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i've been after a picture of this sign for yonks and finally managed to get a picture the other week.  i had to drive to the airport (rather than get a taxi) and got there an hour early just so i could walk back up the main road and grab the picture.  well worth it i'd say !

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the motto of train spotters everywhere

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big ship passing under the big bridge to collect some sugar from the sugar refinery.  sweet as bro

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bus, motorbike and bike.  that's evolution in action.

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this cupboard has appeared in our local train station ticket office area.  it claims you can travel anywhere.  just step inside i guess.

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it's good the british train system is finally embracing technology advances

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i stood very still in victoria station for 15 minutes yesterday waiting for my chum toby.  i loved listening to the hubub.  it was actually quite quiet and the only thing i could hear were whispers and shuffly shoes.  just snippets of conversations caught as people floated through to other places.

at one point a trolley went by loaded with things to sell.  it went behind me and i grabbed this shot with my camera just as this girl walked by.  i thought you might want to see it, so here it is.

and in my new non-working ability to provide you with extras beyond just photos, here's some audio i recorded of the station.  sounds a bit louder than when i was there. victoria station.wav

it's more like an audible scribble rather than any useful int it ?  oh well. 

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a rural british train station

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to wave me off, tesco installed these chaps - bananas in pyjamas. what a nice thought. i might go along next week with a pile of 20pence pieces and ride them all day long.  or i might not.

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i wouldn't attempt this in roller blades, even if i was wearing a safety hat and a safety tie.  i was a bit worried following him up the stairs.  luckily nothing untowards happened.

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or you can just arrive there and follow the signs

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it's always good to be reminded of this kind of thing

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these trucks were amazing.  click on the blob below to watch a slide show (click once then watch the show or click here)




(does this flickr show thing work ok ?  let me know what you prefer !)

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this was a parked car with a bit of a noddy photoshop working for interest.  not sure if it entirely works. i probably won't try and recreate an actual version of it whizzing along the street.  unless i'm down a manhole

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bikes and bikes and buses and trains
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the view from my office window

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huw sent me this excellent picture of a 'long vehicle'

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i can tell you.  they all get trapped on this round about and go round and round and round.

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can you see what's going on here ? it's quite a famous london landmark to those who know about it ?

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life is temporary.  so is skateboard (as seen here)

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i like the idea of a ticket to a wide range of destinations.  just buy and go.  anywhere

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these skates were a christmas present for kezia last year.  kezia reminded herself of them this christmas and i spent a couple of hours dragging her around yesterday morning in the chilly coldness.  i didn't take my camera (as i had my hands busy dragging her about).  whilst we were out 8 red kites were out enjoying the wind and sweeping low over out heads dramatically.

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this kind of thing can happen. and obviously has.

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this was quite literally shot from the hip with my slr as i ran across the road to avoid being run over by cars. (lots of running). i was quite pleased with the results seeing as i wasn't even looking.

i should look less more often.

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an eastern european car outside senate house. big brother would have had a field day.

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probably looking for some chopper parking

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anyone guess what this is ? 20pence cash in it for you.


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i didn't catch the unicyclist commuter, but the photo came out nicely anyway.

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a blue car left on a pew in church last sunday

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(not the best photo ever, but if you click on it you can just about read what it says)

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this is the speed control on the HMS Warrior. It features the speed 'Faster' in 4 places which is interesting. Especially, as surely sometimes 'faster' will actually be 'slower'. or perhaps it never slowed down ?

(camerists note: apologies for the strange lighting in this picture - it's balanced correctly for the sunlight which is coming down the stairs in the background)

broken car outside tony blair's new house


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can you spot it ?

Julie sent me this photo with this email:

"I took this picture this morning while leaving the dentist's office. I think I am getting better at finding odd things all over the place. I think I would have taken a better picture if I was a few feet to the right but I was in my car at the time with another car pulling out of a parking spot and was about to come behind me. You can use this picture if you want. It's a recent ambition of mine (for the past 7 or 8 months) to take a picture I thought was good enough to send to you, and one that you would use. If this one isn't good enough I will just keep trying."

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It took me a while to realise why this is such a fantastic picture. it's worth studying. julie took in the picture in Utah, USA so you UK drivers will have to thing the other way round.

i can't say i recommend moving car based photography (if you are driving at the same time) but julie's done a good job !

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they are fooling no one with their sign saying 'bike'.

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it's a train carriage going along the road outside my office. fancy that.

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yikes - buses on the pavement make pedestrians dive perhaps ?
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this was a mad train thing at a makeshift park in a farm that we went to over the summer.

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it was basically some feed barrels with a hole cut at the top, and a plastic garden chair wedged in. the whole thngs was plopped on to some trailer type thing and pulled by a golf trolley
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there was no suspension so our poor children were shaked to pieces (and loved it so much then went on twice). that cow on the front isn't fooling anyone.
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large campervan with a teeny weeny smart car on the back
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neither of these cars are my car, but i did think they looked like one was a squashed version of the other.

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Russell recently wrote a piece on how customisation of cars is not encouraged and i fully agree (having recently purchased a blackgeneric mass market commuting vehicle)

the one exception to this rule seems to be Smart cars which are very cool and very customisable, even without fancy paint jobs. if it wasn't for the motorway parts of my journey i would have considered getting one myself.

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could you imagine me in a little funkypancake car on the way to work ?

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i travelled to athens with Olympic Airways. The plane was quite grubby and old and i don't think i'd use them again.

A good indicator of their quality was their toilet which was piled up with toilet paper on a shelf.
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and on the way back they had a whole wall of various papers
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although they obviously were trying to bring some order to the situation
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another thing about olmpic airlines was their life-jackets, which i couldn't work out at all from their demonstration. it had extra straps all over the place.

but how about this curiousity. definately one to click for largeness.

the captain looks pleased with himself as he has worked out how to put his jacket on, whilst the lady on the top left can't find her jacket. meanwhile the plane itself has crashed in to the sea and a fireball is floating away (actually, the fireball looked more like the last supper when you could see it in more detail)
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we can only guess what the picture on the bottom left of this is
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today is turning in to a bit of a rant - sorry about that.

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this is a weird plane we saw flying over our heads by the thames path. any idea what it is ?
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update: thanks to phil, it turns out this was a U2 spy plane ! i love you guys. whether it's insects or military aircraft you sort me out each time !

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how does an ambulance bike work ? if you are well enough to ride on the back of this bike (or perhaps as a 'croggy') then you probably don't really need a bike
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does anyone else use the word croggy ?

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we got stuck in a massive queue on the motorway yesterday heading for the Thames Path.

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interestingly they had some fancy signs up showing mathematical symbols. i asked jane about it and she said it was probably a formula for the queue length which i thought was inspired.

