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

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Purgatory - Day 13

"I'm nothing like you." There's no one like you, Bobby.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Bridge Too Far

As someone who, in my teens, twice walked 26 London bridges for charity, I know full well that crossing the Thames gets a bit tricky once you get east of Tower Bridge:

The first crossing you come to is the Rotherhithe tunnel, which was opened in 1908:
As you can see, it's rather narrow, and, scarily, it doubles as a pedestrian tunnel. Unfortunately, if you meet a large vehicle coming towards you, you have to mount the pavement to make room. Pity the poor pedestrian, then...

Next comes the Blackwall Tunnel:

This one is older, opening in 1897. It too is very narrow, and in 1967 it became the northbound tunnel when a new, wider southbound tunnel opened.

When you go several miles downstream to Greenwich, you will find this folly, marking the entrance to a foot tunnel constructed between 1899 and 1902:

Yes, you have to walk through it. If you have a bike you have to push it. And the Thames is a very wide river.
Once you get to the bottom in the lift, this is what confronts you:
It looks like it could do with resurfacing, and is that a drain? I find it worrying that you get puddles down here...deep underneath a B-I-G river! I've only ever used it once.
A few miles further east you come to the Woolwich foot tunnel:
This one was opened in 1912, and I have never been through it.
Nearby is the only way to cross the Thames in a vehicle for some miles:
This is the Woolwich ferry, which takes cars, lorries and foot passengers. Never been on that, either. Though I'd like to.
There's no other crossing at the eastern end of London, and it isn't until you get to Dartford in Kent that you can make your way to the northern side.
The Dartford tunnel was opened in 1963, and consisted of two tunnels, a dual carriageway in each direction. But it was so busy that eventually they decided to relieve the pressure with a bridge. Now both tunnels take traffic northbound, the bridge takes things southbound. The Queen Elizabeth II Bridge opened in 1991:
Well now, I dislike both tunnels and heights so, as you can imagine, the journey from Kent to Essex and back is not one I enjoy making by road.
To add insult to injury, though the toll on the Dartford crossing was supposed to last only till the capital investment was repaid, they decided to carry on collecting it - and even increased the rate.
Today I went into Essex for the first time in ages, to take my ring made from my darling Shelley's ashes to be re-engraved (they'd misspelt his name, which I didn't notice at first as it was so small, and I couldn't bear to put it in the post to them).
The company is in a craft village, so while I was waiting for the ring to be done, I went for a stroll round the craft shops. I bought some earrings for which the woman had made the glass for the beads herself. I also fell in love with a clock with a skeleton mechanism surronded by an oak frame made by the seller.
I have to stop buying myself late birthday presents...

Purgatory - Day 11

Now what? Could you shoot both the baddies before they got you, Bobby?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Maritime Trail

When I was a kid, every sunny Sunday was spent in Greenwich Park, and I visited the National Maritime Museum often, both with my parents and with school. I don't think the significance ever sunk in, though.

For instance, the Queen's House (on the left in the picture below) actually dates to the 17th Century, but being a kid I just assumed it was our present Queen's house.

Beyond the Queens House, to the left and right, are colonnades leading to the two wings of the museum. The one out of the picture, to the left, is the admin building; the one on the right is the museum proper. These buildings have some history as a medical school and an asylum, but I can't find a date for their contsruction.

I remember queueing for hours in the far colonnade for the first Titanic exhibition. It was very affecting, much better than the ones that came later.

Since my school days, there has been a lot of work on the museum, with a huge glass atrium throwing light on the exhibits. I took Alex there on Monday. There was some Nelson memorabilia on display, but I couldn't find the item that intrigued me most when I was a kid.

Nelson's long johns. The ones he was wearing when he died at Trafalgar, cut open to remove them, and covered in blood.

Best. Museum. Exhibit. Ever.

Purgatory - Day 10

Bobby just saved your arse, Stoat, and all you can do is tell him to get off you?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Purgatory - Day 9

Can't talk to Alex, he'd never be able to fool her.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Purgatory - Day 8

Wonders: "How the hell do I get out of this?"

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Titanic Surprise

Just watched A Night To Remember for the first time in many years, and was surprised to find that the young radio operator who escaped with his life was played by David McCallum.

The film was made in 1958. And he's still in regular employment. That's what I call an acting career!

Purgatory - Day 7

He's looking for me to comfort him.

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