A relaxing morning in London

(Note: images in this post are, for some reason, rotated by 90 degrees, and I’m too apathetic to change them).


So, I’m currently in London, looking forward to a signing at Forbidden Planet at 1.00pm (with Paul Cornell, Cassandra Khaw and Zen Cho). I stayed overnight at a Hilton near Holborn. As a frequent Hilton guest I got upgraded to a very nice room in the executive wing.

This morning, I decided to take advantage of the fact that I don’t have the kids around, and I took this from the inside of my door
opened the door a crack and put it on the outside of my door.
I also did this to the inside latch-thing
And settled down in the bath, put the laptop on a chair in the bathroom and started to watch some TV.
About 15 minutes into the programme there was a knock at the door.
“They haven’t noticed the room tag,” I thought, “they’ll go away.” and I ignored it.
They knocked again.
Next, I heard an almighty crash, and I jumped out of the bath and opened up the door to see this:
Someone had opened the door and pushed so hard that the whole of the side of the doorframe came off (because it was connected to the latch thing).
I tried to call Reception, but the phone wouldn’t work. I tried calling the hotel on my mobile, but every time I pressed the right number the line cut off.
So, I pulled on some jeans and a T-shirt and went down to reception. I told them that someone had just tried breaking into my room and that they had a key, and that I was heading straight back up because I had a lot of computer equipment up there.
I got back to my room and someone came within a few minutes and put the doorframe back temporarily (they’ll fix it properly when I’m gone, later).
Then someone from Housekeeping came. It was them. I hadn’t noticed, but on the reverse side of this
was this
So, rather than saying, “Please leave me alone, I’m having a nice relaxing bath, while watching some TV.” what I actually indicated was, “Please come in and clean my room. If the latch is on, open the door with such force that it breaks the physical structure of the door frame.”
My bad.
But the amount of force it must have taken to do that! I pictured someone in Housekeeping clothes, walking down the hall, looking down at the floor, bumping into someone and self-consciously pushing their glasses back up their nose.
Holborn has a superhero, posing as a mild mannered Housekeeping assistant.
On my welcome letter (yes, I was given a welcome letter) it told me that breakfast was served in the restaurant in the lower ground floor. I took the lift to the lower ground floor, but there was no restaurant access there, only kitchen access. I had to go to the ground floor, walk to reception and go down the stairs to the restaurant. Not a problem, of course, but if they go to the trouble of writing a letter, they could at least add “accessible from reception”, or “don’t try the lift, Sonny Jim, it ain’t gonna get you where you want to be.” Just an added niggle, nothing more.
So, that was my relaxing Saturday morning. How was yours?

Another helping of Porridge

Slightly mixed feelings about the recent Porridge one-off. Porridge is one of my two all-time favourite sitcoms (the other being Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister), so it was with trepidation that I sat down to watch the new version. It was written by the original writing team of Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, and starred Kevin Bishop as the grandson of Ronnie Barker’s Norman Stanley Fletcher.

It felt a bit like a long-lost episode of the original series, but with different characters. And therein lies the problem, I think. It did nothing new. Which shouldn’t necessarily be a problem, as it exists to honour the original. I was hoping for something different, while at the same time, desperately hoping it wouldn’t try anything different. Hence the mixed feelings. It was a decent enough tribute, I think, and I don’t object to it existing, but I do hope it doesn’t go to a full series.

Cameron’s Legacy

So, we’ve not yet left the EU, but the British public has voted to, by the smallest of margins. The British public has chosen to believe the lies and fear-mongering vomited up by the Leave campaign. The British public, when presented with actual facts, and advice from pretty much every economic expert, has chosen to side with Nigel Farage, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson.

I’m still trying to get my head around that.

Overnight the pound drops to a 30 year low, Scotland considers leaving the UK again, as does Northern Ireland, Greek banks are (at least temporarily) not exchanging sterling, several other right-wing parties in European countries are talking about holding their own referendum to leave the EU and my daughters have lost the right to live and work in 27 countries. Due to a 52/48 vote.

I had zero respect for our government before this. Is it possible for respect to drop to negative figures? Cameron called this referendum due to internal struggles within his own party. He gambled the entire UK economy on a whim, and lost. It now remains to be seen whether Cameron’s legacy will merely be the wholesale destruction of the British economy, or whether he has started the avalanche that will destroy Europe, too.

You did this, Cameron. Although you claim that you wanted us to Remain, you ruined the future for our children. This is your doing.

And yes, you had help from the floppy haired buffoon, the racist and the other liars, as well as half the UK voting population, who were spoon-fed lies and empty promises, but this is your doing. You will forever be remembered as the worst prime minister this country has ever had.

But still – you’ll get on the board of several multinationals and maybe negotiate a few last-minute sales of British institutions to your friends before you leave, so you’ll be all right. While the rest of us have to try to find a way to move forward through this stupidity.

It feels like today will be the day the calendar started, again, that in a far-off post-apocalyptic future, people will look back on Brexit day and wonder how we could have been so fucking stupid.


That is all.


(Nothing to do with parking, for once).

More parking fun

So, I’ve now sent off my 2nd appeal against the parking fine. (Details here and here).

I’ll post my (4 page!) letter here, once I get York Council’s response.

Fingers crossed they see sense…


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