Saturday, September 24, 2005

A Nice Day

S and I had a very nice day today. If I sound surprised, then I guess I probably am. I've been having such a stressful time at work lately, and I know that things have been difficult for S too.

Last night we went to see the new Romero film, "Land of the Dead", which we both enjoyed, after a slap up feast in the nearby Chinese restaurant.

So this morning I decided that it was about time I put my broken bicycle wheel in to be mended, which I meant a trip up to Docklands - to Wharf Cycles (highly recommended!). S came with me so we could make a day of it. K was with her Granny. Once the wheel was in the shop, we drove up to Hackney, between Victoria Park and the canal, and found a bar (Fat Cat bar) which did all-day breakfasts. The service was a bit intrusive - that awful American thing of constantly asking us if everything is ok, and do we need anything else. But the food wasn't bad, anf the beer was good.

We ate leisurely reading the papers, watching the idiots in the gym next door lifting weights and doing something very strange with a large beach ball. We followed this up with a walk along the canal, only returning to the car after the light started to fade. There were a couple in Victoria Park walking their ferrets. One of the ferrets became very interested in who we were, and stared at us. Very cute!

This was taken last winter - but it shows part of the canal we walked along with the lock house in the distance.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Bromley Revisited

My appointment finally came up with Bromley Mental Health Team. Its so that they can assess me over referral to a specialist regarding my Aspergers Syndrome. It was in the Stepping Stones clinic on Masons Hill. The doctor I spoke to was quite helpful and sensitive to my problems, and she agreed to refer me. That was good news. I was worried that they’d just try to put me on anti-depressants again. I left the clinic in a relatively buoyant mood.

leaf motif?
After that I decided to have a nose round Bromley. I had walked from Chislehurst to Bromley as I had no bike and couldn't work out where to get a bus from – I had forgotten to check on the Internet before leaving work. On the way I discovered a stink-pipe down on Sundridge Avenue, round the corner from Elmstead Woods Station. It had a nice leaf motif around it, about ten feet up, possibly signifying the alleged rural nature of its setting. After my appointment I noticed another one, with same leaf design, behind where the old hospital used to be, in Cromwell Avenue. I walked up to have a look.

in: Charles Darwin
out: HG Wells
After buying some basics in Waitrose, I walked up through Bromley High Street, so that I could catch a bus back to Chislehurst. Briefly tempted into HMV where I found a cheap copy of Bowie's "Tonight" on CD and a couple of DVDs for £2 each - Laurel and Hardy & "Ladykillers" - the original Ealing comedy version. I went past where the mural of HG Wells used to be (left). Bromley, disapproving of their famous former resident, decided in their infinite wisdom to let it rot and peel off the wall until it was in such a poor state that they had to repaint the wall, and now a new mural has appeared. This one is of Darwin (right) who is ideologically suitable for Bromleyites - survival of the fattest or is that fittest? - biggest bastard more like! I went past the hordes of schoolkids and the already pissed drinkers standing outside the pub, right towards the old town hall.

Mr & Mrs Spaceboy
When I first came to Bromley, the building where David and Angie Bowie got married was on top of my must-see places (The Bowies' wedding picture below right, taken outside Bromley Town Hall, the building in the left hand side of the photo, below left). I'd already visited his birthplace in Brixton, but Bromley was where the young musician, David Jones, mutated into David Bowie, the androgynous junky rock star from space. So its important.
My feet ached as I waited for my bus. When it came, packed with schoolkids, it travelled extremely slowly. There was an almost solid queue of traffic from Bromley to Chislehurst. I could have done with my bike, as I could have passed the whole lot in a few minutes. And eventually the bus got there, and I disembarked. I got off at Chislehurst Common where it was nice in a green and pleasent sun shiney sort of way. Bromley can fool you like that though. It looks green and rural, very pleasant. But its just the surface of Bromley because if you look between the trees in the "woods" you see a fence, and houses, hidden behind the foliage. And not just any house, but a multi million pound house. Razor wire, gurad dogs and CCTV aren't unusal around here. There are private streets too, so you have no rights to walk down them and nor can you without attracting attention from the paranoid-but-rich who live down them. I walked alongside the road, the last half a mile or so back to my house, breathing in the traffic fumes, and looking at the pleasent veneer of countryside around me.

The evening was spent watching my new DVD and drinking the wine I'd bought in Waitrose.

Friday, September 02, 2005

New Orleans

What the fuck is going on? This is incomprehensible to anyone outside the US. How many days has it been, and still noone has taken life-saving resources into New Orleans? Americans need to wake up and realise that their government is quite happy to see them rot and die. Bush keeps saying the rescue is on its way. But he's lying, you can see it in his face.

If America can't cope why aren't they asking for help? Bush said their won't be help from overseas because he hasn't asked for any help. He is concerned about looting though. By 'looters' he means desperate people with no food and no water, trying to keep themselves and their children alive, with no help from the authorities, & taking what they need to survive. But Bush wants people killed for this. The white House can find extra resources for shooting looters, but apparently nothing for rescuing people, or providing them with food.

