when I have to get home from the centre of town, but that's regularly twice a week and often more. Friday night was so pretty damn good that it carried over all the way through Saturday, and I got some work done on the Work In Progress. Not like last weekend at all. And today of course it has been warm and sunny and I walked up Vauxhall Bridge Road at lunchtime.

It's just a shame about this morning.
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The delivery of two new mattresses and the rebuilding of the three-quarter bed into a double goes off fine though getting a kingsize mattress down the stairs in this house was a fraught exercise. The stairs are narrow and steep and there is not a lot of airspace above them at the foot. This house is now a proper two-bedroom one again then.

Talking, over the garden fence, with next door neighbour. He gives me some runner bean plants, which are now planted.

Bought a new front light for the Brompton. The old one broke when I was taking the front bag off (the B. has a neat luggage system where a bag sits on a mounting block at the front. It is attached to the frame not the handlebars so doesn't turn with them). The new front light is a Knog Toad which I am not sure about - think I need a more serious light for riding when it's properly dark rather than just when the sun's gone down and I'm in lit streets. But I haven't tried it yet.

Eurosportage: Watched some of the Giro d'Italia which I had totally ignored until Tuesday when it was on the telly in a pub I was in.

Writing class: for some reason I'm tireder going in than I am if it had been a working day, and barely recognise one of my classmates (though I suspect she'd had a day off as well and so was in jeans and t-shirt etc, rather than her smart work clothes). My contribution goes down well though it's only half way through the discussion that I realise its title should be 'Passing Strangers'. Of course!

This is another sunny day and there are more things to be done.
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Well, the path material was delivered, but there is not enough of it! My original order was for twenty bags which would have been the right amount but I cut it back. I have had to reorder, which means paying another delivery charge.
Yesterday afternoon, over to Ealing, food and drink and good conversation; then a crosstown thrash to Old Street where I find my way down to the basement of the El Paso restaurant at about ten p.m. to find a band playing and several people I havent' seen for a while (=the entire lineup of the Silver Wizard Project and [info]
). What a relief? Unfortunately this living-way-out-of-town means I have to leave by midnight, get the 0046 train from Vauxhall and be home at half past one (that late train is slower than the daytime ones). As I am approaching home I see the N87 bus and reckon that if I'd gone for it instead of the train that is the very bus I would have taken. So maybe no real difference in time (except that I waited fifteen minutes for the train, which I would have spent on the bus).

Today, have been on the Dawes bike to Hampton Court, along the river, into the sun, too many walkers and cyclists, all enjoying the spring day ... there is a hotel by the river, close to the bridge and I dodge into there and have coffee and a pleasantly small slice of cake by the river. Everyone is very nice. Except on the way home where I am called all sorts of things for not stopping and getting off my bike to retrieve someone's football. Perhaps I was in the wrong, but would you expect a car driver to do same? I also swing by the Honest Cabbage and see Alan who is often in there but is just then outside having a cigarette. He remarks on the henna tattoo. I consider that I haven't been in a pub all weekend - in fact the last time I went into a pub was the previous Saturday, up in Holloway Road. I cannot watch television either!!

This week I have a job interview to prepare for, and have to be up at six tomorrow - an early start as we're shifting display equipment across town for an event that starts at nine.


Mar. 10th, 2009 07:38 pm
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People don't sell Bromptons second-hand. Why would they? It packs down into the size of a small suitcase and in that space you have a fully specced bike if you need it (well, if your idea of fully specced is 27 speeds and 26-inch wheels, then, no, you don't, but it is a proper bike).
So I rescued mine from the cupboard it had languished in pretty much since I moved here, found that both tyres were flat (not punctured as I said originally; any bike tyre will go down over time) and that the chain had slipped off; all easily remedied. Pumped up the tyres and found tonight (c. 20 hours later) that they were still fine, so off I set.
My, but it's a twitchy little thing, with those 16-inch wheels; but what you remember if you've ridden one before is not to put any weight on the front; sit up straight and pedal, backpedalling when you need to change gear (that is more anecdotal than manual I think, but it does work; otherwise sometimes the Sturmey-Archer won't change cogs. And if you're used to derailleurs, it's the opposite situation; with the Sturmey you stop pedalling to change gear, rather than having to keep going).
Recall that the B. has given me stout service in the past. The rear triangle is black rather than green because the original one was the victim of a Transit van that rammed me in Pimlico, knocking self and bike across the road and depositing me on my left hand side (the one the van hit) luckily without anything oncoming. Apart from that it did good service and only occasionally lay on the ground for't (for example do not attempt to cross a cattle grid on a B. You will get about half way and then keel over like the 'Vasa'. That was during one Little Green Ride, with every other rider on a properly sized bike I might add).
But after a few minutes of getting myself reacquainted I was whizzing about like anything. It isn't as comfortable a ride as my other bike the Dawes hybrid, no, but it isn't that bad. I am in fact considering selling the Dawes - not to keep the B. as my only bike but possibly to get one of these. I first saw an Airnimal years and years ago when it was simply called the Animal, and no, I wasn't allowed to ride it; they were few and rare in those days, I don't think it had entered production yet. They still aren't very common but with 24-inch wheels they are a different sort of folder to the B. Somewhere between the Birdy and a fullsize bike I would think.
This won't be right away and I need to go and try an Airnimal first. Perhaps it will come to nothing, like my nosing around the Bacchetta Giro a while back, but perhaps it won't. It isn't like I can't do rides on the Dawes, I certainly can and have but that Airnimal does look nice.
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Further to yesterday's list I have been painting bits of the woodwork that needed it, and repressurised the boiler. if it only needs that once every couple of weeks then there is not a problem. Do need the rest of the windows double glazed though! They weren't originally because there was this idea that the existing rear extension (which contains kitchen and bathroom) could be removed and a double-height extension put on instead, with an upstairs bathroom (though much of the time the bathroom gets accessed from downstairs, so it might as well stay there) and a through kitchen/diner. This is not going to get planning permission, so we get Plan B: the Conservatory instead. This replaces the current ramshackle shed and the particularly broken-up tiled area around it just behind the house.

