The Anonymous Widower

Carluccio’s Do A Gluten-Free Crostini

This week, Carluccio’s have a gluten-free crostini on the special menu.

Carluccio's Do A Gluten-Free Crostini

Carluccio’s Do A Gluten-Free Crostini

It is all about garlic, mushrooms and rocket.

It made a nice change as a starter.

Incidentally, the Carluccio’s in Islington now has wi-fi. And like the system in Manchester Piccadilly, it is easy to connect to it.

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Computing, Food, World | , , | Leave a comment

Is A Good Memory A Disadvantage When It Comes To Reading Fiction?

I rarely read fiction and the title of this post occurred to me as I travelled north today.

I read a lot of non-fiction, both in a printed and an Internet form, and most of it gets remembered.  Or at least hopefully the major facts do. As a child I was always reading encyclopaedias and other factual books and my mother was always telling me to read more fiction. C used to sometimes despair at my holiday reading, which could be a bit embarrassing to her.

So do I not read fiction, because it’s more about emotion and action, and not about facts I can remember for use later?

October 5, 2013 Posted by | World | | Leave a comment

Sheffield’s Wayfinding Liths

Sheffield seems to have put up better maps since I was last there.

There’s more here on Connect Sheffield.

It does at least seem that other places are jumping on Legible London’s bandwagon.

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Stadium In Need Of Updating

Hillsborough has seen better days.

These days you expect to have an uninterrupted view and some form of decent match timing device.

You can understand, why it is no longer used for FA Cup Semi Finals. I know the reason is to get more matches at Wembley, but I go to so many stadia, that are far superior to Hillsborough these days.

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Sport, World | , | Leave a comment

A Stopover At Lincoln

Although my ultimate destination was Sheffield to see Ipswich Town play, I had brunch with an old friend at Lincoln on the way.

In some ways Lincoln and its station is a very sore point in the UK’s rail network. And my brief visit flagged up many of them.

The rail service from London for an important city like Lincoln, is inadequate despite many promises of direct trains from the capital. I changed at Newark and the train from there to Lincoln was a very clean, but very crowded Class 153. But then it was run by East Midlands Trains, who aren’t exactly famous for providing services that customers want, as my trip earlier in the week to Derby showed.

I found the information at the station to be up with the worst in levels of inadequacy.  I knew that our meeting place; Carluccio’s was in the High Street, but I ended up walking the wrong way down it, as maps were not of the standard that many places now have. If they want to get tourists from London on the eight hundredth anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta in 2015, they ought to get some wayfinding experts in to advise.

There is also the infamous level crossing that causes endless holds-up to pedestrians and drivers going about their business.  Surely, this relic of the nineteenth century should be done away.  But as Beeching removed the obvious solution, it looks like it is something that the city will have to live with for some time.

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Peterborough Station Gets Improved

Peterborough station is one I used to use a lot, as I changed from trains from East Anglia to the North. It is getting improved.

It certainly needs it and hopefully, the city will get the station it deserves.

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

The East Coast Main Line’s Lightweight Catenary

I tried to get a good picture of the overhead wiring or catenary as the train went north to Newark. This was the best I got.

The East Coast Main Line's Lightweight Catenary

The East Coast Main Line’s Lightweight Catenary

Compare this picture with some I took last week of the electrification at Eccles. As the lines at Eccles are not designed for 200 kph, you can understand, why the East Coast Main Line‘s electrification is not very robust and frequently gets dragged down.

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Travelling In Style

I travelled up to Newark for Lincoln in First Class in one of East Coast’s Inter City 225 trains.

I’ve head a rumour that in a few years time, we’ll be seeing these units working from Liverpool Street to Norwich and Ipswich.

Yet again East Anglia will get a hand me down, but what a high class one!

They are so much roomier and more comfortable than the Pendelinos used by Virgin on the West Coast Main Line.

I doubt though, the lines to Norwich will allow these trains to reach there full speed of 200 kph.

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

A Steamy Morning At Kings Cross Station

I had wondered why there was a train to Norwich on the destination board at Kings Cross station.

This is the reason why.

A couple of times in the 1950s or 1960s, I went to Ipswich from London by train with a Britannia Class at the front. I wonder if I was ever hauled by Oliver Cromwell.

I am not a particular enthusiast for steam trains, but they are very much part of the world’s technological heritage.  I do think it as pity though, that we didn’t save more for posterity, as the enthusiasm they generate, is something that many of us need more of. It might even inspire more students to be the future engineers, we definitely need in this country and in fact most of the world.

It is also amazing to see a 1950s-designed steam locomotive amongst all of the high speed electrics, at possibly the best recently refurbished station in the world.

Imagine the excitement and probable increase in tourism, if every Saturday, we could see a vintage locomotive steam out of Kings Cross. The demand is probably there, but I doubt we have enough reliable main-line steam engines to provide such a spectacle. Remember that steam locomotives are not noted for their reliability.

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Kings Cross Station In The Morning

As I left Kings Cross station at around eight this morning, I got a good view of the station and the square in front, in the morning light.

The morning is always the best time.

Although, as I returned tonight, the floodlit station looked even more magnificent.

What was the train to Norwich doing in the station?

October 5, 2013 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment