The Anonymous Widower

The Plinth Closes

I wasn’t sure how to title this post.  Close is probably best, as ends sounds rather final.  It won’t be the end, as there is so much recording that has been made.  There is my tiny piece for a start.

Incidentally, as I write this, I’m watching the last person come down.  The guy helping her is on my video as he placed me up there.

I did some up my feelings about it this morning though in an e-mail to the BBC. 

Is It Art?

I had no intention of appearing on the plinth, but went to support a friend very early one Sunday morning.  Someone didn’t turn up and I was asked to substitute.  I refused, but eventually relented.

It was strangely invigorating and helped me very much to face the next day, which would have been my 41st wedding anniversary, but sadly my wife had died almost two years previously.

So perhaps it isn’t art in the true sense of the word, but here’s one man, who because of the plinth felt a lot better on a difficult day.

Thanks to Anthony Gormley and everybody else who gave me my one hour in the limelight!

October 14, 2009 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment

North-South Divide

They are discussing the North-South divide on BBC Breakfast this morning.

What about the East-West divide?

Here in East Anglia, we have an economy about the size of Scotland, but we rely on much less government subsidy, we export more and we have higher unemployment.

But what do we get in return for looking after our economy and contributing to the well-being of the whole of the UK?

Not a lot really!

We have some of the worst roads and transport systems in the UK.

  • The A14 past Cambridge and Huntingdon is one of the most overcrowded roads in Europe.
  • Norwich is isolated from the rest of the country, by the gap in dual-carriageway of  the A11 at Elveden and no proper route along the A47 to the Midlands.
  • Yarmouth is in desperate need to be connected to Norwich by a decent road.
  • Ipswich-Norwich links are virtually non-existent, unless you go by train
  • There is the missing link of the A120 from Braintree to Marks Tey.
  • Most of the trains in East Anglia are cast-offs from other networks and trains from east to west and on to the Midlands and the North are poor to say the least.
  • Very few stations anyway have adequate parking places.

Many of these problems have been down to be solved for years, but they always get delayed.  But then there are few Labour MPs and votes in East Anglia.

But still we manage and expand.  Today, Glaxo Smith Kline has announced a large expansion of research in Stevenage and Cambridge is still growing.

We need the investment on infrastructure here in East Anglia, so that can create wealth for others in the UK.

October 14, 2009 Posted by | Business, News, Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Jams at the Dartford Crossing

To get to and from Holland, I used the Dartford Crossing twice.

It is not a credit to Britain’s roads.  About ten years ago, I used to use it regularly on a Friday night to come back from a client and usually I travelled home from a Cuckfield, a few miles south of Gatwick to my home a few miles from the north of the M11 in two hours.  I also used to phone my wife as I left the tunnel and knew that I’d be home in virtually exactly an hour.

Now it is not as easy to do such times.

On Friday, I crossed the bridge in a slow queue of traffic.  It wasn’t too bad and I was perhaps delayed by about ten minutes.  But now, that the charge to use the crossing has gone up from £1 to £1.50, once I got to the booths, the automatic ones were virtually unused with a queue of perhaps two or three vehicles at most.  Congestion also seemed to be caused by cars realising at the last minute, that they didn’t have the fifty pence coin and then crossing over.

It was the same on Monday, when I came through going north.

So in other words, a lot of the congestion is caused at the tunnel by the charging structure.

I suppose all that we can do is make sure that we have the correct money.

But then what the crossing really needs is a lot more tool booths!

October 14, 2009 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | 1 Comment