Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Hello weiners...

When I was young, Halloween was celebrated with pumpkins and apple-bobbing in the comfort of our own homes, not on the streets of Worcester Park aggravating the bollocks off total strangers by banging on their doors of an evening.

There must be something uniquely unlucky about my house. At Christmas it was a mecca (if you'll pardon the mixing of religions in that analogy) for 'carol singers' inflicting their lame doorstep screeching on me in the hope of pecuniary gain. Then, come October 31s it's the Happy Halloweeners beating a path to my door.

Or not, as the case may be. This being the first year ever that I've got organised enough to have a bowl full of fun-size chocolate bars on standby happens to be the first year that we've had no callers at the door. Well, at least I know how to ward them off next year.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Sun in the morning, beer in the evening

Nothing much to report from Worcester Park, except for the fact that since the clocks changed, the sun is annoyingly low in the sky and blindly bright when I turn onto Central Road for my morning commute about 7.30, so I have to point the car in the vague direction of the top of the hill and hope for the best.

I will write a letter to the Sutton Guardian, demanding that something is done about this. Immediately.

Oh, and it's nice to see that this fair blog has been quoted on the excellent pub-review website 'Beer In The Evening' in the latest user's review of The Huntsmans.

The worrying news is that Beer In The Evening has been bought by a private company (boo hiss) - no idea what their plans are for it, but as said company owns a number of inconsequential social-networking sites I fear that B.I.T.E. will morph unsuccessfully into an alcohol-based SpaceBook, or MyFace or whatever the hell those things are called.

Whatever they do to is, let's hope this essential internet resource for pub-lovers is kept online and true to its original aims. Besides, The Huntsman's Hall gets a lousy 3.8 out of 10 - a warning to everyone not to venture into it at any costs.

There you go. Public service. I knew the internet would crack it sooner or later.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Legions of volunteers?

The Poppy Appeal is always something I've supported - right from my days at school when appreciation of what the poppies signified was secondary to the excitement of the interruption to lessons when the Poppy tray came round, the thrill when the ones with a green leaf on them were introduced, and the inevitable tears when one classmate (and there was always at least one) impaled themselves on the little pin.

As my understanding of the significance of the appeal grew, so has my support for it. November wouldn't be the same without the comforting familiarity of watching the Remembrance Day service from a grey and overcast Cenotaph in London.

Last year, the newspapers were full of stories like this one about the dwindling number of collectors on the streets, meaning millions of pounds of missed takings for the appeal. The same story does the rounds year after year, but last November as I stood reading about it in a newspaper (at Vauxhall station, in case you needed that detail) I resolved that next year I would do my bit and volunteer as a 'Poppy Person'.

So, I filled in my details on the Royal British Legion website earlier this year, and waited for a response. I had a voicemail message from them, saying my details had been passed on to the Worcester Park coordinator and I would be hearing from him shortly. That was at the beginning of the month, but no contact came.

Last Friday, I got back in touch with the Legion, got the number of the Worcester Park coordinator and called him directly. He had never had my details passed on to him, and in any case Worcester Park, apparently, has its complement of poppy people for this year - which is a good thing. The bad news is that the 'float' has been cancelled for lack of response. So it was 'thanks but no thanks' for my interest.

I shall put my name forward again for next year. No doubt the sames stories of shortages will be in the papers again in November. Let's hope that next year, the Legion get their act together and make use of the help that is offered to them.
In the meantime, I'll still be wearing my poppy with pride.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Friday night's alright for fighting...

The Hunstmans is now back open.

The terms of my life insurance prevent me from going inside to review it, but I give it a week before it all kicks off and the smell of fresh blood mingles with that of fresh paint.

Leave im, babe, e'ain't wurf it...

This town is blog enough for the both of us...

The Brinkster's blog has suddenly disappeared, to be replaced with the '20six' homepage. This has I assure you, nothing to do with the sudden resurrection of this Worcester Park blog.