Then I went on the bike up through Richmond Park to Pembroke Lodge and sat with a cup of coffee watching the sunset over misty Richmond; and back to Kingston which is in full sales mode. I have new DM boots. Now to make soup, probably, from some of the vegetables in the fridge.

I seem to have abandoned Ido (modified Esperanto, resembles regularised Spanish) in favour of toki pona.
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Yesterday started with a long wait for a package of energy saving lightbulbs at the Post Office in Villiers Road. Apparently the queue got worse after that and then they stopped serving people. I would rather British Gas fixed my boiler than they send me energysaving lightbulbs. Bussed it to Chiswick in the afternoon to see Bridget and discuss possibility of Skyros next year - the timetable is now out. Did some writing in the evening - writing fight scenes is difficult, anyone agree? 'If so and so is there what is he doing? Just standing around?'

Today I went on a Kingston Cycle Campaign ride for the first time in months and got very, very wet. We set off in rain and by the time we had gone through Bushy Park and were out into Fulwell it was raining so hard that we ducked into Squires Garden Centre for coffee. Which meant I could go and buy the anti-pest grease bands I needed to get! this was one of those rides that are in two halves - back to Kingston at 2 pm to pick up the second half-ride. I decided half a day was enough, even if it had largely been spent in the garden centre and also in the Anglers at Teddington Lock (cumberland sausage and mash, good, service pleasant too as was the company of those biking stalwarts who'd made it that far). My cycling clothes are now hanging up to dry but the apple tree has grease bands to stop nasties climbing up it. The next ride is on the 14th December, that's the Christmas ride to the White Cross at Richmond, which several borough groups take part in. I keep enjoying the rides even the very wet ones so why don't I do them more often?
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I have just been listening to 'Orange Claw Hammer', and that is as adventurous as it has got today. Previous to that: went into Kingston in the morning and did shoppings and had my usual mix of espresso with the equivalent of hot water. The girl behind the counter was singing. Perhaps she has a new boyfriend, or perhaps she just likes singing. For some reason, maybe it's the sun, the townsfolk don't seem as irritating as before, and as this time I am unaccompanied by Dog (thus, no Dog to slip its leash and cry Havoc around the front door of Marks and Spencers) I can sit quietly at the cafe'. Back home and I get out a long chair and put it in the garden, sit reading Stephen King's 'Lisey's Story' and getting what looks like an uneven tan - shoulders much redder than chest. A 747 on its way out of LHR? casts a long shadow from the sun behind it over the clouds in front.
Indoors, Eurosport shows me the final stage of the Tour de France, or round and round Paris, and a win for Sastre. The Spanish are sweeping all before them these days. All this cycling means I have to get out on the bike myself and, pausing only to say hi to the woman opposite who is washing her car, I set off for the Isabella. The woods are deeper than I think. I get lost. I head for the sun, and follow the fence round. Eventually back to the bike and hit some of the hilly bits in the eastern bit of the park.
Did I have a quiet day as I promised? Yes, certainly. Was able to consider and reflect, and read if not actually write, without having to chase off anywhere (apart from the Park and that really doesn't count). The max/min thermometer tells me it reached 32 degrees today. Now the sky is turning pink, grey and orange in a very muted kind of way, and there is bread and cheese and tomatoes in the fridge.

