The Anonymous Widower

An Alternative To Motorway Services

As my old friend was going around the M25 and then down the A3, we’d decided to meet at Cobham and Stock D’Abernon station and go to the Carluccio’s in nearby Cobham.

It was a good choice to make, as there was two hours’ free parking outside of the restaurant and the food was certainly not of Motorway Services standard.

The restaurant also had quite a high percentage of well-turned out ladies amongst the clientele.

So it was a visit worth making!

April 17, 2013 Posted by | Food, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

To Cobham And Back

After Southwark Cathedral, I took the Tube to Waterloo to get the train to Cobham and Stoke D’Abernon station. Being a little bit early, I sat and had a cup of tea in Carluccio’s on the balcony in the station.

Is This The Best Place To Wait For A Train?

Is This The Best Place To Wait For A Train?

Waterloo station must have the most comfortable place to watch for your train to be allocated a platform.

The journey out and back were in two very clean Class 455 units. For trains built in the 1980s, they’ve scrubbed up well. in fact Wikipedia states this.

This refurbishment was so comprehensive that many passengers thought the refurbished units were new trains.

They almost fooled me, but I knew the age of the design, as you see similar trains elsewhere in the UK.

It probably says that rather than buy expensive brand new trains, which often provide jobs these days for overseas companies, why not rebuild some of what we’ve got?

Coming back, I was unlucky to just miss a train, so I had to wait half-an-hour for another train.

Another good point about the trip, was that I paid just £3.30 for my return ticket.

April 17, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , | 1 Comment

A Memorial At Southwark Cathedral

I’ve been to Southwark Cathedral many times, but I’ve never seen this memorial.

It is to a Native American chief called Mahomet Weyonomon.

The whole story is a very sad and sorry tale.

April 17, 2013 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

A Place In Times Of Stress

Today, I was going to have lunch with an old business partner in Surrey and getting to Waterloo station took me past Southwark Cathedral.

Southwark Cathedral

Southwark Cathedral

So I dropped by to have a quiet contemplation. As I’ve said in another post this place is special to me and as the sister of one of my friends, has a child near to death, I wanted to add my point fourpennyworth. Also being the day of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral I wanted to show respect privately in the way I do. I remember years ago, when Princess Diana’s funeral took place, I was on holiday in Northumberland with C. She watched it with a friend on the television and I just sat on the coast of Holy Island. I never watch this type of State pageantry on the television.

April 17, 2013 Posted by | News, World | , , , | Leave a comment

I Didn’t Miss The Match

After a good drink of proper Aspall Cyder, I got the train to Ipswich for the match against Crystal Palace.

One guy was saying that Town would win 3-0 and his mates were teasing him strongly. I hope he put some money on it, as Town did.

Evening matches at Portman Road can be difficult for me, as if I’m unlucky with the trains, I don’t get in until after midnight.

Yesterday was such a day, and I fell asleep on the rather hot train.

But I got home safely, after using a taxi driven by one of the smallest and oldest drivers I’d ever had.

His driving skills were very much up to scratch, though.

I slept well after a successful day.


April 17, 2013 Posted by | Sport, Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

Looking Under A Friend’s Mouse

From Cambridge yesterday, I was picked up by a mate to have a drink before I went on to the football. I found this mess under their mouse.

Looking Under A Friend's Mouse

Looking Under A Friend’s Mouse

It is no wonder the computer wasn’t working too well.

But then as you can see it’s an Apple and they never work for me. I must be allergic to them!

April 17, 2013 Posted by | Computing, World | | 2 Comments

Customer Support From Eurostar

On Saturday, I felt I got exceptional service from Eurostar on the last leg home from Budapest. So I told them!

I recently travelled back from Paris after arriving in the city on Saturday the 13th on the sleeper from Munich.

I hadn’t eaten for about 36 hours, as I couldn’t find any gluten-free food, in the Munich area of Germany.

However, once on the train to London, your gluten free light lunch that I had ordered filled part of the hole.I hope in my hungry state, I didn’t get on your excellent staffs’ nerves.

Ninety minutes after sending the e-mail, I got a reply.

