Thu 1: I'm struggling with the new BBC Sounds app, and I haven't even downloaded it yet. Its hip'n'happening yoof categorisation is not the way I approach my listening needs. Thankfully they haven't disabled the old BBC Radio Player app yet, so I'm sticking with that. Fri 2: Two 4-hour bus journeys are ideal for reading a decent proportion of a 1000-page short story anthology, although the downside is having to lug the heavy volume up Box Hill. And how exciting to discover (on page 183) the short story one of my favourite films was based on. Sat 3: When visiting the lobby of an iconicconcretebuilding, what you don't want to hear is a sour-faced volunteer saying "Oh I don't think you can take photos in here". Much better to say "I'll just check whether you're allowed to take photos in here," especially when the answer to that question turns out be "Yes". Sun 4: Some days you get the instant gravy consistency absolutely spot on. Today was such a day.
Mon 5: The winner of the last ever series of Big Brother is someone my Dad knows. These are not words I ever expected to type. Tue 6: Ah, the sheer panic of knowing you plugged your phone in overnight but waking up to find it didn't charge, and it's on 1%, and now all the day's plans are in need of a major redrawing #1stworldproblems Wed 7: The Democrats taking the House while the Republicans keep the Senate is at least one step back from the global doom-cliff the world has been edging inexorably towards recently. Thu 8: Seriously? That is unbelievable. Well done! Fingers crossed for you both (and thanks for the baked beans). Fri 9: The leaves are so beautifully orangey yellow at the moment, and by the end of next week they absolutely won't be, and how quickly the autumn turns. Sat 10: Once a year, on the day of the Lord Mayor's Show, St Paul's Cathedral is open to the public for free. I'd forgotten quite how magnificent it is inside, how many utterly famous Britons are buried within, how many steps there are up to the Whispering Gallery, and how jarring it is to find a cafe in the crypt on the way out. Saved me £18 too. Sun 11: I was woken up by a massive bang at twenty to seven, which rumbled on for several seconds somewhere in the distance, and I have never heard anything quite like it. My first assumption was that a bomb must have gone off somewhere, because it was that loud (and because of the date), so I did the modern thing and checked Twitter. I spotted that only people in Bow and Stratford had heard it, and it turned out to be a single lightning strike by the Bow Roundabout, so I went back to bed.
Mon 12: All the post-2005 episodes of Doctor Who are available on the BBC iPlayer, all 152 of them, so watching a couple of Russell T Davies belters is an excellent way of filling a grey afternoon. Tue 13: I happened to be passing the church where my parents got married, and normally the doors are locked but on this occasion they were open, so I went and had a look inside for possibly the first time ever. It was bigger than I was expecting, and just a tad emotional. Wed 14: I haven't been out for beers with the blokes from work for months, so it was nice to meet up, even if the chosen location didn't sell anything I particularly wanted to drink. Impressively it took over an hour for the conversation to turn to that dull subject the conversation always turns to. Thu 15: The sheer relief, when the Prime Minister has scheduled a press conference inside No 10 at 5pm, to discover that she's not initiating anything new, just restating something everyone's already heard. Fri 16: The Calor Gas centre by the Bow Roundabout has finally closed down. In January it sold for £31m, along with the Ideal Furniture warehouses nextdoor, and will be reborn as Bow River Village Phase 3 in 2021. How long before the entire riverside is flats flats flats? Sat 17: The Tilbury Ferry has a 65 minute gap in the afternoon when it doesn't run, and by unintentionally turning up near the start of that gap I had to cancel my quick jaunt to Gravesend. Probably for the best. Sun 18: Hell yes, I have completed the prize crossword in yesterday's newspaper. I guess it can't have been that difficult this week.
Mon 19: The army are packing away the Shrouds of the Somme into boxes, and JCB-ing them into the back of a big lorry. Tue 20: I'd forgotten how much I liked sliced beetroot. Wed 21: A fun strategic game is to cross Hackney Marshes, zigzagging across the football pitches, keeping as far away as possible from the hordes of dogwalkers exercising ten hounds each. Maximum points. Thu 22: I spotted National Rail's New Measurement Train surveying the tracks outside Kentish Town station and, because I was in company, didn't attempt to take a photo and upload it to social media crowing that I'd seen the 'Flying banana'. I am not a proper trainspotter. Fri 23: But I am the kind of person who tots up his grocery total on the way round the supermarket... so when the new cashier overcharged me, twice, I noticed and got the extra £2.05 refunded. Sat 24: The new station at Barking Riverside now 'exists' as a raised embankment of earth, though still in the middle of a bleak estuarine landscape of landfill and pylons, and it's amazing how much they intend to charge for flats out here. Sun 25: The owner of the hardware shop on Westow Hill in Upper Norwood has placed a handwritten sign on the pavement saying "Wheelie bin numbers sold here", and I wondered how much of a local necessity they must be for such an advert to be a moneyspinner.
Mon 26: That is my second highest-ever score at Threes. I assume some of you somewhere are still playing Threes. Tue 27: You know what, there's a dead CD player in my spare room, of relatively mammoth size, and that might as well go down the tip too. Wed 28: The new Stanfords opened today in Covent Garden, initially as a Christmasboutique, but in January the entire map shop shifts over. It's only a couple of minutes walk away, but so well concealed you're unlikely to stumble upon it by mistake. Initial impression - full of unnecessary gift items and a bit small (although there is additional floorspace upstairs and in the basement that's not yet open). Thu 29: I probably ought to eat my last half dozen Creme Eggs before next year's are released. Fri 30: A new entrance to Bank station opened this morning, at least a year behind schedule, linking Walbrook to the Waterloo & City line via two sets of escalators (or a staircase). It's huge. You could hold a street food pop-up in the concourse halfway down, and another in the concourse at the bottom. [3 photos]