The Anonymous Widower

Getting To Millwall

I like going to see Ipswich play at Millwall.

The New Den is a compact ground, where away supporters get a good view of the action.  In fact, as the view is one of the best, the stewards are generally friendly and it is an easy ground to get to by public transport, it is one of the best away experiences in English football, if you support a reputable club.

It is also exceedingly good value, as my senior ticket cost just £17 and of course because of my Freedom Pass, I had no travel costs. So my total expenditure was much the same cost as taking a lady to the cinema. Although in that case, I’d probably have to buy a drink or even a meal!

I went by taking the Overground to Canada Water station, from where I got a P12 bus directly to the ground. Even though, these buses are every 20 minutes on a Bank Holiday, I still did the journey in just over thirty minutes.

Coming back, I walked to South Bermondsey station and took the train to London Bridge, from where I got a 141 bus home.

wikipedia also says that a 21 bus goes close to the New Den, so as it goes past the end of my road, I might try that next year. You get off at Ilderton Road.

It certainly is the easiest ground for me to get to, with the probable exception of Arsenal’s ground at The Emirates.  But that would cost a lot more for a match.

April 1, 2013 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Meerkats Drove Me Out

I was going to Millwall to see Ipswich play today, but as ever, I was on the drag.

Then one of those awful meerkat adverts came on the television.

i was through the door like a rat up a drainpipe.


April 1, 2013 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

The Joy Of Global Warming

Bjorn Lomborg likes to provoke and this article in the Sunday Times certainly does. He starts the article like this.

As I fly into a snow-bound Britain, I realise that you might be asking where global warming has gone as you shiver in the coldest March for 50 years and wonder what you will do if gas has to be rationed. I have been involved in the climate debate for more than a decade, but I am still amazed at how wrong we get it. Let us try to restart our thinking on global warming.

Yes, global warming is real and mostly man-made, but our policies have failed predictably and spectacularly.

He then goes on to say that Kyoto has failed.

But he does produce a solution that could be a win-win situation for everyone.

He says that we should spend money on research!

He is  right!

Just look what has happened to products like computers because money has been spent on research!

I have heard some wacky ideas to generate energy and cut carbon dioxide emissions over the last few years.  Some of them might just be the things we do to save the planet.

But then engineers and scientists have a track record in digging us out of the holes that politicians and others have got us into.

Where for instance would Britain be today without the genius of Henry Royce, Lord Hives, RJ Mitchell, Alan Blumlein, Alan Turing and Sydney Camm.  Under a Nazi jackboot perhaps?

But they and others answered Churchill’s plea and gave the country the tools to finish the job.

A similar massive effort today on a world-wide basis would I believe solve the problems of global warming and create a world fit for our descendents.

The same approach could be used on all of the major problems of the world like cancer, providing clean water, housing and food production.

April 1, 2013 Posted by | Food, World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Andrew Motion Says Make Second Homes Very Expensive

It is reported that former Poet Laureate; Andrew Motion has said that second homes must be made very expensive to stop sucking the life out of villages. The full story is here in the Guardian.

I have owned and lived in two houses a couple of times in my life. At one time we were living in Cromwell Tower during the week and also had the house at Debach in Suffolk for the weekend. And then we had Les Ondes in Antibes.

I think in truth,neither arrangements worked out for C and myself, as we were incessant travellers. And fixed bases are not compatible if you want to go long distances abroad for a couple of months a year.

Before we moved to Newmarket, we were not using the house in France, but were flying everywhere in my Cessna 340A.  If we hadn’t bought Les Ondes, we might have visited some of the places, I now regret we didn’t.

So my argument against second homes, is that they may look good on paper, but spending the money you save by having only one home, on say travel or something you enjoy is probably better.

Since C died, I’ve been to a few places, where she never went, that to have flown to in a light aircraft would have been fun. For a start on my cruise, there was Corunna.

There is also two other arguments against second homes.

By having a second home, you are effectively denying someone else or another family, a home. That is morally indefensible in times like these, where we don’t have enough homes.

There is also the climate change argument, in that loading a 4×4 up with half your worldly goods each weekend, isn’t a way of cutting CO2 emissions. All it does is create profits for oil companies.

I could throw in a few other arguments too, like the fact that I believe spontaneity and impulse are good for you and do you want to be involved in the various NIMBY arguments that plague the countryside.

Perhaps though, most people don’t think logically about life as I do, and they have so much money, they can’t spend it creatively.

So is Motion’s idea to make second homes more expensive is the only thing, that might curb second home ownership and put more houses on the market for those, who don’t have a nice place to live?  But no government would bring in the legislation, as it would be a catastrophic vote loser. Just look at the protest, when Ryanair chopped all those routes to France a few years ago, as it cut the cheap route to second homes.

Similar arguments can also be applied to those individuals from abroad, who buy up desirable properties in the UK and leave it empty.

