Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Aftermath of the London bombing

The good thing is they believe they know who did the bombings, where they came from and that they were also believed to have died in the attack. What and without seeming to show an odd side to this is, that due to delays on the train they were travelling on getting to London, they never managed to carry out their attack as they wished. They were supposed to make London burn North, East, South and West, well to my knowledge, the locations they did hit, certainly don't look like a cross and that is what they wanted to do, show a burning cross. Well boys, and that is what they were really boys, barely adults most of them, it didn't work, and those who you did hit suffered, but London isn't in flames.

The thing I wanted to come onto is this. I travel on the London Underground everyday, as do so many Londoners. Since the attack every single day there are announcements telling people not to leave their luggage unattended, to take all their stuff with them, there are signs, etc. You can't miss it, even if you tried, so why is it, that today just citing one example was the Metropolitan Line suspended 4 times, because of people not heeding the advice they are given. Come on, we have just had a bombing, and people aren't making some effort. Good god, how hard is it to take all your belongings when you leave the train, I don't think it is that hard, forgetting umbrellas, I can more than understand, but bags, please, are people that forgetful and absent minded that they can't do a simple thing like that, surely not.

If we want our system to work properly people have to take some responsibility here and help the system, and actually ensure that items aren't left unattended. I really don't believe it is just tourists, because I don't believe tourists visit West Harrow station, forgive me, but I don't. This requires people having some nonce on them, and actually thinking in the morning, hard for a lot of people it seems, very hard.

London needs to be returning to normal, and not suffering this each and everyday. Come on people wake up, is it that difficult? I don't believe so.....

London Water Shortage

Here in London we are due for a major water shortage because of a very dry winter, though if one looks back at it, it didn’t seem dry at all. We all know the water table is very low and there is a threat of a ban on sprinklers and hosepipes, well fair enough if that is going to help. The thing is there is a lot about this that is frustrating and downright wrong.

You have the mayor suggesting people don’t flush their loos if they only go for a piss, ummm, in this heat, not a bloody chance.

You know what would be the best bet, I will tell you. Get Thames Water to fix the leaks, they leak about 915 million litres of a day, a DAY I tell you, that is roughly 30% of their overall output per day, if that water didn’t go missing then I can see we might not have a problem at all. What is worse is that OFWAT are doing squat diddly about this. Thames was privatised back in 1986, on the premise that as a private company they would get the funds to fix the leaks, well lets see in the past 20 years it has gotten progressively worse, and worse and worse, and in the same time, they have put prices up more and more and more. The German owned company awarded its directors even bigger and bigger payrises and bonuses. Can we see the direction the company is going. They claim they are doing all they can, rubbish, it don’t take 20 years to fix it, and it don’t take 20 years of under investment to get even worse. The company prefers to build more water storage, instead of fixing the problem. They if you look at its track record would prefer metering, and why, so it can make even more money off the customer.

The solution would be for OFWAT to fine the company which it can do, and fine it up to 10% of its turnover, it is allowed to do so, but as OFWAT is a waste of space, it won’t. Thames could also fix the leaks, which will never happen and the idea that they will fix 850 miles of pipes over the next five years is rubbish, we have heard it all before, and yet, nothing is done. Another solution would be to make sure householders use less, for example, instead of the stupid idea that Thames had of a Hippo in the cistern, why not make sure all the customers have low flush toilets, so instead of flushing 12 – 18 litres of clean water everytime, make them use half of it, and it would still be more than enough. At a stroke that would cut the amount of water used in a household. At the same time set up systems so that the water from washing the dishes, having a shower, washing clothes is used on the garden for example or even recycled. It works in other European countries, so why is it that here in wasteful Britain we don’t, it beggars belief.

Putting people on meters will not solve the problem, because there is a reason why we aren’t metered in the first place, to ensure that all have access to clean water. That is why the Victorians did this in the first place. If you meter the water, then those on low incomes and benefits are going to need assistance to have clean running water at all times, something which is easy enough to do without having to resort to meters.

There are so many ways which this could be done, making people more efficient in their water use, but the main one is to make Thames Water fix the leaks that let 30% of the water drip away and never reach its destination. Just think how much that would save, but that isn’t something that will ever happen, because Thames Water, is a wasteful, useless company, whom have no concept of anything, other than lining their pockets with more and more cash from their customers without giving something in return.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Today's bombing in London

This is a very sad day. London has been attacked by someone, we believe Islamic terrorists, though not confirmed. 3 bombs were detonated on the underground, one on one of the deepest parts of it, between Kings Cross and Russell Square, another between Aldgate and Liverpool Street, and the other at Edgware Road. One was also detonated on a bus in the Russell Square area, causing the bus to prised open and many dead, though how many unknown.
What is known at the moment is that 37 were killed by the bombs on the tube and an unknown number on the bus, over 700 injured and the talk is of the death toll rising over the next 24/48 hours.

You have to praise the emergency services, they went about their gruesome task with complete professionalism, doing their best to ensure as many as possible were rescued. You also have to praise the underground staff, who did their best to get people out as orderly and as quickly as possible, and lastly to those who were travelling, doing their best to remain as calm as possible given the circumstances, well done.

