July 28th, 2006


Another week gone…..

To sum up….just Blah.

Things I'm currently appreciating:

The rear design aspect of Vespa scooters.
Summer flowering jasmine.
Iced coffee and icecream.
Women in flowy cotton summer dresses.
Cold beer.
Film 4 on freeview.
Repeats of CSI:NY.
Working through the 10 Star Trek films on DVD

Things I am currently not appreciating:

The heat.
Crowds of stupid tourists.
People walking in groups and suddenly stopping.
People reading or on mobiles walking /stopping in front of me.
Absence of air conditioning on trains.
Rude people demanding fencing courses.
No Doctor Who on BBC tv.
CSI: Miami.
Not being able to find my cheque book.
Watching films in bits, not one sitting.

I think I'm a bit grumpy and I have a headache geminating somewhere in the deep dark recesses of my head …there's currently a lot of scope for it to expand…..unhindered.

My jury service at the Old Bailey has been deferred again - some Aussie temp phoned my up to yesterday to say they'd called too many jurors to the court during the week after next and asked me if I wouldn't mind going to Kinston. I did…. So now deferred to 4 September.

I very briefly, skipped through the select scene options on my Close Encounters DVD last night. It looks pretty sharp good but dated image transfer. The end scene of the interior of the mother ship is cut and there were a couple of passes of the spacecraft which looked different though these could just be the result of restoring the stock. I shall make sure I watch this all the way through in one sitting.

Had a training course earlier this week - Taking the Lead – Managing your Career. It was very well facilitated but attended by a fair few "tap suckers and window lickers" (thanks for that Pat) for whom the current changes within the Department for Crazed Lunatics & Gimps are probably one change too many. I thought the course was very thought provoking and the challenge is to identify how to direct and influence my career options and mesh these with life choices. One way and another this has been a very eventful year so far with many anniversaries, losses, changes and challenges. The course made me think and I haven't stopped thinking yet….. maybe I should try to affect my life more, be more proactive about decisions and directions. Maybe I'm better off just waiting and seeing how things pan out….maybe it's all a bit too deep for this kind of heat. Certainly, when I do a Ctrl Alt Del on the old noggin the task list is looking kind of heavy and there's not much RAM at present….

Things bouncing around the old bonce:

You Tube, what's it all about.
Should probably sort out revised quote for new fence.
Should probably write response to fencing grant offer.
Should probably sort out will.
Should probably buy canes for my tomatoes.
Should probably stop buying figures…..
Wonder where Telemeister has gone.
Need to start to arrange the Fencing Summer BBQ round and Chateau Wren
Want to get more motivated about the stack of work I have on but can seem to dig into and clear…..and it's increasing steadily…..
Why were there 2 DC9s flying round the Mog in formation last night- a Cartography flight ??

I'm glad I'm not a tree....

We Brits are famous the world over for banging on about the weather rain or shine - I think it's something in the national psyche.

But I am noticing some alarming side effects in the natural environment associated with the scorching weather.

The tram which I get to work travels through a farmland, woodland, ornamental gardens and parkland areas. All are suffering one way or another.

The grain fields on the farm have been harvested early and the hay cut and baled and the 'pick your' crops don't appear to have happened. The Chestnut trees have dried up and are dropping their leaves. The Chestnuts themselves are well formed and will be fully grown shortly - same with horse Chestnut. Rowan and Silver-Birches are wilting their leaves dried out and looks like their fruit will fail - bad news for the bird life.

Even the oaks are looking decidedly lacklustre. The grassland is scorched brown.

It the garden my 6m cotoneaster is wilting like a pot plant.

I am putting plenty of water out for the birds. This has brought blackbirds and even greenfinches to the garden - rare visitors to my bird table which prefer to hang out in the surrounding countryside and woodland.

In central London the London Plains are shedding their bark and their boughs.

I'm not sure that the heavy storms forecast will be enough to stop the damage that has already been done.

It's a tough job being a tree....

(no subject)

Ok random thoughts led to an internet search.

The route was as follows:

1. Comments made re Ellefurtle knocking breaking stuff, described as Furtled.

2. 'Furtled' explained as something that just happens around a Furtle.

3. Developed weird notion of a Furtlegiest - a friendly spirit which messes with polystone Batman sculptures.

4. bored at lunch time - search for ghost/paranormal websites - look for a local one in Croydon. Found one ! Read local stories.

5. become Very unsettled.

Are you sitting comfortably. Then I'll begin….

I am not given to flights of fancy, I chose the confirmation name Thomas for a very good reason. While I believe that there are more things in this world than we can possibly understand I retain a pragmatic objective but ostensibly sceptical disposition towards things of a paranormal nature.

I have just had discovered something most unsettling.

Now I used to fence regularly at Caterham Fecning club which has subsequently relocated to Banstead (long story), the hall there was supposed to be haunted but I certainly never saw or felt anything untoward. In fact I have been in many haunted places and never seen or felt anything that I couldn't explain.

I live in Croydon and often use the M25. Mostly I use the Orpington Junction (4) but often use junction 6. The Caterham junction. To get to junction 6 you have to use the Caterham Bypass. It is a bleak section of Duel Carriageway largely unlit and until relatively recently even the barriers and lane dividers were quite old but these were replaced within the last 18 months and the road layouts updated. Mid way along the bypass is a dark frankly ominous concrete bridge. The bypass snakes through a cutting in a hill and through some undulating farmland surrounded by high hedges and scrappy bits of woodland.

I have often driven down it at night it's the point of the drive where you mentally lower your speed having come off the motor way and approach more built up areas with speed cameras. It is not by any stretch of the imagination a pretty piece of countryside through which to drive.

I have often thought the austere concrete bridge quite ominous and on occasions even had freaky thoughts about crashing into it. But nothing more than these random weird thoughts really.

About a week or so ago I was driving towards Croydon on this stretch of road and I experienced the most uncomfortable creepy sensation I have ever felt. It was as if I the car around me was stripped away and I was just hurtling along the road completely 'unprotected' , I was covered in goosebumps and shivered although I wasn't cold. The feeling was so sudden and so uncomfortable I hit the accelerator and raced towards the roundabout.
As soon as I approached the round about the feeling subsided and I didn't really give it much thought. Though it brought to my mind stories about buluebell hill near Rochester in Kent where a womans ghost has often been seen.

Then I read this article

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Suddenly not so far away...

One of my friend Christines' close friends is from Lebanon. Christine had a text from her on Sunday evening, wishing her a happy 38th Birthday (last weekends BBQ!). Christine sent her another text early this week when the air strikes intensified but she has had no news. She lives in South Beirut.

I hope for both their sake, that this is due to the speific and very deliberate Isreali strikes on the Lebanese Mobile phone/telecomes network.

But it makes you wonder...

I have been increasingly angered by what has been happeing in the middle East over the last two weeks...

Now I just feel sad.