diamond geezer

 Thursday, December 01, 2022

30 unblogged things I did in November

Tue 1: It's easy to get up 'early' just after the clocks have gone back, which is how I managed to be in Kingston soon after 9am. I then got absolutely drenched on the walk from the bus station to the shops, setting the scene for a torrentially wet month.
Wed 2: Unless you like shopping, Battersea Power Station isn't any more interesting on a third look round.
Thu 3: I used to buy Puzzler magazine every month in the 1970s and devour all the puzzles before the next issue was out. This year they're celebrating their 50th anniversary with a quiz stacked up in the window of DC Thompson on Fleet Street. It features clues to the names of 50 TV shows from the last 50 years, some of which are very clever, and if you can get five right you might win a telly. I think I've also spotted the red herring radio show which is a separate competition. No need to trudge down to Fleet Street, you can also enter online here.



Fri 4: The first speaker at this year's Tower Hamlets Writeidea festival was the excellent Ben Aaronovitch. He doesn't prepare a talk, he just wings an hour of Q&A, and it was all fascinating (talking foxes, magic scarcity, architectural inspiration, etc) but I suspect barely comprehensible to anyone who hadn't read the books.
Sat 5: Hurrah, fireworks night has finally landed on a Saturday again, but alas no London council has the cash to put on a free event any more, so I stayed home and listened to some jerks letting off firecrackers.
Sun 6: I nearly told the bloke who likes all my tweets to maybe stop liking all my tweets, but I decided the better option was to sit tight in my seat and keep quiet.
Mon 7: A few months ago I jokingly asked a friend why he hadn't been on Brain of Britain yet, and he said "well actually...", and hey presto this afternoon I lay back in the bath and listened to him for the second time this series. I'd have got the Rutland and Shakatak questions right, but no way would I have made the final either.
Tue 8: I'm glad Twitter hasn't been extinguished yet because if it had I'd never have received that offer, which'll probably come to nothing but blimey, if it did...



Wed 9: They've finally got round to adding a validator at Farringdon so Thameslink passengers don't need to go up to the ticket hall to tap in or out. I appreciate the irony of the opening instruction being "Don't forget...", when TfL totally forgot to install it in the first place.
Thu 10: When I go round to BestMate's for dinner I've noticed they're an 'oven timer' household whereas I'm a 'noting what time I put it in and working out what time to take it out' guy. There was consternation tonight when they realised they hadn't set the timer when they put the pizzas in, and I laughed, but then I remembered I'm just as bad when I can't remember if I put the chicken in at ten past or twenty past.
Fri 11: I was sorry to see Doris Florist on Crystal Palace Parade has closed and is being turned into... yet another cafe/restaurant with outdoor seating. With the exception of the minicab company all eight businesses here now sell food, because that's the retail direction of travel.



Sat 12: My train to Stevenage was delayed by an hour so I applied for Delay Repay, and when it got to the list of options for repaying the money they hid one of them behind a "click here for other options" button, presumably because they'd really rather not give you the cash back. So I absolutely asked for the cash back. My voucher arrived by post a few days later, and given the price of a second class stamp I can see why they didn't want me to choose that one.
Sun 13: Brentford is one of those places that whenever I visit I always think 'You were never lovely but what they're building here is making things considerably worse'.
Mon 14: I've finally got round to reading the spy thriller Slow Horses, the book I discovered Apple were turning into a TV series when I spotted their fake bus stop by the Barbican... and now I see why the props department had to build it, it's absolutely pivotal to the first and last chapter. I don't expect to get round to watching the TV series though.
Tue 15: At South Quay DLR station there's still a black poster outside mourning the sad loss of the Queen, ten weeks later, and this is the kind of ridiculous anachronism that happens at unstaffed stations.



Wed 16: Sounds like I'm going axe-throwing next month.
Thu 17: Time to make a start on Series 5 of The Crown with the strange episode where you have to get used to all the characters being played by someone else and it doesn't quite gel. The oven timer was correctly set so the pizzas came out fine.
Fri 18: Imagine living in Ongar where there are no buses after 8pm. No wonder the taxis were fully booked.
Sat 19: Somewhere In London I'd Never Been Before - Chelsfield Woods: A small dense woody enclave nibbled away by development on two sides, very conveniently located for the shops and with a bit of a hillock in the middle. The view from nearby Glentrammon Recreation Ground is much better.



Sun 20: I stumbled upon a semi-detached house with a polar bear by the front door, a cow in the front garden and Superman on top of the porch standing beside a gorilla, and I daren't mention where it is for fear another London website will borrow the idea and write one of their "The secret suburban house where a superhero lives hidden in plain sight" clickbait articles.
Mon 21: Oh for goodness sake not again. Although I doubt it can get any worse after that, and I may just have totally got away with it.
Tue 22: I've been trying to untangle my fairy lights for over a week and must have put at least four hours effort into it. Today I finally looked at the big knot in the middle and made three key unthreading manoeuvres and it all just fell apart, hurrah. Unfortunately this is the set that no longer works, as I only remembered when I plugged it in afterwards and nothing lit up.
Wed 23: I don't understand TfL's current obsession with unfolded bicycles on trains. The vast majority of bicycles cannot be folded so should not be described as 'unfolded'. What you mean is "Only folded bicycles can be taken on trains from this station", what you've written is illogically oversimplified.



Thu 24: Walked with BestMate from one Toby Carvery to another Toby Carvery, and had a full on turkey roast at one of them, because that's a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving (assuming you're happy with apple pie afterwards, not pumpkin pie).
Fri 25: One of the chairs on my balcony toppled backwards during the night and I cannot work out why because a) it wasn't windy b) it never has before c) it's well out of a fox's reach.
Sat 26: I bought my usual diary in Ryman and was staggered by how much the price has gone up since last year. [2019 £5.99] [2020 £6.99] [2021 £6.99] [2022 £7.99] [2023 £9.99]
Sun 27: The rail replacement bus driver failed to let me off the at the right stop, despite repeated dinging, so I ended up being carried an extra mile. I grumbled at him before I got off, but the subsequent walk was a lot better than I was originally planning so I should probably have kept quiet.



Mon 28: This may be the holy grail of London shopfronts, halfway down Shepherd's Bush Market - an 01 telephone number and a misplaced apostrophe.
Tue 29: I spotted the Cadbury's Secret Santa advert on a digital billboard in Romford and managed to click through to the special website and fill in the details within the requisite 10 minutes, which is hard when you don't have people's precise addresses and postcodes to hand. One of you reading this can expect a free bar in the post at some point before Christmas.
Wed 30: Dear BBC, it is not fiveminutesworth of news that one of the home nations got eliminated from the World Cup yesterday. It's a tournament with 32 teams and 31 of them are inevitably going to get knocked out, so supporters can feel as proud as they like but Wales were never going to be number 32.


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