Monthly Archives: May 2012

A day in the city!

I had a long weekend, sort of, Saturday and Sunday of as is the norm, followed by a Bank Holiday and I had taken Tuesday of as leave although I couldn’t for the life of me remember why. In the weeks leading up to it I considered saying stuff it and save a days leave for another time but then the idea of having an extra day off started to appeal. Then herself suggested that we should make good use of the time and a friends kind offer to sit with the pups, so we headed off to London for the day. During the journey I made an interesting observation, this drought we’re having at the moment is so severe that \I saw ducks swimming in puddles, in the woods. We arrived at Charing Cross just before midday and made our way to Trafalgar Square. Whilst there I took a couple of photos, it seemed for a moment that I may have had the word “guide” somewhere upon my person as an American tourist, oh how I like them, tugged the shoulder of my jacket and asked me if we were in Trafalgar Square, I looked around and gave some thought to my response. I decided that for this short encounter I had accidently become a representative of my home nation so I settled on being helpful chap and simply said that we were indeed in Trafalgar Square, of course she knew that and told her entourage that she was right. She then asked for directions to Buck-eeng-ham Palace, this threw me for a moment until I realised that her awful pronouncing may have been a result of her accent, so I politely pointed in the right direction and said “along that road there”. Hopefully the visitors found what they were looking for and our colonial cousins will have enjoyed their visit, they may have been disappointed as Her Majesty would have been away for the day.

After the square herself said that the next port of call was China Town, It was interesting! Lots of wonderful smells but I’m not sure I find the image of various roast poultry hanging on display particularly appetising, although there were some rather tasty looking cakes which were pleading with me to take them home, I resisted! After China town we headed over to Leicester Square and then Piccadilly Circus, on the way we stopped for lunch in a place called Eds, Burger and chips with butterscotch milkshake followed by the most tasty pancakes I have ever had, topped off with vanilla ice cream and maple syrup. We the strolled along Regents Street, sadly we didn’t find or they have gone, the Warner or Disney stores and I have to be honest, Hamleys was a bit of a let down. We moved on to Carnaby Street where herself indulged her love of footwear and small bags, it was like watching a kid in a sweet shop, I swear she could have spent a fortune there.

A very short stroll down Oxford Street and it wasn’t too long until we felt that there was nothing particularly enticing, save for a Brietling shop so we jumped on the tube to Knightsbridge. A short stop for herself to rest a bit and we walked into Harrods, I got told off for having my bag on my shoulder, so I carried it in my hand at least until we were out of the security guards sight. The reason for the Harrods visit was to take a look at the pet department, some very cute pups were for sale but not on my budget, there was a very nice Yorkshire Terrier being groomed and I’m sure that by the time the job was finished the little fella would looked very adorable. We had a look around the toy department before heading off in search of a cuppa. Eventually we found the tea room, were escorted to a table and served a very refreshing pot of tea, and reasonably priced too. It was soon time to head home, feeling brave herself said that she felt she could manage the walk back to Charing Cross, I altered the route slightly so that we went away from the maddening crowds but it wasn’t long before I realise that I have been in error with my route planning, I have to pretend to not be a genius now and then, and we, meaning herself*, decided that we would get a bus back to the station. After arguing with a ticket machine because it stole our cash and chatting to a nice person who worked for the bus service we were told to get on a bus and they’d sort it. the bus was a little off the mark and we had a twenty minute walk to the station. Eventually we were on a train and heading home, herself is tired and sore after the exertion and my feet are sore, but it has been a good day and nice to have a break from the house and the pups, although we did miss them and were very happy to be welcomed home with wagging tales and happy bouncing. All in all a brilliant day out and I hope that it isn’t too long before we get to do it again, maybe even with some friends.

*ok, I decided on the bus journey, but herself was seriously wilting and I didn’t want to make it any worse for her, plus a bus is cheaper than a taxi and not as direct.

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Sometimes I hate technology, I want to punch computers in the face.

Hello my crazy little reader, welcome to my most recent rant.

