Random thoughts on the way to work

Not on the train, slaphead!

So, Agent Triple P caught a train thirty minutes earlier than our usual one this morning and arrived at work exactly nine minutes earlier than usual. Not worth it! Caused by the train being a stopping one and by too many people trying to get out of the tube station than if we had travelled a bit later.

There was a ghastly bald man eating porridge out of a Tupperware box on the train. Disgusting! Get up earlier and eat at home. And you look like Gerry Anderson!

Also the ticket inspectors were out at Waterloo and this caused a huge tailback. As usual all the non-paying miscreants were young women.

We stood next to a very beautiful black girl on the tube and it was very apparent that she was wearing a wig. It hadn't really occured to Triple P before but probably many black women with long hair are actually wearing wigs on account of the nature of their real hair. Hers didn't fit well, so it was obvious. We were faintly weirded out by it, we don't know why, but it's maybe because it falls into the same category as women with padded bras. It's sort of dishonest.

Much cheered up by smiley Russian T at the sandwich shop this morning. "I give you a bag", says the little blonde poppet. I pointed out that I didn't need one. "I want to give you one!" she insisted. My thoughts entirely, young T.
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Indian Moon Rocket lifts off

Yesterday the Indians successfully launched their unmanned moon mission the Chandrayaan 1. The ship carries 11 different experiments and it is planned that it will enter lunar orbit by November 8th. The Indians plan to fire a small impact rocket onto the surface to prepare for an unmanned landing on a later mission using a Russian developed lunar rover. The ship should orbit the moon for about two years conducting mapping and other activities.

This was the 12th successful (they have had 2 failures) launching of the Indian built Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV -this was the first launching of the new XL (presumably Extra Large) version) which can launch a payload of 1,800kg. The rocket is 44m tall and 2.8m in diameter. The Satish Dhawan Space centre is on Sriharikota Island just north of Chennai.

Agent Triple P says jolly well done ISRO for developing such an effective home grown rocket; this mission will bring you right up there in the new Asian space race!

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Get a Blooming Move on! Six ways to get London moving!

Walk faster!

Since we moved offices to the glittering West End, from the civilised City, we have got more and more fed up with stupid people who hold everyone up as we fight our way across town.

Here are Agent Triple P’s six suggestions to improve things:

1. Ban people carrying take-away coffee cups. They walk too slowly and they’re dangerous.

2. Ban people from dialling on their mobile phones while walking along. They inevitably walk more slowly when they are doing so. Stand to one side out the way!

3. Ban people with drag-a-bag suitcases on the Underground. All that handle up and down nonsense at the top and bottom of escalators and stairs causes congestion. Anyway, drag a bags are for air hostesses and grannies.

4. Introduce a maximum diameter for umbrellas (2’6” is about right). Golf umbrellas are designed to keep men in check trousers and Pringle jumpers dry on artificially cleared tracts of the Scottish countryside, not for carrying down Oxford Street.

5. Put up signs reminding women to start rooting around in their handbags for their tickets before they get to the ticket barrier on the London Underground.

6. Introduce fast and slow lanes on the pavements in Oxford Street. Slow lanes are for tourists looking at shop windows, old people, women whose skirts are too tight to walk quickly, people with pushchairs, people talking on mobile phones and all the other idiots who think 1 mph is walking pace. The fast lane is for people who actually want to get somewhere. Police these lanes with people armed with cattle prods to keep the above idiots in line in the right lane.

Get a blooming move on!
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Keep London Moving: ban the coffee cups!

Another idiot culprit! Can we send Madonna back to America now please?

Well, in the last two days we have experienced another annoying habit which stops London moving. These are the idiots who walk around carrying those silly coffee cups with the baby drinking cup lids. They all hold them away from their body at about chest height as if they had a container of toxic waste (which they do, I suppose). Of course when everyone is bundling onto the tube they panic and hold back in case anyone touches their precious load. As a result, if you have one of these morons in front of you they hesitate at the doors allowing everyone else on either side to stream on and leaving Agent Triple P trapped on the platform. Let’s ban these silly coffee cups from public transport. Given that they are full of hot liquid they are dangerous for a start. Also, because these people move so slowly they hold up progress in underground stations; they are as bad on the streets too, come to that.

How pathetically addicted to coffee (a disgusting drink, anyway) do you have to be to not be able to wait until you get to work before you can have one? Get up earlier in the morning to drink one before you leave home! Just stop bringing the city to a halt with your silly cups.

Ban them, ban them all!
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More Eco Nonsense

Room for one more?

So, another ludicrous survey of a very small sample of people, which purports to be representative, claims that 47% of British people leave their TVs on standby overnight and that wastes £80,000 of electricity a year. This is equivalent to the electricity bills of 147 people. What? Is that all? That works out at about 1p of electricity wasted per year. Forget it! I'm not going rooting around at the back of my TV to switch the plug off for 1p a year. And it messes up all the settings, but then I suppose eco people still have old CRT TVs (probably black and white ones as well ,to go with their sandals, cord trousers, tank tops and Pentangle and Steeleye Span LPs)

We much preferred the suggestion that sharing a bath with a friend was another good way to save the planet. We have done our bit for that this year so we don't feel guilty about the TV!
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How to Murder Your Wife: Soundtrack

Well, we had a surprise this evening when we returned home to find a very fat box waiting for us. Opening it up we discovered a 12 cd box set called the MGM Soundtrack Treasury which is, we find after further research, a limited edition of 1200 containing 21 MGM film scores. One of which is Neil Hefti's complete score for How to Murder Your Wife, something which we didn't think actually existed.

