Sunday, 21 September 2014


My colleague and fellow blogger, Hugh Neal of the famous "Arthur Pewty's Maggot Sandwich" has been keeping us up to date with the state of various eateries in Bexley and has remarked on how standards seem to be improving as Bexley Council eventually manage to get to grips with the scoring of food hygiene standards in the borough.

Greenwich Council seem to have been doing a similar thing in Thamesmead and a number of food outlets are now proudly showing their ratings. The good news is that, with a small number of exceptions, everyone seems to have scored a maximum five out of five.

Thamesmead Town Centre is a woefully inadequate facility for the size of population it has to serve, but one thing it has in abundance is places you can buy pre-prepared food and most of them have been given the highest (very good) rating for hygiene.

In no particular order there is the Cutty Sark pub, Diana Coffee and Sandwich Bar, Britannia Fish Bar, Pizza Hut and a branch of Greggs, all with a "very good" rating.

Rather more worrying is the lack of any rating at all for KFC, McDonalds or Morrisons who don't seem to be displaying what (if anything) their rating is.

Now there could be a perfectly good reason for this. Greenwich Council may not have got around to inspecting them yet. It may even be that they have been inspected but have chosen not to show off their high score; or they may be showing it but, like the Cutty Sark who keep theirs at the back of the pub, out of sight of customers, decided that modesty is the way to go. If this is the case, I suggest they change their policy sooner rather than later as the more cynical among us might suspect they are hiding something they would rather we didn't know.

Not so good
Anyway, well done to all those who are doing so well and I look forward to seeing similar FSA ratings on the rest any time soon.


A.d. prankus photoshopii
When not in a grumpy mood there is nothing I like more than a good wheeze. Giant skeletons found in the Australian desert or mermaids found in Atlantis are always good for a laugh, not only for their content but also for the hysterical reaction to them from gullible idiots who bounce these things around Facebook.

I have been enjoying recent stories that are appearing in some of the tabloids about how we are being invaded by giant spiders  They are, we are told, 'rampaging' through our houses; presumably kicking over the furniture and smashing windows and such. My daughter is posting images of spiders she keeps finding in her house and all in all, Facebook is developing a definite arachnid flavour.

Anyway, there was this spider in our garden, nothing special, just a common female Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus) for you technically minded. It looked quite interesting so I took a picture of her sitting in her web. It then occurred to me that I could have a bit of fun and added a picture of a ruler. Then, with the aid of Adobe Photoshop CS5 (ever the serious prankster's friend), made the spider, which is about the size of a 20 pence piece look about four inches long. 

I posted it on my Facebook page and waited.

What I wasn't expecting was for the story to be picked up by Bexley Wildlife who shared it on their Facebook page. It then went to Greenwich and then Dartford Wildlife pages as well. I did try and repair some of the damage by adding a comment that the spider was the sub-species 'Prankus photoshopii'. Only time will tell.


Definitely not a fake image is this one of a Grey Seal I saw recently, splashing around in the river by the Crossness Pumping Station. I can't make out what sort of fish it is eating. perhaps anyone of the 'fishy' persuasion can identify it.


Better late than never. Here are some images of the Tall Ships parade down the Thames last week. I had been told that they were all going to be sailing down to Tilbury so I was rather dissapointed when most of them turned around just East of Woolwich and headed back into London. If I had known, I would have walked up the river a bit. Even so, I did manage to get some pictures, This is a selection.
Everyone waiting for the show

Someone decided to liven things up before they arrived

They got a huge cheer from the crowds waiting
Some smaller ships arrived first

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