The Anonymous Widower

Battersea Power Station Station To Battersea Power Station Pier – 18th September 2022

I walked between Battersea Power Station station and Battersea Power Station pier.

Note.

  1. A new route between the station and the pier has been opened up, which is shorter.
  2. The development opens on the fourteenth of next month, but there is already some good restaurants and coffee shops.
  3. The corgi was the first one I’d met for a few years.

I walked between the station and the pier in under ten minutes.

September 18, 2022 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ease Up IPA Goes Gluten Free!

The title of this post, is the same as that of this page on the Adnams web site.

I am now 75 and I have been drinking Adnams beer, almost exclusively since I was thirteen.

My father introduced me to halves of Adnams bitter, whilst playing snooker at Felixstowe Conservative Club.

Part of his logic behind doing this was to teach me to drink alcohol responsibly, like he did and to prevent me ending up like his father, who was a drunk, who died before the age of forty.

The other thing, that my father’s teaching did was give me a preference for good real ale. And especially Adnams!

As I write this, I’m drinking a bottle of their 0.5 % Ghost Ship.

8. Voila!

I drink it for three reasons.

  • Obviously, I like the taste.
  • It is low-alcohol, so it doesn’t affect the action of the Warfarin, that stops me having another stroke.
  • I also find, that because the beer is made with low amounts of barley to keep the alcohol low, it doesn’t affect my gut, despite the fact that I’m a coeliac.

I have yet to find a low-alcohol beer, that has had an adverse effect on my body.

But Will Ease Up Be Safe For A Coeliac To Drink?

These paragraphs describe how Ease Up is brewed and the testing of the product.

When producing Ease Up, we now use an enzyme called Clarex® which breaks down gluten-type proteins, reducing gluten content to below 20 parts per million (ppm). Only foods that contain 20ppm or less can be labelled as ‘gluten-free.’ According to Coeliac UK, research shows people diagnosed as coeliac can consume products with gluten present at or less than this level, but customers are advised to consider their own individual tolerances.

Clarex® is added in the fermentation vessel, where it mixes well during a normal, vigorous fermentation. Our beer is tested at the end of fermentation and then, after packaging, it is put on hold while it undergoes a thorough external validation process before it is confirmed gluten free and released. Just look out for the new, updated branding.

Note the phrase about individual tolerances.

Conclusion

It looks like Adnams have produced the ideal real ale to have in your pub, club or house, if you have some coeliac customers, family  or friends.

Never did I think, I would ever write about disruptive innovation in the brewing industry.

September 7, 2022 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

To Abbey Wood For An Ice Cream

Yesterday, I went to Abbey Wood station to see what was there.

If you continue along the Elizabeth Line platforms, you come to a ground level step-free entrance to the platforms. So I used this route and found a rather nice shop, where I had a proper ice cream.

We need more proper ice cream outlets in London.

Crossness

Abbey Wood station is probably the best access point for one of London’s best tourist attractions; Crossness. I visited Crossness during Open House and wrote about it in Open House – Crossness.

These are some pictures I took in 2012.

Crossness should be on everyone’s bucket list. The site is now managed by the Crossness Engines Trust.

But getting there by public transport is not easy.

In my view what is needed is either a shuttle bus from Abbey Wood station or perhaps modification to an existing route, so that it calls at Crossness.

The Joining Up Of The Elizabeth Line

I asked a station guy, when the three sections of the Elizabeth Line would be joined up.

He gave me a straight answer – The 6th of November.

This is twelve Sundays from today.

 

 

August 16, 2022 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Plans For Giant Seaweed Farms In European Waters

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

The article describes how the Dutch are developing the growing and harvesting of seaweed.

This is all fascinating stuff and reminds me of reading of a company called Alginate Industries in the Meccano Magazine in the 1950s.

I can’t find much about the company, except that they were taken over by Merck & Co in 1979.

The Wikipedia entry for alginic acid, gives this information on alginates.

