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Postcodes (2)

Carrying on from the last post, BL5 is Bolton. It has a bit of history, including the Civil War massacre, a Chartist riot and a Zeppelin Raid (this, I believe, is the Zeppelin my grandmother saw as a girl). However, it’s the Devil’s Highway that gets my vote. It’s called this because it’s numbered the A666. It’s a dual carriageway linking the M60/M61 motorway to Blackburn, but the A666 sounds more interesting. I have used it, and can reveal that it wasn’t terribly diabolic. No fire, no brimstone and no seals.

Seals, you ask. Yes, according to my reading of the Bible there were seals involved, though I’m told they were probably of the wax variety, rather than cheery circus animals with balls balanced on their noses. My question regarding this, is whether the heat of hell would melt wax. If it would, then maybe my theory on circus animals could be correct, and the Book of Revelation becomes a very different thing.

If, of course, you subscribe to 616 being the Number of the Beast then this speculation becomes pointless. And the road between Newark and Huddersfield becomes a bit more sinister…

Additional Information: I’ve just been told that Bolton is famous for another reason – the Bolton Marathon. I know this because Derrick Knight tells me he ran it three times. The finish, it seems, is uphill and at the end of a thoroughfare known as Plodder Lane. (I checked – it does exist!)

My next set of postcodes are NE6, QLD 4209, NR29, M32, KT18, BR6 and ME8.

However, it’s time to eat now so that will have to wait for next time.

Post Code Posts

I’m currently reading Mail Obsession: A Journey Round Britain by Postcode by Mark Mason. It will be reviewed in due course. First I have to finish it, then it has to come to the front of the queue. I have a copy, so I could have photographed it, but I’ve lifted it off Amazon because I’m lazy.

Mail Obsession: A Journey Round Britain by Postcode

 

This gave me an idea.

I’m already ticking piers off the list, and am committed to writing about it, but I need something else to do in the gaps. Something that helps me practice writing but doesn’t involve me in travel, as I don’t currently have the time or the money.

So, instead of travelling round Britain by postcode, I’m going to write posts based on the parcels I’ve addressed. It will be a bit hit or miss, as  it depends on how many orders we get, who packs them and how fast I go.

It’s not very adventurous, but if I want a life of adventure I’ll buy a bike and cycle to work round the Ring Road.

Today we start with GU 22, BS 20 and BL 5.

The town giving its name to the GU code is Guildford, and GU 22 is Woking. I’m sure I’ve been there in the past but a lot of those Southern places look the same to me. Woking is claimed to be the site of the oldest purpose built mosque in the UK (1879), and the oldest purpose built crematorium .

Apparently 13 holders of the Victoria Cross have been cremated here. And a horse. They burned the horse for practice in 1879 then waited for cremation to be declared legal in 1884. It seems a strange business model – building a specialist facility for something that isn’t legal.

BS 20 is next. BS is Bristol, and number 20 is specifically Portishead, North Somerset. I started to take an interest when I saw a reference to Portishead Pier, but it appears just to have been a working steamer pier. That’s a useful thing, but not as interesting as a pier with chips and amusements.

Time to get No 2 son to work now, so must shoot off.

Like a Stork, I have a Big Bill

No parcels today, no coins, no postcards of dubious taste.

The car is in for its annual MOT test, plus a service and an examination of a coolant problem. Or a “no coolant” problem, to be precise: it’s using nearly as much water as diesel. Fortunately it seems to be ending up under the car so should be easy enough to fix.

On top of that, one of the tyres looked a bit flat on Sunday, and triggered the tyre pressure warning light. The sidelight warning light has been going on and off for months, though the sidelight is still working, and I suppose under the new rules this will cost me money too.

I can’t help thinking that my last VW did a quarter of a million miles without leaking and had no warning lights to go wrong.

To fill my carless day I am performing a study of daytime TV. I started with Quincy ME and have now moved on to Storage Hunters – UK. The have brought couple of the American regulars across because we don’t seem to have enough homegrown idiots.

I’m currently watching Combat Dealers. It’s an antiques programme, but with some unusual stock.

After that I may need a cup of tea, as TV watching can be quite onerous.

Later…

I had the tea. Then, just before lunch, the garage rang.

