The Anonymous Widower

Ainsley Maitland-Niles

To put it mildly Ipswich have had some rubbish on loan from various Premier League clubs in the past.

But Ainsley Maitland-Niles is in a different class.

He has all the skills and he has that added factor that so many youngsters don’t seem to possess – Keenness to get on with the game. And not in a selfish way!

For Ipswich’s first goal yesterday against Burnley, he brought the ball forward to the edge of the penalty area. Most players would have shot from distance, but he saw that Brett Pitman was free on his right and he was able to put the ball across goal for Freddie Sears to slot in.

But don’t take my word for the quality of his performance! These two paragraphs from the report in the East Anglian Daily Times describe his part in the two goals.

After Maitland-Niles’ pass into the channel, Pitman steered a low cross towards the back post and Sears only had to provide the slightest of touches inside the six yard box to help the ball on its way into the bottom corner.

One-nil became 2-0 five minutes later in the most simple of fashions; McGoldrick barely having to jump to head home Maitland-Niles’ corner from around eight yards out.

And this is Mick McCarthy’s view in an article on the BBC web site.

Read it all!

We’ve not seen a youngster of this class, wearing the blue of Ipswich since Kieron Dyer.

August 19, 2015 Posted by | Sport | , | 1 Comment

ollybars At The Reilly Rocket

The Reilly Rocket is a cafe on my walking route home from Dalston Junction station and the Kingsland High Road, that I occasionally use for a small refreshment.

Today I popped in and found they were promoting ollybars on the counter.

So I ate one with my pot of English breakfast tea and took another home for later.

At two quid they may be more expensive than say EatNakd bars, but they are very good.

Too many gluten-free snacks are either bland or have the texture of sawdust.

ollybars are not guilty of either fault.

Congratulations to Olly!

August 19, 2015 Posted by | Food | , | 1 Comment

The Easiest Way To Get To Ipswich For Tuesday Night Football

Tuesday night football at Ipswich, and probably Colchester, is a difficult and overly expensive journey, when you have to trouble out for a kick-off at 19:45 using the crowded trains of the rush hour, which charge you more for your pleasure.

Normally if I want to go to Ipswich on a Saturday, it costs me £26.25 for an Off Peak Return from Liverpool Street with a Senior Railcard. But last night, on a Tuesday it would have cost me £50.65.

But Crossrail has come into play with the takeover of the Shenfield Metro by TfL Rail, which means I can use my Freedom Pass to Shenfield for nothing. Younger people, using Oyster or contactless cards have seen a reduction in cost, which some publicity claims is 40%.

So last night, as I had to stop off at Forest Gate on the way, I took TfL Rail to Shenfield in the rush hour.

I then exited the station, had a coffee in one of several nice independent cafes around the station and then re-entered after buying a return ticket from Shenfield to Ipswich, which got me to the ground at a convenient time for the match.

It was all very civilised and for most of the way, I had a seat and was able to sit comfortably and read the paper, as most of the other passengers had departed by Witham.

And for this I paid the princely sum of £16.75, which is approximately a third of the regular price. Here’s the proof.

London To Ipswich For £16.75

London To Ipswich For £16.75

I shall be going this way again, especially as I have friends in Shenfield, with whom I could share a drink.

This is a substantial benefit to anybody living in London with a Freedom Pass, who needs to go to anywhere in the South Eastern portion of East Anglia.

You’ve always been able to buy tickets from the Zone 6 Boundary, but the trouble with that is Harold Wood, which isn’t as well connected as Shenfield. You also have difficulty buying these tickets on-line and usually have to go to a booking office.

If you don’t have a Freedom Pass, using contactless cards to Shenfield on TfL Rail and then using an onward ticket from Shenfield may well be cheaper for the whole journey.

Of course, if you bought your onward ticket from Shenfield before you travelled, all you would do is get off one train at Shenfield and get on another to your ultimate destination.

The only drawback is that the journey via Shenfield is slower.

Currently, Ipswich is about 70 minutes from Liverpool Street, but when the Norwich in Ninety improvements are completed, I think we could see this time reduced to 60 minutes or even less. New trains with sliding doors would help too!

