What’s up?

No posts for a couple of days – in fact a fairly lean fortnight – can only mean one thing.   Yup, to darn busy.   And not just during the day either.   This week has seen my moribund London social life experience a rare injection of action.

Tuesday eve was spent in fine company at the Oriental in Cornhill enjoying a decent, if not totally authentic Chinese dinner.   My host – chinese of course – was ciritical and we are promised a Chinatown meal next time.   Looking forward to it as to date I’ve only driven through in a cab – although first impressions were promising.

Wednesday saw Big Mike, Jimmy the Snake and I in one of our favourite spots, Fabrizio’s in Clerkenwell.   A little Sicillian Bistro, this is a very quiet place to relax and have excellent food.   We never choose the starters, relying on Fabrizio to select for us, but the main course Tuna coated in sesame seeds and the Escalope with speck and cheese were both winners.   My knowledge of Italian wine is still sub-par, but we did enjoy several bottles – no Amarone this week – including an interesting sticky which we should revisit.

Last night was the CoreNet annual dinner and awards in the Old Billingsgate market – a fine establishement now they’v got rid of the old fishy smell.   800 of London’s real estate fraternity all speaking to each other and trying to nick each others clients at the same time.    Wonderful.

A good weekend is promised, with a little light house-hunting and house guests including Big Mike and possibly Jimmy if he gets his act together any time soon…  Let’s just hope this weather holds for the duration – it would be nice.

The blame game

Statstics published today by the Department of transport confirm that in 2005 Northern Rail cancelled 12,884 train services.   That’s 35 cancellations every day.    Unbelievable.

Until you hear the reason for the delay.   In 2,179 cases they cited “Acts of God”.   Folks, it’s 2006 and I think they should be able to come up with a better reason and anyway, what defines “Acts of God”?

A DoT spokesman could not offer an explanation, other that to make it clear that Railway companies failing to meet their contractual standards were fined.   In a rare moment of candour (for a civil servant at least) he said:  “They don’t get let off because God did it”.

That’s a comfort.   When you’re standing on the platform waiting for the 5.45 to hell and it’s minus 2 and blowing a gale.

What did you eggspect?

I could not resist the story of Education Secretary Ruth Kelly, who was hit by an egg as she left court in Manchester yesterday.

Ruth Kelly being hit with an egg

Why was she in court I hear you ask?   Was it the latest State Education reforms perhaps?   Is there a chance she will be locked up for the duration any time soon?
Sadly no.  She was attending court to give evidence in the prosecution of a protester for an attack on her in a election rally last year.
His crime?
He threw an egg at her.   Tee Hee.

Direct line to God

Jimmy the snake sent this one over…

An American decided to write a book about famous churches around the world.

So he bought a plane ticket and took a trip to Orlando, thinking that he would start by working his way across the USA from South to North.

On his first day he was inside a church taking photographs when he noticed a golden telephone mounted on the wall with a sign that read “$10,000 per call”.The American, being intrigued, asked a priest who was strolling by what the telephone was used for. The priest replied that it was a direct line to heaven and that for $10,000 you could talk to God.  The American thanked the priest and went along his way.

Next stop was in Atlanta. There, at a very large cathedral, he saw the same golden telephone with the same sign under it. He wondered if this was the same kind of telephone he saw in Orlando and he asked a nearby nun what its purpose was. She told him that it was a direct line to heaven and that for $10,000 he could talk to God. “O.K., thank you,” said the American.

He then travelled to Indianapolis, WashingtonDC, Philadelphia, Boston and New York. In every church he saw the same golden telephone with the same “$10,000 per call” sign under it.The American, upon leaving Vermont decided to travel to Australia to see if the Aussies had the same phone.

He arrived in Australia, and again, in the first church he entered, there was the same golden telephone, but this time the sign under it read “40 cents per call.”

The American was surprised so he asked the priest about the sign.”Father, I’ve travelled all over America and I’ve seen this same golden telephone in many churches. I’m told that it is a direct line to Heaven,but in the US the price was $10,000 per call. “Why is it so cheap here?” The priest smiled and answered,”You’re in Australia now, son – it’s a local call”.

Too right mate