diamond geezer

 Sunday, October 23, 2005

dg update (playing catch-up after my Trafalgar week)
My neighbours have moved out. Not the guitar-playing hippopotami in the flat above (although thankfully they're much quieter than they used to be) but the thoughtless chain-smoking nicotine puffers next door. Now I can breathe again in peace, at last, hurrah! And all the fag ends and slow-drying cheap underwear that used to litter their balcony have vanished at the same time. Excellent. I have yet to meet my new neighbours but, having not yet heard them or smelt them, I'm optimistic that we'll get on just fine.I know it's a blogging cliché to spend the autumn months despairing about the premature onset of Christmas, but I swear it's worse this year. Tesco may think they're the country's new religion, but hanging dangly gold decorations above the aisles and sticking prominent 'Merry Christmas' signs in the windows in mid October is just not on. I mean, there's still Hallowe'en, Divali and Eid to come first, all in the next fortnight, and you don't see those promoted so heavily (even round here). Sigh.There are plans to knock down my local Baptist Church on Bow Road and replace it with a nine-storey apartment block (with a replacement place of worship at ground level). Admittedly the current brick shed isn't a patch on the Victorian original, but that's another bit of East End history lost in the speculative rush for property and profit. And I somehow doubt that any of the present congregation will be able to afford one of the 44 shiny new flats located conveniently above their new 'church'.
A new HMV music store has just opened in Stratford Shopping Centre, halfway up the skanky eastern arm of the mall that's more normally full of pound shops, fake bling and two quid t-shirts. It certainly beats buying dodgy pirate CDs and DVDs off the stalls in the Broadway. This is the first tangible hint of a pre-Olympic upturn in my local economy, although I suspect it'll be a long time before Next, Waitrose or even Starbucks dare venture into this blighted retail backwater.I love Conservative Party leadership elections. First there are the preliminary elimination rounds, which are a bit like a political X Factor but with the best candidates voted off first by scheming backbench MPs. And then, inexplicably, tweedy party members across the country are given six weeks to argue and bicker in public, opening up all the party's internal schisms in the process, before finally voting for the least electable of the pair on offer. Bring it on!For the first time ever the Atlantic hurricane season has run out of names. Wilma exhausted the official list, so now we're onto the default option - the Greek alphabet. A record breaking (but rather weedy) 22nd cyclone has just brewed up in the southern Carribean and has been named Alpha. If global warming persists we could see Hurricanes Zeta, Eta and Theta before the end of November. I'm looking forward to Hurricane Pi, except we almost certainly won't get that far.
(see, you didn't miss much)

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