diamond geezer

 Monday, April 01, 2024

31 unblogged things I did in March

Fri 1: I always have to reset my ancient Casio digital watch after a leap day because it thinks today is the 2nd, but this year the already-somewhat-dodgy button jammed through over-use and I fear I'm going to be stuck with the wrong date forever.
Sat 2: A special hello to the reader who spotted me taking notes on the top deck of the new SL2 Superloop route to Walthamstow. We had a nice chat - I reassured him I do genuinely like Becks - but I did have to go back and ride the route again afterwards because you can't take notes properly when engaged in conversation.
Sun 3: People you don't expect to sit opposite on the Bakerloo line: author and raconteur Gyles Brandreth, with one of his trademark jaunty jumpers visible above his waistcoat.
Mon 4: Found an enamel poppy badge under my seat on the bus, because passengers in Orpington wear them all year round.

Tue 5: Someone's finally updated the tube maps on the platforms at Canary Wharf station so they're not the December 2018 version any more, indeed they finally show Crossrail, and 5 years of outofdateness may be a record.
Wed 6: The rain was so relentless that I stayed in all day and worked my way through an entire season of Jon Pertwee as Doctor Who. The special effects looked much more convincing when I was eight but Roger Delgado as The Master has never been bettered.
Thu 7: I bought a pint of lager in central London and it cost £8.95. I did not buy a second pint.
Fri 8: BBC4 finally got round to repeating the Top of the Pops I was in the audience for, although you barely get to see me because Hale and Pace were hogging presenting duties too much. It was brilliant to see Pulp and Sleeper, less thrilling to experience Smokie and Roy Chubby Brown up close, and sadly Nick Cave with Kylie was a pre-record.
Sat 9: For my birthday BestMate took me back to the restaurant where we met, although it was an office block back then, and it was mighty strange tucking into scallops and braised liver three floors below the photocopier area where I first stepped aside to let him doubleside a rushed job.
Sun 10: Time to eat the last mince pie until, what, September?
Mon 11: On Friday I lugged my ancient (seriously heavy) TV set down to the pavement so Tower Hamlets could collect it. It was all pre-booked but nobody came and it's been blocking proceedings ever since. (It finally vanished on Wednesday, removed I suspect by an opportunist rather than the council).

Tue 12: I had worried I'd overpruned my rosebush but I clearly haven't, it's budded out nicely. What's more it's already in bloom, which seems a bit premature but this year's spring has been exceptional.
Wed 13: Places I have found lost umbrellas this month: the top deck of a bus in Sutton, dangling from a supermarket trolley, halfway along Green Link Walk section 2.
Thu 14: The first wasp of the season blundered in through my french windows today and then utterly failed to locate any of the multiple exit routes I kindly provided, and how can they get so close to an open window on so many occasions but always miss it?
Fri 15: I don't get many 50ps in my change any more because coinage is an increasingly endangered species, but I checked carefully today and it was one of those really rare Kew Gardens ones. I'm torn between treasuring it or flogging it for hundreds of bogstandard 50ps.
Sat 16: I've always been rubbish at DIY but I'm dead proud of the cabinet I've hacked together to screen off the ugly boiler that's been despoiling my spare room since 2019.
Sun 17: Today, around lunchtime, this blog received its 78 millionth visitor. And just one year and ten days since the 77 millionth visitor. Thanks a million.
Mon 18: I was intending to blog about my visit to Doncaster but there was so little of interest that I skipped it, sorry. The Market Hall is quite nice but the Nuttall's Mintoes factory is long closed and the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum doesn't open on Mondays. Beats me why this town was made a city.

Tue 19: In the clearance sale at WH Smith in Brent Cross I found a pack of London 2012 playing cards reduced to 99p. That's amazing, given that the Olympic Games were twelve years ago, and I wondered if this might be some kind of record, or just appalling stocktaking, or possibly both.
Wed 20: I opened a packet of own brand chocolate digestives and they had chocolate on both sides, which is probably the most exciting biscuit-related experience of my lifetime.
Thu 21: The new Green Chain section 13, from Blackfen to Lamorbey, got BestMate's seal of approval because it follows a lot of his old school cross country course but I found the minor back ways hard to get excited about.
Fri 22: I've decided to stop playing numberplate-spotting games because I've realised it's really sad behaviour.
Sat 23: My top recommendation on BBC Sounds is the Radio 1 anniversary archive they've uploaded featuring an entire day's shows from 1974. 1984 and 1994. I loved them all but particularly 1984 (Simon Bates doing the Golden Hour! Gary Davies' Bit In The Middle! Peter Powell's Record Race!) ending up with the sheer luxury of two laidback hours of John Peel.
Sun 24: Thanks to Ian Visits for pointing out that a Hurricane and Spitfire were about to fly over central London, because that's why I spotted them from Mile End Park and I don't think anyone else even looked up.

Mon 25: They can't even spell the words on the tram replacement dolly stop correctly.
Tue 26: One of the sheep that grazes Tower Hamlets Cemetery must have escaped because I found it in the playground off Wellington Way by the swings, and I confess to hanging around for ten minutes in case it decided to trot up onto the roundabout but sadly not.
Wed 27: Went to Golders Green to ride the first of 20 bus routes I plan to blog about over the next few months, although dropping too many Heavy Hints Here would be Hideously Hasty.
Thu 28: I got home at 11pm just as one of my nextdoor neighbours was coming out of their front door wearing an all-over furry cat costume with long fabric tail and carrying a video camera. I couldn't judge their reaction apart from the speed of retreat, although I suspect our next meeting will be more embarrassing.
Fri 29: I had to doublecheck my passport before flying but it's OK, it has eleven months more validity and won't be more than 10 years old until next year. It got a heck of a lot of scrutiny from the guard on the desk.
Sat 30: I have always wanted to go to Norway ever since I 'did it as a project' at primary school. Oslo is simultaneously amazing and quite monotone, also very expensive, plus it's very cloudy and the Viking boat museum is closed for renovation, but more about all this when I get back.
Sun 31: My favourite Oslo places so far: the roof of the Opera House, Østerås station, Hausman Bridge, Frogner Park, the sandwich kiosk on Postgirobygget, the Trollfest museum, Hovedøya Abbey and Nobel Peaceworld.

Finally, let's see how my annual counts are going...
Number of London boroughs visited: all 33 (at least twelve times each)
Number of London bus routes ridden: all 548 (100%, including the three new ones)
Number of Z1-3 stations used: all 350-odd (100%)
Number of Z4-6 stations used: all 220-odd (100%)

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