A tale of a Scotsman living in SW london...

Friday, December 05, 2008

To compound my pain after yesterdays drive to work, the drive home wasn't much better! We'd gone to my wives sisters house to drop off Fizz Wizz that we'd bought in the local sweet shop in the village (it's fantastic btw - everything you can imagine from your childhood available in little bags!) as it's the nieces birthday tomorrow. As such, she wanted to let the kids experience Fizz Wizz, which has also been called Space Dust, but essentially pops like crazy in your mouth. So this route back home took us via Woking. This bit was fine, but then from there you drive past Brooklands and Weybridge to get to the A3 at Chobham. This is where the problems lay, as the M25 was closed between Weybridge and the A3, so all the 4 lanes of M25 traffic was trying to use the same bit of road...

Absolute hell. And with the prospect of a weekend trip to Yorkshire, complete with snow, it doesn't look like my driving pleasure will increase anytime soon! In saying that, we drove back to London after seeing Coldplay this week. Now, even though it was pretty late, the roads were quiet and the car was a dream. I mean, it looks good, it's massive inside, it's pretty quick and it eats motorways. What more can you ask for late at night for a 150 mile run? That made me almost as happy as the soon to happen trip round Scotland for a wee driving jaunt. Cannot wait...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

So for the first time in a while I've gone to a proper office. We drove there, as it's in Surrey. On route, we came across two minor accidents on the roads, one involving a car on the inside lane (there is no pavement or hard shoulder at that point on the A3) and another involving a van which had stopped in similar circumstances. The result - an extra 40 minutes on the drive to work.

Traffic does, officially, suck.

It begs the question though - with the Government deciding that using the hard shoulder instead of building more roads is a viable way forward, all you'll get when there is an accident is absolute mayhem as there is nowhere to put the cars other than the hard shoulder. On the M42, they only use it in peak hours, and the hard shoulder is used as a feeder for the next exit, and allows cars coming on to the motorway more time to move out which results in a much improved flow of traffic. This, combined with the use of traffic lights on the entry, has made a massive difference. But it only works when there are no accidents, and that's where the plan fails.

The M1 needs another lane all the time, as does the M6 and probably sections of the M25 (though better lane discipline on the M3 junction would be a start and would solve a lot of problems). Using the hard shoulder is a short term fix to get round the environmental debates about road building. But they need to happen..

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Well, Coldplay were superb last night. Took a few songs to warm up, both them and the crowd, but by the time they hit Yellow (about 4 songs in) everyone was in full flow. Birmingham has a big German market where we met our friends beforehand which is just amazing and a big plus for Brum. So a hot chocolate and a massive proper German sausage were had for dinner so I was a happy person! The beer looked great but it was freezing! I don't think many people know about the market outside of the area, but they had some really nice stuff there and we hope to go back soon when we are free one weekend before Christmas.

Interesting note for the night - everybody joined the queue to pay for the car park. However a quick wander into the car park and we found another 3 machines, with no queue. How very British...

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Dinner last night was good fun. It's not every day that your dinner is cooked by the programme execs, in Hell's Kitchen style! Honestly though, the food was good and the waiting staff were also pretty good, though our desert waiter was shocking. He'd avoided doing his job all night and then missed most of the tables he was supposed to be doing.

Other stuff, well my Dad had his long awaited surgery on his hand yesterday and all went well, though he has stitches and a splint so can't do very much. And as his phone has a stylus, it's taking him even longer than normal to write text messages. If only I could watch him do it - I'm sure it would be a real sight!

Today is going to be a long day. We're going to see Coldplay with some friends tonight which should be really good - for all the abuse they get they are superb live. We saw them a couple of years ago at Crystal Palace - great gig, crap venue - took 90 minutes to get a train home. So, we are really looking forward to the gig, however we have to get back to London tonight and the gig is in Birmingham, so that's going to be a very late arrival home. And it looks like it will snow later. Deep joy...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Travel to Worcester on a Monday is always a pain, but today there is a dinner planned and that seems as good a reason as any. Well, that and the two meetings someone had scheduled for me in Worcester...

It should be good though, I've missed catching up with everyone socially on the project since we got our little cottage nearby.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It transpires I'm going to be an uncle! My brother and his wife are due to have a baby in June next year, so there is much excitement in the family households! Of course, technically I've been an uncle for a while, but they are my sister in laws children and while I adore them, this is my brother having a kid - which in itself is a scary prospect.

So many congratulations to them. At least we'll all know who's doing the driving over Christmas ;-)