The Anonymous Widower

Cooking My Christmas Dinner

These pictures show how I cooked my Christmas Feast for One from Roasted by Jack and Scott.

Note.

  1. It took under forty minutes from when the oven had warmed up and the water was simmering to cook the meal.
  2. The only utensils I used were a pair of scissors and a slice to get the bags out of the hot water.
  3. Washing up was minimal and nothing needed a heavy scrub, which is always a good thing.
  4. Vegetables were over generous for someone like me, who only weighs 63 kilos.

Anybody, who can put together some IKEA flatpack furniture and who knows how to boil water, stick a ready meal in the oven, should be able to cook this meal.

I have to wonder how many people could cook a delicious meal like this this from scratch in forty minutes.

The package included Christmas pudding. I’ll cook that tomorrow!

I can also remember several fraught Christmas mornings, when C was cooking Christmas Dinner. Usually, they involved my mother-in-law! This meal would certainly avoid, the too many cooks problem, as one person could cook a meal for four in well under an hour.

If I have to spend Christmas by myself again or I am entertaining a small number of people, I’ll seriously think about going back to Jack and Scott.

December 25, 2020 Posted by | Food | , , | 3 Comments

Dangerous Innovation

I had to put a link to this article on the Romford Recorder, which is entitled Heritage: Sootigine, Dagfert and Baxtrol.

It is a tale of dangerous products mainly developed in East London.

It has to be read, as no precis of mine can do it justice.

I will add a story, that was told by the guy whose bottom fell out in this post.

The guy in the story had at one time been the Complaints Manger for Ford in Dagenham.

This was one of his tales.

Ford received a complaint via  the main dealer in East London.

  • The engine had failed in a car about six months old.
  • So he arranged a time to meet the owner at the garage.
  • When they arrived, he asked, the garage manager to start the car.
  • He said that he’d never heard such a noise. All big-ends and the small-ends were making a lot of noise and it was the worst engine he’d ever heard.
  • So he asked the manager to put the car on a lift and drop the sump to have a look.
  • When the sump was dropped, the manager showed him the sump, which looked like it was full with a waxy solid.

So they asked the owner, who was of Mediterranean origin, what oil he was using in his car.

They got the immortal reply!

“Good enough for my fried fish! Good enough for my car!”

December 25, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , | 3 Comments

Don’t Worry! – I’m Not Drinking To Oblivion

It’s approaching three o’clock on Christmas Day and the empties are accumulating.

But as I say, there is no worry, as if I drink the fourth bottle, that will only be one unit of alcohol, but four units of taste.

 

December 25, 2020 Posted by | Food | , , | 3 Comments

DLR Extension To Thamesmead Gets Preliminary Funding

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on IanVisits.

This is the opening paragraphs.

TfL has secured funding to carry out more work on plans to extend the DLR from Beckton to Thamesmead.

The current proposals are for a new station be built in Beckton, with a bridge over (or tunnel under) the Thames to a new station in Thamesmead. Both sites are subject to lots of new housing being built, or planned, and the DLR extension was included in TfL’s latest financial plans.

Ian also gives this map.

This Google Map shows the area, where the extension will be built.

Note.

  1. The Eastern end of the runway at London City Airport in the South-Western corner of the map.
  2. The proposed location of Thamesmead station is by the roundabout in the South-Eastern corner of the map.

I estimate that the River Thames is around 500-600 metres wide at this point.

North Of The Thames

This Google Map shows more detail around the ring road of Armada Way on the North side of the Thames.

Note.

  1. The ring road of Armada Way in the centre of the map.
  2. Beckton Depot of the DLR takes up the Southern part of the land enclosed by Armada Way.
  3. The Northern part of the enclosed land is what is left of Beckton Gas Works.
  4. Gallions Reach station by Gallions roundabout, aligned North-South along the road.
  5. Note how the DLR goes under the road to read Beckton station in the North West corner of the map.
  6. To the North of the Armada Way ring, there is Gallions Reach Retail Park.
  7. Surrounding everything to North and East is the massive Becton Sewage Treatment Works.

I am not sure how the extension will connect to the existing Beckton branch of the DLR, but it does look that it could sneak around the inside of Armada Way and strike out directly across the Thames, from a junction to the North of Gallions Reach station.