Alginates are refined from brown seaweeds. Throughout the world, many of the Phaeophyceae class brown seaweeds are harvested to be processed and converted into sodium alginate. Sodium alginate is used in many industries including food, animal food, fertilisers, textile printing, and pharmaceuticals. Dental impression material uses alginate as its means of gelling. Food grade alginate is an approved ingredient in processed and manufactured foods.

I remember the Meccano Magazine saying that alginates were an important food additive and UK production came from the North of Scotland.

This page on the Secret Scotland wiki gives details of current alginate production in Scotland.

Has Wikipedia replaced the Meccano Magazine, as a source of information for scientifically-inquisitive children?

August 8, 2022 Posted by | Food | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Case Of The Disappearing Litter Bins

Coming back from Cardiff today, I had some Marks & Spencer sandwiches and some of their still lemonade, which ended up in a carrier bag.

There were no litter bins on the exit of the train I used, so I had to carry my rubbish to the Lizzie Line, where I knew there were bins.

I took this picture in May at Tottenham Court Road station.

But they were missing so I had to bring it home.

I asked one of the station guys and they said, that they kept falling off the wall.

So let’s hope that a solution can be found.

August 3, 2022 Posted by | Design, Food, Transport/Travel | , , | 5 Comments

New Proton Ceramic Reactor Stack For Highly Efficient Hydrogen Production And Carbon Capture In A Single Step

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Green Car Congress.

This is the opening paragraph.

A team of researchers from CoorsTek Membrane Sciences and SINTEF in Norway, and Universitat Politècnica de València in Spain, has demonstrated a 36-cell well-balanced proton ceramic reactor stack enabled by a new interconnect that achieves complete conversion of methane with more than 99% recovery to pressurized hydrogen, leaving a concentrated stream of carbon dioxide. The team has also demonstrated that the process can be scaled up for commercial application.

A paper has been published in the journal; Science.

I find this concept interesting for a number of reasons.

  • I’ve believed for some time, that applications, that need a good supply of pure carbon dioxide will be developed. One obvious use is feeding it to plants in large greenhouses, so we can have our CO2 and eat it!
  • 99 % is a very high efficiency.
  • Ammonia, natural gas or biogas can be used as a feedstock.

Coors were an Artemis user for project management and I had an enjoyable few days Golden, Colorado and at the Coors brewery, sometime in the 1980s.

  • It was then that I first heard of CoorsTek, who used to make ceramics for the US defence industry.
  • In those days, the beer was made to German brewing rules and was unpasteurised.
  • The beer had to be delivered to customers within a certain time, so long distance deliveries used trains.
  • Coors Brewing Company has since merged with Molson, but CoorsTek appears to be still owned by the Coors family.
  • I had taken a few small bottles of Adnams Broadside with me and one of their managers analysed one before drinking the rest of the bottle. He informed me that it was a felony to be in possession of such a strong beer in Colorado.

Coors were and probably still are in some ways not your average brewing company.

Coors News Item On Proton Ceramic Membranes For Hydrogen Production

This page on the CoorsTek web site, which is entitled Proton Ceramic Membranes For Hydrogen Production Published In ‘Science’, gives more details.

Conclusion

This technology could be massive.

July 31, 2022 Posted by | Computing, Food, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vitamin B12 For Stroke Recovery: Understanding The Benefits & Safety Tips

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the FlintRehab web site.

I have posted the link, as I was talking to a doctor earlier and they might like to look at it.

Consider.

  • I am coeliac on a strict gluten-free diet.
  • Since the coeliac diagnosis in 1997, I have had a B12 injection every three months.
  • I had a serious stroke ten year ago.
  • Some doctors feel, I have made an excellent recovery from my stroke.

Could my regular B12 injections have aided my recovery?

Note, that I have cleaned up the Vitamin B12 tag in this blog.

July 26, 2022 Posted by | Food, Health | , , , | Leave a comment

A Trip To Skegness

Last Thursday, I took a trip to Skegness to get out of the heat.

I took these pictures on the way.

These are my observations and thoughts.