A blast

Jul. 8th, 2008 11:28 pm
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I seem to know this area better than I think. Rode the bike to Epsom without much in the way of a map, ended up in Ewell? Well, it's nearby. Still managed to find Epsom at the same time as the people who had passed me in the 406 bus. But coming home was a blast. Fetched up near where I used to live (without actually going to Worcester Park, where I'd been aiming for - we used to call it Worcester Park but it was nearer Tolworth), and then later thought 'I'll need the A to Z in a minute' (I had the Kingston and Richmond A to Z but it doesn't cover Bits Further Out) only to find I was by the school where I did the Gardening course.
How far? Probably about 6 mi / 10km each way. But quality.
Maybe I don't need a new bike, just give the Sonoran some new tyres and it'll be good as new. Still tempted by a recumbent though. DO NOT NEED! But ...
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Last night, believing it to be the night of the CAMRA branch meeting, I got on my bike and rode over to the Earl Beatty in Motspur Park. No sign of CAMRA members, hardly surprising in that pub which isn't at all nice - I think they just use it because it has plenty of room. After half an hour, phoned one of the committee members who told me the meeting was the previous night, despite what i have in my diary. Rode back and wanted some better beer than I'd had so went to the Willoughby Arms.
Me: "Do you have any mild?"
Barmaid: "What is that?" - confers with other member of staff. "Oh, mild ale." Other member of staff comes back with pump clips. I decide to have a half of Surrey Hills Shere Drop which was very good but considering this is widely reckoned to be the best pub in Kingston - at least for its beer range - oh what a surprise. Personally I prefer the Park Tavern as it has a nicer atmosphere and people have more of a clue.
I decided I really don't like sitting on my own in pubs. I may have done a lot of it up until the end of last year but having got used to not doing it, it feels uncomfortable unless I'm somewhere I know well, which these days means the Tup. There are other things to do. My beer consumption is falling generally, and the number of visits to previously unvisited pubs this year has almost certainly been less than the total for May last year.
And I now have a sore neck probably from looking behind me on the bike on the way there and back.

So tonight it is the start of the last module of the Gardening class - Garden Design. Then I am so going to the Works to hear Pete and the Pirates.
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Wednesday, up to Islington and the Lark in the Park, which is actually a pub, for the latest Silver Wizard Project gig. The pub is an odd shape: long and narrow, with an obstruction halfway down as though it had been knocked from two bars into one but there were structural items that couldn't be removed. This meant, along with the small stage, that (i) two thirds of the band were invisible and (ii) it was difficult to see much at all. Not helped by people in the 'audience' who insisted on talking loudly, including one person who was talking very loudly about his house purchase. The band had to reduce their set by one song and then found out they needn't have bothered as the other two bands supposed to go on after them had both cancelled. Was ok though.
There was also no real ale on pump, though there were bottles of Pitfield Bitter and EcoWarrior (bottle conditioned).

Home via Earls Court and Wimbledon as there is still no Victoria Line after 10pm. Still got the 2314 from Wimbledon though.

Yesterday, busy with the content migration from old intranet to new. Then in the evening got on the bike and did a lap of Richmond Park, mostly in the dark. The final bit, going clockwise and finishing at Kingston Gate, includes one nasty little hill where I had to stop before going on - did not however at any point get off and push. Other riders in the park, a few - they should use lights though! I saw what I thought was two bikes heading towards me in line astern but it turned out the rear bike had another one each side of it. Fortunately I was well over to the left. I wonder what that ride would have been like on the Mistral
- which was indeed silver, as is (silver-grey) the Dawes I have now. Challenge used to do a model called the Wizard (just to connect with the previous story) but have superseded it. Recumbents can do hills, you just sit there and pedal and hope it doesn't get so slow you fall over. One current view on hills is that rather than pelt at them hoping momentum takes you up the other side, you approach them in the gear you are going to go up them. Makes sense I suppose because if you pedal furiously on the downhill, you're using up energy you should be keeping in reserve for getting up the uphill.

Definitely felt better after that though.
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So I've just been birdwatching in the company of 30 other people in Richmond Park. This seems to me to be a case of the observer affecting the observed and to be honest there weren't a lot of birds beyond the general jackdaws and parakeets. There were skylarks, however, rising and falling and full of song. And a green woodpecker in a tree (the yaffling call of them was all around - but you don't see them as often).
Got there by bike, which was inconvenient as we started from Roehampton Gate, the other side of the Park for me. I am obviously not very fit at present as I found out. Some of the people whizzing past me and hanging around the cafe' looked extremely fit, though. Whippet-like.

