The Anonymous Widower

The Mess That Is RBS

Just reading this article from the Guardian shows the mess the wunch of bankers at RBS got themselves into. Here’s an extract.

Clear thinking and firm principles are Royal Bank of Scotland’s best defence as it tries to negotiate its Libor fine, which could end in UK taxpayers, in effect, dispatching £400m to American taxpayers. But, in the case of Hourican’s exit, it’s hard to know what point RBS is trying to make. On the one hand Hourican’s head (we are led to believe) will be offered up in acknowledgement of the seriousness of the Libor penalty. On the other hand RBS is likely to undermine the force of this resignation by saying that Hourican would have departed anyway because his investment banking unit is to be split in two with the new heads of each section – markets and international – reporting directly to the chief executive, Stephen Hester. Since there’s no suggestion that Hourican knew about attempted Libor manipulation in the ranks, he will keep the bonuses he earned in past years.

The Guardian says it’s a muddle and if everybody in these Isles have to give a few quid to American taxpayers, how about we all sue Prudence, who to protect his Scottish majority, didn’t do the humane thing with RBS and liquidate it. I feel slightly sorry for Mr. Hourican, as I suspect, he’ll suffer badly at the hands of the tabloids, although it would appear he’s done nothing wrong.

February 5, 2013 Posted by | Business, Finance, World | , | Leave a comment

Clocks At Carluccio’s

Every Carluccio cafe seems to have a large clock.

C would have approved, as she didn’t have a watch to wear. Even if someone had given her one, she wouldn’t have worn it.

February 5, 2013 Posted by | Food | , | Leave a comment

My Dual Fuel Bill

I seem to pay £154 a month for this.

I wouldn’t know if that is high or low, except that it’s certainly a lot less than I used to pay in the two previous houses.

February 5, 2013 Posted by | Business, Finance | , | Leave a comment

Edgware Road Station Revisited

I had to go round to High Street Kensington today, so I went by the Circle line from Kings Cross St. Pancras station to Edgware Road station, where I changed across between Platform 4 to Platform 3 to the District line for Kensington High Street station.  Coming back, I got a Circle line train back to Edgware Road, from where I got another Circle line train to Moorgate, by walking from Platform 2 to Platform 1. So they were two very easy step free changes. Here’s some pictures, which compliment those I took yesterday.

The station sign was is at Kensington High Street station. It advises you to get a Circle line train, if you are going onwards to the east at Edgware Road station.

Notice that at the eastbound end of the platforms at Edgware Road station, there is quite a bit of space. It is just a pity, that they have to allow for trains to run through between the two pairs of platforms, as if they didn’t then perhaps the two central platforms, 2 and 3, could be used as traditional terminal platforms, with the ability of passengers to walk across directly between the two pairs of platforms.

Perhaps something like Thomas Hetherwick’s rolling bridge could be used.

A set of rules should probably be used.

Going from east to south, you should get the first District line train on the opposite platform, changing to the Circle line if that is the one you want by getting off at either Paddington, Bayswater or Notting Hill Gate and taking the first Circle line train that stops. It’ll probably be the first train anywhere.

Going from west to south, is similar, except you get a Circle line train and change as before if you need to.

Going from south to east, you can either climb over the stairs or make sure you’re on a Circle line train, when you get to Edgware Road station.

Going from south to west, is similar, except you make sure you’re on a District line train. It looks like the trains on both District and Circle lines run at a frequency of six trains per hour.

It sounds complicated, but I suspect most of the regular users know the rules. There perhaps is a need for a bit more information to get the passengers going the right way!

I suppose too, that it’s all step free.

One point to note is that the new S-Stock trains are walk-through, and passengers will probably walk to their most convenient exit a lot of the time, just as they already do on the Class 378 of the London Overground. So this will probably make the turn-rounds at Edgware Road quicker.

February 5, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Hi-Speed Bus

Today as I went up to the Angel, I got on a normal 38 bus.  I then noticed, that by the time a New Bus for London was about a hundred metres behind. By the time I’d got halfway, the new bus was about the same distance in front.

This is not the first thing a similar thing has happened, and I suspect the three doors and the on-board staff, means that it loads and unloads much quicker at each stop.

Coming back later, I actually got on a new bus and this passed one of its humbler brethren on the way back.

February 5, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

The New Kings Cross Piazza Is Emerging

This picture shows what the area in front of Kings Cross station will look like.


Most of the demolition appears to have been completely, as this picture from today shows.


Note the short fat tower to the left of the centre of the picture. This must be the top of some sort of shaft and if you look it is also in the design of the new piazza. I bet the architects are cursing it, very loudly!

February 5, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

The Gay Marriage Vote Today

Why has such a simple proposition created so much amount of useless hot hair?

I was married to a lovely woman for nearly forty years and know the value of such a relationship. There is also the work of William Farr in the 1850s, to reinforce it, as I outlined here.

So what right does anybody have to deny anybody happiness?

If we do, we’re following the route of religious nutters, like the Taliban and some Christian and other groups, who deny women a good life.

I would also take civil partnerships further and allow it to any couple, who wanted it. C and I had a pretty good marriage, but at times we wondered, if it would matter, if we hadn’t got married or not.  Some couples, who don’t think marriage is for them for various reasons, might prefer a civil partnership to sort out their tax affairs, if one sadly dies. When C died, it saved a fortune in various taxes compared to if we’d just been living together.

There is also the problems of say two widowed sisters or brothers living together for economic and companionship reasons.  Should they be allowed a civil partnership to perhaps put their financial affairs on the same basic as any other couple. In C’s work as a family barrister, she came across several cases like this. Often the surviving sibling would be living in a dingy flat on benefit.  We owe people a better life and all it would need would be the extension of civil partnerships.

February 5, 2013 Posted by | News | , , , | Leave a comment

Sir James Has Got A New Motor

This article on the BBC, looks at a first glance to be about a water tap, with a built in hand dryer, design by Sir James Dyson’s company.

But the most significant thing about it, is the new electric motor.  Here’s Sir James Dyson’s view.

Although the minimalistic hybrid water-air tap head is the device’s signature feature, Sir James said that the “secret” of the machine was its motor, which had taken seven years to develop.

Dyson said that its latest motor had taken more than 100 engineers over £26.9m to develop.

It uses an electromagnetic field, rather than carbon brushes, to accelerate from standstill to up to 100,000 revolutions per minute within 0.7 seconds. That was about four times the number of revolutions per minute that motors its size typically produced, Sir James said.

The article also says that the motor has a built in computer chip. So is this another of the ubiquitous ARM ones?

Who knows where this type of motor technology will lead?

February 5, 2013 Posted by | News | , , | Leave a comment