Monday, 24 February 2014

G & S and Major Sortout.

This weekend was extremely busy. My Saturday started early in Richmond with a Barista skills course run in conjunction with Rosie & Java Tea and Coffee Merchants on Paved Court. It was great fun and very interesting, but most importantly, I now make a better Espresso and understand how to get the best out of my little machine. The course was part of my Birthday Present from The Man, so I have managed to make my last Birthday last three months, which is a result, particularly after the bad time I had over the previous one. And I am now a certified Barista.

I met some very interesting people on the course, not least of all a couple who are hoping to open an independent Cafe in West Ealing later in the year. They are really keen and seem determined to make a real go of it. I have asked them to let me know when they are due to open so I can let my friends around there know and see if we can drum up some trade.

No sooner had the Barista course finished but I was back in my car and heading for Hampton Hill Playhouse for a meeting about a show we are involved in later in the year. I was dreading the journey as there was an International Rugby match at Twickenham due to kick off at 4pm. Happily there was not too much traffic on the back roads, so I made good time and was only a few minutes late.

Oh how I have missed singing G & S, it is just such fun and even pieces I don't know well are a dream to sing. We had about an hour of running through the plans and some of the Choruses and then spent some time with the MD going through some solo pieces to give him an idea of what we can all do. Now we just wait to hear who has been allocated what.

Quick drive home and then off again, this time by bus and tube to the Hackney Empire and the all Male production of HMS Pinafore. The journey would have been quicker if there had not been engineering works on the Overground Line, but it was not too bad.

The production was extremely good, not quite as good as the Iolanthe we saw them do a couple of years ago, but Iolanthe is a better piece. The guys that took the female parts were amazing, particularly the Josephine,  who was hitting the high notes with such precision; I would love to be able to sing with that amount of gusto and ease.

Sunday was a day for sorting out. For months I have been saying I should sort out my Scrap Books. I don't tend to have much of a plan for which photos I use each time, and certainly don't have any plan for which book I put each page in.

Well I do now! After four hours of sorting I am now properly organised. I have gone through each book to see were the gaps are and have also gone through the photos I already have printed to see which I can already fill, to which question the answer is 'quite a lot'. So I now have a proper plan for what I am doing this coming weekend when I have three days at a local Crop. I just want to get started now.

The down side of all the organisation is that I now need some more Scrapbooks, so three new books have duly been ordered. I just hope they arrive by Thursday so I can take one with me to keep my work tidy over the weekend.

So a very busy weekend all round, with lots of variety. Now I can go to work for a rest; I wish!

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Why do they do it - Part 2

I thought the sights on the way home yesterday were bad enough, but today has knocked those into touch.

A mother got on the train with two  children and proceeded to deposit one of them in a Priority seat and the told the sibling to share the seat. OK, so we know that I don't do Children, but I am a sibling, so I know that the idea of quietly sharing a small space with your sibling is never going to happen. To make matters worse, the children were repeatedly told to behave and that if they didn't they would not be going out for a meal. Well guess what, they didn't behave and they are going out for a meal. In fact their behaviour got steadily worse the more they realised their mother was not going to follow through with her threat. No surprise there then.

The shining star of the journey was a child of much the same age offering her seat to the Mother so she could sit down. Well there's a thought! The offer having been declined, she sat quietly until the end of her journey.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Why do they do it?

OK, so I get that I don't get the whole parenting thing, but why do parents think it is a good idea to travel with their children during the rush hour. I know it's the school holidays, and I know they have as much right to use public transport as anyone else, but it is clear that they get stressed by the experience (at least I hope they don't behave like that all the time), so why do it at a time when it will be at its worst?

In the space of only ten minutes waiting for my tube home, I saw three families  that were nearly separated by the doors closing between the parents and their children. In all three cases the parents had got on the train first and the children had dawdled behind. Happily for the families, the platform staff spotted the problem each time and signaled to the driver to open the doors again. Whilst this solved the immediate problem, I dread to think what it did to the timetable, particularly as it was three different trains.

On which point, Bob Crow may wish to take note that it was staff on the platform who dealt with the problem, had they been in a ticket office there would have been a herd of lost Children to deal with. I have to say that at the station in question, the staff on the platform at rush hour have the patience of saints. It is a station that serves a popular tourist attraction for both English and non English speakers. The staff are always calm and polite; I give them three well deserved cheers.

But back to the question posed, why would you put yourself through the discomfort of travelling in the rush hour if you can avoid it. It is not that pleasant for those of us who have to travel during the rush hour, so if you have the opportunity to avoid it by travelling a wee bit earlier , why wouldn't you? I would add that it would also help preserve the nerves of those of us who have had long stressful days at work, children talking excitedly about their day's experiences may be endearing to their parents, but to the rest of us it is annoying noise at a time when you want some calm.

Please parents, have a think about not travelling at the busiest time with your little cherubs.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Just as I thought it was getting better

The News reports have all been saying that the situation along the Thames is meant to be getting better, with water levels subsiding. They are predicting that levels may rise again as rain further upstream runs off the waterlogged land, but that there should be a few days of respite first. I was surprised, therefore, to find that The Old Deer Park by Twickenham Bridge has its temporary (hopefully) lake back.

Now, it is possible that this is due to a high tide earlier this morning, which was about 4.7 meters,  but that is not an unusually high tide, so I think it is unlikely that was the cause. Possibly it was the combination of a high tide and water logged ground causing the water table to rise. Whatever it was, let's hope the situation sorts itself out soon and all those unfortunate people whose homes and businesses are under water, get some respite soon.

Roll on some fine weather.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Well that was strange.

Today was a decidedly odd day.

The weather forecast was all over the place, this time in a good way as the rain that was forecast did not really make an appearance.

I had an odd occurrence as I was washing up my morning coffee mug. I thought something had broken off it, but it was the varnish off one of my nails. It fell off in one piece, so I have spent the remainder of the day sticking it back on with Pritt Stick, which was partially successful.

The District line to Richmond has been very 'dot and carry one', firstly claiming that there was no train and then one turned up and crawled its way to Richmond. Why are there so few tube trains to Richmond anyway? Is it because SW Trains runs there too? I can almost understand that, although Wimbledon is covered by SW Trains too, so that makes no sense.

Oh well, just an odd day with odd thoughts I guess.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Not Too Much Rain, YET?

Having been alerted to the probability of another downpour, it appears that, so far today we have not had what was threatened. In The City we had quite a soaking over the lunchtime period, with high winds and what appeared to be some sleet. Suitable numbers of inside out umbrellas were abandoned, some were even put in rubbish bins, although most were left on the pavement for others to trip over or clear away.

As I left the office this afternoon, the sun was out and the sky clear. So, I ask myself, did The Met Office get it wrong, or is the rain waiting until the rush hour to see if it can catch lots of people out? For those poor souls who are being seriously hit by this flooding, particularly those along the Thames, I really hope that this is The Met Office being overly cautious.

On personal note, having opted for the waterproof jacket and boots and left the umbrella at home, I only feel slightly silly. At least I have the knowledge that my precautions kept me warm and dry when I ventured out at lunchtime, and may yet prive to be the sensible option, after all, I'm noy home yet!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Time to start Blogging Again

In these days when there are apps on phones for everything, including Blogger, I often wonder why I find it so difficult to keep my Blog up to date. I keep promising myself that 'Today will be the day', but as a general rule I then fail to do anything.

But today is that day, finally I am posting again, not a long post I admit, but a post none the less.

The tube strike is off, for the moment at least, and the rain is still coming, with much more still to come I fear. Only a very short distance from where we live there are people with flooded homes; my heart goes out to them.

Having dieted in January, loosing over half a stone, I am now following the 5 and 2 diet as I am determined to get back to a better weight. Not that I have ever been seriously overweight,  but it has slowly crept up and it is time for it to stop. Walking up 6 flights of stairs to get to my desk each day is helping to get my fitness back, so with a focus on the goal I will get there in the end.

And here's hoping the Blogging keeps up too.