The Anonymous Widower

Eurostar To Marseilles

On the first of May Eurostar launched its service from London to Lyon, Avignon and Marseilles. Full details are given in this article on the France 24 web site.

Out of curiosity, I tried to see how many seats are available in the coming weeks.

There weren’t many left, so I suspect Eurostar might have a success on their hands.

On the other hand, when I travel up from the South of France or Switzerland, I often break my journey in Paris. So I still might do this, as the food is better than the train.

May 7, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Cycle Superhighway Construction At Temple

This site seems to feature in a lot of BBC Radio 5 Live’s traffic reports.

You can understand, why various factions are against the Cycle Superhighways.

May 7, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

A Rum List Of Candidates

When I went to vote today, there were eleven candidates; three from the major parties, one from a one-issue party and an almost complete spectrum from the ultra-left to the far-but-not-ultra right comprising the remaining seven. Some of the last group would have been certified by some dictators and despots of the past.

One of the candidates didn’t even have a cv. Would you vote for someone, who you know nothing about?

I think the result in this constituency is a foregone conclusion, but isn’t it in hundreds of places.

Democracy is a wonderful thing, but it could be improved a lot!

May 7, 2015 Posted by | World | , | 1 Comment

From The Country That Brought You The Lada; The New Battle Tank

Ever since I met a British Army General a few years ago, whose opinions of large battle tanks were distinctly sceptical and I had several drinks with a US Air Force A-10 pilot, I’ve always thought that tanks are a waste of money, except for perhaps frightening the population of countries you’re not invading, as the Russians have been doing in the Ukraine.

What adds to my sceptism is that if you look at tank warfare over the last hundred years, when a country makes a big improvement in tank size and firepower, other nations attempt to leapfrog them. As you can’t rustle up a thousand tanks immediately, countries think laterally. In the Second World War, we countered German tanks by developing the Hurricane IID or flying can opener and the PIAT anti-tank gun. In the 1970s, the Americans designed and built the A-10 Thunderbolt, one of whose jobs was to be to destroy Russian armour.

You can rest assured that research and development is going on in countries, who might be threatened by tanks to develop the next generation of tank killers.

So when I see that Putin has spent billions of roubles to develop the T 14 Armata, I just think he has got more money than sense.

I didn’t even laugh when I read this article in the Daily Telegraph, which says that a tank has broken down in the rehearsal for an important parade.

The General would probably have said that this is typical tank reliability.



May 7, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | 2 Comments

Boring Architecture

I passed the site of the old Middlesex hospital, where two of my children were born today.

The building except for the chapel and the Nassau Street fontage could be anywhere in the world and it doesn’t really do the site justice.

I don’t like it, one bit!

May 7, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

Street Art In Fitzrovia

Traffic light control boxes are being used as canvases for art in Fitzrovia.

There’s more in this article on the BBC web site.

May 7, 2015 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

A Second Dazzle Ship

After seeing Snowdrop in Liverpool last week, as I walked along the Embankment, I noticed that HMS President had been given the same treatment.

Although it is not as bright.

May 7, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

The Bridges At Blackfriars

There are actually three bridges at Blackfriars; a road bridge, a rail bridge with a station on top and between them the remains of an older rail bridge. This Google Earth image shows the three bridges.

Blackfriars Bridges

Blackfriars Bridges

From the East or right, they are in order.

1. This is the newer Blackfriars railway bridge, with its station, covered in a solar room, on top.

2. The pairs of dots beside the station are the columns of the older Blackfriars railway bridge, which has been demolished.

3. This is the Blackfriars Bridge.

These pictures were taken as I walked past the bridges from east to west.

Note how the two bridges in use are impressive structures.

I’ve often thought that the redundant piers must have a sensible use. But what?


May 7, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Thames Tideway Tunnel – Preparatory Works At Blackfriars Bridge

As I walked along the river from Cannon Street, I noticed what looked like a small oil rig in the middle of the Thames.


t is actually a secondary site that is being used to develop a new Millenium Pier as the old one is in the way of construction works for the new Thames Tideway Tunnel at Blackfriars.

It was good to see that they are putting up pictures of what they are doing.

This picture clipped from this page on the tunnel website, shows an impression of what the completed works will look like.

Tideway Tunnel At Blackfriars

Tideway Tunnel At Blackfriars

Blackfiars Bridge leads off over the river at the top right of this image.

When completed there will be a public space with shops and a cafe.

The web site for the Thames Tideway Tunnel is impressive.

May 7, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

Crossrail’s Big Hole In The Barbican

Last night, I went to a lecture about Crossrail in the City of London Girl’s School in the Barbican. It is not an area, I visit often, but I did fulfil one of the ambitions C and myself had had since it was built about twenty years ago. That was to have a meal in the Pizza Express in the building  called Alban Gate, that is suspended over London Wall.

I was surprised to see this big hole in the plaza that ran south of the Barbican to London Wall.

Crossrail's Big Hole In The Barbican

Crossrail’s Big Hole In The Barbican

Forty years ago, when I lived in the Barbican, I used to walk across this area and take the bridge that then gave access to streets that led down to Bank, where I worked as a consultant on costing software. The buildings in this area were a group of rather unlovely office blocks, that only demolition would improve. I did find this picture taken five years ago, which shows London Wall in a picture set I uploaded, entitled Going Back to the Barbican.


This Google Earth image shows the Barbican.

Barbican Estate

Barbican Estate

We used to live in Cromwell Tower, which is to the north of the estate. It is a triangular tower to the north-east of the semi-circular building, which is above the Barbican Centre. The dual-carriageway road at the bottom is London Wall, with Alban Gate about halway along and the Myseum of London at the western end.

The hole shown in my picture doesn’t seem to have been created, but is between Alban Gate and the distinctive Moor House, which is near to the stations at Moorgate.

Sometimes, when I look at the Barbican, I wish that I’d moved there five years ago. Especially as now, I tend to live a simple life at home, that needs just one good bed, a kitchen and good television, broadband and transport links.

I suppose I could always move! But I’ve never been one for that! I just prefer and like updating properties.

May 7, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , | 1 Comment