The Anonymous Widower

And Now Berkeley Homes Get In On The Act

Crossrail is setting new standards in the way it distributes information about Europe’s largest project and London’s new railway.

And now Berkeley Homes, who are developing the site at Woolwich Arsenal with new homes and a new station, have published a time-lapse video, which shows the construction of the enormous station box, where the railway tunnels will go. It has been embedded in this web page on the Crossrail web site.

It is definitely worth watching.

I shall be going to the Open Day for the station box on February 27th, if I can get a ticket.

February 8, 2013 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Are Bookings At The Shard Going As Well As Expected?

I ask the question, not because I want it to be unsuccessful,  but this evening, I was browsing the on-line copy of The Times and an advert to visit the Shard was displayed.

I would have thought, that given the building’s prominence on the London skyline, it really wouldn’t  have needed to advertise that it was open for business.

I did check The Shard’s web site and there did seem to be tickets available for the following two Sundays, although the Saturdays are sold out.

On the other hand with weather like we’ve been having, I might even pass a trip up the building.  Even if it was a gift!

But articles like this one in the Daily Mail aren’t very helpful.

I shall probably go to the cable car this Sunday, but there is a slight problem in that the Docklands Light Railway isn’t running to the northern terminal.

February 8, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | 2 Comments

Not The Best Automated Text!

When I booked my ticket on Virgin Trains yesterday, I got them to text me the details.

It was a two stage process, which as they had my mobile phone number seemed a bit pointless, unless they were harvesting it to make sure, they’d got the right one to send me marketing spam.

But on the phone I use, it was useless as you can’t read the stupid eight digit reference number from the message and type it into the machine at the same time, as it’s not the first line of the message, which is where it should be. You’re of course half-way through typing it in and the display of the phone switches itself off too.

It would be so much better, if you could say which reference number you wanted, when you booked.  That way, you wouldn’t need to write it down. But I suppose they wouldn’t get your mobile phone number.

In the end, I did send the phone a message of my own from my computer with the reference number.  But this new phone, unlike my superb Nokia 6310i, only shows messages in the Inbox, by who sent them and not by the first line, if it doesn’t recognise the number.

Such is Nokia’s ten years of product improvement!

I suppose I could write the number down, but I haven’t for years, as I could always handle it with the Nokia 6310i!

To be fair to Virgin Trains, they’re probably no better or worse than all the other companies.



February 8, 2013 Posted by | Computing, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

More Bins Are Appearing On The Underground

I took this picture today at Green Park station.

More Bins Are Appearing On The Underground

More Bins Are Appearing On The Underground

I know there are sound reasons for not having bins on the London Underground, but litter also causes its own problem. I also found this article about recycling on the Underground.

So we may be getting there!

February 8, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , | 8 Comments

Liverpool University Comes To London

Liverpool University is opening a campus in London.  The details are here on their web site. As I was going to the area this morning to shop at the Marks and Spencer on Finsbury Pavement, I took a few pictures.

It is an area, I know well, as we used to live in Cromwell Tower in the Barbican, which can be seen from the front of the building.

Note the 205 bus in the picture, which is the easiest way to get to the area from Euston, especially if you need step-free access.

It is an area too, with a lot of interesting history and a bright future, as it is close to Shoreditch, Bunhill Fields, Spitalfields and Silicon Roundabout.

According to  Wikipedia, Finsbury Square is in the London Borough of Islington.

February 8, 2013 Posted by | World | , | 1 Comment

Congestion Charge Consultation

I have just filled in the Congestion Charge Consultation on the Transport for London web site.

I am broadly in agreement with the proposals, but the Western Extension of the Zone, needs to be reinstated to make public transport work better in Kensington and Chelsea.

One of my worries about the Congestion Charge Zone, when it first came in years ago, was that the technology wouldn’t work.  It did and I think it generally works well.

So I’m rather surprised that other areas of the country don’t use it to cut congestion and pollution.

February 8, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Labyrinths In The Underground

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the London Underground, each station is going to get a new artwork from Mark Wallinger. It’s here on the BBC. The first stations were unveiled yesterday.

The first stations to have the design are: Baker Street, Bank, Embankment, Green Park, King’s Cross St Pancras, Oxford Circus, St James’s Park, Tottenham Court Road, Victoria and Westminster.

I shall check them out today.

Baker Street was the first I found.

February 8, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , | 1 Comment

Kids-Free Zones

I can’t see what all the fuss is about! I’ve never ever had a problem on an aircraft with other people’s children, except for two thirteen year olds, who wouldn’t even take notice of the stewardess.  But it was Olympic.

Now I’m a widower, who has also lost a son, which means I have no contact with my well-behaved granddaughter.

So don’t knock it! I must admit though, that I do avoid certain restaurants at certain times, but that’s not the kids, it’s the buggies.

February 8, 2013 Posted by | Food, Transport | | Leave a comment

Whistleblowing In The NHS

It has been said, that we need a decent whistle-blowing system for the NHS, to give warning of serious problems, for as long as I can remember.

Such a system exists in the aviation and maritime industries, where mistakes can be equally tragic. It is called CHIRP and it has been in operation since 1982. Read about it, on the organisation’s web site.

It would appear to me, that to apply the CHIRP methods to the NHS would be extremely beneficial.

Perhaps, as they are the experts, CHIRP should be tasked with designing and operating the system for the NHS. Thirty years of experience must count for something!

February 8, 2013 Posted by | Health, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Following The Horsemeat

The horsemeat in food saga goes on and on, with Findus lasagne, the latest product to be cheval-rich, according to this article on the BBC.

In all of the problems reported, there doesn’t seem to have been one, which has occurred with a gluten-free product.

It is also reported that a drug called bute is found in some of the meat. This led to some wag on the radio, saying that these products will be good for your gout.

It will be interesting to see, if we’ve changed our eating habits in a couple of months.

I haven’t! But then, I never knowingly buy or eat food from the bottom of the pile and I doubt most of the restaurants I visit, source their meat in that area too!

February 8, 2013 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , | 1 Comment