Sunday, 25 July 2010

Cavendish's cussed kissing culminates on the Champs...

You have to feel a little sorry for the podium girls.  Cavendish finishes off first in the final sprint on the Champs-Élysées and the podium girls have obviously done a little bit of research.  ''T'inquiètes pas, l'Anglais, il en fait trois...''   But a fat lot of good that did them!  Having established a bises times threes precedent in previous victories, up he goes and with the Arc de Triomphe in the background and the end of one of France's biggest showcases and cycling's most epic race, the world looks on as she goes....

''Un, deux...QUOI?''

And there she is stranded, still offering her right cheek while Cavendish has already moved on...  And don't ask me what he's doing to that trophy!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Around 2-and-a-half miles from home...

These radial routes take me in all directions.  Monday I was by Tower Bridge, where there was a lot of diggery-pokery going on and the shore beneath the Tower of London.  Surprising that it's possible to dig up artefacts at such a shallow depth in the heart of London.  I would have thought that they'd all have been whisked away  many years ago.

Wednesday I was over by the Excell centre where this fairly well-known faded sign is (Junction of Boxley Street/North Woolwich Road).  I wonder whether the old telephone exchange was ALBany or ALBion. 
And today I was completely in the opposite direction near Horniman's Museum.  I was quite impressed to see a road sign for an 18% incline - I didn't know gradients got that big in South East London.  But I resisted to urge to take a picture because I was already at the top of the hill and downhill at 18% represents no challenge.  I'm going to have to come at it from the other side.  (There was no way if I'd gone down that I'd have managed to turn around and go back up again.)  Still, down the west side of the hill I passed this sign that I've been meaning to snap.  It doesn't really need much information because it tells you pretty much where and what it is...

Does the fact that it's no longer a Post Office make it a post-Post Office?

Saturday, 17 July 2010

The Old Dog and Bell.

I went out for a rare evening drink last night to the Dog and Bell, where I met up for a drink with an old schoolfriend, Ian Powling.  I knew he was going to bring some photos but I hadn't been expecting to see so many photos of the pub as it was back in 1984.  In the days before Charlie and Eileen, previous owners had allowed Ian to film a scene for a short (award-winning) film called ''Just Looking'' in there.  It's quite odd to see the pub as it was 25 years ago., though it's good to see that London Pride, with an earlier logo on the hand pump, was already being served.  Behind the bar, there are Scampi Fries, a smoking-paraphernalia cabinet on the wall and their generous selection of whiskies is already in evidence.

Looking from the bar to the door, where now stands an indoor-porch kind of arrangement, there was a simple curtain .
That curtain and rail is behind the seated drinker facing the camera.  And behind where the man is standing is where the steps and entrance to the side bar now stands. 

More Bog and Del than Dog and Bell, this is the view looking the other way from the bar.  The bar curved round - it's now a wall with a corridor and on the far wall is the door leading to the ladies(?) toilets.

Looking directly away from the bar, where a small table now stands, is the end of a bench seat which stretched right up to the curtain-rail by the entrance (see 2 pictures above.)

I'm going to have to go back and do some ''as it is now'' photos to help comparison.  Though, as I think I appear as a much younger marmoset in one of the photos linked below, I'm not going to do a then and now of myself.

There are more photos of the pub here

(Pictures copyrighted to Ian Powling.)

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Get here by, exactly?

A Time Out Guide to Greenwich & Docklands by DLR 2010 landed on my doormat this morning.  I was surprised to see the picture on page 6.

Greenwich, cyclist, bike with the caption ''Get here by DLR.''  But the DLR doesn't allow bikes on their trains. So how can the pictured person get there by DLR?

Exceptionally, because of a triathlon event being held at the Excel centre, they will be running a train service for competitors from Bank to Excel and bikes will be allowed on board special trains on 4 and 5 August.  But, unless you want to cycle from the Excel centre - further away than the towers on the horizon - you're going to have to get here not by DLR but by bike.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Faire les bises

I guess it's probably because I'm half-Swiss and I've spent a fair while in France that I appreciate the confusion that cross-border kissing can cause.  The Swiss rule is a triple peck, the most common French rule is a double peck, though in some rural areas it can stretch to four.  And most English people just do a single peck.   Because I'm very familiar with that moment of feeling a little lost, I've been enjoying the embarrassment that Tour de France cyclist Andy Schleck has managed to cause whenever he gets the maillot jaune.  That's twice now that he's managed to confuse a podium girl by insisting on his Luxembourgeois right to treble pucker.  In the screengrab below she's just realised that she can't just stop at two and hand over the stuffed lion. He's waiting to close the deal.
I now want him to win a few more yellow jerseys out of simple curiosity about how long this cross-border comedy of manners will go on for before the message finally gets through.

UPDATE after Stage 11: Kissing chaos continues.  For a start, the Manxman Cavendish won the finishing sprint and gained the green jersey.  He gets up on the podium and kisses the two girls in threes - and they seem to be ready for three - and then afterwards he repeats the triples with the 2 dignitaries to the side of the podium.  Then comes Schleck again, having retained the yellow.  The first girl imposes a 2-cheek limit and he then turns to the stuffed lion lady and he reasserts his treble.  He then wanders off to shake hands with the male dignitaries and faire les bises with the 2 women.  The first woman, perhaps preconditioned by Cavendish offers her left cheek, then her right cheek, then her left cheek for the finale...only to be left hanging because Schleck has gone straight on to the 2nd woman.  The first woman, an ex-French time trialler, looked a little discombobulated.

