Saturday, October 31, 2009

A nice warm Bath

I went with my parents today, to the lovely city of Bath.

We drove up past Stonehenge to Warminster. Then a packed First Great Western train there, and a South West Trains service (as packed & very late running) on the way back.

Saracens beat Bath 12 points to 11 (away) at The Rec. Not the most flowing game of rugby I have ever seen. However a win is a win, and we are still at the top of the table, unbeaten in the Premiership this season.

It was also a very mild afternoon. Bath is a very nice city...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Laziness has a cost

Like many modern households I have an automatic washing machine. It needs feeding with some form of detergent and perhaps also fabric softener.

When I moved a couple of years ago, the kitchen also had a dishwasher already built in - that too requires feeding with tablets and occasionally other concoctions.

All this feeding takes money. What I tend to do is, every few months, go out to a supermarket and buy all my cleaning consumables in one go. This usually results in my shopping basket of non-food costs me far more than the usual basket of edible consumables. The cost of laziness.

This morning I was however somewhat astounded to see how much more some mental laziness could potentially cost...

I visited Sainsburys in Beaconsfield who charge £2.45 for a 250ml bottle of Finish Rinse stuff. Adjacent to the same bottles were some special offer flashed packs suggesting that two 250ml bottles of the identical liquid be bought for £5.85. Sorry, but I am not paying 95 pence extra for the privilege of two bottles being bound together in even more packaging. Even I am not that stupid. I suspect however that many of the well heeled residents of Beaconsfield (I am neither well heeled or a resident of that town) will unnecessarily take advantage of this rubbish offer!

Many supermarkets clearly mark their shelves with an indication as to how much a product costs per item or per 100ml. If more people took note of those labels they could safe plenty of money. A sign of convenience shopping?

Beaconsfield is a strange place on a Sunday morning as half the world seems to go out for breakfast. At 10.05 am the cafe in the supermarket was nearly full, the Costa Coffee had a massive queue inside and the small independent Italian style cafe was bustling. Maybe it's not laziness, but it appears to me to be a sign of plenty of money!

If you want nature, not shopping, The Chilterns Conservation Board publishes a series of handy walking leaflets that offer walks of various lengths to and from train stations with services offered by Chiltern Railways. Whether you live in the Chilterns, want to escape from London, or are a visitor to these parts, they are to be recommended. Included in the series is a walk between Beaconsfield Station and nearby Seer Green & Jordans Station. A word of warning - most of the time, trains only stop at Seer Green once an hour in each direction so you are advised to start the walk from there.

The clocks have gone back

Across the UK everybody has had an hour extra overnight. That is because at 2.00 am British Summer Time the UK moved its clocks back an hour to 1.00 am Greenwich Mean Time.

I thank it means that the entire population will have either (a) had extra time in bed or (b) got up earlier than they needed to or (c) had to work an extra hour, because the world does not stop spinning.

For me it was (b).

There could be a fourth option in that some could have forgotten (or didn't know) about the change. If that is the case, the individuals concerned will find out soon enough and then presumably suffer a weird feeling of instant jet-lag.

There have been debates, as there always are, about whether the clocks should continue to go forward in the early hours of the last Sunday March, and back again in the early hours of the last Sunday in October. One such debate is the ongoing argument for Scotland to move to its own 'Tundra Time' with the rest of the UK moving to European Time.

Personally, I like getting up for a little while with some daylight - the evenings don't mean much to me at this time of year. My vote (not that we have one) is for keeping things as they are and to keep the existing programme of twice yearly clock changes.

Just a little point of further confusion - 'Daylight Saving Time' does not finish in the the USA and Canada until next weekend.

Hopefully the debate is now over, at least until the clocks go forward again on 29 March 2010.

Make the most of your day - it's light out there! Rural Buckinghamshire beckons to me- by the time I get back home late this afternoon, it will be pitch black, so I am going to make the most of it.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Behaving with decorum

Look.. I know this is the first off-peak train of the day, so you probably don't travel to London every day.

You look well into middle age and are possibly a married couple.

So why the heck are you sitting on opposite sides of the carriage?

Ah. I get it. You are entering the national Dom Joly impersonation competition and don't want to drown out each others' shouting.

Note: Mobile telephones have sensitive microphones. There is really no need to be quite so inconsiderate.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Quick turn-around

My train into Marylebone just now arrived about 30 seconds before it was scheduled to leave for Birmingham.

Don't worry folks, you've got time to get on. The driver needs to get to the front. Please let us off!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

You know it's Autumn when...

You get up and go outside, it is your normal time but the sky is still pitch black, except for the moon and the stars.

The only sound is that of a neighbour scraping the first frost of the season off their car windscreen.

Brrrr... It's a bit chilly out there.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Making up the numbers?

Two weeks ago, Saracens beat Gloucester at home 19 - 16. The official match attendance was 7,777.

Today, Saracens were again at home. This time they won 36-12 against Rovigo. There were 5,678 people at the match.


Monday, October 05, 2009

Can you imagine?

In the future, you might well be taking to a friend who lives thousands of miles away.

They say to you "So, what's the name of your President?"

"President?", you say. "We don't have a president - we have a Queen and a Prime Minister."

"Oh", they say. "I thought your President was Tony Bl...."

OMG is that what we are about to have dumped on us?

Pickled? Us? Stewed and well and truly skewered more like.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

A Busy Day

Today, I have been to Newcastle Upon Tyne for the day.

Two reasons - lunch with relatives, and to watch Saracens beat Newcastle Falcons away, 22 - 15.

I am not sure which was better, but it was a good day.

Departure from Chateau Centraluser in Rural Buckinghamshire was at 8.05 am this morning, arrival back was at 10.00pm just now. Not bad really seeing as we only landed at Heathrow at 9.09 pm and got off the plane at 9.21pm.

Can't rabbit on all night as I have to catch a train at stupid o'clock in the morning as it is to be, I think, my busiest day of the year at work.

Ho hum - well at least the rugby team I support are at the top of the table again.