The water leak is likely to require a new water pump, which is not going to be cheap. The tyre has a screw through it and needs repair. The warning light, of course, needs attention. Warning lights, it seems to me, are always going wrong and needing expensive attention. It’s almost as if they have been there to cost motorists money.

Imagine a big sigh here.

Apart from the money, they will need to have the car for another day, though I’m hoping that will be next week.

At least it gives me a chance for a postcard and a pun about a big bill.

It’s 12.16 now and I feel like I’ve done enough. Blog, TV research, pun. This afternoon I may try a limerick and a nap before the quiz programmes start.

For now, lunch calls.

This is a picture of tomatoes in the Mencap garden, I feel in need of a peaceful picture.

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Randomness & Remembering

We had seventeen packages to send before lunch yesterday. One consisted of 200 coins, which needed sorting before packing. It was hard work, particularly when besieged by phonecalls from people with “rare” and “valuable” coins, and a couple of people with “urgent” telephone orders.

It was very tempting, but I behaved in a a cheery and professional manner and nobody was advised to go away and stop bothering me.

Then we went to Sheffield to clear Number Two son’s room. It was hot and traffic on the M1 was slow.

On the way back we stopped at a service station to empty my aging bladder. I treated Julia to a drink and a pastry while we were there, and handed over the equivalent of an hour and a half’s work for two coffees and two lemon tarts. Food for thought…

In the evening I pottered about on the internet. I was doing some research on medals when I found a picture of an avuncular old cove who, with the addition of a beard would very much resemble a whisky-drinking Santa Claus.

Brigadier Peter Young DSO MC

War hero, raconteur, historian, author and founder of the Sealed Knot, it’s Brigadier Peter Young DSO, MC & 2 bars.

The photograph appears several times on the internet so I’m hoping nobody is going to mind me using it.

They don’t make them like him any more.

That led on to the Sealed Knot Book of Remembrance, which, in turn, led to a maudlin half hour of reading and remembering.

I didn’t feel like writing much after that so I turned to writing doggerel for the daily post. I’m trying to become more regular in my habits.

I Invent a New Poetic Form

Well, it’s been a thought-provoking day.

It started when I wrenched myself from bed and took Julia to work. The mornings are already significantly darker than they were a month ago. By 6.15 I was taking photographs by the roadside and at 6.30 arrived at the services ready to collect Number Two Son. He was supposed to be off shift at 7.00 but nobody turned up. Eventually he was relieved at 8.15 after ringing round.

 

I tried to pass my time profitably, by writing haiku and watching people. The people-watching didn’t go well as there was nobody interesting to watch, apart from a hairy middle-aged man wearing only shorts and flip-flops. Even that wasn’t really interesting, just an anthropological footnote.

The haiku? They soon degenerated into my favoured format – the clerihew. I didn’t produce  any of note this morning but this one has been hanging round in the drafts for a while. It features a Japanese word so it’s a hybrid form I just invented, the haiklerihew.

Martin van Buren,

was au fait with shitsuren,

and, stressing ideology over personality,

opened an era of boring banality

It’s a niche market and I can’t help feeling I may have written more haiklerihews than the world needs.

Now I just need to use canicular.

 

Then I did laundry, shopped, snoozed and picked Julia up from work. We had salad for tea. We were going to have roast vegetables and belly pork but I fell asleep in front of the TV and it was a bit late to start cooking.

I can’t help feeling I’m not using Sunday to its full potential.

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Strange clouds over the Trent Valley

A Lazy Link

Sorry, I’m knackered after a day shut in the back room at the shop so I’m opting for a lazy link to a funny news story. We had two brief episodes of rain – one lasted about three minutes and the second for about a minute. The raindrops were big but it didn’t do much good – the temperature stayed up and the floor didn’t even get well. Tomorrow we are expecting thunderstorms and there is an yellow weather warning in place. In the old days they just told you to remember your umbrella.

So here’s the link.

If you want more stories there are links at the end of story.

If you want more zoo-based humour try this.

I went to the zoo yesterday but it wasn’t very good, the only animal on show was a dog.

It was a Shih-Tzu. 

Or this…

I went to the zoo yesterday and all they had on show was a baguette in a cage.

The keeper said it was bred in captivity.

I’m easily amused.

Hopefully I’ll be back with a proper post later.