The Injustice of Modern Life

10 years. I’ve been driving for 10 years along the same bloody road to the same bloody office and back again. And in all that time I’ve never once, not once, complained about the arse-wipe thought police that see the solution to traffic congestion as being to make things even more difficult for the motorist.

I can imagine traffic planning meetings as being like something from the crisis meeting room in that Dr. Strangelove film with Peter Sellers….

strangelove

It’s happened – I’ve gone mad with power!!!

‘Right ladies and gentlemen, the traffic situation is becoming worse. Too many people trying to get to work and go shopping. SOMETHING HAS TO BE DONE!’

(Silence).

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Flooding in South London – All the chaos without the actual water.

Did I mention we live in a ditch? No? Well we do. It’s a big ditch, but, as far as we are concerned, it’s a ditch none the less.

Okay we live in a valley. Right at the bottom. The valley is about five miles long and cuts into the North Downs, which is a range of hills which run along the bottom of London.

A road runs along the bottom of the valley. Its called the A22. Not very inspiring, but bits of it hark back to Roman times, when they needed a route from the south coast to Londinium.

Apart from some sheep the valley remained fairly unpopulated for thousands of years. Then came the railways. Two railways were built through the valley in the nineteenth century, and with them came commuters.

Many hundreds of Victorian ‘two-up, two-down’ terraced homes were built for working-class, white-collar City workers and suddenly thousands of people flooded the valley. And it went on into the 1930s.

What’s all this got to do with floods? Well all the while, down through the millenia, a little river, called the Caterham Bourne, has been winding its way down the valley, joining the River Wandle and onto olde mother (father?) Thames. The Thames, the life blood of London itself.

What’s a Bourne? Basically it’s a stream that only flows when there is a lot rain. So you tend to forget it’s even there…

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Doesn’t look much…but this thing is shifting 5000 gallons a minute….or is that litres…whatever, it’s enough to get this lot pumping….

Fireman

Fireman attacked by giant Costa Skinny Caramel Latte. No really.

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Emergency Pumpkin Jack-o’-lantern

It’s 3 O’Clock on Halloween. We have pumpkins. We have fake blood. We have sweets and chocolate. And we have to go trick-or-treating. So we have to get busy. First off we need a Jack-o’-lantern (that word is not easy to type BTW).

So busy we got. Preparation is the key. Scaring children is the objective! So to get to this:

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Chantilly Cream – and how it contributes to the British phenomenon known as the ‘FatBerg’

Yes folks, I’ve discovered something new. It’s called the ‘Fatberg’.

What’s a fatberg, I hear you ask (nay, yell) at your screen. ‘Tell me! Tell me now!’ Okay.

A fatberg is like an iceberg. Except it’s not made of very cold water. No. It’s made of fat.

‘No shit, Sherlock’ some of you less than genteel readers might be thinking. ‘And where the hell do you find a fatberg?’

In London’s sewers. Yes, that’s right; sewers. You think I’m joking? Take a look at this:

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Pic from County Clean

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Why I love France – Beef Kebabs and Chocolate Coconut Mousse

So this week has been eventful – a few days off in Provence, southern France, enjoying sun, heat and food, courtesy of the in-laws, (A major food discovery in Aix was melon served up by my sister-in-law at their house in Rians, more on that later) and we had two birthdays (me, now 43, and my oldest turning into a teenager).

Rians and Dam 238

Aix in early summer – v Nice!

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