Last night, went to the Kingston Tup - that's the pub at the other end of my street. Some of my pals in there, and also some music from a three - piece band called Never Mind the Bongos - which makes them sound like a comedy act but at least it isn't portentous. Agreed that the HC is a horrible little pub without comfortable seats and with too many people wearing baseball caps; and that the Tup, which has comfortable seating and live music etc. is far better. I even found out there is a little side bar to the Tup that I didn't actually know about, which also has squashy sofas and a small outside area. The other remarkable news was that the Marlborough seems to have, if not a new owner, at least someone interested in it. Sam (former manager of the Marl) reckons Hall and Woodhouse might sell it and then it would be a free-house, "good for beer drinkers" as she put it. For now though the Tup looks like a good bet.
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Bikefix, purveyors of bicycles most excellent, are organising another of their Recumbent Weekends, in Norfolk in May.

Think I'll go there and pitch a tent. I've emailed Bikefix owner Stuart Dennison who replied saying 'Good to hear from you, it'll be like old times'. It will; the last one was a few years ago and it's nearly four years since I sold my second and so far last recumbent. Must convincingly persuade myself that I do not need nor can afford a new bike, especially a 'bent, at the moment.
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I thought there had to be a Firefox LJ addin and there is.
Today I have been mostly cycling. 13 km each way to Chiswick and back, via Richmond Park, to the Hole in the Wall pub for Sunday lunch. Good, too; proper vegetables with the roast, not just an afterthought. With plenty of biking I might not need to go to the gym (and thus cancel my membership which is £40 a month). To add to that, there is in London a Civil Service Sports Club gym which I'd forgotten about, near the Channel 4 building near Victoria Station. I could give that a go. As I'm already a CSSC member it should be cheaper, and possibly more convenient to go just after work (unless everyone else has the same idea of course).

There are more daffodils in the garden now, and a few crocuses and one solitary snowdrop. So far. And the little pond has a large clump of frogspawn in it! Now if I can keep the darned cats away from the pond there might be some frogs.

Tomorrow, after a week off that involved bathroom furniture and Birmingham and Alexandra Palace and the Silver Wizard Project and Asian lunches three days running, is Bak in thi Jug Againe.
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But if I'd gone to Birmingham to see M. I would probably have come back with a wee cough as she is feeling not well. Hopefully she will be ok by Friday if I go up then instead. I may have to miss the fun and games at the Honest Cabbage (which is shaping up nicely as the Marlborough replacement, though there are far too few comfortable chairs), but it looks like the person in charge of such things has the lurgy also and may have to cancel.

Yesterday, did the Good Beer Guide surveys for the two pubs I had to do them for - the meeting where these were divvied out was on 4 January, I've just taken that long to do it. And it isn't like they're that far away either (still in Kingston, just not my part of the town). These are finally out of the way and I can concentrate on things like revising for the Organic Gardening exam next week.

At the moment I am waiting in for the bathroom items to be delivered. Have cleared the dining room so they can be stored there until needed, but there is no sign at all of any delivery just yet. I was hoping to have lunch at the Lime Leaves (a newly-opened South East Asian restaurant who are doing a special lunch deal for £4.95) and then this afternoon I have to take the bike in for servicing. There is a ride on Sunday but the bike will, in its current state, just about get to the bike shop. I am fairly sure that my neck and shoulder are painful again because of squeezing the brake lever on Sunday last - a week and a bit ago, but still. Nor have I been to the gym for two weeks. The idea was to do a lot more riding and so possibly cancel my gym subscription for a while - not sure.
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So I'm back on the CAMRA branch committee as Pubs Officer, but it's a post that could be reported in by email if needs be as I'm not really interested in pub crawls and midweek events at the mo. The only downer of the evening was one member claiming that there is nobody on the committee under 50. How old does he think I look? Really. Must keep off the beer if it's having that effect. The AGM took place at the Willoughby Arms which is an old favourite - Twickenham Fine Ales a speciality.

The bathroom project is going ahead; had the room surveyed on Monday which revealed such delights as - the bath panel is stuck on top of the previous bath panel; the bath is cast iron; the shower cubicle has a false wall inside the real one (which will give me more space when it's removed). The new design includes white tiles (with a line of small blue ones through them), white bath WC and sink (I'm not sure there's a choice these days), and a blue-grey floor, so at least one of the walls should be terracotta-coloured or similar (the complementary colour of one of the shades of blue) to provide some colour.

On Sunday I got on the bike and went across South London to Brockwell, had lunch in a pub called the Vale. Unfortunately the brake blocks on the bike are knackered and need replacing so I have a sore hand from squeezing the lever! (that's the front brake. The rear is even more knackered so I was trying not to use it).

This building is freezing. I feel like I'm in Nine Elms Cold Store which was just over the way. If it gets below 16 deg I think we can go home.


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