Sunday 26 February 2023

Sunday Variety

Partying From Dawn Till Dusk?

fbb did, however, enjoy a smattering of cards. The above was a delight. The very fat cat sits with an aggressive expression on the keyboard and speaks as quoted below the picture, "food first, then Facebook!." Friend Joan has expunged Facebook and replaced it with "Blog". As yet Mr Tubbles has not taken such a stand, but it is only  matter of time!

But the "card prize" goes to chum Fran.

Well, there is not much else to do at 78 thn discuss ailments and be grumpy. fbb is becoming something of an expert at both. But blogging continues ...

And that Moonpig Box?
It contained a mug, a gift from No 3 son - and an appropriate gift as fbb will explain in due course.
The pink item peeping out from the muggie depths is ...
... a Moonpig tea bag. Such lavishness is much appreciated.

But, let the partying continue. There was coffee with the "old people" as usual on Saturday and a chance to review exciting progress on he conversion of a dowdy co-op into a go-getting Aldi store.
The old building is being stripped right back to its frame whilst (apparently) retaining the roof. 
A banner has appeared on the hitherto blank timber poster board.
It took one of the coffee gang to point out to fbb that "Yippea" was not another German deliberate mis-spelling. It was a play on words as the picture on the poster was peas in and out of pod.

Sehr drollig, Lidl.

But the partying continues ...

... with a lunchtime visit to Axminster.

Back in 2019, the town's department store closed.
Its name comes, not from the lighthouse charity, but from its location on Trinity Square.
The store was typical of a past era, with shoppers always expecting a visit from Young Mr Grace ...
... to encourage the staff with a rousing, "You have all done very well!". 

The fear was that the closure would rip the hear out of Axminster's shopping centre. Fortunately the building has been reborn, accommodating a series of independent traders. 
On of these ventures is ...
... where the fbbs were able to secure a window seat and where one of the fbbs (guess which one) could thus watch the buses go by. 

First run hourly from Weymouth alternately via Dorchester and Abbotsbury.
Stagecoach runs two hourly to Honiton and Exeter, which was hourly until October last.
Unscientific evidence suggests that Stagecoach has, as a result, lost significant numbers of passengers, casting doubt on the service's future.

Then good old faithful Axe Valley. This remains every hour (ish) to Seaton with most journeys continuing to Beer.
The bus stop is right next to the posh lamp standard and the road but has been repainted since Streetview went past ...
... but the shelter, bus stop flag and pole etc are all about 30 yards further on outside the Minster Church. 
And can you make out that white-on--blue sign next to the bus stop.
It directs pedestrians (hence the walking man) to disabled toilets where there are, unsignposted, toilets from the undisabled as well, and to the station and bus stops. 
All buses call at the station about one third of a mile away.  The arrow directs you past the town centre bus stops where, you guessed it, all buses call!

The toilets, by the way, are in a car park, so accessible to all including drivers and their passengers. As is, obviously, the transport "interchange" at the station". The toilets have recently been joined by FOUR (yes FOUR) electric car charge points serving EIGHT car bays.
Does someone know something about a sudden vast increase in the purchase of electric cars at Axminster?

The Waffle caff was packed and service was, how to put it tactfully, snail-like. But fbb could, if he so wished, play with a small train set whilst waiting.
Sadly, the entertainment therefrom was limited to one tank engine whizzing round the oval at a scale 200mph. 
But then perhaps it was not really intended as a birthday treat for the old man!

Oh, yes, the waffles.

fbb was disappointed. His last encounter with a waffle stall was outside Gare du Midi, Brussels, in 1963. Back then he did not purchase, but observation suggested that they were deep fried and crispy.
fbb's, served with goujons of cod (a k a battered fish fingers) and called "The Catchy One" on the menu, were £10, plus £2.40 for the tea. The waffles were rubbery and disappointing. fbb was not a convert. But the place was packed.

So, after a period of all-too-exciting celebrations it was back to fbb mansions for a quiet afternoon, only interspersed by Mrs fbb weeping as Andy Murray lost to Daniil Medvedev in the ATP 250 Final at Quatar, But Medvedev was seeded 3 and the old Scotsman was unseeded.

No 1 son phoned to say that he had "amazonned" fbb a gift, thus creating a possible new coining for the 2024 OED word of the year. (see also "podiumed" c/o Formula 1 racing commentators.)

Fortunately fbb was tead and coffee-caked to complete a splendid celebratory day.

Who need parties?

STOP PRESS : No 1 son's gift amazonned through the fbb's letterbox at 1935 yesterday evening. It is about public transport and a review will follow later.

Bus Station Beautiful
There is much progress with Ryde's new bus station. Landscaping is now in hand and completion is threatened by 1st April, although that date may have unfortunate connotations.
It should be very smart when it is finished.
Also from Isle of Wight Alan, a picture of a selection of OO gauge wagons in a second-hand shop in Ryde. They are a mixture of really old Triang and nearly old Triang Hornby.
Priced at £6 each they are good value and would respond well to a bit of extra detail and a repaint into more appropriate livery. They would also make a cheap-as-chips freight train for a young beginner in the hobby. But you wouldn't really want three brake vans.

If you are seeking cheap models, it can be worth a wander into your local "antiques and collectables" emporium.

The Joys Of Motoring
Yes, you have read it right!
But it would be difficult to do.

And Another Card
This from Peggy and Richard, photographed yesterday evening in poor artificial light. But there is no indication on the card as to its location, assuming that the picture is at least based on reality.

The bus is Eastern National with Chelmsford on the blind.

Searching on line for "The Plough Chelmsford" reveals a similarity ...
... but seemingly much changed since the artist painted the original for the card.

And so to Google Maps. Here we find the pub and its railway bridge on Duke Street ...
... where the Eastern National bus is turning in to the stops outside Chelmsford station.
It is all a bit different today!

So much for fbb's waffle, partly about Waffles.

Tomorrow we will (honest, we will) complete the look at the modern Potsdamer Platz station using No 3 son's pictures and a few more from on-line sources.

 Next Potsdamer Platz blog : Monday 27th. Feb  


  1. The EN bus is turning into the old Chelmsford bus station-cum-garage which lasted until the mid/late 2000s

  2. YIPPEA it’s ALDI coming (not LIDL) to the former Co-op, according to the poster!

  3. I see that the westbound bus stop at Axminster is still as inadequate as ever. Although I have not visited for some years, I do not recall seeing the shelter and shiny bus stop previously. Surely, the junction could be remodelled to better accommodate passenger requirements.