A Grim North

Musings from a northerner living in the deep south…

Posts Tagged ‘bargains’

Suits, Cakes and Shakes

Posted by Alan on April 25, 2010

With my role at work changing slightly over the next few weeks, I decided it was probably time to pick up a new suit. For me this means a trip to Slaters who never fail to disappoint… unfortunately there isn’t one in London. Cue day trip to Canterbury!

From our part of East London… that means we get to try the new high speed train from Stratford “International” (no  international trains go from there of course!). It’s right in the heart of what will be the athletes village – a serious building site at the moment so they won’t let you walk from the tube. One convoluted bus ride later, we were in the middle of it:

Stratford Athlete Village

Stratford Athlete Village

Stratford Athletes Village

Stratford Athletes Village

Stratford International Station

The vast expanse of Stratford International Station

I don’t think they get many people through at the moment – and security didn’t even flinch as I wandered through with my SLR out!

Fast trains break Ruth's eye's!

The train was so fast it broke Ruth somewhat...

In just under 1 hour we were in the glorious sunshine in Canterbury at which point we felt it was definitely time for an afternoon snack – we took in a recommendation and went to Boho, on the high st.

Cheesecake and 'shake

Cheesecake and 'shake

And so onto the nub of the trip, buying the suit. Slaters as usual…excellent. Free tailoring and since we’d come down to Canterbury specially they waived the courier fee which is pretty awesome. I really do recommend finding one if you need a suit!

After a potter around the shops and a pint of Shep Neame in a pub garden it was time to head home. Definitely somewhere I’d go back to again… The full set of photos are on flickr.

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Brass and Boats in Little Venice

Posted by Alan on May 3, 2009

Ahh bank holidays. Time to kick back in the flat and enjoy the rain? Not so this weekend. An unusual break in the London bank holiday weather allowed a bit of exploring.

So, what to do? Somewhere I found out about this boat thing down in Little Venice. Essentially lots of boats (and people) converge on the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal and have some fun. There was stalls a plenty, beer tents and a band that sometimes floated (see above).

I’ve put a whole load more shots online at http://alansrandomness.fotodock.co.uk/c1691986.html – I think I even managed to frame a few nicely this time!

Totally unrelated, I’ve been starting to wade through a bargain bag of albums from Vinyl Exchange in Manc. Have found what I think might be gem amongst the dross. This gem is ebb – think Sigur Ros but with the random electronic sounds of Thom Yorke. The vocals remind me very much of my architects who I saw support Cooper Temple Clause a few years ago.

Enough from me. The time zone change between West and East London has made me feel somewhat sleepy…zzzz…

Posted in Culture, General Meh, Travelling around | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Snazzy NAS

Posted by Alan on February 28, 2009

Last week I finally got around to setting up my NAS [Network Attached Storage] box. It’s pretty cool. £25 gets you the little enclosure. It plugs into the switch, in the back room – so I can’t hear it when it’s on. It is quite loud mainly due to the fact it is a hard drive and a fan in a small resonating metal box. Seems to work with Windows Vista (after a firmware upgrade), XP and 2K. Haven’t tried Linux yet but I assume it will probably work without many headaches.

Coupled with a 120GB hard drive I bought off Chris, it works well for the TV we download from 4OD, iPlayer, et al. especially now we don’t have a TV aerial!

Next task is to look at using it to backup inportant stuff and to see how secure the public FTP facility is.

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Scouse Culture

Posted by Alan on February 25, 2009

On Sunday I went to Liverpool. It’s been a very long time since I last went to Liverpool and did more than caught a bus. And even then, we pretty much just went round the Beatles museum and went home.

It probably wasn’t the cleverest of excursions. I had absolute craploads of stuff with me, having been back to my parents in Friday (collecting some hardware en-route), then to Nikki’s party where I collected some left-over booze to bring home. I guess that probably counts as tourist fail.

Still, I did manage to see some of the sights and culture. I saw the Mersey and the Liver birds. Had a cup of tea by the albert dock (with a scone, but not cream – lame). Walked round the Tate. Obeyed when the second man asked me to put my bags in the Tate cloakroom (naturally, first time I was suspicious, until I figured out it looked like I was on the rob). Wandered round Liverpool ONE and bought some leftovers from Zavvi. And then it was pretty much home time. Not until I’ve found a home bargains/quality save and stocked up on cheap tat. Just can’t get it in London.

All in all, Liverpool probably doesn’t deserve it’s repuation. Only once did I really feel afraid to get my camera out. And I did anyway… Maybe in the summer I’ll go back and find the rest of the city.

You can find the rest of the photos at http://is.gd/kJFE

Posted in Buildings and Places, Culture, Travelling around | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »