Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Trials of a Cyclist

I've been collecting over the last year, examples of what can make cycling less than pleasurable in London- blocked cycle lanes, ignorant motorists etc. That sort of thing.

This stretch of cycle lane is near Leyton, East London. With a number of businesses based alongside it, the path is rarely free of traffic even though it is on the pavement, and the road alongside is a one way road - which means cyclists need this lane in order to travel towards Leyton.

This guy (below) has decided to ram himself into a gap that gives him no advantage at all. Where's he going to go next? Unfortunatley, he's blocked the way forward for cyclists. After taking this photo I had to take the more dangerous option of overtaking on the right, risking on-coming traffic.

A caravan parked on the cycle lane.

And another major pain - this is the end of the canal side path, and I always have to end it scrabbling up this earthy mound.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

National Don't Shop at the Supermarket Day

the editor kept coming up with "errors on page" earlier this week. It meant I could do little more than add text. And I wanted to stick some more pictures up!

Well, it works now, so I've included some nice piccies, see below.

S. sent me a couple of web sites - there's and there's - and they both do what it says on the tin.

Please note that September 3rd is
Don't shop at the Supermarket Day
I hope that you all pay attention to this fact and act accordingly.

some more reasons why you shouldn't shop at supermarkets


this one shows Canary Wharf, taken from the Greenway:

This is a flat upstairs from the most dilapidated, yet still in business, pub in Britain, just along from the Tate & Lyle refinery:

the plant itself - with the above building in the foreground:

few of the original buidlings survive around this part of the Docklands - this is one - a wharehouse building - i'd guess someone has it earmarked for conversion to luxury flats.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Rainy days

I'm just getting over a tricky week. It started last week when I saw a suicide victim lying under the wheels of a motorway maintenance lorry on Shooters Hill, opposite the disused police station. He'd been crushed under the black wheels and a pool of blood - still bright red - surrounded him.

I hurried on, a bit shaken. But it occupied my mind to the point that when a pannier fell off my bike I failed to notice. Ended up spending the day trying to locate the lost bag - but failed. Then I slapped my forehead as I realised I'd lost my keys and documents with my address on them in the same bag.

I wanted to rush home to change the locks, but ended up meeting with S as she had the only spare keys to my house, and we (strangely) found our way into the pub, and then a fantastic Thai restaurant.

I got home very late and only managed to change my locks the next morning.

Saturday, I received a phone call from Forest gate police station - they had my bag. Hurrah.

I got the bag back on Monday, but now had no cheque book as I'd had to cancel it, which meant I couldn't pay maintenance charges on my house and was being threatened with court action. So today I managed to pay the Housing Association in person using a credit card cheque, and made it into work, by car, and quite late.

This on the day that a document I've been working on for some months is due to be finished. Which meant I was in the office till after 7.00 this evening.

Stress? Yep!

Some pictures:

This is me ignoring a sign to not leave vehicles unattended on the Woolwich Ferry (above). And below, another sign I prefer to ignore.

Monday, August 22, 2005


I found some graffiti art along the westway. The frog is my favourite.

Above, an offshoot from the Bow creek - next to a couple of pumping stations. You can see Canary Wharf in the background. Below, the Greenway itself.

Tower Bridge tourist pictures

Since every time I cycle over Tower Bridge there are at least two or three camera flashes going off, I've decided to include a section in my Blog for the pictures taken as a result of these flashes. Also, I fully expect to see myeslf cycling past in the background at some point.

this first one is from - they appear to be a band called Antiworld.

<----And they have fans that look like this <-----

<---- London, April 2004 This guy says: "On the southern side of the Tower Bridge. It's hard to tell from this photo, but the bridge is actually huge, stretching upwards at least four stories. The Thames river flows underneath; its distinctive odor may be one reason that all those people are in such a hurry." or it could be that they're on the way to work fuckspud!

These guys went just about everywhere in London during their stay in December 2004, and took a photo to prove it too.
this aussie is pretty much obsessed with what things cost - as this is all he talks about on his blog while also misunderstanding the significance of everything he's seen in London.

"Went over the Tower Bridge and walked around the Tower Of London. A bit confusing ... The Tower Of London is not really a "tower", is more like a bridge, London Bridge (which I thought was a major tourist attraction) is a small insignificant bridge, while the main bridge is actually called "Tower Bridge" (which is often confused for London Bridge). We did not go into the Tower Of London (Crown Jewels etc) today because it was nearly AU$30 to get in and we didn't think it was worth it while there were so many other things to see for free - I thought, if I collected the money from all the visitors, I could buy the crown jewels myself."

I think this bloke is from "Bombay" - this picture taken on Sunday May 29 2005

Friday, August 19, 2005

More Menezes

From the Grauniad:

Allesandro Pereira, 25, a cousin of Mr de Menezes, called on Sir Ian to resign and for the officers involved in the shooting to be prosecuted.
Delivering an emotional statement at a news conference in London, he said: "For three weeks we've listened to lie after lie about Jean and how he was killed."

Mr Pereira also asked whether evidence had been lost in the six days before the IPCC became involved. Yesterday the IPCC said it had to "work hard" to recover lost ground after the Met had "initially resisted" the external investigation.