Now with civil disorder breaking out all over the stricken city, are the federal authorities going to resort to Falluja style tactics to 'take back' the city?


I was having a nose round the "disused barracks" in Woolwich yesterday. I discovered that the building is the old Royal Military Academy. The exisiting building was built in the 19th century, however the Academy in Woolwich goes back to the 18th century. It closed at the outset of World War Two, and a new Academy was opened at Sandhurst. The old Academy building was only closed a few years ago, but I'm not too sure what it was used for after World War Two. I think that a large part of it was just used for storage.

In my nosing around I found that part of the land has been given over to civilian housing. I went and had a look round and found that on the far side of the compound from where I took the photographs there is a guard - civilian not army - in a little gate house. there is also a light on in a room near the guarded gate.

My eye is better, thankyou for wondering.

Woolwich is such a fucked up place. I always get unprovoked trouble from some tosser when I pass through. Today it was a c**t who leaned out of his car window to shout "WOOOH" at me as he passed, and frightened the shit out of me.

Yesterday it was some shaven headed c**t driving a Ford Escort who thought I shouldn't have right of way at a junction, despite what the law says. Instead of writing to his mp to amend the legislation, he thought shouting derogatory things at me would help. I'm not sure what he said, I had my headphones on, but I just shrugged and moved on.

This used to be the Woolwich Coronet Cinema. I used to spend most Wednesday afternoons in here, taking advantage of the student discount. Bands played in here too - The Fall, New Order, The March Violets, to name a few. Now its something called the New Wine Church, and the building continues to crumble.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

another day

I have more on Jean Charles de Menezes. His family's campaign continues. To get involved please sign up to the email list by emailing to .

previous blogs - here, here, and here

I got something in my eye while cycling - so I've had a bloody sore eye at work today - and both of them are severly bloodshot. I look like shit.

Got to listen to a bit of Dylan coming in this morning - on BBC 6Music. The latest bootleg album has come out - Bob's opened up the archives, and it sounds pretty good. Live Maggie's Farm, some Guthrie covers, the original take of Tambourine Man. I might be tempted to buy this CD. And there's a new Kate Bush CD on the horizon too. Must remember to save my pennies up.

Elvis Costello's Delivery Man was delivered yesterday and first listen suggests its pretty good. Emmy Lou Harris's backing vocals are fantastic. I'm going to listen to this tonight, and must remember to try to get to grips with previous CD North.

I'm rewriting my account of the Dunwich Dynamo. I left too much out of the previous version. I'm immensly proud of having done this. I want to build on it, and have to do a big ride this autumn - although maybe not 120 miles.
Saturday night was DVD night. We watched Starship Troopers 2 and Tremors 3. Both straight to DVD productions, but both more than watchable. Especially ST 2, which used a much reduced budget to explore the idea of a squadron stranded on a backwater planet away from the main war.
I more or less forced the family out for an evening walk on Sunday, along the South Bank. I thought it would be good for us to get out for a bit. We ended up witnessing a middle aged bloke get beaten up because he was onstructing some filiming going on near the National Theatre. So we walked him to St Thomas's Hospital A&E to get him looked at. S has an amazing way with people. She is genuinely caring and never shirks her duty as a human being. I don't think I'm such a good person, but I like to think it does rub off on me a little at least. The man was in a lot of pain by the time we got there, and the hospital staff treated him like he was a dangerous vagrant or troublemaker. The poor bloke was concussed, but absolutely no sympathy from the nursing staff. Angels? My arse!

On Monday the family went to the beach. We stopped at a little town on the coast called Dymchurch, positioned on the south coast of Kent, on the Romney Marsh. A strange bit of the world I've been meaning to have a look at for years.

Pictures are to follow.

So, I'm planning to go back on my bike and explore round the marshes, as this coast is only about 60 miles from London.

There is an interesting legend celebrated in the area by a re-enactment, on Syn Day, which was on the day we were there - but the celebrations are only every other year, and not this year. We have to go in 2006 to see the next re-enactment.

The local Hospice charity shop had a display in the front window entirely made of books about sex and witchcraft, including one which was about both sex and witchcraft. This had the feel of The Wickerman about it. Or Royston Vasey.


Yesterday the family went to the beach. This little town called Dymchurch is on the south coast of Kent, on the Romney Marsh.

We did all the usual beach things - walked on the beach, ate fish and chips, had an ice-cream.

I'm planning to go back on my bike as this coast is only about 60 miles from London.

There is an interesting legend celebrated in the area by a re-enactment, on Syn Day, which was yesterday - but the celebrations are only every other year. We have to go in 2006 to see the next re-enactment.

The local Hospice charity shop had a display in the front window entirely made of books about sex and witchcraft, including one which was about both sex and witchcraft.

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