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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Running London

From the 19th century, London was run by an elected body called the London County Council (LCC). It consisted of a number of small boroughs circling the Thames. In the 1960s a decision was made to include some of the outer London boroughs, and rename the authority the Greater London Council (GLC). The LCC's last leader was Sir Isaac Hayward:

Sir Isaac was also the chairman of the governors of my school, which was a selective school. Sir Isaac was in favour of non-selective "comprehensive" schools, but he used his position to secure his granddaughter's place, as she had failed her 11+ exam. She was my best friend at school. She never saw the irony of her situation.

A modern art gallery was built on the south bank of the Thames at the end of his watch, and it was named in his honour:

The Hayward Gallery

Education in the original London boroughs (now consolidated into 10 larger ones) remained in the hands of the Inner London Education Authority. It had an amazing variety of resources. I remember making use of the drama costume store to hire stuff for a school function. There was a permanent pool of supply teachers for schools to call on. The authority bought out entire performances of National Theatre plays and rows of seats for operas and ballets. It had a modern language awards system that enabled people like me to travel and study in France or Germany for 10 weeks at the tender age of 17 or 18.

In the 1980s Mrs Thatcher took exception to the GLC and its left-wing, spendthrift ways. First she abolished the GLC, then later the ILEA. Instead of one Chief Education Officer, there were now 10. Great money-saving strategy. Everything was multiplied by 10.

The home of the GLC was this magnificent building by the Thames, County Hall:

Thatcher sold it off. It now houses the London Aquarium, the Saatchi art gallery, and hotels and apartments.

When Thatcher's wonderful government realised London couldn't be the only major world capital city not to have its own governing authority, a new London Assembly was devised, and a new City Hall built at absurd expense (just love the way these people save money):

Sadly for everyone who had ever opposed him, Ken Livingstone, who had been the leader of the GLC when it was abolished, became the first elected Mayor of London, and kept the jb for two terms.
Ken Livingstone.
In the third mayoral election in 2008, Ken was beaten by the ludicrous Boris Johnson, whose chaotic hair mirrors his thinking:
Ken had taken nearly all the iconic Routemaster buses off the road. Many were replaced by one-person-operated buses, which meant paying the driver. Not the smartest move on a busy, narrow London street.
Routemaster bus.
Ken commissioned a bunch of bendy buses, which cost a bomb and are unbelievably fuel-inefficient. On the plus side, you can't even get on one without a pre-bought ticket. Luckily Ken introduced the Oyster card, which you place on a reader plate to register your travel - and reduce the cost of your journey.

Bendy bus.
Now Boris has commissioned a new Routemaster, but it will not be ready before the next Mayoral election next May, and there is good reason to suppose he will lose. If the project is then cancelled, even more money will have been poured down the drain.

The new Routemaster prototype.
Meanwhile, we are "all in it together" - ie. the ordinary Joe and Josephine pay for everyone's folly and inefficiency, while being unable to afford half the stuff they could buy with their salaries last year.

Crazy Day

I didn't manage to find time to post yesterday - it was all a bit manic, but in an infuriatingly slow and time-wasting kind of a way.

I did manage to sleep for an extra hour or so after my dawn chicken feed. After breakfast I went out to the pet store to buy...chicken feed, among other things. Only a £70 bill this week! It was a warm sunny day (at last) and the girls had a good wander while I sat and read, did the crossword in the paper, and had lunch. But they went home like little lambs when I needed to go out and get my car serviced and MoT'd. (The MoT certificate is for the test all cars need to pass yearly once they are three years old. MoT stands for Ministry of Transport, which is not what we have called our government tansport department for many years.)

I take my car to the Nissan dealer where I bought it. They are very trustworthy, and while spotting the one fault I'd picked up on (worn tread on one tyre) they didn't try to screw me for a full set of tyres, or any other superfluous and spurious repairs or replacements.

While I was waiting, I had a couple of hours to kill at the nearby Eltham High Street. Every year it becomes less upmarket and more full of £1 shops. I managed to spend an hour or so reading my book over a cup of coffee, went back to the dealer's early, and sat in their hot waiting room till my car was ready - a mere £309! It did transpire, however, that the rescue service to which I subscribe now comes as part of the service package, so a chunk of the money I paid out should be refundable from the auto club. Nevertheless, I had effectively had to fritter away an entire afternoon, and some of the money I'm trying to save towards a new garden fence.

Soon after I got home, my friend arrived for her regular Friday visit. We ate in the garden while the hens had another run, then went in and watched some Bobby. Pretty soon it was time to put the girls to bed for the night, clear out their run, fill up the bird feeders and put out food for the fox (to discourage it from trying to get the hens).

This left time to catch a faourite comedy show before my friend had to begin her long journey home.

And so the day drew to an end with not much accomplished, not even a blog post.

I wish I had fewer days like this!

Saint or Sinner?

Bobby Goren, thankfully, is no saint. But he does love to catch sinners. I'd happily sin big-time if I thought it meant he'd catch me.

Thursday, September 01, 2011


Not a word I associate with our man.

Wrapped, however - mmm, my legs wrapped round him, maybe?

Love that neck.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

No Alternative Title

That's because all I could think of that sounded and looked a bit like "labeled" was "labia". Funny the things he can make you think of...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

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