Sunday, 28 December 2008

Weather Alert!

I was somewhat disturbed yesterday to read Metcheck's prediction for Saturday's weather:

They seem to have changed their collective minds this morning but I did spend a minute wondering how weather like that would change the Worcester Park scenery.

I hope you all survived, or even enjoyed, Christmas!?!? We went off to "Narfuk" for a bit of relative-spotting but have been happy to return to the relative sanity of Worcester Park... Much happen while we were away?

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Bah humbug

Apparently the spirit of Christmas has deserted Waitrose car park this morning with people hooting and shouting at each other as they vie for the handful of parking spaces. If we see the police helicopter circling overhead and taste the tang of tear-gas in the air we'll know it's got out of hand.

They're probably from Banstead...

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Neighbourly spirits

We had a lovely evening in the distinguished and delightful company of some of our friends and neighbours last night, who came round to celebrate the Christmas season and the end of our recent decorating by drinking bubbly (or an appropriate alcohol-free beverage) and consuming mince pies. Many thanks to all of you who came and for those that received the last-minute invitation but couldn't make it... we missed you! We'll have to do it again some time soon.

It was a particular pleasure for me to have Mrs and Mrs Worcester Park Blogger in Brinkster Central for the first time, incognito of course, and knowing that none of our close neighbours who were there are blog readers (sorry you couldn't make it Steve!) I trust they've maintained their cover.

In more regular news the shop formerly, and somewhat inaccurately, known as the "Variety Store" (on the right, below) has now been renamed "Food and Wine" which, while more technically correct, suggests a greater abundance of those items than is strictly the case.

A new photo is in order I guess.

With the downturn in the economy we've seen a few shopfronts empty out and the former Andrews Estate Agents is on the market for a rent of £15,600 PA. Any shop owners want to let me know how that compares?? We were commenting last night on the fact that one effect of the downturn is that it's easier to get a parking space on Brinkley Road nowadays, which doesn't bode well for the restaurant trade.

As today's my last day at work before Christmas and I'm "demob-happy" I give you fair warning that updates may become more sporadic over the holiday period as we entertain the extended Brinkster Family, and I'm sure you've got plenty of things to do too, so if I don't catch you before the event... have a great Christmas!!

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Train troubles

It's early, and thanks to overrunning engineering works at Wimbledon the trains are up the creek so I'm waiting for a 93 to whisk me to Morden. It'll be a bit longer but the train times website is being so vague it should be more reliable.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Ow. By dode!

If anyone has a spare nose could they let me borrow it. Mine's broken :(

We noticed on Saturday (or was it Sunday) as we drove past that the long-since-closed TV repair shop on the corner of Central Road and Windsor Road had a big van outside and that TVs were being moved from the shop into it. I'm not taking this as a sign of imminent development in the shop, more like someone's thought of a way they might be able to get a few quid for the TVs.

Coincidentally on Sunday evening almost exactly the same spot provided the action, as the Parkerilla relates:
"Walked up Central Rd and passed Windsor Rd (where Pizza express is) at 7.15 this evening (Sunday) and road was blocked off with one rapid response fire vehicle, two fire engines, one rapid response ambulance and one ambulance. Involved the flats above Mike's Music Store, saw an elderly man in a dressing gown being helped into the ambulance (walking wounded) and firemen setting up a portable pump for something or other. Walked past again at 7.30 having been to Sainsbury's and road still blocked off with ambulance and fire engines and firemen pumping something or other. Not a false alarm, something serious happening."

If anyone can fill in any more detail then please comment below or drop me an email.

Lastly the final phase of the SEN Transport debate takes place today, as the Local Guardian relates:
"Sutton executive councillors voted on Monday for pick-up points for a potential 85 special needs children in the borough once risk assessments were completed. But opposition councillors called back the motion the following day over concerns the proposals were too vague and would not reduce savings as expected. A final vote will now take place at the full meeting of the council today."

Speaking about the disabled children in question
...executive member for young people Councillor Tony Brett Young said he disagreed with criticism of the council over its suggestion the plans would benefit the health and wellbeing of the youngsters. He said: “Walking is healthy and for many it’s an opportunity to expand life experiences."

Let's see if the Lib Dems will toe the party line and use their majority to push this through or if they'll entertain an independent viewpoint.

Friday, 12 December 2008

British pride!

Some of you may not be aware that we've had a fine athlete in our midst for years who, having been born and bred in Worcester Park, followed the path of True Love™ to Cobham earlier this year.

