The Anonymous Widower

My New Kitchen is Different

This picture shows the view I get when I cook.

My New Kitchen

It has evetrything a man should want totally to hand.

  1. The TV for watching something more interesting like football than a pot, which never boils.  The screen incidentally turns through about 240 degrees, when the guests turn up, so everyone can see it.
  2. Plenty of space for drinking while you work.
  3. The bread bin handily placed for toast.  As I’m effectively one handed the toaster is to the right out of sight.
  4. Also out of sight to the right is Delia’s little chopper, as I won’t give publicity to anyone associated with Norwich City.
  5. The pots with essentials like tea, coffee, biscuits in front of the cook.
  6. The one-handed pepper and salt.

Anyway it works efficiently, despite the rather delapidated fridge and the manual-less cooker.

December 24, 2010 Posted by | Food | , | 2 Comments

Along the Regent’s Canal to the Angel

I’m about a five or ten minute walk to the Regent’s Canal and today, I walked along the canal to the Angel as it was starting to get dark.

I can remember some of this area in the 1970s and to say it has improved is one of the biggest understatements, anybody can make. I even saw a Norwich City supporter enthusiastically spinning for pike.

This is the third time, I’ve lived near this canal.

In the 1970s C, myself and our young family lived in St. John’s Wood, just north of the canal and we would cross it by the London Zoo to get into Regent’s Park.  You used to see the occasional narrow-boat or pleasure craft, but I don’t think there was any easy access to the tow-path.  It would probably have been deemed to dangerous anyway to take three small children alongside the water. So when we decry Health and Safety for ruining our pleasure, there must be many more examples like the Regent’s Canal towpath, where different interests coexist together in complete safety.

And then, a few years later when we lived in the Barbican we would often walk up to the Angel to shop walking right past the City Road Basin on the canal. But sadly we never explored.

It is often assumed that canals like this ceased to be commercial arteries, when the railways appeared, but the Regent’s Canal was still busy with freight until the Second World War. It also has another purpose in London’s infrastructure in that under the tow-path for quite a way is one of the city’s main electricity distribution mains.  Believe it or not, but the cables at kept cool, by using water from the canal.

December 24, 2010 Posted by | Transport/Travel, World | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Going to the Supermarket Past One of Your Heros’ Grave

I said in an earlier post that I preferred to use the Waitrose in the Barbican, as it is less-crowded and an easy bus ride home.

Today I took the bus to the supermarket and found that I could walk through Bunhill Fields to cut the corner off from Old Street.  It is an old and famous cemetery, where such as Isaac Watts, John Bunyan, Eleanor Coade, Thomas Newcomen, Daniel Defoe and William Blake were laid to rest. 

Bunhill Fields

It also contains the grave of a man, whose legacy touches us thousands of times every year, the Reverend Thomas Bayes.  His grave is in this picture somewhere.

The Grave of Thomas Bayes

So why does Bayes touch us every day? His legacy is also totally positive as it is his thinking that is behind Bayesian spam filtering, used in all those programs that attempt to stop all of those rediculous e-mails we don’t want, getting to our computer.

But this is only one of a myriad set of applications of the work of Thomas Bayes.  There aren’t many people, who’ve had such a beneficial effect on such a broad front, centuries after their death.

So when it comes to Great Britons, Bayes is in the first rank.

never has going to the supermarket for basic daily needs, been so interesting.

December 24, 2010 Posted by | Computing | , , , , | 2 Comments

A Media Survey for Virgin

I always fill in surveys honestly, so when Virgin asked me how my broadband, TV and phones were going I told them in that way.  I gave their service a score of 3 out of ten and said I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else. They did allow me to give reasons and this is what I said.

1. I am still waiting for my previous BT number to be transferred.  If I have to change it, then it’ll be an expense of several hundred pounds to change web sites and stationery.

2. The Virgin Media box has a poor interface, which I find irritating compared to my previous Sky+ box and Freeview recorder.  Despite my stroke, I have a fearsome memory and if say I want a channel, I just type in the three-digit number.  But with your box you must click OK as well. As I only watch and listen to about six channels anyway, that extra button is a real irritant. I have not used the record function yet, as it seems way to complicated.  Remember, I made my money as a software designer, so I know about interfaces and your box interface rates about 1 out of ten.

I would give you 1 out of ten, but the support staff have been trying hard to get my number transferred and I think they are getting as frustrated with the non-transfer as I am.

I do hate surveys which just take scores as these can’t give meaningful results, when customers have had problems.  They seem to work on the we know best principle and if you don’t like it tough!

They also had another box for comments at the end of the survey.  I said this.

Because I’ve had a stroke and can’t read small print or use the telephone too well, I’d like to be able to e-mail problems in.  What is the e-mail please? I also need that number transferred.  BT say you haven’t asked them to do it and you say that BT sy the number isn’t active and other things.  Something is seriously wrong.  Or is it me, I once tried to transfer a number from Vodafone to O2 and it ended up with Orange.  Only when Orange phoned me, did I realise why my late wife’s new mobile phone didn’t work!

James – Blogging as the Anonymous Widower

It will be interesting to see if I get anything more than the standard response.

December 24, 2010 Posted by | Computing, World | , , , , , | 1 Comment