This Google Map shows Gallions Roundabout and Gallions Reach station.

The connection to Beckton Depot to the North of the station can be picked out. It appears trains can enter and leave the depot in both directions.

This further Google Map shows Armada Way as it goes across the Northern side of the Beckton Gas Works site and along the Southern side of Gallions Reach Retain Park.

Note.

  1. The current route to Beckton station can be seen entering a short tunnel to go under the road.
  2. Could the route go inside Armada Way?

A station appears to be planned in this area called Beckton Riverside.

South Of The Thames

This Google Map shows the area which will be served by the extension South of the river.

Note.

  1. From the first map in this post it would appear that the route from the North makes landfall just to the East of the blue dot on South bank of the River.
  2. Thamesmead station would appear to be by the middle of the three roundabouts shown on the road crossing the map.

Much of the land between, the current buildings and the river could be developed.

Bridge Or Tunnel?

The major piece of construction will be the bridge or tunnel to connect the two halves of the extension.

Consider.

  • The frequency of the extension could be fifteen trains per hour (tph)
  • A bridge may stop large ships like HMS Ocean and MS Deutschland coming upriver to Greenwich or the Pool of London.
  • London has tried to develop a cruise ship terminal at Enderby’s Wharf near Greenwich.
  • Bringing cruise ships into London creates employment.
  • The Docklands Light Railway already has two tunnels under the river.
  • A tunnel would probably be less than a kilometre.

For these reasons, I think, a tunnel will be the more likely option.

Although, I always like railway bridges across a river, as they can become tourist attractions.

A Few Thoughts

These are a few thoughts.

A Frequency Of 15 tph

In his article, Ian says this about the frequency.

If the DLR extension is built, then it’s provisionally expected to be able to offer 15 trains per hour – roughly one every four minutes.

Currently, the frequency between Tower Gateway and Beckton is only 7.5 tph in the Peak and six tph in the Off-Peak.

  • If the Beckton service were to be extended to Thamesmead, to run a frequency of 15 tph, would still need more trains for the service.
  • But where would the extra trains terminate in the West?
  • Could this be handled with the new trains and better signalling?

I’m not sure, but it seems that the Docklands Light Railway is being setup with another 15 tph capacity in the East.

Could it be that the Thamesmead extension will be run back-to back with another extension in the West.

In A Connection Between City Thameslink Station And The Docklands Light Railway, I described a possible Westward extension of the Docklands Light Railway to Euston, St. Pancras and Victoria stations.

This map shows the route.

Note.

  1. Could St. Pancras and Victoria both take half of the 15 tph from Thamesmead?
  2. Bank currently , turns 22.5 tph in the Peak and 18 in the Off Peak.
  3. The new trains may be able to work with shorter headways.
  4. Currently, Euston, St. Pancras and Victoria have no direct connection to Canary Wharf.

I think the DLR could end up with a Peak service something like this service.

  • 7.5 tph – St. Pancras and Lewisham via Canary Wharf
  • 7.5 tph – St. Pancras and Woolwich Arsenal
  • 7.5 tph – Victoria and Lewisham via Canary Wharf
  • 7.5 tph – Victoria and Thamesmead

Except at Custom House and with a walk at Canary Walk, the connection to Crossrail is poor.

Conclusion

The extension of the Docklands Light Railway to Thamesmead, looks to be a sensible project to serve much-needed housing at Beckton and Thamesmead.

But I feel it needs to be built alongside a Western Extension of the Docklands Light Railway to Charing Cross, Euston, St. Pancras and Victoria.

  • This would enable a train frequency of at least 7.5 tph to Thamesmead.
  • Or 15 tph if the existing Tower Gateway service were to be extended from Becton to Thamesmead.
  • This extension would also provide a direct link between Euston, Kings Cross and St. Pancras stations and Canary Wharf and perhaps take some pressure from the Bank branch of the Northern Line.

But the extension’s primary function would be to balance the Docklands Light Railway and allow capacity through Bank to the East to be increased.

It could be an affordable fill-in, while we wait for better times, in which to build Crossrail 2.

 

December 25, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment