War Horse W(h)ine

Have you heard of War Horse? It’s a book, that was turned into a play, that was turned into a film.

My wife (she of the always original, always excellent birthday gifts), treated me to a visit to the New London Theatre (which is at least 40 years old) to see the play.

Amazing. Its about a horse and a boy that end up on the front line in World War I. The boy was played by a boy. Not surprising. But the horse was played by two actors manipulating a massive horse shaped frame; they were brilliant – they made the contraption move like a horse and you actually forgot you weren’t watching an actual horse.

But naturally this blurb is not about the play, the horse, or my 34th birthday (ha! ha!). No this was about the intermission refreshments.

Now the wife is not only an excellent picker of surprises, she also has a handy knack of picking perfect seats; right by the exit, which was right by the loos, which were right by the stairs, which led right to the bar. Perfect! And that’s where we headed at half-time. To purchase this…

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Bruges, Boats and Beer

We are cautious people here in this house of happiness. Well I am. The wife, on the other hand, likes nothing better than to regale me with the adventures of her youth – climbing Everest, digging around the pyramids of Egypt, trekking up the west coast of Australia, navigating the upper reaches of the Amazon (only one of these is true but there are no prizes for guessing which one).

On the other hand there is me. Steady. Sure. Not prone to impulsive actions. Age has mellowed my wanderlust (which only extended to the local pub when I was younger anyway). I have no real wish to mix with local cultures, explore strange, new worlds, to boldy go where no one has….sorry I’ve been watching too much Star Trek on Amazon Film Instant.

So we decided that we would check out cruising. Not on the local streets looking for homies to abuse, you understand. No, the water-based kind. Of course with typical practicality we didn’t just go jumping in at the deep end. No two month trip round the Cape of Good Hope for us.

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Leonardo and Kate were looking forward to a beer

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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….

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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….

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

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