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so what is 'pi' multiplied by ' l' ? pi is obviously this, but what is the symbol 'l' representing in this formula ?

i wondered if the formula was a way of calculating the time (in minutes) it will take to get through the queue: ie it's 3.14 times the length ('l') of the queue in miles.

that would be about right as the queue was about 10 miles long and it took us over half an hour to get through it.

any other ideas ?

this plane simulator is near the gates in luxembourg airport so pilots can get any last minute training.
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i travelled to Luxembourg with Luxair in a teeny weeny plane, with space enough for just one air hostess (and 50 passengers i think). it was so small we even got to walk to it across the tarmac in Heathrow which i'd never done before.

it was really nice though and they provided beer in real glass bottles and even came round with boiled sweets before we landed. just like the good old days.

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(you might need to click the picture to see what's going on here)

a photogenic tube station

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there are only 4 options and 2 of them are the same as the other 2

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these buses were all lines up in covent garden and there were various press photographers waiting for something to happen. i didn't wait though as i had real life to get on with. sorry about.

i've no idea why they were there. perhaps they were lost.

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the number of wheelbarrows wrapped round this tree is decreasing

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here are 4 boats. a blue one on a grey one being pushed by a tug pulling a little one.
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in context
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it's all about KPIs (key performance indicators) and targets these days isn't it. how are you getting on with your station top trumps (little britain version here)?

this one is further down the line if you are heading in the right direction (or is that left) than this one

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i saw this box in the rubbish outside a sports shop and i was quite shocked. they have exercise bikes for 4 to 8 year olds ! You can buy it here if you are interested. but don't tell your child it was my idea.

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the great thing about this bike is you can put your kid in front of the telly, give them a can of coke and chocolate bar in your nice warm house so they can get fit, instead of running around in the garden/local park.

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your modern trains are much healthier than your cronky old steam trains.

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today is the last day the old routemaster buses run on proper bus routes which is a shame. yesterday, to celebrate, a whole load of old routemasters were brought out of retirement to drive down the last remaining route. the ones i saw were a little bashed up and graffiti'd like this one (it was very wonky at the back).

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getting the train from london to edinburgh should be one of those epic train journeys. but it wasn't realy. but it had its moments, like this one, which is a power station with a nice field in front of it.

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this is a great thing at Kings Cross station. How long would it have taken them to set this up, and how many smiles has it brought to the faces of people who pass it ?

i suspect there's a high smile to investment ratio.

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this pub has a grizzly connection to london history, but i don't want to provide a link so i won't.

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i've taken a shot like this before but the light wasn't as good as yesterday

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gravity catch is a great name.
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here is a boat from budapest photo'd by peter

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i had to get an early train to work last thursday as there was lots to do before 9am (and then lots to do after 9am). i got to my desk by 7am, but that meant leaving home at 5.15am.

i love earliy mornings although there's sadly no sun at this time of day most of the year which is usually rubbish for photos. but on this morning there was a real pea-souper of a fog on. unfortunately it had mostly gone by the time i got to london. so here's a picture of a train station instead

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bollards and sweeping trolleys. that's the plan.


this motorbike has turned in to a chrysalis and will no doubt emerge as some motorbike version of chitty chitty bang bang.

kezia has recently announced that white butterflies are actually tooth fairies.


there's a good selection of signs and words on this airplane wing seen high over France. No step seems quite sensible.




as most of you will know, i rarely use the tube, preferring to walk wherever possible to optimise the chance of taking some blogable photos. which is also why i'm averaging 80km (50 miles) walking per week.

however, my life changed on 23 May 2005 (you can tell i've been working through my archives) when i bought an Oyster card. i love swiping so much it's nearly enough to tempt me back under the street.

of course that was before the recent badness, but even so it appears you are much more likely to get splatted above the ground as you are under it. you can see the splats stats here

anyway, here i am looking very excited to receive my new Oyster pass at Westminster tube one evening.

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do children still want to grow up to be police-people ?


here's a young lad on a police car arresting another young chap on a speeding dune buggy thing.

it seems the shoot to kill thing hasn't made it to preschool games yet (thankfully)

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here is farringdon tube station which is a fancy shape and has nice old writing on it.

it's good to know someone's set up a shop selling quality drugs around it.


click for a good sky !


here is ray launching a paper airplane.

see his poise

and his excellent follow through. indicative of a mispent youth i suspect !


in my day people feared pirates. now they advertise them



i saw this spectacle this morning which had no news interest. it was simply a fire scare or something.

i liked how this sign says "there is a good service on all lines" then also says "emergency. do not enter".

but there quite a lot of firemen about (you can see them on the road if you click the picture)

and a red fire-engine and some red buses

have you been waiting for an appropriate junctor ? well. here's a pretty good one, observed from a tall building



here's a message on a post-it which you could use at almost any occasion.

when would you NOT use it ?

kezia and i stumbled across the reading waterfest. it was jolly good fun with lots of canal paraphenalia. Kez and i went on a canal boat ride which unfortunately crashed in to a bridge ! (luckily it didn't break anything or anyone and we carried on our way).

the finale of the festival was the duck race where loads of plastic ducks were set lose to float down the canal (think about that for a moment). once the excitement was over and the winner was anounced people went home. we stayed to watch this little boat catch the remaining plastic ducks.


ti's the bike which isn't quite moonbike again. i do my pictures bigger nowadays so it's worth showing you again !


the cage is slightly worrying.


i bet the sqirrels are glad this bus lane stops before it reaches the branches

(note the upswaydown sticker graffiti on the box below the sign)

i lost my front tooth doing exactly this trick when i was aged 12.

perhaps this man thrives on danger. he's wearing dark glasses and the bags are full of dynamite. (i made the second of these two facts up)

here is a taxi with the union jack reflected in the window and the BBC building behind it. very british.

here's another one (see the bonnet reflection for the recently refurbished outside of the BBC's broadcasting house)

you asked me to investigate this car which i spotted a few days back. so that's what i did.

here's another photo. it turns out it's an electric car.

buy one or get more info at www.goingreen.co.uk



memorise these controls. you never know when you might have to rejig a cherry picker configuration in the dark.

ignore me at your peril.


it's been nearly two years since we last saw one of these. so it's good to see they are still in use. in fact this one looks even more enticing - and i don't even play slots (despite the best effort of blog comment spammers to convince me)

liberachi's car in Selfridge's window on Oxford Street. more reflection than car i'm afraid but that adds to the effect.

of interest to those studying british police car design. (and the word police written on roads)


here is jane on two trains.

on the left is our first class meal on the eurostar.

on the right she is on a local belgian train. she is laughing heartily at the colour of the table. it was very blue which she thought was a hoot !

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the driver of this rols royce is so post he/she gets someone else to caryr his/her car through town. he/she/it can simply sit there listening to Radio 3 with their feet on the car mantelpiece (next to the carriage clock)


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modern wheelchairs have these big metal sticks out the back so they can be used on dodgem rides at the fair for added fun.


jane and esther on the tag-along bike. i took this whilst cycling along. i thought i'd give it a go after my marathon moving photography success !

i think as long as i don't crash or drop the camera everything will be fine.

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i knew things were bad, but not this bad on the underground.

click to read it big


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which why is Jermyn Street unsuitable for long vehicles ?

is it because Mr Street has a lack of spacial awareness and a long vehicle would be too much of an intellectual challenge ?

or perhaps Jermyn is simply a very small person and isn't strong enough to turn the wheel of a lorry or bus.

whatever it is that makes him unsuitable for long vehicles, i'm sure he's not pleased to have it announced on this sign.

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click for big

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now i could be wrong on this, but does this R mean red route ?

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if so, who's idea was it to put a white R in a green box with a yellow border to indicate Red Route ?
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we could play london underground station top trumps. London Bridge - 'peak dwell time target: 35 seconds'


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these vehicles really appeal to me. not sure why. but they do look great don't they ?


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it's a commuter-strength automatic pogo machine (which handily is exempt from the london congestion charge)

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here's two fantatic things which go bbooooooing !

hydraulic boingy thing:
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bollard on a pogo-stick boingy thing:
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i only spotted the wealth of bins after i'd taken this photo:
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what attracted me most was the hook:
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do people know about this blanket prohibition ? the fuel consumption implications are horrendous. not to mention the noise. did i mention the noise ? no ? good.

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the noise will be dreadful

here's a mysterious well marked box !

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we're notoriously rubbish at dealing with snow and icey weather in the UK. i think it's because it takes us surprise. regularly. at the same time each year.

i suspect things aren't going to be much better this year. at least someone's ordered plenty of salt. unfortunately these bags are water softener salt and come in giant tablet form, which will probably cause more of an obstacle than the ice they'll be skating on.

oh well.

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the leaves have long since left the trees, but i noticed this new sign was on display at Paddington Station this morning.

it's worth a read (click it for detail). i love how they've tried to make it as unreadable as possible by incorporated science and phrases like 'non-stick type surface'.

it's a shame they didn't use the word 'mulch'. i would have liked it even more then.


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another method of avoiding the congestion charge. fly by rug.

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i'm sure we're had this sign before but not for a year or so, so here it is again. and this time it's got an interesting horizontal line background for you to enjoy.

i walk past this sign every day and often consider padlocking a bike to this fence, but first removing its greasy chain.

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over christmas we went to visit my dad in the village where i grew up. it's got a restored steam train in it so jane, my father and I took the girls along for a look.

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it was a cold day and the heating on the carriages was a little leaky hence all the steam.

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surely one of the best ways to travel ? i love how you reach the other end and just get out on the slippery concrete place right next to the sea.

if you could park your car there it would be incredibly convenient

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my train company changed the timings of all its trains this week. they did it so they could 'have more seat and better punctionality'.

so far, nearly every train i've been on had been late and has been full to bursting with people standing.

but my new 6.08am train seems quite good, even if it does mean i have to get up an hour earlier.

so how can such a company ever make it up to their customers ? answer: by giving them a mince pie.

i had a suspicion they were poisoned so they could kill off a few commuters and free up some seats.

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this is a sign on a train i sometimes get. it worries me.

shouldn't it be the driver's responsibility to make sure he parks the train up properly so people don't drop to the ground when they get out of the door ?

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i was waiting to cross a road yesterday and 6 sideless offices went by. no-one was working late so they were quite empty except for their electrity sockets on the walls.

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i used to have a bike a bit like this. i called it moon bike.

it had huge planks of wood attached in the shape of flames to it to make it look great. but it was heavy and liable to lift up when accelerating (or even sitting down).

i took it to the Reading Festival once and parked it under the bungie jumps.

i then met jane (my wife) and she had a car so i gave the bike back to the chap who did the customising for me. we were both happy with that arrangement.

i loved moon bike. i wonder where he is now ...

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i'm in brussels for the next couple of days and i had an absolutely disaster of a journey. All went well until we got to Lille when they decided to terminate the train due to someone being splatted on the tracks ahead of us.

In the UK they would have called this a 'fatality'. But, since we were in france, they called it a 'suidide'.

anyway, they chucked us out and told us to go to a different train station, but didn't tell us where it was. so hundreds of people were walking all over Lille looking very lost with big suitcases.

things went downhill from there, but i won't bore you on how i had to sit on a train floor for an hour and a half on a squashy train.

but at least i got to see some new and interesting train stations en route.

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they use old tube trains as their main trains on the isle of wight

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it's always very difficult for posh people to know where to park their cars.

in theory, even today, the very wealthy are legally entitled to park their cars wherever they like. but of course this aggrevates the working classes who end up with nowhere to park their horse and carts.

Sometimes people have become so annoyed they have literally spoken to each other about it.

Obviously something had to be done. which is why some parking spaces have been reserved for specific types of vehicle. like this BMW.

Unfortunately the sign seems to have been written by someone of a lesser education, with the result that the M is missing.

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london underground has the most amazing seat covers. here's one from their transport museum (it was on an original district line carriage). is the idea to hypnotise travellers ?

it's gyro-tastic

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look at this yellow cherry picker. i just love the way it extends out of itself. a bit like those bird things

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the lift on the right has gone missing.

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sunkened boat in the thames.

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matt, the webserver landlord sent me this picture of a "Bewildering Array of things to do on a Chiltern Clubman train".

he's got a better grasp of capital letters than i have !

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this was a car apparently stuck in tarmac. of course it was just a full size replica car used as an advert thing. but i was impressed (as was the car)

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jaunty angle. good advice.

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here's some more advice. don't risk disaster:
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a famous gap. but where ?

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answer here

camouflage on ships is a bit bizarre. they should just paint the top bit blue to match the sky and the bottom bit blue to match the water.

but this one does blends in with the buildings in the town centre.

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"hey son, just have a look out the window and see if granny's still alright sat up on the roof in her favourite chair. i'm a bit concerned i didn't tie that safety rope properly"

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two people walking by the extreme sports thundercats race on the Isle of Wight last saturday. And a bird.

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pointless windows

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from matt and nancy's wedding.

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heathrow baggage collection is one of the grimmest places in the world. but there is one lovely wooden chair.

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i've written before about underground train upholstery. here is the circle line seat covers again. this time with sync flash to add to the madness.

it's like we're stuck in a 1980s computer graphics flash back thing. i seem to remember spending days typing programmes (spelt in the english way back then) from magazines in to my BBC model B computer to make it display similar patterns to these seat covers. of course they'd never work as the computer would crash before you ran them, or the tape would never load back in.

oh happy days.

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some people use a removal company to help them move house. they put all your belongings in to a van and drive them to your new home where they helpfully unload them and pop them in to the appropriate room.

care needs to be taken when selecting your removal men. we all know people who've had bad moving experiences.

but would you use the budget removal men that this household is using ? sure they were probably cheap, but what if it rains ?

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this is really boring, so sorry !

on the way home from our fantastic fun filled day in london we travelled on one of those fancy new Aldante high speed trains. they are usually used for long distance journeys so i was quite impressed we got one for our slow stopper service.

could this be a glimpse of what's to come ? will my commuting life become much more luxurious thanks to recent changes in the train franchise ?

somehow i doubt it, but it was fun anyway.

here are kezia and esther listening to jane reading stories to the carriage about fairies.

