Blaze at derelict house in Waterlooville – How Not Suspicious ?

The cause is not known but a spokesman for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said it is not suspicious.

A derelict bungalow catches fire and a spokesman says it’s not suspicious. I for one would be suspicious, especially as it is due to be demolished. Presumably the electricity would have been turned off so the likelihood of the fire being started by rodents chewing through the wiring is virtually zero.

Blaze at derelict house in Waterlooville – Local – The News.

South West Trains are caught in a time warp – British Rail Lives On In Spirit

You catch the train at Portsmouth Harbour at 7.45am.

By 8.30am the train pulls into London Waterloo.

It sounds like a dream journey for any long-suffering commuter.

But the truth is South West Trains have been stuck in a time warp since British Summer Time started at 1am on Sunday.

Clocks on the announcement boards in carriages were still an hour behind yesterday – three days after the clocks went forward.

Clocks on station platforms have been set to the right time, making it even more confusing for passengers.

It’s good to see that privatisation has ensured that standards are being maintained. This is the stuff that kept British Rail a laughing stock and a constant source of frustration.

They, South West Trains, have blamed the equipment supplier but in truth this just goes to show their quality control is lacking. After all they should have pilot tested all their new equipment before inflicting it on the public.

This is a minor issue in the grand scheme but, if they aren’t paying attention to the little details, what else are they missing ?

South West Trains are caught in a time warp – Transport – The News.

Milk Monitor

This was the job we all wanted when I was at school. It meant that you might get extra’s because any left at the end of the day was yours to dispose of.

Here is the modern day equivalent in my office where we have  a small kitchen area with a full blown professional coffee machine, hot water urn and a fridge to keep the milk in.

Initial e-mail

Hi all

New signs have been put up in the large kitchen fridge advising you what row to take milk from first. If you see the signs have fallen down on the bottom of the fridge, please be helpful and return them back to their original position. The Take First section is the first glass shelf in the fridge and the Take Last section is the third shelf down.

Kind regards.

Responding e-mail

Obviously not enough work for someone with a brain the size of a planet. Idle hands etc. etc.


As an alternative to filling the fridge with signs and introducing all sorts of procedures around packing/extracting bottles of milk can I make the following suggestion.

Rather than just ignoring milk that is past its use by date, purely on the basis of the use by date, and opening a new bottle (thereby wasting otherwise good milk) try the following:

If  todays date is less than or equal to the ‘use by’ date

use milk freely

else todays date is later than ‘use by’ date

then the following simple steps will help you determine if the milk is off or not:

  • shake it, if it does not move then it’s off
  • look at it, if it has blocks floating in it it’s off
  • smell it, if it smells off, it’s off (for those of you that don’t know what milk smells like when it’s off a good guide is that it smells like something you would not want to add to your tea/coffee)
  • if it passes all those tests then chances are it’s okay. If however, you pour the suspect milk into your tea or coffee and it tastes funny then make a fresh tea/coffee using different milk. If the tea/coffee still tastes funny your cup is dirty, if it tastes okay then yes, it’s possible the milk is off, but even after that one sip you will live so don’t call the first aider just yet.

In the interests of reducing unnecessary food waste I contacted Cravendale Dairy. They assure me that milk is unable to read the ‘use by’ date on bottle labels (apparently the print can not be seen from within the bottle through the back of the labels) and so it has no idea when it is supposed to turn sour. They tell me that on average milk will last 7 days from the time the bottle is opened as long as it is stored properly.

If you wish to respond feel free to come chat or otherwise be email considerate and do not ‘respond all’.


Spring Show

Springtime has to be one of the best times of the year. Nature showing all her best bits. Have just driven past thousands, if not millions, of beautiful Pansy’s, Primula’s, Daffodils and Magnolia Tree blooms. So here is a small contribution from our front garden.

Had to snap the back view because they were just so bright. And here they are from the front, some might say from the proper side.

Obviously we are all waiting for the Cherry blossoms to begin their display. Unfortunately, I have noticed that one of our two trees looks to have finally succumbed to the disease which was causing its leaves to wilt. It had managed to give a magnificent display each year even though the leaves would die back. This morning I can find no sign any buds forming. I guess we’ll have to replace it after giving us great pleasure for thirty years or so.

Glorious Wells

Yesterday we spent a fabulous day visiting Wells in Somerset.

We couldn’t have asked for better weather. After around two hours traveling we arrived and promptly set about finding somewhere to have a bite to eat and a cuppa. We settled on The Crown at Wells and Antons Bistro and opted to eat in The Penns Bar.

Originally a separate inn, it was from an upper window here that William Penn, a Quaker who later gave his name to Pennsylvania USA (and our bar), preached to a crowd below in 1685.

After lunch we started our exploration in earnest. After browsing some of the market stalls and doing a bit of window shopping we passed through the archway and headed towards the Bishops Palace and Moat.

The weather was so good that many folks had brought picnics and were sitting enjoying the sunshine. Not something we are able to do as often as we would like. Of course nobody was allowed on the bowling green quality lawns immediately in front of the palace itself.

Before traveling down to Wells I had printed of the Wells Moat Walk map which guides you around the moat and makes sure you don’t miss the main sights. Each of the following views are from that walk.

The Tithe Barn, unfortunately, was surrounded by parked cars which was a shame. Its a lovely building and deserves to be seen without the automotive graffiti.

As we strolled along the moat we availed ourselves of a deliciously smooth 99 apiece. This really was just like a summers day. We had to keep reminding ourselves that it was still only the third week of March.

Wherever you are in the city the magnificent cathedral dominates the skyline. But there are plenty of other interesting sights.

Adjacent to the cathedral can be found the Vicars Close which has it’s own unique style and, having no through road, forms a quiet secluded area away from the general hustle and bustle.

The cathedral itself has many interesting feature both outside as well as in. Close to the entrance to the Vicars Close, on the cathedral wall you can see the Wells Clock, said to be the second oldest clock mechanism in Britain.

Inside, the cathedral has many beautiful architectural features. In the main body of the building is the scissor arch. An impressive feature but they serve a very real purpose. In the past a high tower topped by a lead covered wooden spire had been constructed but as the foundations were not stable large cracks began to appear in the tower structure. The scissor arch is an engineering solution to the problem.

Leading up to the Chapter House is a remarkable flight of stairs

The Chapter House, an octagonal structure, is a beautiful room constructed over the undercroft is where the Canons met to conduct cathedral business.

By far the most spectacular feature of the cathedral is the West Front which features some 300 statues.

After touring the cathedral we were ready to return home. On route we stopped, at the White Horse Ampfield,  for dinner.

A fine and tasty end to a great day.

Ski jumpers soar over Hampstead Heath

I stumbled across this article and thought I would share.

The novel idea of importing 45 tons of snow, 25 Norwegian skiers and building an almost full sized ski jump obviously gave Londoners something to gawp at back in 1950, although I can’t imagine why the event was originally proposed. Perhaps the words of a “spokesmen” give us a clue

An official said of the event, “This exhibition has been such an unqualified success that we are very much hoping it will become one of the country’s major sporting features.”

Maybe there were some pretensions that London could host the Winter Olympics. Is this where Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards gained inspiration ?

BBC ON THIS DAY | 25 | 1950: Ski jumpers soar over Hampstead Heath.