Shenfield is 43 minutes from Liverpool Street at the moment, but Crossrail will reduce this by a couple of minutes. Ipswich is probably an hour past Shenfield, but Norwich in Ninety must reduce this.

The biggest change could come when Crossrail opens and there is a new East Anglian rail franchise. If I was bidding for the new franchise, I would stop a proportion of the fast London-Colchester-Ipswich-Norwich trains at Stratford, Romford or Shenfield to interface with Crossrail, so that the journeys for passengers were optimised to get as many on board as possible., to maximise my company’s profits and hopefully my bonus.

Norwich in Ninety plus Crossrail can only mean that house prices in East Anglia will continue to rise.

August 19, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Credit/Charge Cards Got Cloned

I use an American Express Charge Card for my travel, for the insurance and also because, if I know I’m picking up rail tickets, I don’t have to think which card I’m using. It is contactless, so I kep it separate from my Freedom Pass to avoid card class and often I don’t take it out with me.

I also have a John Lewis Partnership Card, which I use for everyday purchases and on-line, as it doesn’t use that non-protection system Verified by Visa, which is a pain in the arse.

Over the last two weeks, both have been cloned and used online for substantial purchases. With both cards, the fraud protection systems at the card companies picked up the illegal uses and the cards were stopped , causing me the hassle of having to update various web sites, where the card is stored.

So how did the cards get cloned?

I’m not sure, but both of the card statements often come in the post on the same day. I doubt it’s anything to do with the Royal Mail, although because they are moving buildings in the main sorting office that serves me, there has been a couple of things that have gone astray or turned up late.

Normally, when the statement arrives, I put it by my computer and pay it the next time, that I go on-line. I then shred the statements.

But I’ve been away a lot in the last month or two and I’ve had builders around, which caused the shredder to be out-of-use for a time.

So perhaps I was less than zealous in shredding a statement!

I suspect that as I put the green sacks for recycling outside late on a Wednesday night, someone has been raking them over and removing ones that might be promising

One thing I have done is make the American Express card paperless, so there is nothing incriminating from that going in the rubbish.

Unfortunately, the John Lewis card has no paperless facility and as it is not contactless, I am seriously thinking of giving it the order of the boot. It will certainly be going into temporary retirement.

In fact, I would say don’t get a new credit card unless the following conditions apply.

  1. The card’s call centre and processing is based in the UK.
  2. All statements can be paperless.
  3. Past statements are available on-line in an easily readable form.
  4. Cards are contactless.

I think contactless cards are important. Most contactless payments are in big retailers or in London on transport. Transactions are probably caught on CCTV and there is often no handy piece of paper that could be taken by untrustworthy staff. The twenty pound limit also means that you can’t use them for the sort of purchases criminals like.

I have worked on very secure projects in the past and only access my bank accounts from one computer that never leaves my house.

People ask me if I would use ApplePay or the future AndroidPay. I certainly would, as if say the system was cloned and I lost money, Apple or Google would be finished. Until proven otherwise, I feel that they are more secure than contactless cards.

If you worry about contactless cards, just reflect on the fact, that I have been unable to find any negative comment about their use on London’s transport system, which is one of the largest contactless card-based systems in the world. There are so many out there who hate Boris with an absolute passion, that if anything had happened, it would be repeated ad infinitum.

The weak link in all these systems isn’t the technology, it’s the fact that we do stupid things, like drop our phone or card (Guilty, as charged!) and that criminals end up in retailers and card companies in positions, where they have access to sensitive data.

How can you be sure, that the nice man in the corner hardware store hasn’t taken your card details and sold them on to someone, who has the knowledge to take card numbers, expiry dates and names and addresses to defraud on-line retailers and service providers?

August 19, 2015 Posted by | Finance | , , | 6 Comments

The Smart Money’s On Isis Destroying Itself

This is the headline on a serious piece in the Times by Ed Conway, which talks about Islamic State and there adoption of gold as their currency!

If you can get a copy of yesterday’s Times read it.

There’s more details here in Wikipedia.

Ed’s piece is a fascinating article and it shows how crazy these cruel male chauvinist pigs are!

I know we have problems with our current monetary standard, but no serious central banker or politician would suggest opting for a metal based currency.

I wonder what Islamic State think of bitcoins?


August 19, 2015 Posted by | Finance, World | , | Leave a comment