A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Archive for December, 2010

2010 – the end is nigh

Posted by Alan on December 31, 2010

So this is it? Another year draws to a close and a fresh one starts. 2010 has been a mixed year for me – looking back it seems almost as if I was stood still in a whirlwind (apologies for the blatant hyperbole).  Quite a lot of stuff happened – some of it seems so much further away in time than reality! This blog is almost 2 years old now and is a little more diverse than it was on day one.  Important events? Well, probably changing jobs slightly in April and rediscovering cycling as a useful form of transit just after the Cycle Hire scheme went live, the latter resulting in some reduction in mass so that I am no longer classified as obese by BMI – hurrah!

Highlights? There’s a few, which means it’s time for a python-esque list…

Resolutions? Maybe not.

However, 2011 will probably be a massive year of change.  The cuts are coming – who knows whether what role there will be for me at work this time next year, so it’s probably a good year to be motivated and get stuff done.  That said, having become an irregular cyclist in 2010 I do plan to become a regular cyclist and see if I can get my mass down < 75kg before the summer solstice. I’m going to have a second crack at the Bogle on foot and actually train (a bit). Much more photography to be done – I’ve vaguely learned what the buttons and numbers mean and how to use them. Next step, figure out how to point it at things in a more interesting way and figure out the best way of presenting the results.

Oxo Tower

My favourite shot of 2010 - The Oxo Tower & South Bank at night

So, time to raise a glass and get on with it…!

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BorisBikes in the snow

Posted by Alan on December 27, 2010

With the recent snow across London and the South East I think it will be interesting to see the impact on the cycle hire scheme. Certainly the bank of bikes at Euston Underpass on Sunday (19 Dec) was full and most bikes bearing some snowy evidence of not having moved anywhere for a while! – Personally I’ve avoided cycling too, though after Christmas with luck the snow will recede and I’ll be back on the saddle… For now, here’s a few pictures of bikes in the snow!

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Boris Bikes sleeping by the Euston Underpass

Frozen controls

Frozen controls

Cold seat

Cold seat

Unlike my last evening sojourn onto the streets with the camera I found just one brave soul cycling along.

Brave soul

Brave soul

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Paint no action

Posted by Alan on December 24, 2010

Painted cycles on the road

Painted cycles on the road

Oh goody, it’s been ages since I wrote about any crap cycling infrastructure.  I really don’t get what is going on above – this is Storey St, Bankside (just behind Borough Market/Vineopolis). Cycle lane, sure  can understand that but why have the other bikes in the road and why going both ways? Just seems like a bit of a waste of paint to be honest…

I can only guess that whoever instructed the painting of those cycles doesn’t ever ride one…

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Shard of glass

Posted by Alan on December 23, 2010

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Shard

I’m pretty lucky in that my job requires me to move around a bit and calling off at Borough Market for lunch can be part of my daily routine (at least on a Thursday or Friday!). Before the snow arrived, I managed to get these shots of the shard of glass, London latest skyscraper, en route for lunch. When finished, at 87 floors, it will dwarf anything London has seen before…

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Looking up

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Wiff waff

Posted by Alan on December 22, 2010

Wiff Waff - 50p coin

Wiff Waff!

Last week the metro carried a story about girl who finds a coin from next year. This week I have three. Not really news is it?

Still, I feel blessed that the first 2012 coin I got was the ‘Wiff Waff’ design.

Wiff Waff is coming home, donchaknow?

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Snow2

Posted by Alan on December 21, 2010



Snow2, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

OK, so I am a little slow at uploading images that are relevant. Today the o2 was had a fire alert due to a fire on Kings of Leon’s tour bus (oh the glorious puns, I will spare you…) but on Friday this was the scene with the tent almost invisible in the serious snowfall.

Luckily I could escape to zone one, via Borough Market of course…

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Snow post

Posted by Alan on December 20, 2010



Snow post, originally uploaded by Alan Perryman.

A snow hits most of London and everything grinds to a halt, I am glad I am not expecting any post.

Meh. It looks pretty. Even if it does seem to make even the most banal journey a chore.

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Bright Lights

Posted by Alan on December 12, 2010

Euston Tap

The bright lights of London - Euston Tap

It’s been another busy week as the inevitable party chaos of Christmas descends – thus time for a pythonesque list of things done.

Monday was Ruth’s birthday but she was working a long day in the hospital so I prepared instead by hitting Oxford St, bringing back a surprise (nowhere to hide presents in our flat!) and having a proper beef & ale stew waiting on the table for when she got home.

On Tuesday Dan popped up in London – fancy a beer? The Gunmakers and Euston Tap provided plenty of entertainment in the form of quality beer.

By Wednesday it was time to take Ruth out for a proper birthday dinner. Queue Queens steakhouse. It was very good though sadly not very full. Could be a symptom of limited promotion – their own website simply states ‘coming soon’ and you’ve no idea about what treats lie in store until you arrive.

Thursday saw a work xmas do where after some great food at Kym’s of Pimlico we decamped to the excellent Cask.

On Friday, Ruth was back at work.  This left me free to go check out Mason & Taylor in Shoreditch and then write about it. And then leg it to the Euston Tap / Bree Louise to catch up with another work party.

And thus that left the weekend for R&R. Well, best get onto the Sunday chores…

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Snow cycling

Posted by Alan on December 4, 2010

Long Load

No cycling for me during the snow!

With the recent weather, I’ve seen loads of blog posts about cycling in the snow. I did nothing of the sort – not really because of the snow but more because I was busy at Pigs Ear 2010 and the Arcade Fire gig at the O2. However, anecdotally it seems that the snow hasn’t put the borisbikers off in town. Whilst I didn’t have any gloves I wasn’t going to fight that cold wind…

Arcade Fire was quite cool. A good show with some great music but the O2 really is so impersonal and corporate I’m not sure I’d go again. Up in level 4 most people seemed to care more about getting a pint of fizzy piss mass produced lager and a hotdog that in the band. Given how steep the banking and the distance away from the stage that’s hardly surprising. I guess I need to start paying attention to new bands again and get out to the smaller venues…and it was worth setting my expectations low beforehand – having seen Arcade Fire once before I wasn’t too fussed about actually seeing the people!

Glastonbury Sunset

Entirely gratuitous - a shot from Glastonbury 2007 whilst waiting for Arcade Fire

Lastly this week the London Assembly has produced it’s first report on the cycle hire scheme and superhighways.  Called Pedal Power, there’s some serious questions for the Mayor, as well as some general observations – cycle hire works for people as it’s inexpensive and flexible, cycle superhighways doesn’t really work for people as it’s just another bit of paint on the road. Maybe some segregation might work better? Just an idea…

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