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Do not allow your fowl to dog this area

I think I ought to start a series of ''Do not...'' photos.  There are thousands of them around and making them is apparently easier than spelling four-letter words.  In fact, I've half a mind to put a few up myself after the recent spate of unnecessary do-nottery on the Crossfields estate.  I wonder how long it will take before the caretakers rip them down


Oh, and here's a photo of the Hygienic Bakers on Inchmery Road, Catford, SE4.

Just off Dog Kennel Hill there are a few streets with rather attractive street lamps.  One street in particular, Marsden Road, SE15, has added a little detail to the curved form of the lights.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Disintegrated Transport Planning (2)

Ok, it's time to correct my first post on the Greenwich pedestrianisation plans.

I have to admit to having been misled by the consultation document Where the key to the page 2 diagram indicates ''Pedestrian area, resident and business access only'' it turns out that GBC just bunged an old inaccurate and out-of-date map into the consultation. 
Apparently the light brown area is wrong and the key to the dark brown area is also wrong.  But hey, they had a map of some sort - even if they know it's wrong it'll be fine for a consultation, won't it?  Just bung any old rubbish in, that's good enough for the public!

Being a simple person, I understood the ''only'' in 'resident and business access only'' to mean ''only''' and then spent a good time calculating distances according to that.  Time wasted. 

But I've been assured that the map is wrong and cyclists will be allowed to use the pedestrianised area.  I only have one person's word for it, mind.  My maps showing east-to-west routes are now inaccurate because cyclists will apparently be able to now cycle through rather than around the area, albeit ceding right of way to pedestrians.

However, while bike commuters travelling up to town won't have a significantly longer journey, all cycle routes from south-to-north (Greenwich Foot Tunnel) except via Greenwich Park will be longer.  This also includes journeys from New Cross to the foot tunnel.  Here's a current-proposed journey from Blackheath Hill/Greenwich South Street to the foot tunnel.

That's an extra 0.17 of a mile comparing the shortest current route (in blue) and the shortest possible proposed route (in green).  The total length of the pedestrianised area is 0.16.

Coming down from Hyde Vale....
Longer again.  Sure, it's not a lot longer but each time the added length is caused by the proposed one way section between Greenwich South Street to Greenwich Church Street.  A cycle contraflow on this section would cure this.

The same goes for cyclists coming from Ditch Alley (the link from Lewisham below Wickes to Egerton Drive) and from New Cross or Deptford Broadway or Brockley or.....

You get the picture: longer journeys for cyclists.

Why?  Because this project has started with a simple desire to pedestrianise a small area without considering cyclists.  They produced their original consultation maps that didn't show cycle routes.  Cyclists complained.  They've half accommodated cyclists in the 2nd proposal, curing the problem caused by ''disappearing'' the Ha'penny Hatch/Norman Road omission.  But even after having made concessions to cyclists, they still produce an incorrect consultation document and longer routes for cyclists.

If we imagined beginning the process again, we could start with a problem: too much motorised traffic.  How do we reduce the amount of motorised traffic that makes life so unfriendly to pedestrians?  Displace the traffic or encourage alternative means of transport? 

I'm obviously in favour of the alternative means of transport option.  But no, they've come up with an option that displaces traffic from Greenwich to... er, Greenwich, forgets completely about getting people out of cars and into public transport or onto bikes, and increases journey distances for cyclists. 

In my first post about Disintegrated Transport Planning, Jed wrote about the problems that would be caused for buses, and I'm the first to admit I'm the last person to catch a bus so I haven't begun to consider them yet.   But the problems for the buses have been created for exactly the same reasons that they've been created for cyclists.  Start with pedestrians versus traffic and forget about what reduces traffic.

Join it all up, for heaven's sake!

Faded Catford

My impossible ''ride every road'' project took me down to Catford last week.  As a teenager I used to have a fair number of friends who lived in this part of the world but they're long gone and, given that part of Catford's raison d'être is that its roads don't go anywhere, I haven't really been down that way for decades.  So freewheeling down Sandhurst Road I was pleased to find this pretty well-preserved Butcher's sign above the corner grocery-cum-off licence at the junction of Muirkirk Road.

Finest Quality

A little further down the road, at the junction of Inchmery Road, there's this one.  With several layers and highly faded, it's little more than the vague memory of a Chemist's sign.and I can't decipher anything but individual words.
I was also pleased to have spotted this one opposite when I arrived at the junction from a different direction.  Not instantly visible, the main clue is the advertising hoarding above - sites for advertising often stay as sites for a long time.  SWAN LAUNDRY.

My feeling of self-satisfaction at spotting such an unobtrusive feature was short-lived.  Checking back on Google map's ''street view,'' I discovered that I appear to have ridden straight past this rather more obvious one....

I think I'll have to revisit the street to see what lies behind that young tree.  It appears to be:



HOVIS on the back wall.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Welling coiffeur...?

For a moment, when I caught this wall painting in the corner of my eye, I thought I was in France.  But no, it's definitely Welling High Street, which, although I suppose it could be seen as being on the French side of Shooters Hill, is rarely thought of as having any French connection.  Below the name Thibault you can make out the word Hairdressing.  Though the shop's since changed use it's not forgotten its roots.  Now the Barber Shop Café, the red and white striped pole remains above the shop front.