Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Boats, Trains & Automobiles

I’m sure Hay is going deaf. I tested her last night by standing at the other end of the caravan and saying: “Can you hear me?” Nothing. I stood nearer and again said: “Can you hear me?” Again nothing. I went right next to her and repeated the question once more. This time she said: “good heavens, for the third time, yes!”

Some bloke in Naples has invented the first snot gun, which could cause havoc at international airports around the world, as it’s virtually undetectable without sneezing powder – and even then there’s an attendant risk of the owner killing someone during the process of discovery.

Now that the A Level A grade has less intrinsic worth than a piece of used toilet paper, Oxford is asking for nothing less than a full set of A* grades as evidence of a candidate being able to perform rudimentary spelling and simple mental arithmetic.

Made it to the Boat Show yesterday, but was a tad annoyed when I got chucked off the return train at Reading because I came back an hour earlier than the train I’d booked. I thought the ticket was an off-peak return, but apparently if you book your trains online then you have to stick to the exact trains you booked – even in the middle of off-peak times. Nice way for the train operators to make extra dosh if you miss your connection. I jumped on the next train home from Reading, but got chucked off again at Swindon, having to wait an hour for my booked train. I wouldn’t have minded, but the trains were practically empty.

It’s been a while since I’ve travelled on the London underground during the morning rush hour (it’s about 10 years since I worked there) and noticed that whereas commuters used to read books or newspapers, they now play games on their touch-screen mobile phones or iPads.

Here are some photos:

Royal Victoria Dock (the Boat Show venue) – but not as I remember it. In the background are the Millennium Dome and Canary Wharf.

This is a statue of a bunch of dockers outside the ExCel Exhibition Centre. It’s a nice touch how the cable appears to be suspended from thin air in the manner of a sky hook.

This was outside the venue too – the new Range Rover Evoque. Bit draughty, if you ask me, and a bit light on protection.

Did take some photos of the boats, but they weren’t very good due to the lighting.


  1. Love the sky-hook picture, a metaphorical treasure trove!

  2. That first paragraph is a classic. I want to cut it out and paste it in a book.

  3. Steve: Indeed!

    Alan: It's an old one, but a classic.