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Saturday, 22 July 2006
Taking the goat

Menu board at Croydon Mela

This is a menu board we spotted when we came out of Colourscapes at the Croydon Mela. I wonder if any children baulked at eating one of Heidi’s little goat-friends. I did. Normally when I select “goat” from a menu, it is a soft pungent cheese.

Posted by bigblue on 22/07/2006 at 12:21 AM
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Thursday, 20 July 2006
Vending machine

vending machine

When I started work at my current client I was told by the other consultants that there was a vending machine for condoms in the toilets on the executive floor of the building. I suppose I took it with a pinch of salt, because I was surprised when I discovered for myself that this was true. Perhaps the story does require a grain of salt, as the machine also sells tissues, analgesics, a toileteries travel pack, etc. I do wonder which of the items have the highest turnover, what the turnover of these producs is, and if the same products are available in the women’s toilet.

And of course who exactly came up with the idea of this vending machine. Presumably it wasn’t the previous consultants.

Posted by bigblue on 20/07/2006 at 10:57 PM
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Wednesday, 19 July 2006
Normal traffic conditions

normal traffic conditions

I found this neat tool which now sits on my desktop at work so that I can check the traffic conditions just before leaving work. It has proved quite useful (today and yesterday), mainly in managing my expectations. Today the traffic conditions had cleared by the time I reached the predicted accident zone, and it only took me one hour to get home. I counted 8 stationary vehicles on the hard shoulder of the M25. This is not unusual.

The above warning reads:

M25 Surrey - Anticlockwise - Heavy traffic
On the M25 anticlockwise between junctions J13 and J10, there are currently delays of 20 mins due to heavy traffic. Normal traffic conditions expected from 5.30 pm.

This message is somewhat ambiguous: normal traffic conditions on this stretch at that time are normally worse than that.

Posted by bigblue on 19/07/2006 at 10:16 PM
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Tuesday, 18 July 2006
Hottest Day

Moonlight Serenade

Tomorrow is predicted to be the hottest day of the year.  According to the photograph above, the florist in Uxbridge will be closed. Meanwhile, Fink reports that the underground tube in London is dangerous for transporting cattle. I wonder who tried to take the cow down there.

Posted by bigblue on 18/07/2006 at 10:08 PM
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Monday, 17 July 2006

hot air balloon

In one of his better moments, at the end of the concert, the compère at yesterday’s event was giving thanks to everyone who had contributed to the success of the event. He said

... to the people who flew the balloon overhead, ... to all of you who bought a raffle ticket with a 2 on it ...

The first part of that excerpt of thanks refers to the glorious hotair balloon pictured above. The second part refers to the fact that they drew a ticket with the number 2 on it in the raffle, and three or four people came forward with the matching ticket. Apparently the tickets weren’t all the same colour. Dark pink, light pink, orange, etc. The compère had wanted to deal with the embarrassment by offering additional prizes, but I think there was a shortage at that point. He resorted to microphone begging the organisers of the upcoming Farnborough Air Show to donate additional prizes (free entry for a family). Without apparent success, it should be added.

Posted by bigblue on 17/07/2006 at 10:19 PM
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Sunday, 16 July 2006
Moonlight Serenade

Moonlight Serenade

This afternoon and evening we went to an open air concert, entitled Moonlight Serenade in which Pinkie was performing with the Surrey County Youth Wind Orchestra (Scywo).  The other main acts were the Epworth Choir, the GHosTs Choir, and In Accord, while the compère was one Richard Stilgoe, OBE. I had no idea who he was until afterwards, but recognised him as the card he is.  I think he would have done better to sticking to commentating during the gaps between the different performers, rather than introducing almost every song.  He was less in our face after the interval, possibly because of the slippage in the programme (for which I am sure he was partially responsible).

The highlight of the Richard Stilgoe show was when he introduced the Surrey County Youth Wind Orchestra by saying that we should support them because it kept the youth performers out of crime and young offenders institutions. I spluttered more in laughter than outrage, but noticed that his comment invoked serious applause among the large contingent of the Surrey blue-rinse brigade (who were out in force). Perhaps Dave’s hug a hoodie campaign has arrived in the Shires.

Posted by bigblue on 16/07/2006 at 10:41 PM
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Saturday, 15 July 2006


Today bluemeanie and I went to the Croydon Mela with Tessa and Jim and Alex and Holly. The most amazing thing was this labyrinth of colour, see pictures above (click to embiggen). One dons robes (provided) the colour of which is a primary colour. Then you enter the labyrinth - made up of pods which are also all of different colours - mostly primary - and filter through the sunlight in that bright colour. Somewhere in the middle was a “white/grey” zone where there were some musicians playing chilled new-age music. A great experience. The Mela website describes it thus:

This large inflatable structure is a walk-in labyrinth of intense colour and light. The Colourscape experience has been compared to being “wrapped in a rainbow” - long views of the most intense colours open up in every direction.

Musicians will perform throughout the day with Mongolian Overtone Singing, Tibetan Singing Bowls, panpipes, Chinese percussion, with a performance by Croydon school children.

Posted by bigblue on 15/07/2006 at 10:57 PM
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Friday, 14 July 2006


The local pizzeria has these stickers on the window which read “Passion”. It seems to be an promotion of a Sicilian wine that has recently been a put on the menu.  When I saw the stickers I thought of the planetary/space company that I used to work for. They used to have these motivational posters on the walls of the offices, about passion, committment, honesty, etc. I thought of this company yesterday when I met a colleague at lunch (we have a common friend who took us both for lunch) and discovered that he used to work for this company and knew many of the same people that I did.

Is it just me, or do the NatWest Three have names that belong in a Harry Potter novel: David Bermingham, Giles Darby and Gary Mulgrew? Did JK Rowling make this story up?

Posted by bigblue on 14/07/2006 at 11:29 PM
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