The Daily Paper

villageStore It’s time to review our various subscriptions and cancel those regulars that mostly end up being thrown away unread. Done – two got cancelled.

In their place, we took on a subscription to The Independent. Arrives every day before 7am (actually, between 3 and 4am by the looks of it), and promotes the sitting down and taking a break proper, with coffee and newspaper, instead of having breakfast or lunch over email, sandwich in one and computer mouse in the other hand.

This is the plan.

There were start-up difficulties, though. Although every courier service operating in this country has managed to find our house, the milkman, the post man, the gas meter reading man, and many others, the newspaper delivery man does not.

Not on day one anyways, so I phone. Apologies and credit for the missing paper offered and accepted. Promises made for the next day.

No paper on day two. Apologies, and promises for the next day.

No paper on day three. Apologies, and a different person at their end, who sorts it out.

Apparently, they have been delivering to the wrong house in the right street. I am not quite sure how my delivery instructions could have been misread (or the house number), but what bugs me most is that someone in my street received an unexpected newspaper for three consecutive days, with my full name and address on an A4-sized label, and hasn’t bothered to forward it to me, or to phone or email the distribution company (contact details also on the same label).

What’s that? Rude? Dishonest? Anti-social? I am not sure what word to chose, but I hate it.

Day four and following: sit-down breakfast and lunch, with coffee and newspaper. Nice!


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St. Florian

Bibliotheca Jardim (Lisbon) Following a campaign started by a local resident, the town elders have decided that the western part of Ealing needs a skate park, and have made plans to build it not far from us. Apparently, £200,000 are now set aside and consultation is open for a new skate park in Elthorne Park (

You won’t be surprised to hear that those who are against everything (the “Hanwell Community Forum” in this case) also oppose this plan, with a series of the usual arguments. It’s too loud. It’s too remote. It’s too close.

Basically means to say “Yeah, skate park, right, well, if it cannot be avoided… but not in my front garden.”

On the upside, their leaflet doesn’t issue a blanket accusation of expected antisocial or criminal behaviour. Better than similar previous campaigns (by different groups).

I am not sure if a steel and concrete structure is the best possible way to provide young people with a means to bond, relax, grow-up, find purpose in life, but it sure is better than hanging out at the bus stop and smashing a phone booth for fun.

I suggest opponents of this plan should immediately remind themselves they were once young and might have children themselves, or grand-children soon. It’s hard enough growing up in the big city, nobody needs to be repeatedly told that he or she is unwanted on top of it.


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A lovely front door, seen in the Vale in the Heath, London Knock, knock.

Who’s there?


Delores who?

Delores my shepherd…

It wasn’t Delores, nor was it an African Christian missionary. Instead, it was the guy from down the road. And he didn’t tell any knock-knock jokes either:

Do you know about the planning application for the Red Lion, he asks. No, I say. (The Red Lion is a derelict pub at the end of my street). He explains that this is the last day to object a planning application to convert the derelict pub into (his words) “an African church.”

Oh, that’s good news, I say, why would I want to object replacing a derelict pub with a church?

Because, he tells me, we have parking problems here already. There’ll be hundreds of cars every Sunday.

You’d have been proud of me, how I stayed calm and cool, and in the friendliest possible way explained that I’d much rather have car parking problems on a Sunday morning, compared to nightly drug and knife-crime issues (as we used to have with the Red Lion).

I should have also informed him that, even though car parking space can be tight late in the evening, in comparison with most of suburbia, we do not have car parking problems at all.

I welcome “the African church” to my area (and plan on a lie-in Sunday mornings anyway). Some people just have to object anything. Ealing Council doesn’t have a great track record at showing common sense, but I sure hope they dismiss this objection.


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That Smell!

freeBeer02 Oh, welcome back. More about the past weekend as soon as I manage to find the words.

Something else came up last night though: While I was preparing the rubbish – mostly, of course, recyclable items –, I couldn’t help noticing that smell. Unmistakably that smell, and it wasn’t for the first time neither.

Years ago, when we lived in Park Royal and near the Guinness Brewery, we had that smell in the air every couple of days, too. I believe it occurs when they malt the barley (or whatever it is they do) when making that brew.

I wonder in one of the not-so-inviting Hanwell industrial estates features a brewery?


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