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Thursday, 31 July 2008
Oxted from the “Woldingham Viewpoint”

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It took me 35 minutes to get here via a direct and steep route, and it will take 35 minutes to get back down via a long and more scenic route.

It is starting to rain, so I will get cracking then…

Posted by bigblue on 31/07/2008 at 07:54 PM
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Tuesday, 29 July 2008
A figure of defiance

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I’m not sure what this is meant to be, but that’s what it suggests to me. I spotted it on a boarded up building in West Croydon last night. It looks like it’s been there for some time.

Posted by bigblue on 29/07/2008 at 10:54 PM
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Monday, 28 July 2008
Mysore pak

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I don’t know the recipe for this sweet. I watched my friend make it on Sunday. It looked a bit like a fudge, but there’s a gram flour in there somewhere.

Posted by bigblue on 28/07/2008 at 09:35 PM
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Obamania

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This is Hanuman,

one of the most popular Gods in Hinduism and one of the most important personalities in the Indian epic, the Ramayana. His most famous feat, as described in the Hindu epic scripture the Ramayana, was leading a monkey army to fight the demon King Ravana and rescue a kidnapped princess.

Under the belief that this deity is the lucky charm which Barack Obama carries around with him, a group of Indians presented a statue of the revered Indian monkey God, Hanuman, to Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. Yes, I know this is old news (and Obama is no longer in the UK) but I was prompted to think of this after a visit to the Watford Manor Temple yesterday afternoon.

It also brought to mind the French expression that you can’t teach a monkey to grimace (so much more expressive than the English version “you can’t teach your grandmother to suck eggs”).

Posted by bigblue on 28/07/2008 at 08:51 AM
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Sunday, 27 July 2008
A rose is a rose is a rose

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Which is why Barack Obama got exactly the same treatment as that other guy (McWassisname) when he visited the UK. The other guy is actually more popular in Russia than any other European country (UK is second). Or should that be “the other guy is actually less unpopular in Russia than any other ....”.

Posted by bigblue on 27/07/2008 at 09:00 PM
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Saturday, 26 July 2008
Oxted Downs

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I cycled up the North Down for 30 minutes and have stopped here to take some liquids and admire the view back down over Oxted.

The precise spot, according to Natural England is called Chipstead Downs. They also advise me to look for chalk-loving flowers (hairy violets, bee, butterfly and pyramidal orchids) chalk grassland butterflies (chalk hill blues, adonis blues and dark green fritillaries) and rare reptiles (adders bask in the sun or on bare patches of ground).

In the past I have seen deer here, but on this occassion I see only insects and rabbits.

Posted by bigblue on 26/07/2008 at 07:40 PM
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Friday, 25 July 2008
Cycling in Berlin

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I don’t think I’ve posted since my return from Berlin on Wednesday night. I noticed on this trip (there was a 20 minute walk from the hotel to the workshop venue) that they don’t share our phobia of cyclists on pavements. Indeed they draw a line down many pavements and share the space quite amiably. On the first morning we were wallking down the cycling section and a cyclist behind us waited patiently for us to notice and make way.

Some streets had the cyclists going one way on the pavement and the other on the road (both via dedicated cycling lanes). This allowed for best allocation of all available space between cycle, foot and tyre. Why can’t London and Surrey be more like Berlin?

Posted by bigblue on 25/07/2008 at 03:22 PM
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Wednesday, 23 July 2008
It sounds a bit dangerous

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I didn’t want to risk it, so I used the stairs. I’m spent another night in this hotel in Berlin.

The workshop went well. We finished everything yesterday but our last session ended ate yesterday evening. I will go back to the UK today and return in two week’s time for the next installment.

Posted by bigblue on 23/07/2008 at 06:13 AM
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