Sir Ian insisted that there had been no cover-up and any delay was because of the huge counter-terrorism operation under way at the time.

And this - Brazil are taking this extremely seriously - as I hoped they would:

A statement today from Brazil's foreign ministry said the disclosures leaked to the media this week over the killing of the innocent Brazilian had "outraged" the government.
Judicial officials will visit London on Monday to meet with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which is investigating Mr de Menezes' death, and the Metropolitan police. The Brazilian foreign ministry said it expected the officials to "obtain ample clarifications".

Innocent Man Executed

Also - Mo Mowlam has died. A woman who was treated appallingly by Blair when she was sacked from the Northern Ireland job after securing the Good Friday agreement.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Woolwich Common

I stopped by Woolwich Common on the way home and took these pictures of the barracks (right, and below right). It appears to be completely empty, and I can't help thinking that its a bit of a

waste, considering how much of a housing shortage there is in the South East of England. There's roads and houses in there, as well as the big buildings that I show in the pictures.

I used to live up the road from this complex, about 19 years ago. I think it was in use back then. I'd guess it's arms cutbacks that did for it. I'm going to have a nose around, try to find out if there are plans for these buildings. I reckon, a museum, luxury housing or officies, if the army don't want it any more.

Another apparently empty building owned by the army (left).

all this is kept firmly behind locked gates (below).

And then onto the common itself.

I noticed a few people picking blackberries - I sampled a few myself.


It's turned out nice again. Perfect weather for me to sod about taking pictures on the way into work.

Now I've worked out to upload them onto this site, nothing's going to stop me.

Above - the Thames Barrier.

After a late night involving both beer and wine, I got up at 7 this morning to make sure that the car had petrol in it. I found I didn;t know my way round Chislehurst Common as well as I ought to by now, when I nearly ended up going to the Chislehurst Caves, which is not where I live.

Anyway - it didn;t take me long once I'd turned the car round. Then I hopped on the bike and cycled to work. Via Shooters Hill and Woolwich.

Above, two pictures of Woolwich from the ferry, about half way across the Thames, and above them on the right, there is a picture of the Woolwich Ferry - look at the fantastic clear sky. It's not true what they say about the British weather, don;t you know. Woolwich is the new French Riviera.

Below, left, and right, is the Brick Lane Music Hall. I pass it going through Silvertown. I don't why it's called brick Lane Music Hall, since it's nowhere near Brick Lane.

reminder to myself to check this place out

But it is open and puts on shows. I understand it was recently restored using a great deal of public money. I think it may even have been part of a BBC Television Show which required the public to vote for the building most deserving of being saved.

Well, it's definitely saved now.

Then there's the Tate and Lyle refinery - the biggest sugar

refinery in the world - so Tate and Lyle claim.

It sits on Factory Road, opposite this railway, right, it's at the end of the line which probably expains why it looks so derelict, and probably the chief way that T&L employees get to work.

Planes flying into London City Airport swoop down over this body of water, left. You can see Canary Wharf in the distance. When Britain still had some industry here, this was a dock. Now its virtually deserted. That white building on the right is some huge exhibition centre where they hold both sci fi conventions and international arms fairs. On the left, a warehouse survives, though it'll probably end up being ,uxury flats.

Jean Charles de Menezes

I was interested to hear on the news that a report leaked this morning has disagreed entirely with the police version of events that led up to the killing of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell station.

From today's Grauniad: "The young Brazilian shot dead by police on a London tube train in mistake for a suicide bomber had already been overpowered by a surveillance officer before he was killed, according to secret documents revealed last night.
It also emerged in the leaked documents that early allegations that he was running away from police at the time of the shooting were untrue and that he appeared unaware that he was being followed.

Relatives and the dead man's legal team expressed shock and outrage at the revelations. Scotland Yard has continued to justify a shoot-to-kill policy."

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

August rant

We got the Olympics in the end, then, and I've noticed litter pickers in the Leyton area. Is this the reality of the Olympics - that the people of east London no longer have to walk around knee deep in crisp packets and drinks cans?

Robin Cook died, and Mo Mowlam looks like she's on the way. That's two more Blair opponents gone. I'm no fan of Cook, but I did hope that he'd continue to represent the anti Iraq War view for years to come.

If the London bombings had occured one day before we'd never have been awarded the Olympics of course. Blair's using July 7th as an excuse to bring in more oppresive "anti-terrorist" laws, at the same time the demonising of muslims has been stepped up. The police raided mosques even though the official report showed that the bombers did not organise in a mosque, or that the bombing was even religious. It was political. It was about the invasion of iraq.

Blair continues to maintain that the failed bombers from 21st july were linked to the previous attackers, even though the official report denies this.

To be honest I think the whole thing is fishy. How come the early claims by police that there were no suicide bombers, and that the bombs were attached to the underside of the trains, has been retracted, and suddenly a little gang of suicide bombers has been produced marching out from Luton station. None of them showed any indication of being extremist, and all of them carried items that seem to indicate they didn't intend to die that day.

The Iraqi war continues to rage - the death rate is increasing with no sign that the Americans can ever win. Even Iraqis that supported the invasion are protesting now.