Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Random dumped stuff - pt 1

Walking to the station this morning I found that there's a piece of unloved exercise equipment been dumped at the top of Brinkley Road that wasn't there when I came home last night. It's sadly unloved and in a poor and dusty condition so even if you were looking for a piece of rejected exercise equipment to adopt and call your very own I wouldn't recommend this one...

It makes a change from the metal bath tub that was left on the other side of the road not too long back and if the bin men don't take it today then hopefully the scrap vans circling the neighbourhood will scoop it up at some point soon.

Seriously folks it's not that difficult to take stuff to the Recylcing Centre at Kimpton Way and they even have a webcam so you can see how busy it is before you go
Of course your every move is probably being watched and the helpful employees of the recycling centre may be silently judging you based on the quality of your refuse but I couldn't possibly comment...

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Epic fail

Wow! That has to rate as one of the least successful attempts to resurrect a blog known to mankind, and it was all going so well up until then! 

By way of explanation when it all went silent I was heading to and fro to the Royal Marsden in Sutton for tests on a lump in my back over a period of weeks. Happily that all turned out to be fine but then I was almost immediately got taken out by a virus for a month. Once recovered I set about a mass of DIY and then rehearsing a band for a gig which took up all of my time though once that was I done I picked up another virus for a few weeks which was then followed by a kidney infection that took nearly a month to sort out! Plus I watched some football as there seemed to be lots of it on the TV for some reason. With all my blogging intentions now shattered like old plates in a Greek restaurant it's been difficult to know how to start back but here goes!

Among the exciting things I've let pass without comment are the new bridge at the station, the roadworks currently causing intermittent frustration and, well, everything else that's happened. I did intend to start writing more recently then this and attended a local fair with a camera and good intentions but one contributor's painful rendition of "Waltzing Matilda" left me so emotionally scarred I couldn't find it in myself to refer to the event as to do so would necessitate mention of said awkward incident. But now I have. Damn. 

As well as keeping the NHS busy I've managed to play and listen to an awful lot of music, take thousands of photos and lots of legally prescribed tablets,  and attend a fair selection of gigs (can you name the band?).
So anyway, I'm writing this from inside a Central London Costa on a cloudy summer lunchtime and while I still live in Worcester Park I find these days I'm less intrigued by your summer/winter fair or lost cat than I am about how you feel about them. I mean, everybody's got a story in them so I'm hoping to find some more interesting stories and situations to recount. I'm just hoping it's not more than six months until my next post tho... I'm not sure my kidneys could cope...

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Worcester Park restaurants named and shamed

Sorry for the desperately unimaginative title but I was just browsing the Sutton Guardian web site and I noticed that 10th in the "most read" column was that two Worcester Park eateries had been "named and shamed" for garnering a massive zero stars between them in the latest food hygeine results. The two in question are the Turkish Sheesh Mangal and the now-(in)famous Ryan Gate, both in Central Road.

You can find the Sheesh Mangal's rating here on the website:
and the Ryan Gate's rating here:

Obviously these inspections were carried out a while ago so hopefully things have improved since then and if you have any observations to offer then do feel free.

If you're ever strolling the streets of Worcester Park, or further afield, and spy a restaurant that takes your fancy but don't know whether to trust it then the Food Standards Agency has an app you can download for your Android or Apple smartphone so that you may be more confident that you won't be spending the night regretting your choice.

As for me I'll probably be in the Sunshine Cafe with their 5 star rating!

Want to give a shout to your favourite Worcester Park dining place?

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Another "Eh? What?" Moment

@SW_Trains map fail
After a long day's work on Friday I was heading back up to London in the evening to see a friend's band playing and was idling away a few minutes at Worcester Park station when while waiting for the train I noticed the sign shown left on the London-bound platform. Rather than being in "full commuter mode", namely keenly focused on reaching my designated spot on the platform with the sole aim of claiming the best available seat, I ambled casually around the station like a relaxed tourist and my eyes alighted on the local area map.

It is, as you can clearly see, a map and it is, as is also obvious, a local map.... just not of Worcester Park. For some reason South West Trains have decided to give us a map of New Malden to look at while we're waiting for our trains so if you had arrived at the station from afar and were wanting to find the tourist mecca that is Brinkley Road on it you would probably be both confused and sorely disappointed. I could speculate wildly as to why they've done that but I'll let you do that instead.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Win a free meal at Pizza Express in Worcester Park

I have to confess I'd never heard of the "Wiltshire Gazette and Herald" before but due to the group of newspapers that they belong to they're currently offering a competition to win one of five free meals, to the value of £40, at the new look Pizza Express in Worcester Park. If it was only the people of Wiltshire you were up against then I'd suggest you would have a good chance but I somehow suspect that won't be the case.

There's not much I can think of to add to this news so I'll shamelessly parrot what they've put on their competition page.

PizzaExpress is celebrating the launch of its exciting new-look restaurant at Worcester Park on 14 January by offering five fabulous prizes of a meal for two to the value of £40. 

This contemporary, open plan, naturally lit restaurant is situated in the centre of Worcester Park’s main High Street. 