Phil Wicks is a long distance runner and belongs to the Belgrave Harriers athletics club and on Sunday you can either set the Sky+ or watch live on BBC2 from 1pm when Phil is representing England in the 15th European Cross Country Championships taking place in Belgium. He has Olympic aspirations for 2012 and you'll be able to read my interview with him about running and Worcester Park in January's Worcester Park Life.

In the meantime for those who need a chuckle here are a few credit crunch jokes:

Q: How do you define optimism?
A: A banker who irons five shirts on a Sunday.

Q: What's the difference between an investment banker and a large pizza?
A: The pizza can still feed a family of four.

Q: Why have estate agents stopped looking out of the window in the morning?
A: Because otherwise they'd have nothing to do in the afternoon.

Q: What's the difference between an investment banker and a pigeon?
A: The pigeon is still capable of leaving a deposit on a new Ferrari.

A lobbyist on his way home from Parliament is stuck in traffic. Noticing a police officer, he winds down his window and asks: 'What's the hold-up?' The policeman replies: 'The Prime Minister is so depressed he's stopped his motorcade and is threatening to douse himself with petrol and set himself on fire. 'He says no one believes he can get us through the credit crunch. So we're taking up a collection for him.' The lobbyist asks: 'How much have you got so far?' The officer replies: 'About 40 gallons, but a lot of people are still siphoning.'

Latest news: The Isle of Dogs bank has collapsed. They've called in the retrievers.

Q: What do you say to a hedge fund manager who can't sell anything?
A: A Quarter-pounder with fries, please.

Overheard in a City bar: 'This credit crunch is worse than a divorce... I've lost half my net worth and I still have a wife.'

The bank returned a cheque to me this morning, stamped: 'insufficient funds.'
Is it them or me?

A man had an account with RBS and went to his bank manager and said: 'I'd like to start a small business. How do I go about it?' 'Simple,' said the bank manager. 'Buy a big one and wait.'

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

I can has blog post

If you can't see the images in this post I guess you're surfing from work and your web filters are blocking them... try again later from home...

The amusement of the minute in the Brinkster household is which is the spiritual centre of the 'lolcat' phenomenon, which Wikipedia soberly describes as:
"an image combining a photograph, most frequently of a cat, with a humorous and idiosyncratic caption in (often) broken English—a dialect which is known as “lolspeak,” ”kitteh,” or “kitty pidgin” and which parodies the poor grammar typically attributed to Internet slang"

Anyway, if you're bored (like me) in a meeting (like me) and have a web capable phone (like me) then join me in using up the internet's valuable bandwidth in the name of self-humouring. Oh all right then... the rest of you can do it too... and here's a couple of my favourites to get you started:

If you're reading this kids..... look away now...

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

I have seen the future

Mild chuckle alert from this morning's Metro where "business leaders" were warning against blocking fast-food outlets from opening within 400m of a school. Their dire prognostication was that:
"The move to block fast food outlets opening within 400m of schools, youth centres or parks will lead to streets 'riddled with charity shops and hairdressers' ".

Either we're living in the future or they haven't been to Worcester Park.......

A useful Christmas service from WH Smiths is the ability to order online but have the items delivered to your nearest WH Smiths branch rather than your home. This is useful for people who are out all day and can't take deliveries at home but also for those who don't have a problem with home delivery but don't want their kids or significant other to see what's arriving.

Any last minute shopping hints for me?

I hope your Christmas shopping's going well, if you haven't finished already.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Little things please little minds

Those of you who, like me, have to attend meetings may have heard of the expression "death by Powerpoint" and one attendee on a 10-day BT training course related to me how he was told that the most important thing in his package of course materials was the elastic band that held the course notes together...... because you could put it around your wrist and flick it to help stay awake.

Last night I sat through a couple of hours of Powerpoint presentation with a speaker who managed to make a potentially dull subject quite interesting and I learned a lot of useful facts and information. His forte obviously wasn't public speaking which made his achievement even more laudable but he he did tend to have the habit of saying "sort of" and "ermm". Quite a lot. Being slightly anarchic in nature I couldn't resist turning this into a game so I began keeping a count of the number of times during each slide that he said "soft of, ermm"..... not just "sort of" and not just "ermm" but it had to be "sort of, ermm". One slide provoked a few questions and probably as a result of that he peaked at a massive fourty-five "sort of, ermm"s for that slide while I desperately avoided the gaze of the person next to me (who was in on the game) for fear that would both erupt into laughter.