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here is kezia dressed as a dog in the transport museum. i think the idea is that if you are dressed as a dog all the cars in the area will slow down to look and say "aaaw, isn't she cute".

as a result they won't crash in to you (although the distraction may cause them to veer up the opposite pavement in to a lamp post or something).

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update: as requested, close-up of the fire-engine sign:
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you know when they say "sorry, this train is delayed due to an aggressive passenger in one of the carriages. the transport police have been called" ? well that happened to me this evening. and the aggressive person was in my carriage.

it was actually a lady in her 50s who was stubonly refusing to pay her fine. she was more stroppy that aggressive but there was potential for passenger uprising when the ticket man tried to drag her off the station by pulling her handbag and at one point taking her luggage off the train !

then some of the other passengers shouted "oi, you can't steal that woman's bags" and another shouted "throw her off, i'm not subsidising non-payers".

he then went and sat next to her and kept repeating "you are very annoying. get off the train" in a voice which was cross between a robot and monty python. eventually she paid her fine when the fuzz turned up.

so, not only was my journey to london pointless it was also filled with excitement like seeing duran duran and seeing a stroppy middle aged woman.

here she is walking down the platform when she finally got to her destination. i didn't dare use the flash. but the picture sums up how most of the train was feeling.

erk. too many words in this post. sorry.

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disability rights legislation came in to force recently (today?) in the UK and now shops and businesses are required to take special measures to accomodate people with disabilities. this is a good thing.

however, what people didn't realise is that it also covers short sighted people who drive cars. these people can't see traffic lights and so represent a danger to themselves and others.

the government has come up with an ingenious idea. they've put ladders next to every set of traffic light so short sighted people can climb up and have a close look at whether the lights are red, amber or green.

[some of this is slightly made up]

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life is becoming more integrated. cameras on your mobile phone, cars with MP3 players and DAB radios, egg and chips, and of course, diggers on lorries.

it's a super dooper scooper.

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a sign and some cameras further down the road.

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matt sent me this car he spotted on Whitechapel High Street. it looks very good.

it has an L plate which means someone is learning to drive in it. or maybe it means the car is learning to be a real car. from the looks of it it needs plenty more practice.

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another run away toy car.

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sign at St Paul's tube station. note the cross in lights on the ceiling. it's a sign ...

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it's a trolley on a trolley watched in the distance by an old lady with a trolley.

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i've been getting a fair amount of visitors looking for steam / fuel cell bus pictures. so here's one i took last week of a steam bus going under Tower Bridge.


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here is michelle's first car. she looks very pleased with it. and so she should be.

but i see trouble ahead. look at the number plate. it's one of those personalised ones like they have over there and it says "for sale".

that's going to be no end of trouble.

it's a bit being called "ivor funnyname". everytime someone asked you what you were called you'd tell them and they'd say "that's ok, tell me anyway" and so on.

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long distance trains are a bit of strange thing in the UK. our trains generally don't go between countries like they on the continent. the worst that can happen in the UK is that you get inconvenienced a bit.

but the eurostar makes this sport a little more exciting. get the wrong train and you end up in paris rather than brussels. get to brussels and get on the wrong train and you can end up anywhere.

luckily i made it to Ghent safely.

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spotted first thing sunday morning on the street of stockholm. it's a carry car.

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can't compare with Maxx's fantastic shots. oh for a digital SLR !

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these new steam powered buses are good fun. here is a view of one from the window of a 1st floor brazilian cafe where the staff were very friendly and the food was excellent and cheap.

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here's a picture of a steam bus going under Tower Bridge

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here it is. the new road which was under-preparation last week.

and now i have my own version of The Damned's punk classic New Rose going round my head with the lyrics nicely amended to "i gotta new road, i got it good".

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this chap may be legal driving his electric wheelchair down the street, but he's also in danger of being squashed by ever car which went by him.

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in my view, if there's an emergency, the last thing you need is a dangerous structure brought along to add to your worries. yet this is exactly what this lorry claims to do.

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this weird vehicle appeared on the road outside my office this morning. look at the roof thing. VERY strange. i wondered if it was a flux capacitor.

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commuting has been misery this week. too hot and too slow. average journey home has taken over 2 hours thanks to rain on the tracks.

it rained so much on tuesday they emptied a load of raw sewage in to the thames. see - in london even poos move faster than the trains. ho hum.

tonight was another signal failure so more delays. i nearly took a photo of the two policemen who were staring at me taking this photo but i decided not to. this terrorism thing is spoiling our fun

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this van was outside the london transport museum at lunch. it's dec'd out like a tube station inside.

i like the idea of the stations moving around town rather than the trains. perhaps i should suggest it to someone.

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here is britains newest and only toll motorway. it cost 2 and was definately worth it. it's a bit of cheek that we pay our road tax etc and then have to pay some more to have a decent road, but there we go (very fastly).

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the government had arranged for a number of roadworks on the non-toll road before and after the proper toll bit so you felt like you were really getting the benefit of paying. i appreciated this as it was a kind of reverse familiarisation routine.

here is a rain white-out to make things even more fun:
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kids love cars. and colours. so kids love a line of cars all the same colour. at least mine did.

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the controls of a MADVAC PS300. what a beauty !


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our trolley of last week has found a friend. i'm not sure if she's actually out of his league as she's made of gold and he's made of stainless steel. love across the classes may be doomed to failure ?

they seem quite in love on this photo don't they. brazenly snogging in the street for all to see (there was a couple on my train this morning doing a similar thing).

we shall have to watch to see how this story develops.

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i've told of my annoyance over mobile phone using cyclists and their random veerage in to pedestrians. here is a variation on the same theme. it's a chap carrying an umbrella being blown about whilst cycling down a pedestrian walk way.

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there's a big anti DVD piracy thing going on in the UK at the moment. here is the campaign on the street. it's teeny weeny bill boards on the back of sit down bikes.

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esther had a party this morning for 2 hours so i took kezia to the cafe at a nearby ice rink. kezia was most impressed, so maybe next time we'll actually go on the ice.

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it's been a great day for free alcohol. first there were cocktails in tesco and then free baileys at paddington station.

they've been giving away free baileys at paddington since wednesday evening. it's another part of the government's alcohol for commuters scheme i think

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here are some actual pictures taken by matt, the funkypancake web-landlord.

it shows the real reason why people packed in to London last night. i can't believe i missed seeing such a spectacle myself.

at work i have a powerpoint presentation consisting of a variety of streetcleaners i use to demonstrate the evolution of Internet access speeds. i suspect these photo might appear in that presentation (if matt allows me!)

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no reason for this photo.

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i was on a course yesterday quite near to paddington station so i was able to get a train an hour and half later than normal. it's amazing what a difference it makes to the quality of the customers.

my normal train only contains hardened commuters - those who want to be at work early, and often work late too (i see many of the same faces if i get one of the later trains home). Everyone looks well worn out and haggared, and hardly anyone talks.

the ratio of men to women is probably around 7:3. this became apparent when one morning we arranged a snog lottery for the passengers.

the later train i got yesterday contained happy smiley, very nicely dressed people who were chatting away. the ratio of men to women was probably 4:6 (but i didn't do a proper poll). When we got to paddington people sprung off their seats and jollied off to their places of employment.

i think i have a late train attitude stuck in an early train body.


