The Anonymous Widower

Shopping Centres Aren’t For Me!

Tomorrow, I’m going to Sheffield to see Ipswich at Wednesday. As there is now a Carluccio’s at Meadowhall, I thought that it might be an easy place to have lunch before the match.

I’ve booked a ticket out of Kings Cross to get to Meadowhall with a change at Doncaster, rather than go the obvious way of St. Pancras  and Sheffield.

So I thought, I’d look up where Carluccio’s was in Meadowhall on the web. They are apparently in the Oasis Dining Area.  But can I find a plan, which shows me where that is in the centre?  No! Of course not! After all, the one thing I don’t want to do, is walk past every useless shop in the place, as I would expect few would have any goods that I would ever need. But that is what these infernal shopping centres want me to do, as they think I might buy something.  But I’m going to a football match and then home to London!

After all, I’m only ever going to Meadowhall for one reason! And that is to have lunch!

In fact this is probably why I don’t use shopping centres. when I go shopping, I generally need some specific things and have a list of shops I will visit to get what I want! I don’t want to walk miles, when I need one specific item.

I suppose you could call it precision shopping. I arrive, buy and retreat immediately.

Often with John Lewis, I just go and check out what I need, write down the stock number and then go home and order it over the Internet.

They must love shoppers like me!

April 19, 2013 Posted by | Sport, World | , , , , | 1 Comment

A Chocolate Brownie At Pattiserie Valerie

Patisserie Valerie was one of C’s favourite places for coffee, although she didn’t usually have one of their cakes.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a cup of tea in their cafe at Kings Cross station with a friend.

Pattiserie Valerie At Kings Cross Station

Pattiserie Valerie At Kings Cross Station

As it is in a generous-sized china cup and I was in the station again getting tickets for a trip tomorrow, I decided to have another tea today. On asked if I’d like anything else, I said that I was gluten-free and that I didn’t think they had anything, But I was wrong, as the picture shows.

A Chocolate Brownie At Pattiserie Valerie

A Chocolate Brownie At Pattiserie Valerie

Although it was plastic wrapped, it was one of the best brownies I’ve ever tasted. Plastic wrapping is acceptable to preserve gluten-free  status, when the cake is of this level of quality.

The large cup of tea and the brownie was reasonably priced at £4.60.

Kings Cross station and its neighbour St. Pancras are getting to be very far removed from the tired memories of British Rail’s curled sandwiches and dreadful coffee of the past.

i know it is the policy of Network Rail to take this good food route and they are to be congratulated on their approach.



April 19, 2013 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Andrew Wakefield And The Swansea Measles Outbreak

The Guardian has a well-written piece on the measles outbreak in South Wales. Here’s the introduction.

The Department of Health has dismissed claims by a former doctor who started a global scare about the MMR vaccine that officials were responsible for the outbreak of measles in south Wales.

C and I immunised all our children and we never regretted it.

As someone, who had measles as an adult, i wouldn’t want that to be inflicted on anybody.  I was also lucky in that I didn’t get any complications.

My thoughts now are that I hope the epidemic subsides and no-one suffers from catching measles.  I would suggest to Wakefield, that he shuts up, as otherwise, I think he might find himself in bigger trouble.

April 19, 2013 Posted by | Health, News | | Leave a comment

A Small Bottle And Glass Of Wine

I like a nice glass of wine, but when I’m at home, I don’t like opening a new bottle, as by the time I get round to another glass, it’s gone off.

So I thought, I’d give this very small bottle from Waitrose a try.

A Small Bottle And Glass Of Wine

A Small Bottle And Glass Of Wine

It wasn’t that bad! But then small bottles of wine are generally inferior to their bigger cousins.

April 19, 2013 Posted by | Food | , | Leave a comment

Giving My Left Hand Something To Do

For years, I always carried my briefcase in my left hand, but not by the handle. I seem to remember that at school it wasn’t the done thing to use handles or put satchels over your shoulder, but to hold it with your hand underneath.

So now that the hand suffers a bit from neglect syndrome, I’ve got out my old briefcase, to give the hand something to do.

My Dunhill Briefcase

My Dunhill Briefcase

The case incidentally was a present from C in perhaps about 1972 or 1973.  Dunhill have fitted two new zips over the years, as I’ve never found one that suits my lifestyle so much.

April 19, 2013 Posted by | Health, World | 1 Comment

On A Bus To Oblivion

I was away when Oblivion opened, but it got two stars in The Times and this was the summary of their review.

Tom Cruise stars in Oblivion but that is about all that this derivative sci-fi has to offer

It certainly is appearing on lots of buses, which is always the sign of a dire film.

On A Bus To Oblivion

On A Bus To Oblivion

I suppose that the shape of bus ads makes Tom Cruise look taller.

April 19, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

The Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games

I’ve now got four tickets for each of the sessions on the 25th, 26th and 27th of July.

It was fairly painless and except for a wait on the first access, probably because all the world and his wife were trying, it didn’t take too long either.

In some ways, I wish I’d bought some more tickets. I suspect the touts have, as they always have needs. But then I’m not in any need of making money that way!

But I do want to enjoy the athletics at the Olympic Stadium

April 19, 2013 Posted by | Sport | , , | 2 Comments

The Greatest British Olympian Ever

With the retirement of Sir Chris Hoy, who numerically is our greatest Olympian, the debate is starting as to who is the greatest.

There are many worthies amongst my favourites, but then only one would be on a vote for the top ten greatest Olympians.

But that one Olympian does stand out.

I remember on the 6th of July 2005, sitting with C in the kitchen listening as Lord Coe put the final speech in London’s bid for the 2012 Olympics.

She was a barrister and said it was the finest plea in mitigation she’d ever heard. He delivered it superbly. You can read the speech and othe others here and  C was right.  it was written, so that if we failed in the bid, as was expected, then Princess Anne, Lord Coe, Ken Livingstone, Tessa Jowell, Denise Lewis and the others involved, could come home knowing that they’d given it a very good shot.

Fortunately, Lord Coe got the result most people really wanted and the rest as they say is history.

Many people did not ever see, Sebastian Coe running. I didn’t see his Olympic trumphs, but I did see him on the television many times in the 1980s. he had a grace and created excitement, like no other athlete of the period.

So as someone, who won gold medals on the track and gave us the magnificent  London 2012 Olympics, there can only be one choice for Britain’s greatest Olympian.

April 19, 2013 Posted by | Sport, World | , | Leave a comment

Murder At Minchenden

My old school; Minchenden Grammar School in Southgate was a fairly peaceful place most of the time, but last night just down from the school, a murder was committed, as is reported here. When I went to see the Olympic Torch in Southgate, we walked through the area.

April 19, 2013 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment

Now This Is What I Call A Tunnel!

This story from the BBC web site is more significant than you think. Here’s the introduction.

The Norwegian government has backed an ambitious plan to create the world’s first ship tunnel. But why has nobody tackled this engineering feat before?

At 45m high (148ft) and 36m (111ft) wide, the Stad Ship Tunnel will be the only one of its kind – a passage through solid rock able to accommodate 16,000 tonne freight and passenger ships.

Ship canals have long been used to make journeys more direct and safer but the Stad peninsula is a mountainous divide, peaking at 645m, between the Norwegian Sea to the north and the North Sea to the south.

it may or may not go ahead, but it does show how confident engineers and tunnellers are in their hole digging.

And that is the significance of the story!

Crossrail in London is being dug in soft ground, but it shows how by-passes can be created under London with relative ease.

We shall be seeing a lot more tunnels in the next few decades, as the technology is just getting better every year.

April 19, 2013 Posted by | News | , , | Leave a comment