I was very lucky, my workplace is in West London and by the time it happened I had already been in work for an hour, so I was lucky, coming home was a lot more difficult, and getting to work tomorrow could prove to be an exercise itself, but I can work from home, so am very lucky.

What else can be said that hasn’t been said by everyone else? Well, I will say this, I am not going to curtail my daily life because of some bombings. Yes this is the first time we have had multiples at the same time, but those who have lived in London for over 20 years used to have to suffer the threat of daily bombings from the IRA. We like the Spanish know what it means to be under threat of attack on a daily basis, our mainland has always been a target. So we don’t need lessons in how to deal with this, we got very used to it, the concern our transport system along with other parts of our city under the threat of attack. Despite all of that, still shocked by it, and can only hope that it won’t lead to a curtailment of our rights.

London dealt with the IRA bombings and will come through this as well, it will not stop us.

I have been fortunate today and those I know, and friends of those I know have also been lucky. My thoughts go to those who took the full force of the bombs, and suffered all manner of injuries and death ultimately. May you all rest in peace. We will stand strong against this.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

One month on

I have been at my workplace for a month now.

It actually feels like a lot longer. Whether that is a good or bad thing, I am not entirely sure. It is hard work, no doubting, so they are getting their money worth. But I think I am getting something in return, one thing I am happy about is the timing of training they have. It was scheduled before I turned up, but because I am part of the software development team, I have to go on it, so brilliant. It is a 3 day course on UML, for the whole development course, which we then will aim to use afterwards to standardise things more, for design and development.

It is taking me a little while to get my head around things again, some things came easier than others, like being able to say, oops I broke that a little too easy, and creating lists of things that work in odd ways. Heck I could have been a tester, but not my enjoyment, though there is a sort of perverse pleasure out of finding things that go wrong, I suppose it goes along with enjoying destroying things, doing DIY which breaks things down, hacking at shrubs because you leave them too long, finding ways to break someones precious computer, drilling holes in the wall, etc.

I am getting there though and now I have the cast removed it is a little easier to do typing, which is why I am back at doing my blog, easier without a cast....

The people there seem nice enough and are easy enough to ask questions of, and to discuss things. I am a quiet person anyway, so it is taking a little longer to get into the usual office ways, I guess keeping your head down, and just trying to figure things out, or just not wanting to involve in the gossip has its pluses, but I think it will come, I hope it will. They do seem a nice enough bunch, and no mega pressure on me yet, which I imagine if I had chosen the investment bank and its 60 hour a week culture I would have felt it, doing 35 hours is a real snub to that environment. Heck I have a life outside work, called the gym, my OU, my Reiki, my Z, all of which are important too. Each to their own though.

I just hope that work continues to be of interest, and I just wish I had a better workplace photo for the id card I have to carry, worst side or what........

Removal of cast

At last I have the cast removed, what a pain that was, and not an experience I wish to repeat. It is over though, well let me reword that. The wearing of the cast is over, not the hand being back to normal is over. I now have a long long process of rehab. For the next 2 months I can't do any heavy work, so no weights, by the time this is over, it is going to be 6 months plus since I last touched weights.

The wrist looks like an old lady wrist, all withered and wrinkled. It is so damn sore, bloody hurts a lot too. All the physio work I have to do is going to be a slog, but if I don't I won't have my wrist back, and it is draining not being able to do much with it. There goes my wish to get back to normal. At least I can have showers now instead of baths, though Nurse Z has said she will continue to give me baths, so I will keep them as precious time only. Not really having time in the morning for that, with work beckoning.

Fitting the appointments for the NHS around work isn't easy, they don't do much to help those who work at all. They even do normal office hours, at least that would help, cause I do early shift time at work, which helps a lot.

But the main thing is the wrist is up and running now, to an extent and I can be bloody glad with that, and as the wrist gets stronger, then all the chores I haven't done in over 6 weeks I will be able to get back to doing, like cooking, cleaning, ironing, etc, the sad part is I have actually missed doing them, odd I know, but I like having control over my life.

London 2012

Well we won, yippee. Well I say that despite the fact I am going to be paying more council tax each year, and my mind wondering if we can really deliver, given our past experiences with big projects in this country in recent years, overbudget and overtime.

The one us Londoners want most, is a great tube system, one can only hope, the thought in 2012 that with no air conditioning on the tube the tourists will kill us for it, is one of embaressment. So come on, no excuse to get it sorted. 7 years isn't long. Hopefully they can push crossrail to get finished early too.

I am glad they are coming to London, it gives us a chance to show ourselves off, though I wait for all the wisecracks to come about the special events being done in London. I am sure there are plenty of sites up and running already for it....

For the French, commiserations, sorry you lost for the third time. Sour grapes is what we keep hearing, it defies logic, how could it happen, well guess what it, it has, and none of this the IOC is pro Anglo-Saxon gripping is going to change it. Accept it, London pipped you, it was close and we got the prize, and now we will either turn out a great games or go down in history as the worst. We will do one of the extremes, and you can get to London easy enough, plenty of flights, and that thing called Eurostar which is going to be stopping close by, they say.....

Watch the house prices go through the roof now, as the area rebuilds. I wonder how many WW2 bombs they will find.