Changing At Grantham

A few minutes after getting off the LNER Azuma, the East Midlands Railway Class 156 train arrived at the opposite face of the wide platform.

Unlike some changes you get on trains in the UK, it was all rather painless and unhurried.

The change coming home was a bit slower, but there is a bar on the London platform, that serves a good selection of good beers.

Grantham To Skegness

The journey to Skegness took around an hour and a half and I arrived at 13:51.

Skegness Station

Skegness station is not the grandest, but it does have six platforms, which is probably a lot for just an hourly service from Nottingham and Grantham.

Skegness

I didn’t stay long, as it was surprisingly too cold and I hadn’t brought a coat.

Skegness To Grantham

The return trip was better, as the train was a more modern Class 170 train.

Surely, when East Midland Railways get their full quota of Class 170 trains, then the Poacher Line between Nottingham and Skegness will be one of the routes, where they will be used.

I also suspect that with 100 mph trains always running the service, as opposed to the Class 156 trains, which are only 75 mph units, there could be speed improvements on the line.

  • Grantham and Skegness is 58 miles.
  • There are a large number of level crossings.

An hour service between Grantham and Skegness could be possible and might generate more passengers.

Rolls-Royce MTU Hybrid PowerPacks

I wonder if this route could be improved by fitting the Class 170 trains with Rolls-Royce MTU Hybrid PowerPacks?

  • The hybrid technology would have a lower fuel consumption and allow electric operation in stations.
  • The prototype hybrid is already working on Chiltern Railways in a Class 168 train.
  • The Class 168 train is an earlier version of the Class 170 train and they are members of the Turbostar family.
  • Rolls-Royce are developing versions of these hybrid transmissions, that will work with sustainable fuels.
  • As we have a total of 207 Turbostar trainsets, these could be a convenient way of cutting carbon emissions on long rural lines.
  • As Rolls-Royce MTU are also developing the technology, so their diesel engines can run on hydrogen, it is not outrageous to believe that they could be on a route to complete decarbonisation of this type of train.

I believe that we could see hydrogen-hybrid Class 170 trains, with a Rolls-Royce badge on the side.

The Massive Greenhouse

I found that this was owned by Fountain Plants.

Is Lincolnshire going to grow the UK’s greens? Or at least give them a good start in life?

More greenhouses like this will enable the UK to create our carbon dioxide and eat it!

 

 

July 17, 2022 Posted by | Food, Hydrogen, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The New Entrance At Hackney Central Station – 2nd July 2022

The new entrance at Hackney Central station opened yesterday.

Note.

  1. The cafe must be fairly good, as it has two flavours of gluten-free brownies.
  2. I may have a touch of arthritis these days, but stairs like these are fine for me, as there are two right-handed paths.
  3. There is a second set of stairs down from the footbridge to speed passengers on their way to Hackney Downs station.
  4. There is a light-controlled crossing over Graham Road.
  5. Bus stops in both directions are only about twenty metres from the crossing.
  6. The station buildings appear to have green roofs.
  7. The is plenty of bike storage, but no car parking.
  8. There is no lift, although the design should allow one to be added later, if it is thought one is needed.

I’ve seen bigger budgets produce worse designed station entrances than this one.

My Use Of The Graham Road Entrance At Hackney Central Station

I suspect, I will use the new entrance mainly in one of two ways.

Going West On The North London Line

If I want to go west on the North London Line, the obvious one is to get a bus to Highbury & Islington station from the closest stop to my house and get the train from there.

But that route has got more difficult in recent years.

  • Our South London Mayor in his wisdom cut the 277 bus back to Dalston Junction station.
  • So there is only the 30 bus left and the route uses badly-designed Egyptian-built buses. I’ve nothing against Egyptians, but these buses don’t have the flat floor, that people expect from a bus these days.
  • Since the roundabout was rebuilt, it seems to be a longer and more difficult walk for pedestrians.

So I’d prefer to take another route.

