A rather different Christmas this year for me. Rather than wake up in my own bed in my own house as I have for many years, I upped and left for some winter sun on the Costa Blanca.

Having been here for several days so far, I’ve been up the hills (waking paths seem almost non existent, and roads don’t quite meet up), visited Valencia and Alecante. Public transport is very good and reasonably priced. A roundtrip to Valencia taking about 4 hours costing less than 30 euros.

Christmas morning was spent on the beach.

Barking and Dagenham, borough of culture?

Via The Dagenham Post and Diamond Geezer’s ‘blog I discover that Barking and Dagenham are competing for the role of London Borough of Culture.

Alas, I missed any mention of this before the launch event, which DG has covered as part of his exploration of the borough’s historic features, else I’d have taken a day off work and gone along.

When I started this website, well over a decade ago, I did intend to write more and explore more of the area in which I live, as with most things this quick fell by the wayside. Writing stuff up is always much less interesting – to me anyway – that actually doing the stuff.

Over the coming holiday season, I will try to get the old photos of Dagenham back up, and where possible try to take a modern image for comparison. It won’t always be possible, despite there being little real building churn for many years, things are starting to happen and some sight-lines I know would have worked, are no longer possible.

Anyway, most of written here in a while. I will make an effort to write more. Content is king, or something.


Is mostly closed on Sundays. 

I’ve drunk a lot of Tea while waiting for the train back to London. 

Big Ben Bongs its last

An advantage to knowing someone that works at Parliament is that you can get some behind the scenes tours that are not usually available to the public. Today, I got to visit the House of Lords archives and conservation studios.

Today’s visit coincided with the last(-ish) chimes from Big Ben, the bell being taken out of action to protect the hearing of the workers repairing the Elizabeth Tower. At 12pm everybody was outside with their cameras pointing up.

I was no different.