Monday, 19 January 2015

no pants day

Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA
The 11th of January saw the 14th "No Pants Day" event in San Fransisco. The idea is that people turn up to travel on the public transport system (in San Fransisco, this is called Bay Area Rapid Transport of BART for short) with no trousers and otherwise just behave normally.

It began in New York in 2002 with 150 participants and has since spread to over 60 cities. There doesn't seem to be any point to it but it has become a popular event to cheer up an otherwise dull January.

Apparently, it seems to have spread to London as well. If you are thinking of taking part, make absolutely sure you understand what Americans mean by pants or you could find yourself in some trouble.

london news

I have decided to come back to one of my old grumps about the state of the London news page on the BBC TV news regional pages. I'm a bit late publishing this so it gives me an opportunity to give a run down of Sunday's offerings.

It seems there has been a fire in the Eurotunnel. For those of you who are unfamiliar with it, Eurotunnel runs under the English Channel and goes goes between Folkstone, an English seaside town (not in London) to Calais, a French seaside town (not in London).

They sadly report the death of Gladys Cooper who was the oldest person in the world. She died in a care home on the Isle of Wight. The Isle of Wight is an island off the south coast of England (not in London).
n.b. This story is completely inaccurate. Gladys Hooper from the Isle of Wight actually becomes the oldest person in Britain, aged 112 after the death of Ethel Lang, aged 114 who lived her entire life in Barnsley, S. Yorks. For the person who wrote this story, Barnsley is a long way from London. Even further from London is the Japanese city of Osaka where Misao Okawa, aged 116, is actually the oldest recorded person in the world.

Authorities in England have issued their annual pledge to try and end the practice of locking people with mental health problems up in Police cells. While London is indeed in England, there is no reason why this should be of particular London interest. London is not mentioned anywhere in the report.

A Golden Eagle briefly escaped from it's owner at an aviary in Flitwick. Flitwick is a small town in Bedfordshire (not in London). It was later captured at Centre Parcs. Centre Parcs is also in Bedfordshire, i,e not in London. Perhaps it flew over London, if so this is not mentioned.

The Sonisphere Concert at Knebworth has had to be cancelled following fire damage to the site earlier last year. Knebworth, like the previous story is in Bedfordshire, just south of the town of Stevenage (not in London).

They have also reported the alleged rape of a 17 year old girl in Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire which, only being around 60 miles from London is at least closer than Osaka.

I repeat my previous assertion that the page editing has been outsourced to India with whoever is doing it believing that London is about 50 miles further north than is actually the case. I suppose with India being such a big country, 50 miles must seem like nothing. Easy to believe that all the Midlands new towns are really just suburbs of London.

ASDA home shopping

Use it if you dare

About a couple of weeks ago, my Daughter placed an order with ASDAs online grocery service. She arranged for it to be delivered this Friday. 

In the early hours of Friday morning they took the money out of her account to pay for it then at about 2:30 in the afternoon sent her an email saying that they had cancelled the order.

Their reason for cancelling the order was that they had not received the payment. They clearly had as my Daughter's bank account was shy exactly the amount that ASDA was supposed to have taken and the transaction was shown in her statement. 

It then transpires that ASDA are not going to give her the money back (the money they say they don't have) until Monday, they will keep it over the weekend. 

This payment pretty well cleared out her account leaving her with no money to buy shopping from anywhere else. Fortunately, she was able to use some cash she had kept to pay for a car MOT. Without that, her family would have gone hungry. Obviously they would not have gone hungry as the rest of the family would have helped out but there must be people who don't have anyone to call on for help. 

There are a lot of people this happens to if evidence is to be believed. When my Daughter phoned her bank to find out how to get her money returned, she was told that they have received hundreds of enquiries just like this and they didn't advise anyone to use the ASDA online service because of this.

I did use the ASDA internet shopping service some years ago and it was a shambles although they didn't actually steal my money.

snail mail

As I've said before, I'm not really of the sporting persuasion. It's not that I don't like sport, I just don't really have any interest in it. Mrs Grump however is of an entirely different ilk and is, for reasons I won't go into here, a fanatical supporter of West Ham United football club.

As the proud owner of a season ticket, she attends all of the home games and you may catch a glimpse of her sitting in her wheelchair near the touchline in her blue jacket and wooly hat. Her Grandson Jordan takes her to each match, pushing her from wherever they can park the car to the ground and then back again afterwards.

They would have been able to walk there in about an hour but a bunch of Brampton Ward NIMBYs persuaded Boris to cancel our bridge.

Anyway, Jordan wanted to go to the FA Cup replay match and as the disabled ticket was only £20 it seemed churlish to refuse. Mrs Grump sent off for the tickets which were posted on or around the 5th Jan, plenty of time for them to arrive. To date, Monday 19th Jan they still haven't.

Question - how long does it take a small envelope to travel 1st class from Upton Park to Thamesmead?
Answer - nobody knows.

bin and gone

My fellow blogger Hugh Neal of Arthur Pewty's Maggot Sandwich fame has been reporting over the last few months on the state of the recycling facilities at Morrison's car park in Erith which has been used as a dumping ground for illegal fly tippers.

We have a similar problem here in Thamesmead and it got so bad after Christmas that you could hardly see the bins for the rubbish piled up against them.

Greenwich Council has finally had enough and removed the facility altogether. This is a shame; even though the Nathan Way centre is nearby, it's not going to be as convenient for those responsible persons who just want to recycle their rubbish.

I don't really understand why they couldn't have just set up a couple of CCTV cameras to identify anyone using the site improperly. Stuffing offenders with a hefty fine would help to pay for the installation and may even turn the council a profit.

I have decided to save my stories about the Kodak Brownie camera and Discovery Channel for next week as I am running out of time.

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