  • Canonbury station is probably the closest station, but it is an uphill walk from my house.
  • Dalston Kingsland station is a possibility, but the steps to the platform aren’t the safest.
  • Dalston Junction station is another possibility, as it is step-free, but it means more changes of mode and train.

Going via the new Graham Road entrance has advantages.

  • From my house, there are frequent 38 buses to the new entrance.
  • The 38 bus stop at Hackney Central is only a few metres from the station entrance.
  • There is a coffee stall in the station entrance.
  • The steps in the entrance are easy for me.

I will try out this route the next time, that I go to the West on the North London Line.

Coming Home From Stratford With Shopping

If I need a big Marks & Spencer or a John Lewis, it is convenient to go to Eastfield at Stratford and come home on the North London Line.

I will usually use the The Canonbury Cross-Over to double-back and get a bus home from Dalston Junction station.

It is an easy route, but sometimes the trains mean a wait of nearly ten minutes at Canonbury station.

The new entrance at Hackney Central gives an alternative route.

  • You would get in the back of the train at Stratford.
  • Alight at Hackney Central.
  • Exit the station through the new entrance.
  • Cross Graham Road on the light-controlled crossing.
  • Walk about twenty metres to the 38 bus stop.
  • Wait for a frequent 38 bus.

Today, I waited just a minute.

Conclusion

The entrance was first mentioned in an article on Ian Visits in October 2019 and I wrote about it in Will Hackney Central Station Get A Second Entrance?.

In May 2021, I wrote £3m Hackney Overground Station Upgrade To Begin In June.

The entrance seems to have gone from a concept to reality in under three years and once the starting pistol was fired, it was built in under a year.

How many parts of the UK rail network could be improved, by small projects like this?

 

July 2, 2022 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Lizzie Line And Circle/District Line Interchange At Paddington – 1st July 2022

This morning I wanted to go between Moorgate and Victoria stations.

It is a journey that can be done in any number of ways.

  • Circle, Hammersmith & City or Metropolitan Line to King’s Cross St. Pancras and then change to the Victoria Line.
  • Northern Line to King’s Cross St. Pancras and then change to the Victoria Line.
  • Northern Line to Euston and then change to the Victoria Line. This can be a cross-platform interchange.
  • Northern City Line to Highbury & Islington and then change to the Victoria Line. This is not an easy interchange.
  • Northern Line to Bank and the change to the Circle or District Line.
  • Circle or Hammersmith & City to Paddington and then change to the Circle or District Line. This interchange involves a walk all the way across Paddington station.
  • 21, 43 or 141 bus to Monument and the change to the Circle or District Line.

If you’re lucky and time it right, you can get a direct Circle Line train, which run at a frequency of six trains per hour (tph).

The Elizabeth Line has opened up another way.

The Elizabeth Line is taken to Paddington and then you walk up the side of the station to the Circle/District Line entrance on the other side of Praed Street from the National Rail station.

These pictures show my walk at Paddington station.

Note.

  1. It is an immaculate step-free climb out of the Elizabeth Line station.
  2. Once at station level, it is a walk up a gentle incline the the Circle/District Line station.
  3. There are shops; including Boots, M & S and Sainsburys, and toilets just inside Paddington station, as you walk beside the station.
  4. There are stairs to walk down to the Circle/District Line platforms.

I walked the transfer in under ten minutes. From Moorgate to Victoria took 38 minutes.

I feel that this route has advantages for many travellers.

  • The Elizabeth Line currently has 12 tph through Paddington.
  • When the Elizabeth Line is fully connected up in Autumn 2022, there will be 22 tph, through Paddington.
  • The convenient shops and toilets will be welcomed by many.
  • It is an easier route, than accessing the Circle/District Line station from inside the main station.

The Lawn, which has shops and cafes, would also be a good place to meet friends, family or a business colleague or client.

Moorgate And Victoria Via The Circle Line

I did this route on the 5th of July, after waiting ten minutes for a Circle Line train. It took me 23 minutes.

July 1, 2022 Posted by | Food, Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment