The Anonymous Widower

The Wife Market

When I say that there used to be a wife-market in Smithfield, I’m generally not believed. But here’s the proof.

Smithfield Market

If you look at the enlarged picture you’ll see the details of the wife-market.

December 29, 2010 Posted by | Transport | , | 6 Comments

A Gluten-Free Lunch in Beautiful Surroundings

I had perhaps intended to have lunch in Carluccio’s in Smithfield, but on the way I walked behind St. Paul’s to take a photograph of the Temple Bar.

Temple Bar

Instead of passing through, as I intended, I spotted a sign saying restaurant and pointing to the crypt of the cathedral.

So I explored and found a restaurant with a full coeliac, not just gluten-free menu. It was more than I needed, so I approached the adjoining cafe and asked if the soup was gluten-free.  The waitress said she was a coeliac too and said she’d check and also get me some gluten-free bread if I would like some. In the end I had some excellent parsnip soup and one of Fentiman‘s exotic soft drinks for about eight pounds.

So now, I can add a hole-filler to my walking routes around London.

December 29, 2010 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

London’s Forgotten Cathedral

Southwark is the third Anglican cathedral in central London and the least visited.

Southwark Cathedral with the Shard Behind

But to me, it will always have a strong place in my heart, as it is where the memorial service was held for C and all the others, including that great humanitarian  Chad Varah who gave their bodies to medical science in 2007. The service was non-denominational and very moving.

Forgotten and ignored it may be to many but not to me and my family.

December 29, 2010 Posted by | World | , | 5 Comments

The Second Great Fire of London

Today is the seventieth anniversary of the night when the Luftwaffe made some of their heaviest raids of the Blitz and almost destroyed St. Pauls. The survival of the cathedral is immortalised in one of the greatest photographs ever taken.

St. Pauls in the Blitz

Today I went to B & Q at Peckham and stopped off at the monument to the Great Fire in 1666.

The Monument

There isn’t really a monument to the second fire, except perhaps for Wren’s magnificent cathedral, which replaced the medieval one after the Great Fire.

But there is a memorial to the firemen who died in the Second World War and whose heroic efforts probably saved the cathedral.

The Fire Brigade Memorial, St. Paul's

December 29, 2010 Posted by | World | , , , | 2 Comments

What Twit Did This?

For anybody with limited eyesight and/or movement this sort of unnecessary pavement obstruction is not only a nightmare but dangerous.

An Unnecessary Obstruction

The bicycle should be removed by traffic wardens and the only way the twit gets it back is on payment of a fine.

I was lucky, in that I saw it, but the only things I’ve bumped into on the pavement in the last couple of months are badly-parked bikes on narrow pavements.

December 29, 2010 Posted by | World | | 1 Comment

A Simple Transport Planner

I need to get some household goods and the place I would drive to would be a B & Q.  But I can’t drive and although I have a nice, friendly DIY store round the corner, it doesn’t have what I need.

My nearest B & Q is some way away at Lea Bridge Road, but I want to explore London and what better place to go than Peckham. I chose this location as it is about the fourth nearest and I thought one of the buses that stops very near me goes right past.

Normally, I check the best bus route on Transport for London’s Journey Planner, but it is a bit overblown and tedious to say the least.  However on the B & Q site I was pointed to a web site called the Transport Direct Door-to-Door Planner.  I just entered two post-codes and it gave me a direct route, using the bus I wanted.

This site though is seriously good.  I have a friend in Edinburgh, so I typed in both our post codes and to see what the site recommended.  It was totally feasible and even gave me details on how I could find the bus at Edinburgh, which is quite difficult, if you are not a resident of the city.

I also saw what it said about going to Coventry to see Ipswich on New Year’s Day. It made one mistake in that it missed the special bus from Coventry Bus Station to the Ricoh Arena. I’ll forgive it that though, as with a lot of these journeys all you want is a general route, which you can modify to suit what you are doing.  For instance, today, on the way back from B & Q, I’ll break the journey at Old Street, so that I can go to Waitrose in the Barbican.

Who needs a car?

December 29, 2010 Posted by | Transport | | 2 Comments

Missing the Hole in my Chopping Board

In my previous kitchen, I had chopping board with a hole in it fixed to the work surface.  The hole had a turned stopper and underneath was the rubbish bin for food waste and things like tea bags.  Now I have to have two separate bins for recycling or not and they take up much needed floor space.  I also drip tea all over the floor, when I remove the tea bag.

I’ve never seen another kitchen with a chopping board with a hole in it. Every home should have one!

December 29, 2010 Posted by | Food | | 3 Comments

Fall out from the VAT Rise from 17.5% to 20%

One of the things about the current VAT rate of 17.5% is that there is a rule that an elephant would never forget to find out the VAT part of a bill.  You take the total amount, multiply it by 7 and they divide it by 47.

You could argue that the 20% rate is just a divide by 6, but it’s not very memorable is it.

On the other hand, VAT rates of say 18, 19 or 21 percent would be beyond many people’s capabilities.

December 29, 2010 Posted by | News | | Leave a comment

Rare Earth Prices May Hit Smart Phones

I’ve just been hearing on the BBC’s Wake up to Money, that rare earth prices are set to rise, as China imposes export restrictions.  This may mean that defence equipment won’t be able to get everything it needs and prices of devices like smart phones may rise.

Am I bothered?

Not really, as I believe that the real developments in the future in defence, security and medicine will be mind-based like software and no-one has ever proved to me any decent reason to buy a smart phone. After all who needs something physical to be smart?  Smartness comes from your own brain.

I can text, tweet and make phone calls from my trusty Nokia 6310i and it’s as smart as I need.  If it were smarter it might start to rule my life!  But, that’s my job!

December 29, 2010 Posted by | News, World | , , , | Leave a comment

My Australian Friend Even Sent Congratulations

It is good to wake up this morning to the news that England have retained the Ashes.

One of my Aussie friends even sent congratulations and said well done!

December 29, 2010 Posted by | Sport | , | Leave a comment