The timing is entirely coincidental. Honest. It would appear that the whole of 20six has (at the time of writing anyway) gone totally tits up, so lets hope the blogs are restored shortly.

Panic not - this is not the result of some terrible act of sabotage, born of a fierce turf war for blogging rights in Worcester Park.

Ah, would you look at that - in the time it's taken me to type this, the blog has resurfaced, and this entry is meaningless. Ah well, might as well hit 'Publish' anyway, and it can join all the other meaningless ones!

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Ryan Gate sells everything...

Ryan Gate has been very much the butt of my blog-based jokes. A curious beast, Ryan Gate is a slightly impluasible Lebanese deli in Worcester Park that since its inception (around 2 years go if my memory serves me well) has added to its range of services those of pizza making, greengrocery, bakery, butchery (sic), kebabs, burgers, hot Lebanese delicacies and a coffee shop. Oh, and wedding cakes.

Now, much as I am shamed to admit it, I seem to recall that I gave Ryan Gate a life expectancy of about three months when it originally opened, but that has not stopped me developing a curious affection for this place - its bewildering foodstuffs, its amiable staff, their willing helpfulness despite not beginning to grasp my explanations of what pineapple juice is and the irrepressible pace at which it reinvents itself. Oh, and then there's its frustrating habit of stopping serving pizzas around 8 o'clock when most people are just beginning to crave one, but enough of that.

I have (infrequently) come to frequent Ryan Gate and have grown to love it as a Worcester Park institution. It is up there on my list of protected species - along with Broadway Bargains, the Betty Boop shop and Mike's Music (which is doing incredibly well for a store that was supposed to have been closing down 2 years ago).

So imagine my horror when I discovered this 'Substantial Restaurant Deli Convenience Store For Sale' on the Telegraph Business Club Website. Ryan Gate, the store that sells everything (except pineapple juice) is up for sale.

A moment's silence please?

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Rugby my baby tonight...

Yes, I have caught a nasty case of World Cup Fever. In fact it struck quite unexpectedly last Saturday. It must have been a particularly virulent strain, as it struck only 24 hours after I had contracted the realisation that there actually was a Rugby World Cup underway.

Now, I make no apologies for my sudden conversion to this game. I make no pretence to be a regular rugby fan, nor do I claim to understand what is going on - yes, I get the grabbing the egg-shaped ball bit (passing backwards, not forwards), diving onto the touchline with it and then booting it over the H-shaped thing... but anything beyond that is, well, beyond me.

I do not, however, pretend that I will watch a single game past tonight's final (win or lose) until the next time England gets reasonably far in a World Cup. But at least I'm honest about that.

What bugs me, with increasing and inexplicable wrath, are the legions of 'regular rugby fans' which have sprung up all over the place, proferring their ill-informed opinions on what quite probably are the only 3 games they've watched all year.

Oh, and look today at the swarms of England rugby shirts being paraded around our High Streets, pubs and train stations. Yes patriotism is great, but I my urge to smack you in the head would be greatly diminished if that rugby shirt were actually a regular feature of your attire, and not just something you've had gathering dust at the back of the closet for the past 4 years.

But still, tonight will be fun. We'll all get excited, and invariably we'll lose. Then we'll all completely forget about rugby until the next time we all become 'devoted fans'.

Swing low, etc.

Blog on, Worcester Park!

It was well over a year ago since my last blog post. Well over a year and a half ago since I stopped blogging regularly.

My, how time has flown.

Rarely to I look back at my old blog postings, but in a bored moment looking back at my last post today, I saw that it had elicited no less than 35 comments. Admittedly, 29 of these were offers of Viagra and penile extensions, but buried amonst them were a good few posts clamouring (well, almost) for the return of the WorcesterPark blog.

Well, OK then, you win. Here goes. So I resolved to put fingers to keyboard once more and re-start the proud tradition of blogging from Worcester Park. But not without a nod to co-blogger the Brinkster who continues to keep the blogging flag fluttering from Worcester Park.

So here we are. Worcester Park is back, and back for good (well until I get bored of it again, I guess).