For the last year and a half and for the foreseeable future, Swindon Town Centre is undergoing a revitalisation. We arrived when the open air pedestrian subway through the Whalebridge still smelled strongly of marijuana smoke, urine, and Special Brew but now all that has had to move to the surface since that is now a confusing and dangerous traffic interchange. New housing is going up adjacent to it, between the Jury’s Inn and the Menzes Hotel. And, at the base of Eastcott Hill a giant shopping and entertainment centre is replacing the old Swindon College buildings. I shot the first picture four weeks before it was supposed to be demolished early in Spring 2011 and the more recent one yesterday (a couple of months after the start of removal).
Archive for the ‘businesses’ Tag
In Britain, they bet on everything. You can slap a fiver on the bar at a pub and bet on the colour of the scarf of the next person through the door and someone in there will walk away with a fist full of cash soon thereafter. The betting parlours were running a line on the next Dr. Who, recently. This week it is all White Christmas…the weather has had the bookies in a lather over the odds the last few days, but here is a screen shot of the latest line:
Okay, I thought that spelled this way it was only used to denote Mexican twins but aparently janitorial services here use the extra ‘k’ in the spelling. Hmmm…janitorial…hang on, there….
Ordered a burger with blue cheese and bacon but no mayo at 12:35. Stooge behind the bar writes down burger, blue and bacon no mayo. 1:50 pm rolls around and she brings out a plate and asks who had a burger blue cheese bacon no mayo? I get it and proceed to scrape off healthy dollops of smooth mayo and can find no blue cheese. When I ask her what this mayo like substance is, she replies that they mix their blue cheese in mayo and then took offence at me pointing out that 1) they didn’t mix any in this batch and 2) when I asked for no mayo it would not have been very difficult to point out that the blue cheese was, in fact, mayo.
Fuck ’em. That’s the last ever of the many times I have visited them and would be pleased to see you send your business to the Cross Keys.
This is an update of the original post, below.
Colleague accepted tenure-track position at University of Michigan and we went for beers. I had a couple of Jekyll’s Gold by Hyde Breweries, which were tasty. The place was still cavernous but there were about 40 people there (more than 20 were in our party) and everything seemed copascetic. Nothing real special to report.
Original post, 25 Feb 2009:
A long day at work with some minor successes but no major breakthroughs and the lure of the running paths beckoned. It was about 3pm and I was expecting a call from my San Francisco based bank when they opened at 8.30am (or 4.30pm my time) so did a fairly long run along a brook near the Cambridge Botanical Gardens and on south. I was turning onto Panton Road on my return when the phone rang at 4.15–great! Early, and behold, there was a pub handy to get out of the mist and the cold.
The Panton Arms is another large pub with a very large beer garden (in this weather, mostly just a smokers lounge). I got a beer while finishing business and by sheer luck chose the bench-seat near the door that just happened to have the radiator behind it…ummmmmm, warm!
It was early and not much going on, just a couple folks working, another customer chatting about allergies to the staff, and some guys out in the smoking area. Looks like they probably have pretty good food when the kitchen is open and it is only a block from the reception area at work. Definitely going to return.
I got a great online deal for the Hotel Ibis so I decided to take it even though I prefer the non-chain hotels. I thought we could go with a bit of standardised housing geared toward the business traveler whilst doing a lot of on foot tourism during the day and the rooms above pubs and in B&B’s are usually pretty hit or miss (although our batting average has been pretty good of late).
The bed was creaky but comfortable. The kettle had water in it that I assumed was from the previous guests but when I went to clean it out I realised that it was, in fact, bleach that had ALMOST cleared the bit of fungus at the bottom of the device. A bit of scrubbing with toothpaste seemed in order before morning cups and after boiling two batches of water the thing didn’t really smell too much like bleach or Crest, anymore.
The shower pressure was almost non-existent and it was difficult to rinse the shampoo from my hair. The water was plenty hot, though, and the steam accumulated quickly as the vents were blocked by some sort of growth (see photo). But, the room was really cheap.
The weather has been absolutely gorgeous except for the times when it has been completely shit. Above, there was a nice day in the village, so I shot the house (above) on my way to catch the bus to work.
I shaved at the halfway point of my marathon training regimen, a few weeks ago. I was planning to let it go wild until the marathon in a couple of months then clear the brush after the race but I had to get a new i.d. card to have access to the lab at Oxford and figured it would be better if it matched my passport photo. I have noticed that I get better service at uppity places but not quite so good at dive bars since shaving…here it is after a morning run the day it went down the drain:
Jackie injured her knee and has been reduced to walking for outdoor exercise. Even then we managed to really over do the effort on a hike around Wicken Fen. On another run this month I spotted my first native ferret, but the only unusual wildlife we saw on our hike was this herd of wild horses:
Saffron Walden, Felixstowe, Wisbech, and Bury St Edmunds have emerged as some of my favourite towns in East Anglia over the course of this month’s travels. Saffron Walden has a few of these houses around with patterned surfaces; while these are pretty attractive, it seems that you see a lot more of these deeper into Essex (a trip back through Thaxted is planned in the not too distant future where nearly every old house has some of this sort of masonry):