Wed 1: I went to peripheral Hadley Wood and walked the length of peripheral Waggon Road, having climbed the peripheral footpath over the tunnel portal. In the process I spent 30 seconds in Hertfordshire, which it turns out is the last time I left the capital and I fear I may have become too London-centric.
Thu 2: The strongest winds associated with Storm Ciarán affected the Channel Islands and northern France, but the centre of today's storm passed directly over London bringing a recordlow pressure of 955mb. It's only the record for November, the lowest ever in London being 952mb in February 1989, but I was still amazed when I tapped my barometer and down down down it went. Fri 3: If you follow this blog on RSS it got incredibly tardy at the start of November, much tardier than usual, failing to update the feed for over 48 hours. We're now back to 1-3 hours again, which is still much worse than the 20 minutes it used to be but I have no control over it, sorry. Sat 4:Londoner Buses, who had been running Routemasters from Waterloo to Trafalgar Square, are now running them to Tower Hill instead. At £7.50 a trip it's five times more expensive than Heritage Route 15 used to be.
Sun 5: My Dad tells me that the family tortoise disappeared last week, but thankfully only into a pit she'd dug in the lawn in an attempt to hibernate, and not over the edge of her enclosure like she's managed once before. A nice warm box in the garage awaits. Mon 6: In Jubilee Park in Leyton I stumbled upon the Christopher Robbins Woodland Walk. It's not Pooh-related, he was a long-standing local councillor. The 12 pillars resemble stratified deposits and are gorgeous, but I completely failed to follow the circuit because there are no directions to the next pillar unless you happen to have acquired the accompanying leaflet. A few arrows would solve it, but it's a bit late to chisel those now.
Tue 7: When my Overground train pulled into Stratford this afternoon the driver tried to open the doors but repeatedly failed, so eventually he invited all the passengers to exit through the driver's cab onto the platform. That's another achievement ticked off the bucket list, now all I need is "...while in a tunnel". Wed 8: Emily, who I lambasted in my last PR roundup for sending me seven follow-up emails, eventually stopped after the eleventh. She has not responded to my request asking her to "rethink her processes".
Thu 9: 4 things I saw on a walk through four Royal Parks: a cluster of pelicans, autumnal finery, a cormorant expelling guano into the Serpentine, so-so art in the Serpentine pavilions. Fri 10: 1 thing I saw on a walk through Hornchurch: This ridiculously abbreviated road sign.
Sat 11: That's the first time anyone's ever looked up at me entering a crowded train and offered me a seat. If you were the bloke with the black Everlast rucksack, thanks and simultaneously how very dare you!? Sun 12: I spent the two minute silence on a temporarily stationary tram. It kicked off with an inaudible announcement from the driver, was interrupted midway by an automated announcement about travel tools and ended with an inaudible announcement from the driver. Passengers barely noticed. Mon 13: Traitor's Gate at the Tower of London doesn't look so evocative now they've stopped the tidal Thames from lapping in.
Tue 14: I'm watching the new BBC Three drama Grime Kids because it's set in Bow in 2001, but thus far I haven't recognised a single E3 landmark. Wed 15: I don't normally find football journalism fascinating but I loved today's Guardian investigation into 'The lowest football score that has never happened'. Spoilers: in the Premier League it's 10-0, and nationally/internationally it's 8-6 and 7-7. Thu 16: At the Bow Roundabout I saw two crashed motorists having a spat by the A12 turnoff. Normally traffic turning left takes the left lane and other traffic takes the right lane, but neither lane is arrowed so it's a dangerous assumption to make. Occasionally a right-turner in the left lane turns up at precisely the same time as a left-turner in the right lane and SMASH.
Fri 17: If you like trains you might enjoy Raildate, a weekly summary of rail-related news from the UK and around the world. It's updated every Friday so there's a new one out today. Sat 18: At the last minute BestMate invited me out to dinner at Brasserie Zédel in Soho, the amazing cavernous bustling Art Deco French restaurant in Soho. From its menu we both somehow picked identical starters and mains (the onion soup and the calf's liver) which perhaps helps to explain why we're friends, although I plumped for the olive-free cocktail. We stayed late, even after the jazz band had packed up (which is why you got a briefer than usual blogpost on the Sunday). Sun 19: Since June I've been playing another of my silly numberplate-spotting games, the details of which I won't bore you with, but this afternoon I completed it courtesy of a pink Honda in Park Langley. Mon 20: I went back to check the newly-opened bridge on bus route 339. They've now taken the coverings off the signs at both ends of the bridge so it does now clearly say buses and bicycles only.
Tue 21: I'm not a fan of the new departure boards at Euston, but I am even less of a fan of the space where they used to be being turned into one massive long advertising screen. Wed 22: Every autumn there's a day when enough leaves fall off the trees outside my house that I can see the outside world properly again. This normally happens in December but it's a tad early this year. I now have five months of being able to see people walking around before they all disappear again. Thu 23: For Dr Who's 60th anniversary I went for a walk over Horsenden Hill. It was splendidly colourful and thankfully cat-free, but tree growth means the view from the summit has substantially disappeared since 1989.
Fri 24: Andrew got in touch with news of the mysteriously disappearing Apothecary Street bus stop I blogged about in October. TfL have now confirmed that the bus stop "was temporarily suspended to facilitate major building work at 100 New Bridge St" and will reopen once the works are completed. It's a shame passengers can only find this out, eventually, if they ask. Sat 25: I'm pleased to say that the cost of my diary has stayed the same this year, although it's still a 67% increase across six volumes. [2019 £5.99] [2020 £6.99] [2021 £6.99] [2022 £7.99] [2023 £9.99] [2024 £9.99] Sun 26: If you like Dr Who audio adventures, 10 Big Finish stories are available for free on BBC Sounds, featuring all-but-one of the pre-Matt-Smith incarnations.
Mon 27: Bromley-by-Bow station's revamped ticket hall looked excellent when it was unveiled in 2020 but the glass has been sequentially damaged of late, perhaps by vandals, and nobody seems to have the wherewithal to fix it. Tue 28: I'm chuffed for Matty, the wonky-caked winner of Bake Off, but this year it feels like the better cooks were sieved out early. Wed 29: Everyone's been sharing their Spotify Wrapped summaries of the year to demonstrate how cool (or unhip) they are. I checked mine and it said "You didn't listen enough to get your own". This perhaps wasn't surprising given I hadn't listened to anything in 2023. I then listened to Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps Please ten times on repeat but apparently that wasn't sufficient for a Splodgenessabounds-based graphic. Thu 30: I went back to check the old bus stops on route 339. They've now removed the 339 tiles but still haven't removed the timetables. I also checked the new bus stops on Monier Road. Both timetable panels are still filled with yellow posters saying 'Bus Stop Closed'. I also rode the 339 to listen to the announcements and all the new stops are still missing. One delayed success, three prolonged fails.