The Anonymous Widower

Peer-to-Peer Lending Sites Compared

I found this page, which compares peer-to-peer lending sites across the world.

It’s interesting reading and if nothing else it shows how peer-to-peer lending sites are starting up all over the world.

There’s a rumour that a forward-thinking person is opening a toilet paper shop in the City, with a branch in the new Canary Wharf station-cum shopping centre.

You don’t need laws to curb the excesses of bankers, you need to innovate them out of a job.

December 1, 2013 Posted by | Business, Finance | , | Leave a comment

What Did The Pope Say To Putin?

Obviously,no-one knows exactly, but The Sunday Times has a picture of their meeting, with an added speech bubble for the Pope saying.

So what’s it like, being infallible?

I hope Pope Francis gave Putin some sound advice!

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

It’s Only A Railway Station!

One of the reasons, I went East today, was to take some pictures of the roof structure of the new Canary Wharf Crossrail station. I went to Poplar on the DLR and these are some images that I took of the new station.

It is looking that it could end up being the most spectacular station in London.

But then the station bit will probably a bit boring, buried deep under the edifice, you see in the pictures.

Most of what you can see will be an upmarket shopping centre, with a garden on the top under the open timber roof.

It certainly isn’t a bad effort at a station on an underground suburban railway.

But then it is probably best to think of this station as part of the Canary Wharf Estate, rather than part of Crossrail. After all they are paying over half a billion pounds to build it.

How many shopping centres are integrated into the transport systems of the city or area they serve? The answer could be written on the back of a postage stamp, without disturbing the adhesive.

December 1, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

Cinderella Is My Friend

Most Sundays, I go South and East from where I live to Canary Wharf, the Thames or Greenwich. Today was no exception, as I wanted to see the new roof on Canary Wharf Crossrail station and get a bit of shopping in the excellent Waitrose at Canary Wharf.

Today, I picked up the Docklands Light Railway at Shadwell, as I often do.

I’ve referred to this line as Cinderella before, as in the current vogue for grand railways and other schemes, she seems to get forgotten, as she trundles passengers reliably around the East of London, giving superb views of the canals, docks and buildings, both old and new.

But then she is like me; a London mongrel, with an ancestry from all over the place. The railway was born out of the need for to create a transport system on the cheap. The trouble is, that the engineers and staff, felt that despite the budget, they could create something special.

And they did!

They’ve now even created audio guides to each line, as this poster advertises.

Advertising The DLR Audio Guides

Advertising The DLR Audio Guides

I don’t think they’d work so well for the Underground.

Cinderella just has so much to show you!

And where else can kids of all ages, play at driving the trains? Copenhagen and Turin.

But why oh why, is there not another use of the technology in the UK or the wider world? I just think, Cinderella isn’t sexy enough for the great and good. But then she’ll still be here, when all of the current bunch of idiots are pushing up the daisies.

December 1, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 2 Comments

Let’s Not Get Paranoid about Helicopter Accidents Over Cities

We’ve now had two serious helicopter accidents over cities in the UK in the current year. The first at Vauxhall in January wasn’t as serious as Friday’s in Glasgow, but there are similarities.

Both occurred in city centres close to their landing sites and were operated by probably professional companies and flown by experienced pilots.

So how common are these sort of accidents?

Look at this list of helicopter accidents on Wikipedia.  Only two seemed to have involved helicopters falling to the ground over cities, in countries with a good record of aviation safety. One was in Auckland, New Zealand and the other was in Phoenix in the United States. Both of these accidents, involved collisions, which could also be said about the Vauxhall accident.

I get helicopters, operated by the Metropolitan Police and the London Air Ambulance over my house all the time.

But am I worried that one will drop out of the sky on me?

No! I think the odds are more likely that a stray vehicle will hit me on a zebra crossing!


December 1, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

My Easiest Championship Ground To Travel To

Yesterday, Ipswich Town played at Charlton. It is a very easy ground to get to, as I just get a bus to London Bridge and then take a train to the station at Charlton. It’s then just a short walk to The Valley.

In fact, this ease of access was one of the problems of my viewing of the match, as Ipswich fans bought every seat possible.  The seats at Charlton may be in good condition, but it really is one of the most cramped away areas in the country. QPR used to be worse, but it had improved this season.

I was next to the staircase and hardly got any view of the match at all in the first half, as the two guys in front of me were six footers and never sat down. One even stood on the stairs effectively blocking any view of the goal to my right, just fifteen metres or so away. It did get better in the second half, as some didn’t return after half time and I was able to stand in front of an empty seat the other side of the stairs.

So it was not a good viewing experience! The technology exists, so that you can choose your seat and see the view.  Eventually, this will be used in all grounds in the Premier League and the Championship.

But at least we won by a Tommy Smith goal. Although, with average luck, we should have scored a couple more before the game really got going.

I was home before six. Except for the three grounds near me; The Emirates, White Hart Lane and Brisbane Road, this must be the only ground, where, I can do that!

I do think next time I go to The Valley and the match is likely to be full, I’ll get a hospitality package early.

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