Manager, Eddie Hotie, said, “We have a friendly and enthusiastic team who are looking forward to welcoming everyone to our beautifully refurbished restaurant over a delicious pizza.” 

I think that an Italian themed restaurant with a manager named Eddie could sound more intimidating if you made it something like "Fast Eddie" or "Slick Eddie" but in the world of Worcester Park it seems that plain old Eddie will have to do.

If you want to enter the go to the competition page here but if you're anything like Mrs Brinkster and myself you'll keep walking down the hill to The Brook and have something to eat there, which is exactly what we did last night for the first time since it was rebranded. I won't give a full review here but suffice to say I was pleasantly surprised.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

On the long list of things I don't understand

I took the photo shown here this morning and if it's not showing up for some reason then here's what it says  plus a synopsis of my reactions:

"From Monday 13 January the entrance to the booking hall from the station forecourt will be closed for up to four weeks"

Wait? What's the date today? Didn't I just come through that door?

"This closure is to allow for the construction of a new level access ramp into the booking hall"

Good! All in favour say "Aye!"

"Entry to the ticket office and booking hall will be via the side entrance and Platform 1. During this time the self-service ticket machine in the forecourt will not be available"

But wait again? Surely I just came in though the door that's supposedly closed!?!?

I know I can be tired at that time of the morning but by my calculation today is definitely the 16th of January and the door they've said is closed definitely isn't, two days after they said it would be. To compound my confusion the sign is actually facing the door they've just told me is closed! Now unless I've accidentally discovered time travel, in which case I'm off to buy some lottery tickets, then I'll put this down to some corporate planning cock-up and move on with my life.

Are you liking the new station works? 

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

River Wandle and Carshalton Park

I was planning to write something insightful and erudite this morning but as SW Trains decided to only send four carriages for the 6.27 and I find it difficult to write on the ipad while standing up and hanging on when limited to only two arms rather than the optimal three.

So instead I'll give you a couple of pics from the weekend of the source of the Wandle in Carshalton Park which is flowing for the first time in 15 years due to the recent heavy rains. I bumped into another photographer while I was there who said that he was there when it last flowed and he taken photos of it then on his film camera back before digital cameras came out and he could see pretty much all the way down to the high street but that the trees had grown over since then and obscured the view.. 

Hope you like the pics and normal service will resume imminently

Friday, 10 January 2014

I like taking pictures - part 1

I've always believed that people should have a hobby and one of mine is taking pictures. To wander out with a camera strap round my neck and capture what I find before me is one of my greatest, and most relaxing, pleasures. To call it photography might make it sound slightly pretentious and could give the impression that I do something more than paddle in the shallow waters of the art but for a paddler I think I do okay. I've had a few photos reused by different web sites and one even made it on to the BBC News site some time ago although that was because of the relevant content rather than style and composition. There is a certain thrill in having a photo picked up and reused by people but seeing as thrills don't pay bills, generally speaking, I'll stick with the day job, at least for now

My earliest memory of taking photos is one sunny 1970s summer day in the garden of our south coast house when I claimed the family camera and went around the garden taking photos of whatever I found interesting. At one point a jet flew high overhead and I took a photo of it and my young imagination thought that that the camera would magically transform it into one of those crystal clear pictures of planes that I would see in magazines showing the detail of every curve and rivet. When the pictures returned from the printers several weeks later there was a picture of a lovely blue summer sky with a barely imperceptible white dot in the middle. I found this disappointing.

I still have my budget, second hand Minolta SLR from the days of film and some of the photos from those days have a place in the various photo frames around the house. Given how much thought and effort I sometimes have to put into taking photos now I'm amazed that any of them came out so well but then those were simpler days in many ways although the wait to get photos developed was a nervous one and a feeling that I'm utterly and completely unable to communicate to my children. 

I think part of my desire to take photos of things is that my memory can be so appallingly bad. It's the same reason I hoard things like gig t-shirts and other stuff as without them I'm hard pressed to remember events with real clarity but when I pick them up and turn them over in my hands they open a door in my mind which memories come tumbling out of. Photos are the same for me in that they remind me of people, places and feelings and in some cases they help me rewrite my recollections and make them better than they originally were. I don't know if you've had that happen where you look at a photo of some bygone event with fondness and warmth only to remember much later that the captured smiles came amidst family arguments, miserable weather, interminable weddings or perhaps all three. I've tried reading books on how to get better at remembering and recalling things but it seems to me they share the same association to every day life as would taking household budgeting advice from Victoria Beckham or going out for a jog with Mo Farah. 

Anyway. My writing time draws to a close as Waterloo draws nearer so to the photos. The one at the top is one I'm pleased with which is a recent winter sunset from the hill in Worcester Park's Hamptons. The middle one is the photo that BBC used and the third is apparently my most reused photo on the internet which I took some years ago when doing some occasional writing for another web site. I when I checked this morning the most prominent link to it was from a Russian website so who knows how it got there.

There's so much I could write about this so I've tagged it as "part 1"...