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update: i looked at the ratio on the earlier train this morning and it's about 1 female to 20 males. see how the memory distorts these things !

it's a little known fact that the congestion charge only applies to vehicles which have the driver below 10 metres from the ground. if it's above 10 metres then you are clased as an aircraft and are exempt.

this has lead to the creation of all sorts of strange vehicles, including an attempt by London Transport to relocate their drivers upstairs in double decker buses (they abandoned this idea when they realised that they are exempt from the congestion charge anyway).

here is one such example. the driver sits in the bucket dangling on the chain on the end of the arms.

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on tube strike days people try all sorts of ways of getting to work. here someone has tried using a life bouy ring thing.

usually these rings are kept locked in little cupboards and only come out in emergencies, but this one was out and about.

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it looks like all the old custom minis have been replaced with new custom minis. After yesterday's 265, here is number 460.

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another glastonbury homage ? it's a nice little set up of van, tent and big bits of telecoms equipment.

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it's been raining so much lately that the UK government has decided to build small water channels in a mini-venice type way.

should be ideal for boat races come winter

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look. one of the numbered minis has been replaced by a different numbered car. i like this one better i think. It's number 265.

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pedalos are weird things. they aren't a proper means of transport. i suspect they are what is commonly called "a pleasure craft". a lot of effort goes in to making them go not very far not very fast.

here are our center parcs host family for the day. note how andy tries a backward pedalling technique to make things more exciting. it certainly was interesting to watch.

he soon gave up and let young adam have a pedal.

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cars look after cycles who look after pedestrians. it's the natural order of things. unfortunately the word 'take' in this sign looks like 'fake'.

cyclists fake care of pedestrians is an all together different concept

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look at this pink car. note the learner sign on the back. i think some parent is particularly worried about their child learning to drive and decided to spray the car pink to give it more visibility.

you can hear the teenager son/daughter's reaction when they first saw it "ugh. MUM ! what HAVE you done. I'm NEVER driving that car".

or some such.

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i've just walked down to our local postbox and back with no shoes or socks on as an experiment. it took about 15 minutes.

it went quite well. I've walked 1200 kilometres since i got my pedometer. 99.999% of that has been wearing my Doc Martens. (just a small amount was wearing my 'christmas shoes'). It was time for my feet to find out what my boots have been experiencing

here are my learnings:

* teeny stones and bits of grit hurt more than big stones and may join you on your journey like limpits by attaching themselves to your feet.

* different bits of the pavement feel very different. the scars from cable TV network layings are nice and smooth compared to the normal pavement.

* the road is very rough. don't go there. stick to the pavements.

* i had a real fear of scraping my toes on the floor so i walked in a very strange way.

* carpet is an ABSOLUTE luxury to return to.


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remember that Pete was meant to be flying round scotland this week ? well, he had a bike accident and in stead is at home perfecting a very strange tan. he also seems to be attached to a sun dial.

so no flying for pete (and no work for 5 weeks either)

poor old pete. get well soon !

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water was pouring from the hanging baskets on to this bike. it was like a little rain show for the bike. a kind of airconditioning cooler thing for bike riders.

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Look - it's a segway !

i found one. what do i win ?

it was parked outside a pub near Marylebone High Street.

balance is key with driving a segway. let's hope they were sticking to orange juice ...

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i'm still searching for all those numbered minis. here is my latest spot. number 286

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here's a nice idea. sick of paying expensive car parking fees at one of Londons 9 million (approximately) parking meters ? well, why not do as this person has. take your car apart and put it in a variety of plastic bags.

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chairs with wheels work well as transport on land. less well in water though it seems.

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if you had zoomed on the above photo with your bionic vision you would see this:
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see, i've saved you some bionic vision exercisions which should help you in the long run.

a floating bin lorry

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i took our old telly back to Asda last night to exchange it for a new one. it was a bit weird wheeling it in on a trolley.

the new telly is a widescreen one so i can see what we were missing on the sides of the picture.

i assumed that all telly was broadcast widescreen these days. but it appears not.

i might fit some little curtains on either side of the screen like in the cinema for when the picture is not broadcast in widescreen.

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a bet you've been wondering how far i've got with my walking. well the answer is 992km since i started at the beginning of February.

i read on michelle's blog that McDonalds are giving away free Pedometers (stepometers) to Americans with their happy meals (see press release). Other blogs have picked up on this (including this one which picks up on the fat stomach angle).

i've done 1,224,691 steps if you are interested since i strapped on and walked off.

Currently my new boots (which i started wearing at the same time as i bought the pedometer) have cost me 6 pence per kilometer travelled.

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3 custom minis and a postvan (and postbox)

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i got a late train home this evening. i was hot and worn out from the walk from westminster so for the first time ever i bought a beer from the off license in Paddington to drink on the train like a common alcoholic. i also bought a nice bottle of cool water

however, when i got on the train and took a swig of the water it was in fact indian tonic water and disgusting.

the two people sitting next to me were having an interesting chat about belly button piercing in Leeds so i listened in to them for a bit. but then i noticed that the lady on my left had been talking for quite a while too, but there wasn't anyone sitting next to her.

i realised that she was in fact reading her newspaper out loud (just the first paragraphs of each story). at the end of each story she'd say something like "well, that's interesting" or "mmm. this is much better". She was very smartly dressed and middle aged and very well spoken.

she got off in maidenhead. i took this photo after she had gone. it was very dark so i used my negative mode (instead of flashing). it suited the mood too.

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an excellent way of avoiding the london congestion charge (and keeping your car mileage down) is to travel in to london in your car in the back of a lorry. like this chap. (there's another chap in a car still in the back of the lorry if you look carefully)

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this bin cart is coloured in the same way as a police car. very mysterious.

maybe it's the metropolitan police cleaning up the street of crime and other misdemenours.

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the great british postal system - the royal mail - has been under lots of pressure recently because of its poor performance. letters have been slow to be delivered and they've abandoned second post deliveries.

how can the royal mail ever keep up with the almost instantenous communications possible by email and txt msging ?

the answer is obvious. upgrade your vehicles to more sporty numbers. deliveries will get there quicker and it has the added bonus of attracking new recruits.

the man in the postal van was sitting looking longingly at this rather nice car. sure his van hasn't got the speed and acceleration, but he can claim an advantage in height (i feel a game of top trumps coming on)

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mystery rubbish. it's all sticky out things and castors. i half expected it to ease itself out of the bin back and stand upright.

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we went on a little train thing this afternoon to entertain the kids (mostly).

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i know some of the readers of this blog are 'between jobs' at the moment, so you may be interested in this:

(click for big version)

the london underground is so old that they've turned it in to a work museum. all the tube stations have been renamed 'museum' as have all the tube lines. it's confusing but a whole lot of nostaligic fun.

