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Wednesday, 28 September 2011
Superlative

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Come on: it’s not that fantastisk!

Posted by bigblue on 28/09/2011 at 04:01 PM
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Thursday, 22 September 2011
The Seaside Town

Oh how I didn’t wish I was not here.

Posted by bigblue on 22/09/2011 at 09:40 PM
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Wednesday, 21 September 2011
Autumn leaves

On the ground in Oxted.

Posted by bigblue on 21/09/2011 at 10:55 PM
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Tuesday, 20 September 2011
The “ticket office”

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Godstone Railway Station doesn’t have a ticket office: it has this automated vending machine. These engineers didn’t explain what was wrong with the machine, but I had to buy my ticket on the train as the machine was undergoing serious maintenance (they weren’t simply replacing the paper or ink).  That suited me fine: one of the limitations of these machines is that you can only buy a ticket from the location of the machine to a destination station. In my case I wanted a single from Godstone to Three Bridges, but also another single from Eridge to Oxted, as I intended to cycle between Three Bridges and Eridge. The conductor on the trains is able to issue both tickets simultaneously.

Posted by bigblue on 20/09/2011 at 08:51 AM
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Monday, 19 September 2011
Eridge Station by night

On Saturday night I arrived 20 minutes late for my train from Eridge and had to wait another 40 minutes for the next one.  The primary reason I was late is that my train from Godstone to Three Bridges wouldn’t stop at Three Bridges and I had to get out one stop earlier at Gatwick Airport and cycle to Eridge from there. The secondary reason I was late was due to a gear cable failure, which restricted me to some of the lowest gears on my bicycle.  Anyway, the video above is a short video I made, while waiting for my train, in order to document the length of Platform 1 at Eridge Station.

Some more details of my cycling trip are below, with a link to the “full workout data”.

Posted by bigblue on 19/09/2011 at 09:01 AM
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Sunday, 18 September 2011
The Grave

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The “final resting place” of WB Yeats and his wife George in Drumcliffe, County Sligo, Ireland.  Her full name was Bertha Georgie Hyde-Lees, but according to Brenda Maddox (writing in The Guardian) within one year of their marriage:

Yeats renamed her “George”, explaining that “Georgie” was intolerable. A more likely reason is that he wanted a solid rhyme for “forge”, when, in 1918, he wrote: “I, the poet William Yeats/ With old mill boards and sea-green slates/ And smithy work from the Gort forge/ Restored this tower for my wife George”.

Well Brenda, I am no expert on Yeats but I really find it more plausible that he found the diminutive Georgie insufferable than that he wanted his wife’s name to rhyme with the word forge.

Yeats died in France on 28 January 1939, and a year later his body was moved to Sligo where it was reburied.  The epitaph on his grave is taken from the last lines of his poem “Under Ben Bulben”, one of his final poems:

  Cast a cold Eye
  On Life, on Death.
  Horseman, pass by!

Posted by bigblue on 18/09/2011 at 08:00 AM
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Saturday, 17 September 2011
Coco sign

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A few strange things struck me about this sign:

  1. Surely the phrase “no illegal dumping”, implies that legal dumping is allowed? I wonder what legal dumping entails.
  2. I assume (from the context) that “Co. Co.” is an abbreviation for “County Council” but I am not familiar with this abbreviation.
  3. The capitalisation of the (transitive verb?) “Dumping”, which I don’t associate with the English language.
Posted by bigblue on 17/09/2011 at 08:44 AM
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Friday, 16 September 2011
Descending Titsey Hill

Yesterday evening I decided to brave the local traffic and descend Titsey Hill by road (I normally take the off-road route down).  I’m not sure it was a good idea, although it gave me a nice speed rush, and I achieved what must be my fastest speed on my mountain bike: 72.1 km per hour (44.8 miles per hour). I was overtaken by a few idiots on the way down. I guess they were rushing home to their TVs, suppers and families, but I can’t imagine what posesses someone to cross a double solid line, and overtake on a blind bend….

When I arrived back home I found my head was an object of mirth. Investigating in the mirror, I discovered that my hair had taken on the form of the inside of my cycling helmet:

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Finally, here’s the full route I took, of which the descent was a part:

Posted by bigblue on 16/09/2011 at 03:10 PM
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