We need more housing and as we haven’t got the space to built much more, we must maximise our use of what we already have.

April 1, 2013 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , | Leave a comment

A Real Redhead

My Aunt Gladys was a real redhead, although she was totally grey when I knew her.

Her likeness drawn by her husband and my uncle, sits and looks down at me, as I type this.

Cousins Reunited

Cousins Reunited

My mother is on the left and Gladys is on the right.

Her likeness drawn by her husband and my uncle, sits and looks down at me, as I type this. She was good to me and C and even paid for our marriage licence, on condition I passed on the value to someone else. Which of course, I did! (I must write that story up some time!) I just did and it’s here.

Incidentally, that red gene is still in my family, as years ago, my beard had a touch of the reds and my son, says his does too.  But that is minor really!

Yesterday, on the Underground, I saw a girl of about ten or so with her mother. She had the most amazing red hair.  It wasn’t short and curly like most red hair seems to be, but long and straight and just clipped into a pony tail. Obviously, because of her age, the colour was totally natural.

They say that people’s fortune is in their face, this girl could have it in her hair.

April 1, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment

Miliband Shows His True Colours

I have never been a fan of David Miliband.  To me, he is one of those I would bar from Parliament, as he doesn’t appear to have done a real job in his life. Two many MPs on all sides of the house are just political time servers, who live off the fat of the land.

He was also one of the yes-men, who didn’t stop Gordon Brown’s disastrous policies, that led us into the state we’re in today.

So his first desertion to New York, is probably a good thing, as hopefully he’ll never get into another British Government. But then the Labour Party in recent years has shown a particular talent in bringing in their friends to important positions, despite past failures and indiscretions.

Incidentally, I can never understand, how anybody ever wants to work in the United States, because of that country’s adherence to the death penalty.

I suspect that his resignation from the board of Sunderland Football Club is just as much about practicalities, as about the appointment of Paolo di Canio as manager. Sunderland is a long way from New York.

April 1, 2013 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , | 1 Comment

Comet Ison

Comet Ison could be a big one. Some of the latest information from NASA is here.

I’ve set up an alert in Google, but I suspect, it’ll be like many supposed big ones of the earlier part of my life.  A complete disappointment!

The best comet, I saw was in about 1969 or 1970, when C and I were returning to our house in Melbourn near Cambridge.  I remember stopping the car and looking for some minutes from a lay-by on the A505. It was probably Comet Bennett, as that was the only bright one of those years.

April 1, 2013 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment

The Selfishness Of Suicide

A good friend of my late wife’s has recently died of cancer.  He had been suffering for some time and having gone through two cancer-related family deaths in recent years, I can understand in some ways, how his wife felt.

Some doctors were worried I might be suicidal, but I wasn’t, partly because, my wife had prepared me for the future and also because I had strong support from my son and of course, lots of others.

Sadly though, in my late wife’s friend’s case, his wife thought the best thing to do was commit suicide. I don’t think she had any idea of the number of devastated people she would leave behind her. I wish that someone had told me of the cancer, as I might have been able to say something of value. On the other hand, I probably couldn’t have done! But I have been rather down for the last few days!

Life may be very bad at times, but there is no excuse for suicide, unless possibly it is totally in agreement with all those around you.

April 1, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment

The True Cost Of My €100 Withdrawal

I withdrew €100 from a cashpoint in Bishopsgate before I went on holiday.

I got a rate of 1.157 euro to the pound, which for my € 100 worked out at £86.42.  I was then charged a Non-UK commission fee of £1.72 and a Non-UK cash withdrawal fee of £1.00. The main transaction incidentally was labelled Ulster Bank.

So as I was in Bishopsgate and did a transaction with a bank in Ulster, surely I was in the UK.  So why did I get slapped for an extra charge of £2.72?

On the other hand it was probably a better transaction, than I got in Morocco, when I changed a few pounds into the local dirham.

If I was in charge of this world, I’d create a universal token, that was worth about a pound, a dollar or a euro, that you could use for small transactions on public transport, pay toilets and with street vendors. After all, many machines now accept a one pound or one euro coin.

April 1, 2013 Posted by | Finance, Transport, World | , | Leave a comment

Liverpool University’s New London Campus Gets An Unusual Plug

I usually listen to Fighting Talk on BBC Radio 5 on Saturday.

This Saturday was no exception and I was surprised to hear one of the panellists work Liverpool University’s New London Campus into an answer to a question about the University Boat Race.

The four panellists were Cornelius Lysaght, John Rawling, Louise Hazel and Bob Mills. I don’t think it was Lysaght, although he is an Everton supporter, Rawling went to Manchester University and Hazel went to Birmingham.  So that leaves Bob Mills, who has no Liverpudlian connections.  All of this information is according to Wikipedia, so it might be suspect.

April 1, 2013 Posted by | World | | Leave a comment