Sat 1: My photograph of four inflatable pandas jostling the ticket barriers at Kings Cross is already in my Top 40 most-viewed Flickr photos (and is on its way to the Top 25). Sun 2: From the blurry top deck of the N65 nightbus, the streets of Ealing look dark and quiet and somewhat damp, and could basically be anywhere.
Mon 3: Beckton Alp is somehow still accessible, and even the sign by the hole in the fence which said it was private property has disappeared. It's also a great vantage point from which to view an approaching storm (so long as you're down off the summit before it arrives). Tue 4: Barnet FC's former Underhill stadium has finally disappeared, and the skeleton of a new academy is rising in its place. Its football pitches will be rather smaller. Wed 5: A man does not need all the plastic bags he has accumulated, although throwing them away does nothing for the environment - all the damage was done in their acquisition. Thu 6: Forest Gate station is now fully open, its temporary staircases no longer required, in readiness for Crossrail opening at the weekend... oh hang on. Fri 7: Wait a week and you can get a Mars Advent calendar for a quid, at which price it is almost worth the money (given that it contains the same weight of chocolate as two Mars Bars). Sat 8: The latest exhibition at the Wellcome Collection - Living With Buildings - is rather good, especially if you like poverty maps, New Town plans, Modernist architecture and hospital demolition videos (runs until 3rd March). Sun 9: [Plans to spend the day riding Purple Trains thwarted]
Mon 10: The new extension to intu Watford, where Charter Place used to be, isn't as large as I expected it to be. A lot of it is empty roofed piazza, the cinema isn't quite open yet, and what a shocking waste to have turned the former market into a Debenhams. Tue 11: We have improved your signing-in experience, say my online bank, who have instead made it harder. Wed 12: Stage 4 has not been triggered, so Stage 5 will not occur until the 2020s. Hurrah, I can now take all the post-its down off the wall. Thu 13: I worry that I shouldn't be eating baked beans now, I should be saving up all my cans for the bleak empty-shelved lowlands of post-Brexit springtime. Fri 14: I remember watching this episode of Top of the Pops in November 1986 and being utterly thrilled that Erasure had made it onto the show for the first time. If only I hadn't mistimed a university reunion I might have been in the Student Union to see them play just before they became famous. Sat 15: Heaven knows what effect this second miserably wet Saturday in December will have had on High Street spending. Sun 16: Many years ago I pulled a cracker and a bottle opener fell out, so rather than leave it on the table at the end of the meal along with the party hats and plastic 3D puzzles I pocketed it and took it home, so when BestMate rang and said "I've got cider but no bottle opener can you bring one over?" everything ended happily ever after.
Mon 17: Winter Wonderland is already squidgy underfoot, with muddy brown water washing over the plastic flooring as you trek from sausage seller to ticket booth to Toblerone hoopla. Tue 18: It'd be a lot easier to hand-deliver this Christmas card if 86 was anywhere near 85 or 87, or even helpfully close to 84. Wed 19: Trying to buy a birthday card in Chingford is really difficult at this time of year, especially when the person you're buying it for doesn't fall into any of the Mum/Brother/Gran/18/40 categories most of the remaining rackspace is given over to. Thu 20: The new Tottenham Stadium squats like an alien interloper above the horizon of N17, facing off across the High Street towards the library and blazing it with blue screens. Numerous yellowjackets are working on it outside, and considerably more can be seen working on it inside behind stacked layers of shiny glass. Fri 21: The special 'pigs in blankets' starters in this year's Pizza Express festive meal deal are so good that I'm already sad they'll never put them on the menu again.
Sat 22: Thanks to the full moon, the walk from my Dad's house to the village pub can be attempted without the need for a torch. The adjacent table is taken by a group of former students from the local high school, back from their first term at university, comparing notes on debt levels, tattoos and how they're going to move away at the first possible opportunity. Sun 23: It's wet and it's muddy, but a few flowers brighten the spot. Mon 24: Our full Christmas food complement had been at risk because twirly crisps could not be sourced, but thankfully packets of salt and vinegar turned up in the third supermarket. Tue 25: I don't know what your family's Christmas routine is, but our is [PRESENTS][COOKING][LUNCH][QUEEN][GAMES][TEA/TV][GAMES]. Wed 26: Thanks to the January Sales, the big TV we watched the Queen on yesterday is not the bigger TV we watched Only Connect on today. Thu 27: We were considering going to see the seals, but instead we stayed in, did a jigsaw and played on the Xbox (and then I got the train home).