Pennsylvania Archives -

So very nearly there…

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“So, are you some sort of nut?” The earthy-voiced woman’s inquisitive line of questioning was heating up. It all started with an email from the Editor of the Spectator, asking the owner of Boriswatch to come forward. I duly stepped up to the plate and phoned the given number, before being greeted with Boris Johnson’s PA on the other end. She explained her problem – that the site’s visitors have been plaguing her with calls and emails about a non-existent event, and that she wants the reference to it taken down. “No problem,” I replied, turning on the charm. “While you’re on the line…”
And so it was that I managed to get the closest yet to Boris Johnson’s inner circle. She was a chatty woman – eager to divulge very little, but eager none the less. I managed to glean that Boris was aware of the site; that he is indeed planning to branch out into some sort of online presence; and that I would be well placed to help if it was needed.
I’ll admit to getting a little star-struck, even if it was a step short of the big man himself. Still, it’s only a matter of time…

3 Year Anniversary – Bath again

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“We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.”
Hilaire Belloc
Two years ago, to celebrate out first anniversary, Michelle and I pootled off to take in the delights of Bath, braving all the jokes about “needing to wash” and “I should have a shower with a nice showerhead instead” from ‘amusing’ friends. Bath is a very picturesque place, with cracking restaurants, interesting museums and a shedload of shops. The trip was so blooming enjoyable we did it again last weekend, jokes and all.
The trip down was pleasant enough, but served to confirm one of my long-held geographical theories – the closer to Wales you get, the worse the weather becomes. After we sped through the rain (and a surprisingly-named town of Pennsylvania, causing Nick to ask “just how far have you gone?!” on a call from his romantic hotel in the New Forest), we arrived at the hotel at around 5 in the afternoon, after just the one wrong turning. We entered our room – and what a room it was. The majestic four-poster bed was accompanied by a side order of 12 deep red roses and champagne on ice. Marvellous.
Sadly we only had an hour to admire them before our stomachs marched us off to the Eastern Eye, a huge Indian restaurant in the town centre. It was essentially one big room, about 40 foot high and seemingly many miles long. It had been some sort of famous market area in the 1800’s apparently, famed throughout Bath, with ornate details on the walls and three glass domes set into the roof. I can only wonder at the protests that must have taken place when it emerged that it was turning into an Indian restaurant, of all things. Still, the setting was fantastic, with the food equally so, despite the dish I chose rendering my entire mouth numb for at least an hour.
By the time we’d finished there was nothing to do but get back to the hotel and sleep.
For following day we visited the Moon and Sixpence, and classy restaurant near the Roman Baths. Still suffering from the Indian the previous night, we barely managed a main course, and decided a window-shopping trip was in order to work the food off. We ventured into a nearby shopping arcade, and found a camera shop. A quick look at the digital cameras and Michelle was on a mission to buy one. After asking the assistants advice for a full 30 minutes, we nipped along to a cheaper shop and bought one, immediately debunking my schoolday retail theory that if you put in the hours, you’ll get the sale. Poor man.
And then, not to be outdone, I decided I was going to get a new mobile phone. And, in true geek fashion, I plumped for an O2 XDAII. As soon as my good friend from Phones4U gets me a hefty discount, it’ll be mine…
We left the next morning – back to Surrey, back to work. Ah well, we thought as Pennsylvania disappeared into the hazy distance – we’ll be back again…

Pizza Bomb

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Pizza delivery man goes to address, gets bomb strapped around neck and told to rob a bank. Police catch him, bomb blows his head off. Sound like a movie plot? It’s just happened in Pennsylvania, and Fox News have the story and a rather gruesome video, while MetaFilter has the discussion on it. I hope terrorists don’t get the same idea to make involuntary suicide bombers…