Deepest condolences regarding your losses and the health issues you had, we are happy that you still found the strength to enjoy life. We at Eurostar are pleased that you enjoy this with us and we want to thank you for choosing us. I am sure that our on board staff were happy to help.

I am extremely disappointed to hear that gluten free meals are not obtainable with Deutsche Bahn as this is not an uncommon food request.

I hope your nest trip to Palermo will be a relaxing journey and without the need of being hungry.

You can’t fault the speed of reply and the message.

April 17, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

A Pedestrian Trap In Cambridge

Cambridge is not a city to live in or visit, if you have walking difficulties.

The pavements in the centre tend to be rather narrow and they are narrowed even more by the bicycles chained to any conceivable anchor point. But this broken rail by Parker’s Piece takes the biscuit.

A Pedestrian Trap In Cambridge

A Pedestrian Trap In Cambridge

I suppose it was lucky, that there was enough contrast between the rail and the ground.  If they are going to have single rails, they should at least paint them orange.

I have reported it!

April 17, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

The Fastest Gluten Free Pasta In The East

I eat quite a bit of gluten-free pasta in Carluccio’s, but in some ways the best place for this is their restaurant in Cambridge.

Normally, when you ask for gluten-free pasta, they advise you there will be a little wait, but not yesterday.

So just as I was settling down to have a long sip of lemonade, which had just been delivered to my table,  I was surprised to see the pasta arrive. This was probably only after about five or six minutes after I’d ordered it.

As I used to live in the area and be a patient of a gastro-enterologist at Addenbrookes, I know the area has a high number of coeliacs. Why this should be so, I know not!

But I also know that the restaurant uses methods to get the pasta to the table quickly.

The pasta was excellent incidentally and tasted exactly the same as in their other restaurants.

April 17, 2013 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Margaret Thatcher’s Legacy

You could argue for years about Margaret Thatcher.

But it wasn’t what she did or didn’t do, that she leaves behind. In the course of history, there are only a few politicians, philosophers and sad to say despots and dictators, who have changed the world.

Margaret Thatcher showed that no rule or thought in traditional thinking is sacrosanct, when it comes to shaping the world.  Since then we’ve seen lots of radical ideas work, that would have never even been thought of, had not Margaret Thatcher and a few others shown that you could do something different.

Would Tony Blair have been able to reform a Labour Party, stuck in the 1920s, without Margaret Thatcher showing what radical thinking could do? Or Ken Livingstone, reinvent himself, to make a comeback as the London Mayor. I suspect, if Margaret Thatcher hadn’t been a radical Prime Minister, we’d have had a succession of useless worthies in the last few years.

I’ll only give one example of where Margaret Thatcher ditched conventional thinking.

In 1982, conventional thinking, said that to attempt to retake the Falkland Islands after the Argentine invasion was utter madness, and many on all sides of the political spectrum said that to give the islands away was the best solution. How many people today, think that the decision to retake the islands was wrong? Not many I suspect! I’ve even met an Argentinian, who felt that we did his country a favour, by effectively getting rid of the evil dictatorship of General Galtieri.

Without Margaret Thatcher my life today would be very different.

After I had sold my first successful software; Pert7 to ADP, I received an offer to go to the United States to write a PERT system for a large US computer corporation.

How they got my number or the fact I’d sold out, I don’t know?

Soon after, I was approached to write a PERT system, which later became Artemis, so I turned the Americans down.

I suspect that if that hadn’t happened, I’d have eventually moved across the Atlantic, as it was just impossible to provide for a growing family with the tax rates, then in force.

i didn’t move, as neither C or myself could have ever lived abroad permanently.

But Margaret Thatcher’s Tax and other reforms enabled me to stay in the country of my birth. If tax rates were still as the eighty percent plus they were in the nineteen seventies, I doubt many of the brightest in the UK, would not have gone to where pastures were greener.

One aside here is a story from my accountant of the 1980s.  A confirmed Socialist, he was not a supporter of Margaret Thatcher, but felt the tax reforms of the time were very good for the country.  Although tax rates were lowered, her Chancellors were good at closing the myriad loopholes that had been developed by clever members of his profession. There may be a lesson here for today’s politicians, who need to both maximise the tax take and keep voters happy.



April 17, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , , , , | Leave a comment