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i thought the sign on this ambulance looked a bit weird. it's actually a magnetic sign stuck on to this rental van's bonet (hood).

the game was given away on the side of the van which said National Car Rental.

it's not a very big van, but probably has enough room in the back for a patient if you lie them down very flat and get them to tuck their legs in.

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here is a bike stuck halfway up a building. very impressive

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here is the other lost london tube station. it's in down street and the design is just like Covent Garden (see here and here)

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last week we did a cycle ride. this week we did it again, only the other backwards. yes it was tricky.

at one point esther decided she wanted a break from sitting on the back of her tag-along bike so decided to sit on this fence instead.

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this was a car bridge until a few weeks ago. now it's a danger to those below

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look ! they've painted flowers on it. lovely.

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it's tricky being a police man. all that running about and arresting people. luckily they have a catering corp who arrive at crime scenes and offer people a nice relaxing british cuppa.

"now you just sit down love, there's a cup of tea on the way. there you go. now can you explain why you are carrying that blood stained axe ?"

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another numbered mini

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i went with jane and kezia to take esther to school this morning so i know what to do. on the way back we saw this abandoned scooter.

i suspect it was abandoned by some 4 year old joyrider. it's lucky it wasn't set on fire. or perhaps it was an insurance write-off and is waiting for the local scooter garage to come and take it away.

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here's a comedy thing. it's two guys at either side of the road holding a piece of string between them. the string was a few centimetre off the ground a represented a significant tripping hazard.

i wondered if it was a cunning trick to make people trip over in the middle of the road (perhaps they work for the local funeral directors, or were resting paramedics).

they would have been better off doing this kind of thing on the pavement. if they had lifted the string high enough they could have knocked people's hats off.

If they were trying to catch cars then i don't think a piece of string is the answer. that's like trying to catch an oil tanker with a kids fishing net. sort of.

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ho hum. there's been a security scare at a station outside london this evening so there are no trains from paddington station at the moment going home for me. so i'm trapped with only a free wifi connection and a carton of ribena for company.

it's great for people spotting though. i just bumped in to an ex-colleague i haven't seen for nearly 10 years.

here is a picture of lots of people from my lofty pirch. it doesn't really convey the chaos down there at the moment:
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i like to spot chairs. and cupboards. and here both are chained together.

a cupboard with castors can make an ideal urban vehicle.

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26 questions

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the usual two minis were parked next to each other and this one was just round the corner ...

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it's been a while since i last reporting on the mad london milkman. with the warmer weather, he's finally got himself a fridge for the back of his float. and a vacuum flask.

i'm still not convinced he's totally right for the job.

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26 questions

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this canal boat looked quite vulnerable coming down the thames amongst all the big boats.

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the upstairs of this shop in Fleet Street must have had some history associated with london underground. but what ?

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this picture didn't come out as nicely as i'd hoped, but here it is anyway. it's about 50 joggers all running fairly slowly in single file through hyde park.

it's a grown up game of follow the leader. when i took the photo i hoped the railings in the foreground wouldn't cause a-fence (offence)

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i saw the minis again this morning. they've got unique numbers on. today's were 33 and 265. let's see if we can find all 350.

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we're all on heightened alert. firemen are practicing their worst case scenarios (with dogs) in abandoned tube stations.

they announced on my train on monday that we should all keep our hand luggage near us to prevent terrorism. on tuesday they said we should keep our hand luggage by us so no-one stole it (you obviously can't trust a terrorist).

they even shut paddington station for an hour yesterday morning as they found a suspicious package, which eventually exploded (because the police blew it up - it wasn't a bomb)

so what would today bring in the fight against terrorism ? razor blades. what ? yes, complimentary razors for anyone of shaving age (and gender) walking through paddington station.

so at least if an attack comes we are all armed to fight back.

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on a comedy related theme, i went to a very high security government building for a meeting this morning. i put all my valuables (camera, pedometer etc) in my bag before i arrived so they could all go throught the x-ray machine.

here is a designer unique mini. and it's designer unique mini twin. there's another one in an adjacent street, but i would have had to move a few houses to get all three in the same shot. so i didn't.

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last time i saw this place it was not covered in firemen. today it was.

they were having a training exercise. it involved dogs at some point. i know this because a sign told me.

i was a bit confused at first because i ended up walking through the middle of the firemen on the wrong side of the security tape ! i then went round and back to the other side of the road to take this photo. this no doubt aroused many suspicions of suspicious behaviour.

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my old tube season ticket used to let me go anywhere. nowadays i walk most places so i just buy tickets as i need them. the cheapest way for me is to buy a Carnet of tickets which works out as 10 tickets for 15.

However, i forgot that these tickets only cover zone 1. so my cunning plan to stay on an extra stop and get off a whitechapel instead of aldgate east backfired when my ticket wouldn't work to get me out of the station.

i could have paid to be released, but resented that so went back one stop and got off at the proper station. so sorry, but i haven't got lovely pictures of lovely things this morning.

but i did take this picture of a clock at Whitechapel tube station. i've been thinking a lot about analogue and digital clocks this morning. they are very different beasts. perhaps i'll tell you about it sometime.

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oh, and to the person who phoned our house at 2am this morning from a mobile phone. please don't do that again. it's made us very tired today.

it's quite common to see kids' soft toys stuck to the front of dustbin lorries. i suspect this must traumatise some kids - especially if it was their old favourite toy which was stuck on there.

teddy bears were never designed for the outside life and rapidly become brown soggy blobs of fluff through all the heavy street wear. they so provide a nice contrast to the bin men who put them there though. it proves these most menly of men (you rarely see bin ladies) still keep in touch with their femine side.

i may mention this next time i see such a bin lorry. but i may not.

this collection of teddys, dolls and union jacks was on a delivery van. i hope this craze will spread to all modes of transport, and not only restrict itself to commercial vehicles.

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my local train station foot bridge has been painted blue. it looked and smelt lovely this morning. please enjoy it with me.

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drain unblocking vans are always brightly coloured. but why ? i went down and knocked on the window of this van and asked the chap inside.

unfortunately he was incomprehensible but i think he said "it's management's idea. our senior management are women aren't they ?" i said i didn't know and left it at that.

possibly it's something of a backlash against their engineers being constantly covered in brown yuckyness ?

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the misery of the modern commutter is sound waves. the noise of squealing wheels and brakes, and modern man speaking on his wires free eletrical telephones and magical musical listening lanterns.

i looked out my train window this afternoon and saw a train with a particularly wide mouthed occupant.

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at what point in life do you not get excited when fire engines come whizzing down your street ? it's the noise and the colours. red fire engines and yellow hats look so good together.

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this puzzled me. has someone travelled to work by dirt ?

or has someone stolen a car by digging underneath it and pulling it down a hole ?

or is this a giant cat poo from the giant cat which lives in london ?

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this bike as a long tube sticking up in the air on its rack at the back. it reminds me of one of those kids training bikes with a handle on the back. or a dodgem car. perhaps bikes are powered by overhead electricity lines in these modern days.

or maybe it's an undercover police bike and the tube conceals the various aerials and communication paraphanalia [no 'e's for me].