Part the first; YouTube is ridiculous, well not YouTube itself, just the idiots that post their stupid videos on there and refuse to accept any view that doesn’t follow their own lunatic views, it turns out that one of these morons has blocked me from commenting on his insane drivel, I suspect there are to reasons for this, The first is that I’m an atheist and I’m clearly going to hell, the second is because I use scientific reason to counter his “god says so!” point of view. normally I enjoy arguing with a looney but this particular loon I could quite happily beat to death with his own bible.

part the 2: SELF SERVICE CHECKOUTS! I swear these things hate me, it doesn’t seem to matter which shop I go to all these stupid machines make the drudgery of shopping even more tedious, it’s bad enough that you have to wander around the stupid place avoiding old people and mad chavs who are starting a fight over a t-shirt, then you have to decide if you’re going to go to a checkout with a person operating it and end up talking about the weather and the fact that the large bag of sugar you picked up is a good bargain. Hang on a minute, you find yourself thinking, you work here, where the heck do you shop?  Or do you go to a self service checkout? My experience of this insane creation of a mad scientist who clearly wants to make my shopping experience go from awful to down right DIRE, is always the same;

Tap the start button on the screen.

SSC: Welcome, please scan your first item

BOOP!

SSC, Please place the Item in the bagging area!

so I follow the instructions, to the letter and place the item in the bagging area.

SSC: UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA!!!!

ME: What? I scanned a tin of beans, you acknowledged the tin of beans and told me to put it there, what were you expecting? a banana?

SSC: Please remove the item!

I remove the tin of beans.

SSC: ITEM REMOVED FROM BAGGING AREA, PLEASE REPLACE THE ITEM!!!

me: but you just told me to remove it because you weren’t expecting it, I make the appropriate I’m getting annoyed noise and put the beans back in the bagging area.

SSC: UNEXPECTED ITEM IN BAGGING AREA, PLEASE REMOVE THE ITEM!

me: of for f…. At this point I move to another machine with my shopping and start again. All goes well until I scan something unusual like for instance a box of cornflakes.

SSC: please key in the items code or look up item!

me: what? it’s a box of cornflakes, you just beeped and it says cornflakes on the screen, why do I need to key in the code? are you aware that I don’t even know where the code is? I’m shopping, not trying to avert World War Three, why the heck do I need a code?

SSC: (sheepishly) please place the item in the bagging area.

me: You did that on purpose, have you been talking to the machine next door? I’m going to punch you in a minute!

It’s at this point that the machines minion appears and asks if I’m ok, I want to say “No! I’m not ok, I just want to buy some beans and cornflakes and go home but this stupid machine’s acting like HAL 4000 and doubtless plotting the machine uprising that we all fear, any second now I’m gonna get a club hammer and beat the living bejeezuss outta the ruttin’ thing and then I’m gonna place it’s cold mechanical heart in the bagging area and see if it was expecting that!” This tirade actually comes out as “Yeah, I’m OK thanks!”

Then I have to pay, this in itself is a challenge, you have to choose between cash or card. Cash is lethal, you have to use either newly minted coins or freshly printed notes. If there’s even the slightest crease in a note the machine won’t take it and if the coin has so much as a microscopic scratch on it the coin will get spat out.

I really hate SSCs, so much so that I have walked away from my shopping and just left it there, or, if I’m in a good mood I’ll go to a manned checkout  and suffer the mind numbing conversation.

It makes me wonder if there’s any other aspect of our daily lives that can be made completely impossible by an automated process.

And now the drought, the local government has decided that we can’t use hosepipes or flush the toilet more than twice a day, the people who do this gardening malarky have to let all their flowers die and people with ponds have to let them dry up and fill them with sand because there’s no water. What has happened since this announcement? It has rained, not April showers type rain, not even an “it’ll pass” type rain, this last few weeks we’ve had what can only be described as torrential downpouring of monsoon like ferocity. I’m not one to stir up malcontent but this current drought isn’t exactly selling global warming to me, it’s the beginning of may and we have the heating on. Drought? Seriously? was this drought declared by the same chap who said the were weapons of mass destruction in Iran?

I was going to stop there but as I was writing this drivel there was a program featuring Robson thingy doing some fishing, he’d just caught a rather impressive Sturgeon, the thing was easily over six feet long, as he was talking about the fish, it’s a big fish, blah blah, it’s really powerful blah blah, he mentioned that the Sturgeon hasn’t changed in over 230 million years. So for so good, but then he blows it completely with the comment “that makes it a living Dinosaur!” NO NO NO NO NO, it’s a fish, operative word “FISH” not even close to being anywhere near a dinosaur, it’s about as close to a dinosaur as I am an apple. I do wish these presenter and their researchers would actually check the information they impart.

Fish are not aerodynamic, they’re streamlined!