It seems that the lovely B read my posting of yesterday, searched the internet found said set, put in an order (of several hundred Euros, we should point out) and it arrived this morning. Fantastic! We are hugely grateful. Maybe all that investment in Agent Provocateur has been appreciated! We are genuinely touched!

Now all we need is a large Martini and an Italian girl on a large bed. OK, a German girl would be a more than adequate substitute!

Danke meine leibe!
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The Ugly People of Claygate

The Island of Claygate-cut off from civilisation

We have noticed that more and more people are getting on the train at Claygate every morning. It used to be that only a few people used to board the train there but now they bundle on in their dozens. Worse still, as we noticed this morning, they are all disproportionately unattractive as well. Claygate, of course, is virtually cut off from the rest of Surrey as there are only about two roads into it. As a result, the inhabitants are all horribly inbred which explains their nightmarish Island of Dr Moreau appearance.
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Neil Hefti: 1922-2008

Agent Triple P notes that the TV and film composer Neil Hefti has just died at the age of 85. His career really divided into two distinct parts: the early years when we worked as arranger and composer for some of the best big bands such as Woody Herman, Buddy Rich, Harry James and, especially, Count Basie and the later years, after 1960, when he worked on TV and film scores in Hollywood. He scored a number of films such as Harlow (1965), Barefoot in the Park (1967), Boeing-Boeing (1965) and our favourite How to Murder your Wife (1965).  He is, however, almost entirely known for composing the repetitive but catchy theme for the sixties TV series Batman.

Virna Lisi in How to Murder your Wife

It is, however, the music for How to Murder your Wife for which Agent Triple P appreciates him. His score contains seven themes all of which, like his Batman theme, are hopelessly catchy. A reviewer in the TV Times many years ago noted that his score for HTMYW was "the definitive sound of the sophisticated sixties soundtrack."  Well spotted, sir, and bravo Mr Hefti!
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Pomegranate terraces in Oman

Agent Triple P has recently returned from the delightful country of Oman. Whilst there we were served a bowl of fresh pomegranate at the home of a leading Omani government figure. The pomegranates of Oman are considered some of the very best in the world and are grown on precipitous terraces in the Al Jabal Al Akhdar (Green Mountains) situated inland from the capital, Muscat.

This is all very apposite given Lady Rosemary's item on them in her Time for Food blog.

The pomegranate I had was very different from the rather dried up specimens I have had in the UK, with large and juicy seeds. The trees there can grow up to 25 feet tall and in the mountains the temperature varies from as low as 6 degrees to 38 degrees Celsius, so they have to be hardy trees indeed. Pomegranate trees are some of the oldest cultivated trees on earth with eveidence that they have been specifically farmed for over 5,000 years.

Proserpine by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

As Lady Rosemary's blog mentions pomegranates are inextricably linked with the Greek myth of Proserpine (Persephone). It was her eating six seeds of the pomegranate (the fruit of the dead) that destined her to live for six months of the year in the underworld. Lady R is a woman of Pre-Raphaelite demeanour herself and it is her fate as well to spend half of her time in her own subterranean underworld, no doubt because she ate her pomegranate seeds in the past.

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Watt's going on?

For the last month Agent Triple P has been looking for a 150 watt bulb for his kitchen. He has looked in all the normal supermarkets and some specialist electrical shops. He got so desperate that he looked online (although the idea of light bulbs and the Post Office aren't a very reassuring combination). There he stumbled into the answer. Yes, Mr Gordon (there will be no fun) Brown has banned them! They were officially phased out in January and it looks like 100 watt bulbs may have gone too. In fact all normal light bulbs will go by 2011 in order to be ready for an EU-wide ban.

A few thoughts occur as a result of this little publicised decision.

Firstly, why is it always the UK that instigates these bans before the EU requires it? Does the government think we score extra points for being good boys? We don't. It's the EU. They hate us. Do what the French and Italians will do. Claim that the introduction of these bulbs will cause hardship to people living in the mountains and ask for extra time to bring it in. Then ignore it for a couple of years and pay the derisory fine for not doing so. Easy!

Secondly, these low wattage power bulbs are rubbish; really dim and we have yet to see one that gives out the equivalent of 100 or 150 watts. 60 is as high as they go. We are all going to have to live in depressing, dimly lit houses. It will be like Victorian Britain. This is a dark country in the winter; we need light. We bet the suicide rate goes up as a result.

Thirdly, all of these bulbs are large and unwieldy. Are we all going to have to change our light fittings and lamp shades? We've not seen a low energy candle bulb; they are all the size oif Orangina bottles. Has anyone even thought about that?

Fourthly, why are we having to save energy from lightbulbs? We are a G8 country (for the moment anyway), we have the right to burn lots of lightbulbs on account have having invented the industrial revolution and changed the World! Is China going for low wattage lightbulbs? I'll bet they aren't! We just need to build a lot more nice nuclear power stations and then we can sit in our house and actually read under artificial light. No doubt Mr Gordon Brown would prefer us in the gloom learning the bagpipes, the only recreation that will be permitted if (horrors) he is elected (not re-elected of course as I don't remember being offered the chance to elect him in the first place).

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