Friday 20 February 2009

Traffic jams and old friends

After reading a fellow local blogger's observations on the traffic chaos yesterday I really should have known better than to expect to get anywhere other than slowly today. I had quite a few errands to run this morning which were taking me all over my little corner of South East London. First stop Woolwich to go to the bank. This wasn't too bad for traffic, although there weren't many parking spots to be found. After the bank (no queue, somebody was smiling on me) I popped into game to see if there were any exciting new releases - and I stumbled upon "Sega Megadrive Ultimate Collection" for the Xbox 360. Forty odd games for the Megadrive lovingly gathered together. Sonic, Sonic 2 and Sonic 3 - plus Sonic 3D, Sonic Pinball and Dr Robotnik's Meanbean Machine. In addition to these was Ecco the Dolphin (still impossible) and a whole heap of new (new to me, anyway) titles.

Unfortunately the games had to wait as I still had places to be. Next stop the Post Office. Since the Post Office in Woolwich closed and re-opened as a franchise in WHSmith it has been inclined to queues. Today was no exception, I estimated (based on my experiences in the Post Office in Albemarle Street) that the wait would be around 30 mintues. Longer than I had left on my parking ticket. I decided to go to the Post Office in Charlton (which is the only other choice since the one in Charlton Village and the one towards the Barracks shut down). Managed to find a parking space in Floyd Road and (someone still smiling on me) no queue in the Post Office.

Next (and final) stop Asda for the week's grocery shopping. Oh dear. I could see the traffic chaos from Charlton Church Lane. Stationary traffic in Bugsby Way. Stationary traffic on the 'low road'. Resurfacing works between Makro and Asda on Bugsby Way, watermain works on the Antigallican junction. Carnage. I decided to go around the houses (following the 380 route) and come onto the Woolwich Road from Victoria Way. Bad mistake. Thames Water are digging up that road too! Eventually I got onto the Woolwich Road, went under the Woolwich Road flyover, past Sainsbury and came into Asda from that direction.

My shopping was a failure, as I managed to spend about £30 more than I planned (I can't quite understand how) so it is back to online delivery as even with the delivery charge I'd still have been £25 up!

Interestingly I was just looking to find if there was any route through the traffic chaos. I asked Multimap to find me 'Charlton, London' which it did... and told me that the nearest station was Charlton (true) and the nearest tube Pontoon Dock. Whilst technically this might be true it is missing several points. 1) Pontoon Dock is DLR not tube 2) there is the small matter of the River Thames between Charlton and Pontoon Dock and 3) if we are talking DLR then Woolwich is now open and is probably equidistant if not nearer than Pontoon Dock. I love online mapping services - they are so reliable. I've still never forgiven the occasion that I typed in a postcode and was sent to the wrong end of Grey's Inn Road (which is a VERY long road to be at the wrong end of).

Finally finished all my errands and got home to enjoy some quality time with Sonic and friends. I actually did have all the old Sonic games on my Gamecube - which I sold a while ago, and I was quite missing them. Acquaintance with the modern versions of Sonic and his friends hasn't made me any better at the old games though... all good fun, even so.