Friday 29 June 2007

No smoking please...

So, the new smoking ban or "England goes smoke free" approaches. The papers have been full of articles on "how to quit" and new signs and butt bins (and even 'smoking shelters') are in evidence everywhere. I don't suppose that it will make much difference to my life... I stopped smoking about 3 and half years ago... and never looked back. Like a lot of reformed smokers I am now extremely intolerant of others smoking. However, I don't frequent a lot of places where people do smoke. The pub we go to if we go out is a Weatherspoon's which has always had a no smoking section. I can imagine, however, that (for example) the concourse at football matches will be much improved without the nicotine smog hanging over it!

London is in semi-chaos again today after the discovery of a car bomb outside a nightclub in the early hours of the morning. The situation was dealt with by the police and the bomb didn't explode... however, Haymarket (which basically links Westminster with Central London) is closed, buses are on diversion and Piccadilly Circus tube is shut. All that said... there is no to Mayfair or the Jubilee Line. If my boss hadn't happened to mention it this morning in the kitchen, I probably wouldn't have known.

I was off for a site visit again yesterday (sunny Kent this time). As always I listened to BBC London's morning phone in. Yesterday the discussion was about parking attendant (after a parking attendant had been attacked the day before after issuing a ticket and ended up critically ill in hospital). The airwaves were fairly jammed with tales of woe (and some of them were terribly sad involving sick children and dying parents)... but for every tale of woe and unjust ticket there are equal amounts of people who park where they want and run the risk - but will still complain when they get a ticket. At the end of the day, parking attendants are just people doing there job like anyone else. And like anyone else, they have good days... they have bad days.. and they make mistakes. I once got a parking ticket, I had stopped where I ought not - so I held up my hands and said "It's a fair cop, guv".

Looking out the office window the other afternoon (trying to see what was causing the cacophony of car horns) I saw a very amusing van, with a sign printed on the roof "Don't look down on me. I'm just a delivery van." Kind of defeats the point of being memorable as I couldn't see the side of the van to see which company it belonged to!

There is no post today as the Royal Mail are gone on strike - I believe it is over the 2.5% pay offer. I get confused when there are them and the Underground always threatening to go on strike. I have trouble remembering why and for what they are striking. In addition to this the Royal Mail also wants to stop delivering on a Saturday. Apparently most of Europe doesn't have Saturday deliveries. I find this hard to believe, and may now have to research the rest of the world to find out how common/unusual a Saturday delivery really is.

The office was highly amused by the news that the Spice Girls are getting back together. I saw a picture in the paper this morning... and I have to say apart from Victoria they were all looking every inch of their 30 years and being mothers... absolutely crying out for a 'before' and 'after' shot.

My family did their own version of that once. It was very alarming. It was the occasion of my grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary. A photograph had been taken 10 years previously at the time of their 40th wedding anniversary, a family grouping of my grandparents, my mother, my uncle, my brother, my two cousins and me. This photograph was re-created - identical positioning, even down to my youngest cousin (now about 14) having to hold the small orange wheelbarrow that he had played with as a four year old!

Hopefully the weather will cheer up a bit now, just in time for the weekend!