So what little things do you do to liven things up a bit?

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Appeal for witnesses

A request from Surrey Police:

Submitted: 02/12/2008 12:52:22
Detectives at east Surrey are appealing for witnesses following an attempted robbery in Worcester Park. The incident happened near St Mary’s Church, The Avenue, at 5.15pm yesterday evening (Monday, 1 December).

A 29-year-old woman was walking her dog when she was approached by two men one of the suspects grabbed the dog’s lead and demanded the woman’s purse, mobile phone and keys.
The suspect pushed the woman into a fence causing an injury to her left cheek. The two suspects then left empty handed.

The first suspect is described as a white man, between 5ft 8’ and 5ft 10’ tall, medium build, brown hair with highlights, aged approximately 16 years old, a fair complexion, acne, a large spot on his left cheek and a curved spike piercing through his left eyebrow. He was wearing a black hooded top which had a bio hazard motif on the front and baggy trousers.

The second suspect is described as a white man, aged approximately 16 years old, medium build, shorter than the first suspect and he may have had purple highlights in his hair. He was wearing baggy trousers and a chain around his waist.

Investigating officer Detective Constable Leigh Wall said: “This was an unprovoked and frightening incident. The young woman has been left incredibly shaken by her ordeal and it is clear we need to identify the two men responsible.

“Officers are carrying out a number of enquiries including reviewing CCTV footage from the area but we need the community to come forward and assist us further. The victim has provided us with an excellent description of the main suspect, it is a very distinctive description and I am confident someone will know who this man is.

“On this occasion the would-be robbers left empty handed but they may strike again. Surrey Police will not tolerate any form of violent crime and I am appealing to people to think back. Do you remember seeing a struggle taking place along The Avenue last night? It is a busy main road and the incident occurred during rush hour – were you in the area at the time? Or perhaps you remember seeing two men matching the suspects’ descriptions walking along the road? Even the smallest piece of information could make all the difference to my investigation.”

Can you help? Were you in The Avenue, Worcester Park, last night (Monday, 1 December) at 5.15pm? Anyone with information should contact Surrey Police on 0845 125 2222 quoting reference EP/08/4006.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Don't hold your breath (or maybe do)

Michael left a comment this morning about the traffic in which he uttered the fatefuly words "I wonder how much carbon is pumped into the atmosphere while motorists wait for no one!" which offers me the near perfect opportunity to demonstrate the new green tardis.

The picture below shows the pollution stats for the last week and you'll see that on most commuting days there's a peak in the morning and a peak in the afternoon, which goes some way to demonstrating how bad the traffic was.

On Saturday (30th) you can see a constant rumble of traffic and on Sunday there's not much at all, so although I can't give you an amount in tons (or tonnes) of pollution this gives you an idea. If you want to see some more green tardis stats then you can find them in the feed on the left or click here.

I've been wracking my brain (cell) to try and think of what to say about the new KFC that's accurate and witty without a hint of rudeness but I'll have to settle for "it looks very nice". I wonder if some of the regular clientele will worry that it's been turned into a Gordon Ramsay joint and that those people who eat in will worry that their food might be delivered to their table by someone with a spectacular French accent who will describe it in immense detail as they give it to them:

"Sir has chosen a zinger burger with the mayonnaise lightly drizzled, accompanied by the zinger sauce and french fries, and for madame..."

It does look good though so hats off to them for putting the effort in on the decor..... now for the menu ;)

Monday, 1 December 2008

Windsor Road closure

Following my observation about yesterday's closure of Windsor Road I've found out what it's about:

1. The Council of the London Borough of Sutton hereby gives notice that in order to facilitate the installation of traffic signal ducting in the carriageway, and because of the likelihood of danger to the public arising from the said works, it intends to make an Order the effect of which will be to temporarily close Windsor Road to all classes of vehicular traffic at all times.
2. The Order will come into effect on Sunday 30 November 2008 with the works expected to take two Sundays to complete. However, the Order will remain in force for 18 months to be re-introduced should further works be required. Note: these dates may change due to adverse weather conditions and/or works progress.

The good news is that it looks like it's related to coordinating the assorted traffic lights in Worcester Park to help speed up the traffic? Leaving for work early as I do I haven't noticed the effect on the traffic but has the closure made it better or worse?