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Sunday, 25 April 2004

None o' that

Topic: Yidaho

I got my car fixed! Temporarily - it still needs taking to a garage for (deep breath, it took me four weeks to learn this term) 'glow plugs'.
CarMechanic said sitting in the car park for eight weeks solid meant the battery was dead, and given the battery was apparently the size of a red postbox, I'd have to keep the car running for an hour or two to charge it up again.
An hour or two? My projected Saturday activities - dvd of Kill Bill, washing dirty knickers, cuddling cats then trying to let them excape, hoovering, picking toenails, etc - misted over. After eight weeks of becoming a pedestrian again (and it is a mindset, believe me), I had to drive for two hours.
It was a gloriously sunny warm day. Where to go?
Easy. Epping Forest.
I like South East London - I like the sort of Blitz mentality of being The Area That The Rest of London Forgot. And there are some pretty bits - Pett's Wood, Eltham Palace, Blackheath, the view from the golf course at Beckenham, Greenwich, Dulwich, the view from Crystal Palace - but you Sarf Easterners have *no idea* how beautiful the edges of Essex are. The Hollow Ponds at South Woodford, High Beach, the view on the way to Epping Green - there are so many spots where you can't see a single building. Stuff your poncey Hampstead Heath, you haven't the faintest of a fuck what a city forest is like, till you've been to Epping Forest.

The thing about charging a battery up for two hours, though, is that you can't stop. Therefore, MacDonald's drive-through ice cream and coffee were the only food groups available to me.
The thing about not having driven for eight weeks, though, is that your weakest faults are a little more noticeable than usual. In my case, that's spotting traffic lights on red.
So, hurtling along the A104 at speed, working without a map, in a car where the windows, the seats, the mats, the controls, me, everything is covered in an explosion of emergency stop coffee and runny ice cream, I bombed through the Forest, past the Chingford reservoirs, and into the rolling Essex farmland, looking for deer.

It was gorgeous. Really sunny, breezy, beautiful. After twenty minutes I was in love with driving all over again. I know as a pedestrian, I felt increasingly belligerent at drivers, but in a car, alone, not knowing or caring where you're going, you don't feel like a gas guzzling lazy polluter. You feel like a pilot.

It was so cool, and great and wicked, and class, and top, that I almost didn't mind bumping into Tybalt as I stopped off at my flat in East London on the way home. I'm not going to ruin it by blogging that. Or the mad catholic congregation who kept trying to hit me for chatting too loudly. Or blogging the annoying Goldsmith's twats on the train later, or the mad evening out at a Cuban bar, or the failed attempts to see Kelis, or the thimble fulls of tequila in an empty club, or the Officer I snogged, or how I fucked things up, or the pervert taxi driver who thought I was well up for it by seven this morning. None o' that, mate, none o' that.

Turn Off TV Week ~ I'm spending a week living an imaginary life as a couch potato, to see if it's any more fulfilling.

Daily Selection: I might have watched ~

1. 5.45pm, BBC1, Historyonics ~ Nick Knowles presents a new slant on historical events using reconstructions and imaginary conversations. He takes an alternative look at the truths and myths surrounding the most famous highwayman of all, Dick Turpin. Oh now, this actually sounds cool. Perfect rainy Sunday afternoon blob material. Bag of crisps and some chocolate milkshake, a sofa, maybe a blanket, and this. Great.
2. 8pm, C4, Children of Abraham ~ Mark Dowd, a Catholic who trained to be a Franciscan Friar, embarks on a very personal journey to the Holy Land, Egypt, Turkey, Bosnia and the USA to explore the shared roots and deep enmities of Christianity, Islam and Judaism to try and discover if there is any hope of a shared future. Last year I had to do some research into comparing attitudes of the seven big religions, plus the multitudes of minor atheisms, on topics like blood transfusion, funeral rites, genetic experimentation, the Six Day War, etc. I found, to my extreme surprise, that anything comparative about religion is eye openingly revealing, and often teaches you much more about cultural history than my usual jaded agnosticism allows credit for.
3. 11pm, C5, World's Wildest Police Videos ~ Amazing footage of reckless criminals engaged in a range of illegal and often highly dangerous activities. Featuring the pursuit of an 81-year-old driver with Alzheimers heading the wrong way down the freeway, and the rioting students who turn a campus into a war zone. Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!
Verdict: There's so bloody little to do on a Sunday that I'll put up with much. I like that these programmes are diverting, and set somewhere else. Will I be upset if I don't see it? We-e-ell ... the Dick Turpin and the religious prog ... maybe ...

This page graced by sarsparilla at 7:04 PM BST
Updated: Sunday, 25 April 2004 7:09 PM BST
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Sunday, 25 April 2004 - 10:31 PM BST

Name: sarah
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The Histroyonics, co-inciding with the only hour I watch telly, between five thirty and six, as that's when I eat tea, it was rubbish. Not nearly enough history of Dick Turpin to fill half an hour, so they padded it with drawn out mock-Rock rubbish.

but getting out into a forest - good for you. Do it more often when you don;t have to leave the engine running. Go at dawn and watch the deer in the early morning mist (I saw Bill Oddie do this in London, so clearly you should too)

As for an officer - which regiment? Also, I'd never have taken you for a left-footer.

oops, I have no idea if left-footer is an offensive term or not - I'm grinning here man, we don't have religion, only football.

Sunday, 25 April 2004 - 10:57 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

What's a left footer?

The fabbest place in London to see deer is in the heath by Barnes, because it seems unlikely, right next to a main road like that.

The most sure thing place in London to get roamed upon by a herd of wild stags is at Hampton Court.

But yeah I see the point of the dawn thing. I used to like watching the sun come up in Chingford, over the reservoir. But partly because it looked so industrialised and brutalist.

Monday, 26 April 2004 - 10:48 AM BST

Name: fluffy
Home Page:

Hey where did my comment go? am i going insane? I coulda sworn i posted one here.

Monday, 26 April 2004 - 11:52 AM BST

Name: Creepy Lesbo
Home Page:

It's not like the Scottish term 'first footer' is it?

Monday, 26 April 2004 - 1:43 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

It's that damn three foot high banner that says 'Confirm Reply to Comment' - it's too easy to miss ... ;)

Monday, 26 April 2004 - 2:57 PM BST

Name: Saltation
Home Page:

ah you @#%$!, you and the sun have reminded me how much i want my bicycle back. booming up thru havering-atte-bowyer via the twisties into the bowels of the essex countryside for some B-road fun. me scooter's fun but it's not the same.

i can unreservedly recommend lunch at Ugley :) It's just down the road from Nasty. Really.

> glow plugs
ah, a diesel, i discovered these in my old campervan. i was told a good trick to apparently save your engine/maintenance costs: turn ignition till glow plugs lights go out, then close ignition, then do it again and only start the engine on the second glow-plug signal. plus the engine starts immediately which is nice. oh what an exciting comment

aaahhhhhh the sun is out and i want my bike backkkk!!!!!!

Monday, 26 April 2004 - 8:11 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

There's a glow plug light?

Monday, 3 May 2004 - 5:16 AM BST

Name: paul
Home Page:

You know you can change your own spark plugs right? It's cheap and easy, like most of my girlfriends.

What did you think of Kill Bill?

I love World's Wildest police videos.

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