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the lost underground station at The Strand.

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i love this picture. it was at the highest point of our cliff walk. and it was just there, all silver and unmarked in the middle of field. it contained a man eating a sandwich.

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it's obviously a space ship.

there's a recording studio for one of the major record labels near my office. often large lorries full of orchestral instruments get loaded and unloaded outside their doors.

just now there was a tesco's lorry parked up and it got me thinking, what if no-one noticed it was the wrong lorry. the musicians would be playing empty joghurt pots and shaking bags of pasta shapes along to the beat.

there's plenty of room for a whole concept album. i'm also sure there is a host a supermarket/music puns you could insert here.

more generally, wouldn't it be excellent if all the lorries that travelled the country all got mixed up and people had to work through the consequences.

if only i were a lorry driver. i'd have some real fun.

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last week i walked 45km

this week so far i've done 55km

Length or Distance Converter

100km is 62 miles. i'm over quarter of the way to paris

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in the last few months these funny boards have appeared in most tube stations. they tell you how all the other train lines are doing so you don't feel so bad that the line you are about to travel on is a bit broken too.

occasionally you can even feel smug that your line is ok whilst all the others are broken.

i like how they are written by hand in felt pen. makes them somehow more human.

this one today caught my eye. it uses the words 'normal' and 'good'. standards have fallen so far that normal is bad and good is noteworthy.


click for big version

here is a lad on a bike on a phone box. a bunch of them had their BMXs and were bunny hopping up benches, across flower beds and up walls in the name of fun.

they were wearing crash helmets which was a little dissapointing. if they were in to danger and destruction they should have gone all the way.

the lad in the picture hopped (whilst still on his bike) off the phone box on to the grey box and then on to the black bin before dropping to the floor and cycling off.

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it snowed this afternoon. i know this because it took me 2.5 hours to get home from work. but it was interesting as people broke the rules and spoke to each other.

when i found a train which was working i was dissapointed to find on my exit that the next carriage along had no working lights. i would have LOVED to have been in this spooky carriage. anyhow ...

this sign came hurtling along the road in front of me down Praed Street like it was on castors. it was a nice advertising techique as everyone turned to look at it. it also got stuck in the middle of the road so lots of car drivers looked at it too.

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a man on the train said to me he loved the snow and when he grew up in Wales he used to go sledging using a Volkswagon Beatle bonnet. my reply to this random piece of information was "i didn't know they made hats". i don't think he understood, but then neither did I.

why were there so many VW Beatle bonnets in Wales ? I asked him and he said "I dunno, but they had loads. even the schools had some".

(American visitors will note that a 'bonnet' is a 'hood' - which is also a head covering so the joke still works).

here are some wires looking good in the snow:
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another moped. this time with stick

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it's usual to leave your bike chained to something random in london, usually without the front wheel. the idea being that bike thieves are too stupid to think about doing a wheely as they steal your bike.

here, someone has gone for the opposite approach. they've chained their front wheel but taken the rest of their bike with them. i like that approach.

it's a bit like those car radios you can take out so they don't get stolen. people with those should leave the radio in the street and take the car inside. primarily because cars are worth more than the radio.

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travelling by dog is a good way of avoiding the congestion charge. unfortunately you still have to pay to park your dog at a meter. i still remember when they called them inches.

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here is a mysterious key hole on a Central Line platform (Bank i think). It's a door in the floor. but it's more than a door in the floor. it's also got a key hole.

it's obviously an entrance to another world. it's not a parallel world because the door is the wrong angle. perhaps it's a perpendicular world instead ?

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here is a fantastic site on disused london underground platforms and tunnels.

i love this picture. not sure why. but i do. so there.

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one thing i enjoy about the tube system is that many of the signposts are in 3 dimensions. here is a good example at Westminster station. I may find some more examples for you.

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trains are good value (but not in the monetary sense). there is still lots of opportunity to see big mechanical things which are all greasy.

the buffers (i mistyped this the first time with hilarious consequences) at paddington station are a good example of this.

if i were a train driver i'd been tempted to use the buffers to stop my train once in a while. just for kicks like.

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my train took a long time to get home this evening. but then these late night trains do.

when i arrived at my station there were loads of vans parked up and there were strange lights further up the track. i think they were doing some mending.

as i walked away i heard a strange whiring noise. i turned and saw what looked like a dinosaur going along the tracks. i took a photo to show you (it was quite dark):

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here is a bag of banana skins on the District Line this evening. There were obviously some monkeys on the tube earlier (perhaps going to a chimps tea party) as there were banana skins everywhere else as well.

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i got a different train this morning and walked to work a different way. i even bought a different type of confectionary. i was trying to see what it would be like to be someone else doing a different commute.

on the train the window wouldn't shut. this resulted in much angry huffing from fellow passengers who variously tried to slam the window shut to get it to stay closed. each time someone succeeded the train would wobble and it would drop open again.

i was sitting next to the window so i got a steady icey blast from the outside which i quite enjoyed. it's great being wrapped up in a warm coat and hat, with your feet gently warmed by the floor heating, whilst your face is being frozen off.

i might break all the window catches so i can experience this again (in winter)

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occasionally the display screens at my local train station don't work. today was one such occasion (though it was working 7 hours earlier, at midnight, when i came home last night).

it was pulsating a nice wobbly pattern, reminiscent of an oscilloscope on a 1970s Open Univeristy program.

There was a man with wild hair and a big beard wearing a labcoat pointing at it with a wooden stick whilst chalking something on a blackboard besides him (i made this last bit up)

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the conditions were ideal, if a little windy, for a lunchtime race on Tottenham Court Road.

It was the first annual funkypancake paper puddle boat race.

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There were four boats two from John (top and bottom), one from Pete (on the right) and one from myself (on the left).

Continue reading "first annual paper puddle boat race" »

here is a man travelling by tea trolley down by Middlesex Hospital (congestion charge exempt). he's pushing fast to build up speed and is about to jump on.

There has been a bit of a pedestrian backlash recently because train travellers soemtimes get drinks trolleys. This chap is a drinks trolley vigilante. i salute him for that. i also quietly applaud his lab coat.

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here is a moped. they are exempt from the congestion charge you know. and you can park them anywhere.

stick not included.

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here is a new transport idea which seems to be very popular (poplar?) this morning. it's pine tree transport. i think the idea is you take your old christmas tree, ride it around london then park it outside your house.

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i got an email from Annie of the Going Underground Blog.

If you travel around london (or if you don't) then you might enjoy her site

here is a Venn Diagram explaining this:

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where area A is those that travel around london and area B is those that don't travel around london.

i might have a new years' resolution to do more venn diagrams.

what is this frosty item ? click to find out.

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they do things differently south of the river. here we see a new type of street cleaner, which is really just a fun sized tractor with a fancy trailor.

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"it turns a bit cold and the country falls apart" is a common phrase in the UK. it's also a true one. my trains were broke this morning and the staion announcement said

"hello, we don't know what's going on i'm afraid. there might be a train every hour, but we don't know and we certainly can't tell you when the next one is due". Luckily at that moment a train arrived and we all squashed in.

now i'm here, i hope i can get home again ...

