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Got the upgrade to First Class on the return journey. Certainly less cramped than outward in standard, but otherwise not sure whether it’s still worth the extra. We’ve just had the bacon sarnies brought around, and a cup of coffee but at first glance that looks like the sum total of the extras. Last time around the service was still being run by GNER, and we had coffee on demand, and a meal included at lunchtime. Now that it’s under the management of the government, these extras appear to have gone.

Fortunately the free WiFi remains. The civility of of the staff does not. Okay they’re not actively rude or anything, just rather surly and uncommunicative.

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A walk along the Thames today with the mist and low cloud hanging ominously above. Ended up – where else – in Borough Market and spent too much money. What a surprise. A couple of sourdough Pave from my favourite baker. Couldn’t tell you the name of the stall, but it’s run by a french family and they always have a big stack of Chocolate Brownies front and centre. Which I resist. Anyway, best baker in the market, and I’ve tried them all.

Next to Wallace’s Hill Farm stall for some wild beef. Bought a half-kilo pack of casserole beef, half of which will go into another Hot Pot and the rest minced for Forfar Bridies. Also got some Smoked Streaky Bacon.

At one of the many mushroom stalls I got a £2.50 / 100g mixed bag which on quick glance includes a couple of Horse mushrooms, a girolle, a couple of grey chantarelles and miscellaneous oysters. Sadly no morels, but as they were going for £13 per 100g that’s not surprising!

Another tub of Pate Moi mushroom pate, something that I eat far too much of. Every time I go to Borough I have to get another tub (or two).

Today I stayed well clear of the Gorwydd Farm stall. It’s the diet you know. I’ve lost 8kg since the beginning of the year; if I buy another half wheel of their wonderfully rich and creamy Caerphilly then it’ll all go back on overnight.

On the down side was a disappointing lunch. Usually I have a tray of scallops as a mid morning snack, then a bowl of paella for lunch. Today as a change I decided to go for meat, and had a Boston Sausage in a bun. Now the sausage was made from good flavoursome meat, and well seasoned. Disappointing texture though. Quite flabbly and no bite to it. Bun was also lifeless. Not one I would buy again.

Right, home now and see what I can do with these ingredients.

So on my hearing aids I swapped my open ear moulds for completely occluding and really tight Microflex moulds. Add Direct Audio Input shoes – microphone disabled – and plug in the Walkman.

That’s put an end to Frosty the F$#*ing Snowman.

Can’t hear anything other than my own choice of music (which today is Gabrieli (Uncle and Nephew), Albinoni, and Monteverdi). As we get closer to christmas I may need to up the sound power and go for Gotterdammerung to drown out the jollity.

My own voice sounds a bit weird though, definitely got occlusion.

Since Nephew is really getting into his rugby, I thought I might send him a replica shirt from my local club [Although still called “London” Wasps, the Wasps’ home ground is Adams Park in High Wycombe].

Well, £75 for an adult size and £50 for a child size. And not even a proper rugby shirt like I wore when I was at school. Rather than the heavy cotton shirts that you could really get a hold of when tackling, these were some light thin nylon spandex type shirt that looked like it would tear the first time you were taken down.

Cheap tacky rubbish, and not worth a [small] fraction of the price they were asking

If I hear Frosty the F$#@ing Snowman one more time…

I have to put up with another 23 f$#@ing days of this.

A couple of days off work and thought that I might use it to get a decent mileage under the wheels of the fixie.

Yeah, right.

Only if I want to drown. Saturday was a fair day, cool but sunny and I did a fair bit of walking. Sunday was non-stop rain with a stiff wind to boot. By evening I was going stir crazy from being inside all day so had to go out for a walk. Out for about an hour and soaked to the skin when I got back.

Today started out much the same. Constant rain and wind so went and spent the day in the Natural History Museum.

Still hoping for at least a few hours of bike time during my time off.

Under a convoluted set of circumstances, today I found myself taking the Warner Brothers Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter.

First Point: I’ve never seen any of the Harry Potter Films

Second point: I’ve never read any of the Harry Potter books. Okay not entirely true. Having seen all the hype I started reading the first HP book. I got about three or four pages in. Worst writing style ever. Really dreadful so gave up on it. Okay, I’ll take it on recommendation that the story is good, but I won’t see that for myself. If an author wants me to read their book then I’ll expect a certain level of narrative skill. J K Rowling may weave a good story, but she lacks the ability [IMHO] to narrate it fluently. I know, I know, sales / revenue says otherwise; I just found it painful to read.

Well, I think that I may now have to at least give the films a go. I won’t bother with the books, poor writing style is always a poor writing style. However what I saw today from the level of special effects and detail in the film sets, from a purely technical approach it looks utterly engrossing. I may not have been able to tie it in with the what is seen or read, but I can still appreciate production values. The studio model of Hogwart’s was particularly impressive.

So, I have a week off work. I shall borrow the DVDs from the HP fans who were behind the reason I ended up taking the tour today. I shall see whether it lives up to all the hype

One park, trashed.

This was where the London Live screens were located. Crowds who didn’t have stadium tickets came here to watch the games on the big screen.

This was once a great area for relaxing in the summer sunshine. Now the grass has gone, replaced by a mudbath. LOCOG’s solution seems just to have been to cover the area in forest bark. That’s going to be nice to lie on in the late summer. Let us hope that they spend the autumn and next spring re-turfing the park

On a bank holiday twenty years ago, this area would have been lined by people up on their soapboxes (literally and metaphorically), addressing the teh people about their own pet subject, as the crowds walked into Hyde Park. In turn the few in the crowds would be heckling the speakers.

It has been a long time since I saw any Speakers at the Corner. Today the speakers are sitting at home writing blogs, and the hecklers have become trolls.

I hope the Olympic Committee have put aside a lot of money to repair the sites around London after the events have finished. Walked through Hyde Park today, and after the recent bad weather the ground has been left in a horrendous state. Inside the fenced-off areas where they have been working it’s like a bomb site. It’s going to take a lot of work and money to restore the park to it’s former state

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