Friday, April 19, 2002

Suburban. Surburban, thats what I am, one of the most revilled forms of humanity. I live in the suburbs on the outskirts of a city. Safe and sound in the boring suburbs. But, the suburbs generated the Beatles, Rolling Stones, UK punk, New Romantics, Teddy Boys, Skinheads, Mods, Rockers, and so on. Now I would say the suburbs are so boring that we must do something to make them fun ! Start a new trend maybe, steal a bit of reggae and a bit of punk and make Two Tone ? Wear big boots and kick someones teeth out for fun ? Of course ! The perfect antidote to a life of neatly-kept lawns, keeping up with the Jones's, semi-detached hell ! Drive through the suburbs of any big UK town and where are you ? Manchester ? London ? Birmingham ? They pretty well look the same. Now this can also be said of most of the US suburbs I have seen, long straight roads, every mile or two a cross-roads with identical mall-like sets of shops and take-aways, interspersed with groups of identical houses with identical cars and pools in the back yard.
In the UK it has become almost identical, at least the roads and shops, but at least we still have rows and rows of identical semi-detached houses, a style seemingly unique to this country. Whereas Johnny Foriegner prefers apartments, we have a single house split in two, with each half a mirror image. It is so odd to go into your neighbours house to find an Alice through the looking glass image of your own house !
The suburbs are'nt just semi-detached houses, they are a way of life, a force that sucks people in ! Immigrants from far flung and exoctic outposts of the once mighty empire originally populated the cheap and run-down inner cities. Now as they are going to the suburbs. On balmy Sunday afternoons the aroma of over-cooked cabbage has to jostle with curry ! But these are not classless areas these all-embracing suburbs, there are subtle gradations within them;
semi-detatched 3 bedrooms, semi-detatched 4 bedrooms, detached, link detached, single-car garage, double-car garage, what sort of car ? 4 wheel-drive ? Jaguar ? Mercedes ? BMW ? Ford Mondeo ? How many buttons on your jacket cuff ? Single breated or double breasted ? Cufflinks or buttons ? Silk or polyester tie ? Look closer and the seeming uniformity goes, replaced by complex layers of style, money, taste.
Oh shit, I've got a long drive home in a Volvo. Shit name for a shit car. How did these stupid lumps become so popular ? Is it becuase the twee middle classes drove them in the 70s and 80s ? They are so stupid looking that only head teachers and college lecturers would want to drive them. Now they seem to have moved into the company car arena, no doubt because dull company men (like me) want to look to drive something that is'nt a dull salesman type company car. But that is what they are, dull salesman like company cars, these Volvos.
Oh well, its not for long, or so I hope.
Just read a comments on a blog along the lines of 'i've got nothing interesting to post'. Well matey, that post was no exception to any of your other posts. The point of me posting is to keep an on-line diary, not to interest the big wide world of the web ! I would be more than surprised if anyone finds this drivel interesting ! I find some posts interesting, as they give an insight into peoples lives, and it is nice to know that other people go through the same shit in life, so I'm not alone in work/relationships problems etc. etc. Arrgh I'm beginning to talk shit.
Time to go and do some work I suppose.

Strange facts; On Tuesday evening as I drove back to my hotel from Sheerness, I noticed the moon seemed to have a star just by it, as it was a new moon, the star appeared to be inside the circle of the moon. As I knew that 5 planets would be visible from 20 April I assumed it was one of these planets, and yes, it was Saturn. Saturn was just going to be occluded by the moon, ie. pass behind the moon in our line of sight from the earth. Well that was interesting was'nt it children. Next week we will be splitting the atom and doing gene recombination to find a cure for childrens tv presenters.
Its Friday, and I have managed a healthy week, no big bags of crisps, or XL double bacon cheeseburgers or bottles of wine or seas of beer. So I should have no excuse for a crap ride tomorrow, unless it is cold, which looks unlikely, as yesterdays cold SE wind has move west, and even at 8.00 this morning I could feel the warmth of the sun.

Thursday, April 18, 2002

I don't have much to say today.
Down in Kent for the past three days. On Monday evening I drove into London, crossing the Thames on the Woolich ferry I was treated to a view of the sun setting over Canary Wharf, with much of the skyline of central London including the wheel and Big Ben visible along the sweep of the Thames.
Tuesday evening I drove down to the Isle of Sheppey via a meandering route through Meophan. Went a stroll along the beach from Minster towards Sheerness. This area of the North Kent coast from Dartford to Sheppey is something less than scenic but has its own particular charm. Wide empty
marshes, crumbling sea cliffs, run-down seaside towns. The sun had already set over the Isle of Grain power station, but the distant shimmering lights of Southend-on-sea provided a fitting backdrop over the Thames estuary, while passing container ships sailed along with their clusters of lights with distant winking lighthouses pinpricking the far horizons.
Got home early on Wednesday, put the new patio furniture out. Fitted in a 26 mile thrash round Wood End. Thought I may have met the lads on the Wednesday eve training bash, but it seems I was on the wrong roads.
In Bolton today by 'eck. Barms anyone ?

Monday, April 15, 2002

Monday, again. Why ?
In Kent, which is a damn site nicer than Bolton.
Weather; rotton. Freezing fucking cold all weekend. Had a couple of beers and some wine at my daughters 17th birthday meal on Saturay night. Did'nt
disgrace myself, nor did my daughter or her boyfreind. Very well behaved. I suppose she is unlikely to get smashed with her parents around.
Plan for Sunday was to get up early (yes, did that), have a light breakfast (No, did'nt do that) and either wizz over to Stonebridge and ride the Midland Racing Team 10 mile TT, or go to Wyhall to see if any of the club turn up. Just sat and watched TV instead. At least I went out later in the afternoon and managed to fit in a mere 14 easy miles just before the rain came down. As it is mid April I did'nt wear gloves, which became a problem as my hands were almost too cold to hold the handlebars after the rain started. Mmmm, cold AND rain, what a lovely mixture. At least I only did 45 minutes, I had a lingering idea I should do 1/2 hours as I won't be riding my bike much this week. The next 3 days in Dartford, then up to Bolton on Thursday, probably with my bike. The plan is to gout out Thursday and maybe Friday evenings.
Well it is my fathers 80th on Saturday, I just have to make sure I don't drink too much.
Saturday will be an interesting day, race in the morning, take my son bowling in the afternoon and dads 80th birthday party in the evening.

Thought for the day;
Income tax sucks.

Thought for tomorrow;
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is not a nice person.