Monthly Archives: December 2010

Christmas Day


I ended up going for an early morning cycle ride, saying ‘Merry Christmas’ to the odd single motorist and couples without kids walking about.

Travelling early in the morning on Christmas Day avoids all the famillies driving about, and all the teenage boy racers are at home and shops are closed. Whole famillies with several cars are blissfully stuck at home, until the sales. When the family is inside, the roads are a lot clearer, and a lot safer.

There were no cyclists about taking advantage of the wonderfully, clear roads which was surprising.

I got some nice pressies: some W H Smith vouchers, a body protector vest (for horse riding) but could be good for cyclists, a cycling top, a fleece, some chocs and some money, a couple of books, though not cycling orientated, some watercolour paints and brushes.

Merry Christmas


Happy Christmas to everyone.

We had no turkey until 5pm today due to the snow problems but my mother has managed to get one. It was going to be ‘chicken legs’ for Christmas and we couldn’t even get any goose either.

My mother has dropped a whole load of food, including salami, cheese, liquor chocolates and fruit which I am now working my way through. And, I have spotted a ‘cycling type present’ in one of the bags.

I finished work at 3pm and I am all set for a long holiday (well, five days).

Just one of my presents hasn’t arrived yet, but my brother who lives opposite me seems to have got some of my post.

A Christmas Puncture


Oh great!

I haven’t got much time to fix it this week but anyway, I will be walking to work anyway. There’s supposed to be even more snow tonight. I am actually enjoying my commute to work, every day has been ‘different’.

The Snow is Baaaak!


It was freezing and it was inevitable that were going to have more snow again. On the way back home in the evening blizzard people started talking to each other ‘It’s gone mad” and ‘the BBC weather forecast said it was not snowing!’

I stocked up earlier on more dried food, bread mix and even remembered the dried skimmed milk.

Now I just need stuff for power cuts, just in case, any ideas anyone?!

How to get out of the Christmas Party


I am not a huge party fan, well, I don’t really like being stuck with colleagues and all their gossiping, boring conversations and drunkeness. I am a close friend/one to one type person. And after work, I don’t really mix with my colleagues, well, only on a superficial front ie some of them like photography. I quite like intense, deep conversations and christmas parties just aren’t the right place, small talk just isn’t me!

Unfortunately, in a weak moment, I said ‘Yes’, after originally saying ‘No’ and already the hassle of it (finding a dress, buy a Secret Santa gift for a colleague that may not be a ‘buddy’ anyway) is a right pain when I could be doing something more constructive or more interesting. And already I am getting physical headaches of dread.

Work colleagues can’t bear to contemplate that some people hate work parties. I even have a ‘job’ going to Green Party/Cyclist’s parties. I just get very bored and start clock watching almost immediately:-) Everyone, it seems, has to go to parties. Well, there is no law!

Of course I will get the ‘aftereffects’ – oh you missed a great party and that kind of stuff. It could be tempting to say, ‘well, I had an even better time.”. “You were missed”, is another one they will try and plonk on you.

Nope, I am going to try and get out of this!

Here are my ideas:

1) Sorry, parties are not my thing (nothing wrong with being honest)

2) Sorry can’t make it (no explanation). As I have said Yes, already, I don’t think I can say this

3) My bf has invited me to a play (this won’t work for me as they know he is supposed to be coming)

4) Weather -hopefully it will be bad weather, ie snow!

5) Sorry, it goes against my religion and think of some spiel that goes with it

6) Lastminute ones are generally less ‘believeable’ ie my son is sick.

Tweeters have suggested:

double book with a last minute treat, tickets from some relative to a play that they already bought and you can’t change..?

Problems of Bottled Water


I am starting to watch Open University programmes, and I came across this one on bottled water.

I don’t really use bottled water very much at all, and have had no problems asking for tap water in restaurants. I thought this video was very good.

Celebration, Florida, a Rich People’s ‘Disney’ Community Village


Celebration was built to the ethos of Disney. Everything has to be ‘perfect’, so much so that they ‘have to use the right compost’. Apparently it has an anti-car philosophy, where golf carts take priority over cars and kids can play in the streets and there has only been a tiny amount of crime – one bicycle theft and recently a murder. Houses here are extremely expensive. I’d be very interested in their road safety stats.

The place is so fake that they have to ‘bring in autumn leaves’:-

and in December, they bring in fake snow (soap)

This is what I like, the Speeding Motorists Death Pond at Celebration when they had to try and slow down to 35mph.

Le Weekend


I went to J’s new pad in Peckham which is just a short walk from the station. It was a nice walk going past the Caribbean groceries and women having their hair done at the many Salons.

We had just been to St Paul’s Cathedral where they had a choir with harps. There was a massive queue at 4.30pm for the recital at 5pm and we wondered whether we would get in.

Well, we did and it was very good, lovely architecture although it was a bit annoying to be behind a couple snogging:-)

Some of the songs were done in latin, and being interested in old stuff, I really liked it.

We had a meal at lunchtime to celebrate Christmas (even though we aren’t Christian!) although we couldn’t get a Christmas meal as we would have to book it. Instead we went to another restaurant in Covent Garden and had a delicious risotto and creme brulee. However, we discovered that the waitress didn’t get all the tip and she said that the company had the rest. (We are going to take this up with trading standards) and she got less than half. Instead we gave her cash directly.

The next day we hiked to the Hornimum Museum which was quite a long trudge (particularly in my boots).

Here’s a cafe we saw in East Dulwich, with some great recycled-plate frontage:-

Freezing pond in Peckham

Walking past the Legal Bookshop along Fleet Street, saw this cute little owl.

The Secret Garden in the park in Peckham Rye, and below the Horniman Museum

An ‘old’ sweetshop in Covent Garden, where most of the customers seemed to be adults. We bought some sherbert in there.

A crap cycle path.. I wonder if they got CTC approval for this?

No anti-social men on scooters – Horniman Gardens

A lovely little cafe in East Dulwich, where they even sold ‘The Chap’ magazine, you can imagine the Tweed crowd coming here.

Last Minute Christmas Shopping


This maybe the first time ever that I won’t be buying any wrapping paper. It feels weird.

For some people I will get vouchers – in fact, there are some good ones that the Post Office do ‘for several shops’, so there is something for everyone. Fortunately these people I am giving them to like vouchers, so I won’t get the ‘sulk’ treatment. It’s weird also, that I won’t be lugging any large shopping bags around and trying to balance them on my bike, or forgetting things like selotape. And no need to shop at Bluewater and fight my way there. Then I bought stuff online, and hopefully the gifts will arrive by Saturday. Some of these places have deadines and one of them was today.

I bought a National Trust membership for my photographer brother, this will keep him amused for 12 months, and it will save him a lot of money too. National Trust properties are very expensive to get in.

Then I gave J a tea for 2 at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, we both like architecture and both of us haven’t been there. It also includes a tour. We are both very partial to teas and cream teas. Then I gave him a personalised Romeo & Juliet book, and we chucked in our names as Romeo & Juliet and included some Conservative politicians, a comedian, some Carry On stars and pompous Prince Andrew! I thought Prince Andrew would be a good Count Paris.

Tomorrow I just need to get some Post Office Vouchers and really that’s it.

From Wheels to Poles


I bought some of walking poles from the camping shop. I got 2 for the price of 1.

They are quite funky, and it is weird to feel that it is hard to slip with those things. I don’t feel like an old lady at all, but ‘an explorer’.

I am looking forward to trying them out on my footpath home. I look like someone who is ‘well prepared’ for the snow! OK, it feels a bit nuts at first, but then it feels even more nuts to walk on snow and ice WITHOUT them!