diamond geezer

 Friday, April 11, 2014

I thought you'd appreciate a post that wasn't about Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

I'd quite like to have brought you a post about Big Northern City, which I visited for the first time this week. Unfortunately I went for work, which meant I didn't get to see the side of Big Northern City I'd otherwise have explored. At one point I did take a very interesting train ride, but with work colleagues watching I thought it unwise to take any photos in case they thought I was odd. Even when there was a half hour gap to escape into town, I was saddled with a colleague in tow which meant I got to see a sandwich shop rather than anything iconic and interesting. So my Big Northern City write-up will have to wait until I can do the place properly, and alone, another time.

Instead, here's some other stuff.

» You have only three more months left to pay cash on London buses. From Sunday 6th July you'll need Oyster or a contactless card. I still don't have a contactless card.

» The Line met its target. That's the sculpture trail I mentioned which was trying to raise cash to locate sculpltures approximately along the meridian between Stratford and North Greenwich. They needed to raise over a hundred grand to set in motion the first stage of their plans, and gave themselves two months to stoke public interest. Unfortunately public wallets stayed closed, despite considerable publicity, and with a week to go they weren't even 20% of the way there. It seems the general public were the wrong target. Instead some last minute schmoozing of wealthy benefactors appears to have paid dividends, and the target of £140744 was hit with hours to spare. One of those benefactors paid £50000, another £44806, which means the two of them stumped up over two-thirds of the total amount. The top ten donations made up over 90% of the target, again sourced from rich philanthropists or via corporate generosity. Indeed it turns out that 159 of the 283 pledgers needn't have bothered, their two quids and ten quids made completely redundant by the project's minor £1700 overshoot. They'll still get their place in the gallery of generous sponsors, but the concept of online crowdsourced art projects appears fatally flawed. Whatever, we thank our generous masters, and you can expect to see The Line's shortlisted sculptures along the Lea in a matter of months.

» I finally got the 2048 tile in 2048. I can stop playing now.

» If you thought blogging about bus rides round the edge of the capital was a big project, what Ruth's doing is hardcore. She's walking clockwise round the coast of mainland Britain, and blogging every step of the way. She's not doing it all in one go, indeed she started four years ago in North Norfolk and has only just reached the Bristol Channel. She's done East Anglia, the south coast and the South West Coast Path, and Day 138 sees her reach the Devon village of Clovelly. It's inspirational to read her accounts of pristine beaches, clifftop footpaths and inclement headlands, all written up (with map and photos) after she gets home from another stretch. I have to say the Cornish coast sounds fantastic, if a little hairy in places, the Thames estuary rather less so. Start here to begin from the beginning, or catch up somewhere along the way, and maybe be inspired.

» A regular reader from the Colchester area, using a Google Nexus 4 via a BT connection, was this blog's four millionth visitor. If that was you last Sunday morning, four million congratulations.

» For those of you who like old buses, a rare opportunity to ride is taking place tomorrow. It's to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the introduction of the RT, and will involve several heritage buses running along what used to be route 22 from Piccadilly Circus to Hackney. Services will run every few minutes (from ten thirty to four thirty) on the inner London section, with all journeys free of charge (apart from those on RT1 for which £10 will be charged). Stop off at Ash Grove bus garage in Hackney to enjoy a display of RTs, and if this is really your thing then make tracks to the London Bus Museum on Sunday for their Spring Gathering.

» New album from Todd Terje? Hell yes.

» For those of you still wondering where everything is (or isn't) on the re-designed TfL website, an update on TfL's digital blog yesterday brings news of what's been tweaked two weeks on. There might be some news there that keeps you happy, or an excuse that explains why something you need isn't working yet. Head of Online Phil Young hopes you're getting used to the changes they've made. I sort-of am, but that's not the same as enjoying them.

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