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Thursday, 18 May 2006
Road Liable to Flooding

road liable to flooding

According to this roadsign, near Chiddingstone Causeway in Kent, this road is liable to flooding. There might be a clue in that word causeway.

Chiddingstone Causeway is not far from the town of Chiddingstone. According to the Chiddingstone website:

Chiddingstone Causeway often confuses visitors since it is a village built around a railway station called Penshurst, which is a village three miles away. It is also now a much bigger village that Chiddingstone itself and sited on the main road between Tonbridge and Edenbridge. This confounds taxi drivers - even if they are equiped with the latest car based satellite navigation systems.
There is much debate over the location of the ‘Causeway’ that gives it its name. Some contend that references to the causeway predate the building of the railway line, in the hope that this will clothe their home in the respectability of a premodern age. Since I live in Chiddingstone Village and not ‘The Causeway’ , let me confess my bias now and offer my personal explaination:
‘Chiddingstone Causeway’ is a shortened form of ‘Chidingstone over the Causeway’ meaning the Hamlet in Chiddingstone parish that is on the other side of the road that crosses the watermeadows near Vexour Bridge that was banked up and straightened in the 1840s by the Irish labourours that were building the railway.
There .... I have said it .... now let a thousand flowers bloom and a thousand ways of thought contend.

There you have it: Chiddingstone is uptown, Chiddingstone Causeway is downtown.

Posted by bigblue on 18/05/2006 at 10:26 AM
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Wednesday, 17 May 2006
Real People

Real People

These are real people? As opposed to? Celebrities? Characters in movies, books and soap operas?

David Kramer, South African musician, toured South Africa recently and produced a documentary Karoo Kitaar. In it there is the amazing Hannes Coetzee (YouTube video link), guitar spoon player.  He’s a real person:

aloe tapper and self-taught musician from Herbertsdale in the Klein Karoo. He plays traditional and original compositions using a teaspoon in his mouth to slide the melody on his guitar. The only known practioner of this style, he is able to play the melody and the accompanying chords at the same time creating the sound of two guitars with one.

The movie Karoo Kitaar, subtitled Saving an Almost Forgotten Folk Music was shown on the ArtsWorld channel last night:

Karoo Kitaar Blues follows South African songwriter David Kramer and slide guitarist Hannes Coetzee into remote regions of South Africa on their quest to find musicians who play an almost forgotten folk music. The film documents their journey into the harsh and arid landscape of Namaqualand and the Great Karoo interweaving musical performance and interviews with violinists, guitarists, piano accordionists and mouth organ players who play what Kramer describes as Karoo Blues.

Little is known of the origins of this music. It is the music of shepherds and sheep shearers who are descendents of the original inhabitants of these semi -desert areas. This music has probably evolved in much the same way as the Afrikaans language that the musicians speak ­ a blend of indigenous and colonial influences.

By the end of the journey nine musicians are invited to Cape Town where they record some of their songs and perform to packed houses and great acclaim. An endangered culture has been given a new breath of life.

From Filmakers Library Africa.

Posted by bigblue on 17/05/2006 at 10:27 AM
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Tuesday, 16 May 2006
County lengthsmen

county lengthsmen

The meanies were driving around Kent this afternoon when they noticed the truck ahead of them with a strange sign on the back. Whatever could it mean?

According to an article dated 21 June 2005 on the Kent County Council website:

Kent County Council is reviving an old idea to send out a mini army of road workers this summer. Their mission? To restore and maintain highways around Kent.

Armed with shovels, brooms and shears, they will be going out to repair potholes and carry out other highway maintenance work.

The County Lengthsmen will be dispatched in small teams of two or three on a fleet of 20 identifiable lorries. They will patch and repair roads, cut back overhanging trees and hedges, replace and repaint signs and clear gullies.

Until now road workers have been sent out following highway inspectors’ reports. But under the new arrangements County Lengthsmen will also be relying on residents, parish and town councils to report problems.

The aim is to develop stronger links between the workforce and the local communities which they serve. In this way the scheme will revive the old idea of men being responsible for a specific length of road where they work.

Kent Highway Services is expanding the task force after a successful trial in Tunbridge Wells. The crews will begin operating from depots around the county between June and September.

Kent has some quaint traditions and laws. Calling a gang of road maintenance people, some of whom may be women, lengthsmen seems just daft.

Posted by bigblue on 16/05/2006 at 07:45 AM
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Monday, 15 May 2006
Another curse

come on England

Another curse for an English sporting summer, this time from a local supermarket.

Posted by bigblue on 15/05/2006 at 09:09 AM
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Sunday, 14 May 2006
From the ladies room

poster in ladies room

Bluemeanie found and photographed this poster for me in the ladies toilets at the Odeon Cinema in Guildford.  We went to see Prime.

The words on the above poster read:

To ensure high levels of cleanliness, we would like to make our customers aware that male attendants may be carrying out checks in the female toilets.

It provides a clear example of a fallacy, probably a fallacy of the consequent as one does not need to use male attendants to ensure high levels of cleanliness in toilets.

Posted by bigblue on 14/05/2006 at 12:34 PM
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Saturday, 13 May 2006
Disabled Parking

disabled parking bays

I often wonder if there aren’t too many disabled parking bays at shopping centres, railway stations, etc.  Even when all the other bays are completely full there seems to be a plethora of disabled bays available.

Not at Sevenoaks railway station: Here there is a stop-and-drop zone that accommodates about four cars, 20-minute parking bays for six cars, 5 disabled bays and a taxi rank that accommodates about 40 vehicles. To be fair there are probably several grounds to complain about the above allocation, but one should bear in mind that there is a long-term parking area a short walk away.  If the figures on the Sevenoaks station website are correct, this long-term parking area contains only two additional disabled bays (out of over 500).

This afternoon, at about 5 o’clock, when we had a sudden thunderstorm, you could not complain that there were too many disabled bays.  As pictured above, all five disabled bays were fully utilised whereas the stop-and-drop zone was free as were three of the 20-minute bays.

Is Sevenoaks one of the most disabled towns in England? If so they hide it well: all five drivers looked fully abled to me.

Posted by bigblue on 13/05/2006 at 10:39 AM
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Flooding at Four Elms

flood in Four Elms

Driving back from Sevenoaks, I passed through the village of Four Elms, in The High Weald an area designated as being of outstanding natural beauty.  In Sevenoaks we had had some rain, but here there was flooding from the sudden thunderstorm.  Ten minutes later, back in Oxted, it was dry and sunny: there had been no rain whatsoever.

Posted by bigblue on 13/05/2006 at 09:56 AM
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Friday, 12 May 2006
Lost dog

lost dog

Following last week’s feel-good posting about a dog that was lost, and found, I spotted another lost dog poster near Oxted.  Unfortunately this dog is still missing.

I’m getting quite impressed now with the Lost Dog website.

Last year I went through a phase of publishing found grocery lists.  See here and here.  Yesterday I found (via Boing Boing) that there is a whole website devoted to found shopping lists.

Posted by bigblue on 12/05/2006 at 09:26 AM
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