I worry about law breaking. I do it, more often than I’d like to admit. Speeding – staying at 20 mph, which is universal around here, is darned tricky – the odd parking infraction, the occasional littering and I can’t be sure I’ve not left a few of Dog’s offering, steaming when I’ve been distracted by a podcast. There are other offences, m’lud to take into consideration. A bit of graffiti, not paying my fare on the train, driving in a bus lane, running a traffic light. This week my son wants me to take his car in for a belated MOT which means the car tax isn’t paid… another offence. And during the covid paranoia of the first lockdown, occasionally a child would pop round. In some cases I’ve been hit with a suitable fine, points on the licence and on others I’ve dodged a bullet. I like to think that on most occasions I’ve held up my hand and taken my punishment. I’m not special, just an ordinary Joe. Were that true of some others…?
I undertook a bit more strava art this weekend. The Dulwich Fish. As with the Brockwell Dog it was about 15 km, took in a couple of decent hills and, given the mild weather down here (further north Storm Malik has been doing its worst, I believe) I sweated loads.
At one point we passed along Sydenham Hill (the chest, just under the nose). There are some impressive Victorian Villas built after the Crystal Palace was rebuilt elsewhere on Sydenham Hill. This one
The Cedars, was built in the 1890s and at one point housed part of the Salvation Army’s training facilities in the 1950s. Most people would be glad to own it, I’d guess. Well, maybe not Harry and Megan as apparently it has 10 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, a ratio that simply wouldn’t pass muster.
One reason why various schemes to rebuild some version of the original Crystal Palace on the foundations in Crystal Palace park have never taken off is the enormous BBC radio mast that looms over us.
Here is is seen across the manicured playing fields of Dulwich College, the Croesus-wealthy private school that educated luminaries like PG Woodhouse and Raymond Chandler and arsewipes like Nigel Farage. You can’t win them all. And the buildings are rather fabulous, even slightly blurry and out of focus as they were in the last kilometre of today’s walk…
Education is so wasted on the young.
On the subject of the mast, the irony of it being where it is, is that the digital radio signal and mobile phone reception around here are shite. A mile away they’re perfect. You may be advised to keep your friends close and your enemies closer but your phone mast is in a different kettle of distance.
Our house alarm has been fixed after a month’s hiatus – so all you miscreants reading this blog, yah boo sucks. Getting to this point has been a modern example of the Gas Man Cometh, by Flanders and Swann. In this case we upgraded our cable TV package and broadband to include the house phone, even though we still received that via British Telecom’s cabling. Then the broadband became a bit volatile. We sort of put up with it. Then our old TV sort of gave up the ghost so we bought a new fangled internet TV and we started losing connection in the middle of some Amazon Prime TV series. An engineer was dispatched. He replaced the router. Hmm… Another came and replaced the cabling from the street to the house and another from the front wall to the central junction box further down the road. Whoop-dee-do, a cracking broadband. But the house phone was now plugged into the router, not the wall socket… Sadly, while that was fine for the phone, the disconnection of the BT line took out our alarm’s connection to the central police thingy (I imagine a Bobby dozing in a blue police box and receiving a small electric charge down the phone line when our alarm goes off, waking him up sufficiently to dispatch a car to our front door). So our alarm company had to send out another engineer to fix the alarm’s connection to said Bobby. It took him a couple of hours and we now have a state of the art alarm that connects, not via cable but via radio waves to our Bobby. Whew. As I was performing one of the more useless tasks required of such companies – trying to write my signature with a fingernail on an iPad – the engineer handed me some stickers. ‘You can put these in your windows’. Apparently these two by one posters (inches, not feet) will inform any prospective burglar of our new alarm and that will dissuade them from attempting entry. I still prefer the socking great box on the front wall of the house with the alarm company’s logo on it as a deterrent, TBH.
Oh, and the Gas Man Cometh?
I spent a full day in the garden this week and I will write about it shortly. Here’s a tempter…
And for Dog lovers?
Have a splendid week. By this time next week we may know if our PM is a lying toerag or… actually, we know that. Of more interest will be what then happens. My guess? A lot of wailing and gnashing of dentures and bugger all else. Anything else might restore my faith in the integrity of politicians and it’s really too early into the New Year for that to happen…