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here's a photo i took before all the train palava. can you guess what it is ?

two fancy hover-sticks.

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we all know about street cameras, but here are some street screens. big brother is watching you, but sometimes he might want to communicate back. this is how it's done.

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someone has parked their ladder in the street. to draw attention to it someone else has drawn a massive white arrow. ladder drivers don't need to park in car parking spaces. they could simply lean their vehicles up against a wall.

how do ladder learn to drive you ask ? obvious. you strap them on to the top of a car (usually an estate car) and drive round for a bit. they soon pick it up.

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here is another transportation device exempt from the congetion charge

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what's this you say ?

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it's the window on my train this morning. the windows are double glazed and about 2 metres wide. this morning my window had water in between the two panes of glass to the depth of about 2 cm. Whenever the train accelerated or slowed down a lovely slow wave of water would ripple along the window and the angle of the water would change. it was really soothing and i watched it for the entire 40 minute journey.

they should fit them as standard.

more congestion charge avoidance schemes. this time, a dentist chair on castors

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berlin is famous (on this blog) for having fantastic transportation items chained up in the street. you may remember the flourescent bike from my last trip.

i wasn't extremely happy to see this tricycle chained up to a lamp post. this would certainly be exempt from the London Congestion Charge

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this man cleans belisha beacons

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i went to buy a train ticket this morning but the machine had crashed. IP address conflict apparently. ho hum.

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you are not allowed to stop under the runway at Gatwick airport which seems fair enough. trains are ok though

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there's no parking here. there's 6 seperate signs on the same sign post to tell us. unfortunately, the driver of this car is so rich he hasn't noticed

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here are some pictures of the sandbank chain ferry. total journey time is around 3 minutes of chain draggage !

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it's season ticket renewal day today. my ticket includes free travel on all parts of the london underground.

here is the man renewing my ticket:
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Continue reading "seasons of joy" »

i saw this sign in farringdon tube station. i took it's advice and walked to my destination

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i had a car crash on the 7th july 2002. a fool rammed me on a windy road and wrote my car off. here are the photos

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(click for big versions)

the reason for telling you ?

Continue reading "car crash of old" »

this bike has crashed in to an electric fireplace. no wonder the weather is so mild. a fireplace here, a radiator there

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my trains were rubbish today and i got to work nearly an hour late. i'm not a bitter blogger, so won't go on at length. but perhaps it was an intergalactic event which triggered all the points failures. i left home at 6.40am when it was all going on ...

here is another congestion charge avoidance scheme. disguise your car as a garden.

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i popped out to get some chocolate a few minutes ago and got captured by students. these ones were canvasing the opinion on the great british public on the controversial issue of the congestion charge.

i am an expert of alternative transport methods and congestion charge avoidance, but i didn't get a chance to explain because, all too quickly the interview was over.

here are the crew

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and here they all together. they were very excited to find out they might be on this website. and so they should be !

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good luck to them in their future media careers.

i've mentioned the trolley man before. good to see he's still got the fridge (or an identical replacement). we're working the same patch. he has more dedication to this finding lark.

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i spotted this today. it's a cupboard on castors. another congestion charge avoiding transport device perhaps. i didn't check to see if there was anyone inside it. it had falled over next to a charity shop in such a way that the doors wouldn't have been able to open.

if i was driving a cupboard i would have put the castors on the back of it and driven it like a canal boat. that would be much more stable and could house more (paying?) passengers.

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trains were delayed this evening at paddington. when this happens you can never be sure which platform your train will come in to.

i took a punt (a risk, not a boat) and went to platform 13 which is where the 17:52 usually goes from. on the way I saw this wripped up piece of paper on the floor.

it was telling me to 'turn'. this would have taken me to platform 12 of course (as anyone familliar with paddington station will be able to tell you).

i ignored the warning and continued, taking my life in to my own hands.

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i waited at platform 13 for a while and ...

Continue reading "the word on the street" »

found this rather nice site just now about travelling on london underground.
http://www.london-underground.blogspot.com/

here are three congestion charge busting devices. i spotted the chair with the buggy in the background first then noticed this other buggy a few metres down the road.

Both the buggies look a bit worse for wear - perhaps they have been lying dormant in people's cupboards and now the new term has started these mistreated machines are falling apart ?

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as you know, i've been looking for ways that people have been beating the congestion charge. in a lot of cases the method has involved castors on objects (or indeed just the castor itself).

here we see a pile of wheely-chairs next to BT tower in the usual dumping place.

but why ?

have they been confiscated ?
are they insurance write-offs ?
is it a badly run council chair-park ?

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some mysteries are too deep to even bother fathoming.

this reminded me of my once fantastic moon-bike. one day i'll find the pictures and show you. remind me if i forget

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i'm always interested in things parked in car parking spaces. this tennis ball has pulled up rather far from the kerb and is not officially in a parking space.

'tennis ball' is a neat was of avoiding the congestion charge as I think it's in the exempt category.

there are two ways of travelling by tennis ball:
1) stand on top and run backwards, thus propelling yourself and the ball forward
2) lie flat with the tennis ball under you. pull yourself along with your hands with all your weight resting on the tennis ball. when the ball has reached the end of your body then either replace it yourself higher up your body or get a travelling companion to help.

method 2) is slightly more complicated, and because it leads to a slower method of travel, is probably best avoided on public roads.

my advice is stick to the pavement (stand on some chewing gum)

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the first chair i saw this evening was a swivel chair. it contained an empty can of beer and an old cigarette packet. i suspect this was once the seat of a smoking alcoholic who liked to face in different directions whilst sitting.

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the second chair i saw was made of wicker and contained old egg shells. i suspect this chair was once the seat of a bird

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have you ever tried to park a pigeon ? here are two double parked in a nice parking space. they were reserving it i suspect
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two failed congestion charging busting devices this morning:

jack knifed trolley. nicely parked up in an alloted parking space. hope they paid the meter
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and here on some wooden trolley bits which was obviously such a failure it had been dumped in the bin
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i saw this tonight near harley street. another congestion charge busting device parked up in the street:

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basically, it's the smallest type of vehicle there is ie a wheel. here it is presented in castor form. it's a little small, so i have enlarged it here:

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more congestion charge avoidance schemes. this time a tea-trolley. one wheel has been removed to reduce drag and add additional excitement.

this trolley had been abandoned on the street. i suspect this was because there are no dedicated trolley parks around here (other than in-house supermarket provided ones)
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as you know, traffic wise, London is gridlocked and totally hopeless.
Wrong. Thanks to Ken's fantastic Congestion Charge, people are turning to other methods of transport.

Here are a few more examples shown together in this terrif photo. How many can you spot ?
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Answer: Horses in convoy, motorbike, push bike, walking and lastly, bin lorry.
Who knows there may also be some underground lines running under this street

they were filming something this morning by Langham Place, London.

Don't know what they were filming
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Maybe it was a speed camera or a congestion charge trap ?
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07 Apr 13