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Adrian Essex's Blog (32)

To boldly go . . .

 . . where few my age have gone before. 

Every so often something happens in my life which inspires me. Last weekend such a thing happened. I took part in, and did tolerably well at, an icosathlon (from the Greek icos = 20, athlon = contest). Like decathlon, you know, Daley Thompson in the Olympics, all those years ago,  only this is 20 events. Unfortunately for the world what this inspires me to is vanity and dire prose.

So what has inspired me.

1) Camarederie - two…

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Added by Adrian Essex on September 1, 2016 at 19:00 — No Comments

Medical Matters - optimism , pessimism and David Cameron

This is a blog, and since one of the things I know well and care about a lot is me, I feel entitled to write on the subject. Perhaps my researches might help someone else.

But, to start with a digression, (and a co-ordinating conjunction), I don't share David Cameron's taste for seven day a week General…

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Added by Adrian Essex on October 1, 2014 at 13:48 — No Comments

I went to a funeral

I tried volunteering as a hobby about three years ago. I'm really not very good at it, the main problem being that a volunteer such as I has to strike a balance between doing what is asked of him, and his desire to more good than is currently being achieved. I am in the fortunate position of knowing more about most things than most people, which obviously enables me to offer enormously useful advice in almost every circumstance in which I find myself, indeed to propose changes to the way…

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Added by Adrian Essex on August 20, 2014 at 15:21 — No Comments

Chive flower tempura - food from my garden

The garden is looking pretty good at the moment - I like my garden overcrowded and full of stuff. The nettles are doing well  - their purpose is to attract butterflies, but it hasn't happened yet. The apple tree has a lot of tiny apples waiting to grow - the June drop should be a big one. Not sure if I have the patience to follow the RHS advice to thin by hand! The pond is looking very full and clear, now that I have…

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Added by Adrian Essex on May 30, 2014 at 9:05 — No Comments

Random thoughts from abroad

Dalat to Cat Tien national park - The bus was very good and comfortable and the  halfway bus stop was OK too, ant we'd asked the driver to drop us at the post office. He didn't,  but went another 100 yards and dropped us in the 'territory' of the local motor cycle taxi gang. The car  taxi driver would not pick us up until we walked away from the crossroads and paid protection money, and the bike men backed off. They were quite intimidating. Still, £1.67 is a modest extortion demand.…

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Added by Adrian Essex on February 22, 2014 at 0:30 — No Comments

The archetypal tourist

For the past few days I have played the role of tourist almost to perfection. If it is the tourist's role to be taken in by the myth of the "truly authentic" tourist experience and to improve the lot of the local by the application of cash, then I  have the role down to a T.

The overnight train ride - Vietnam is a very long thin country from North to South, and much of is traversed by "The Reunification Express" running from Saigon to Hanoi. Railways are favourite targets for the…

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Added by Adrian Essex on February 20, 2014 at 1:27 — No Comments

Back in England the government is still building windmills . . .

Meanwhile, here in Ho Chi Minh City the man in the street continues not to give a Phu Quoc and continues to ride around on his automatic motor bike, past countless neon lights and air conditioned buildings, buses and cars. The number and ubiquity of these bikes causes every visitor to marvel and I am no exception. There are far more of them,surely, than the roads can support, and yet as they weave…

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Added by Adrian Essex on February 9, 2014 at 20:51 — 1 Comment

Exotic trip

So, I am in Dubai International.airport on my way to Ho Chi Minh City. I count that as exotic. so far the trip is going quite well. Economy class on Emirates is no more spacious than other airlines, but the entertainment system was phenomenal. It is some time since I've been on a long haul flight and maybe all other airlines are now this good, but I enjoyed watching the take off via cctv, while listening to the sound track of my youth. Four digit channel numbers does suggest a wealth of…

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Added by Adrian Essex on February 8, 2014 at 1:34 — No Comments

Second Childhood, zoos and the cinema of the ridiculous

I had a day yesterday which was very much a reversion to my childhood, made up of a trip to the zoo and seeing the Lone Ranger at the pictures.

The zoo was very much a part of my childhood as we lived for a while in Camden Town and Regent's Park was not much more than a walk away. Of course that was a long time ago before Lord Snowdon's aviary had been built, and the polar bear's…

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Added by Adrian Essex on August 22, 2013 at 11:00 — No Comments

A mysterious type of mobile phone fraud

I can’t be sure if this story of a stolen identity will bring any one any benefit especially as it’s not over yet, but I’ll recount it anyway for my own cathartic purposes, and perhaps someone reading will be able to help me as I still don’t understand the scam.

A week ago on Friday (28th July 2013) I arrived home to find a card from ParcelForce through the front door. Slightly surprising as I was not expecting a parcel, and my daughters, who sometimes use me as a poste…

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Added by Adrian Essex on August 5, 2013 at 22:49 — 1 Comment

Flattery, desperation and administration

I haven't written a blog for ages. Sorry, I know you've missed me. The prompt to do so is a new booklet that's started plopping through the letter box, recently, The Crouch End Connection. If you've not been lucky enough to get one and feel deprived you can see it online here (Crouch End Connection).

In itself this seems a harmless enough thing - it's essentially a huge advertisement. Estate Agents seem to believe in…

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Added by Adrian Essex on June 7, 2013 at 17:25 — No Comments

Slipping comfortably into 2013

Today I am wearing my whimsical slippers - a reflection perhaps of a new mood for a new year. Tomorrow perhaps I'll wear my sensible slippers. If its chilly this evening I'll use the warm zip up bootees. Eh, luxury!

whimsical (a bit like Jim Dale's werewolf feet in Carry On Screaming)…
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Added by Adrian Essex on January 1, 2013 at 11:16 — No Comments

The sexagenarian novice

I took part in an aquathlon yesterday morning at Park Road Pool. Aquathlon is a horrible word - where to put the emphasis? - but what it means is swimming and running. I've never tried to combine these disciplines before so I took part in the Novice category. 2 lengths of the Lido and 1km run. My running is OK but my swimming is poor - I'm starting improver lessons at…

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Added by Adrian Essex on September 2, 2012 at 11:01 — No Comments

Stamping on the Brakes

I comprehensively failed the off-road module of my motor cycle test this morning, this for the second time. The first time was due to a lack of paper work. I had been expecting a replacement certificate through the post, but it did not turn up until the day after the test so I was not even allowed to start taking it.

This off-road module is the third in a series if 4 tests it is now necessary to take in order to get a motor cycle licence. The first is the Compulsory Basic Training…

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Added by Adrian Essex on April 13, 2012 at 10:58 — No Comments

Involuntary trumpeting

My life has changed a bit recently. I now have a modest income from what seems to be a fully funded pension scheme, and very few domestic commitments. So I could, for example, ring up Alpine Elements on Saturday and ask them if they have any ski-ing weeks starting on Sunday they haven't sold yet. I could then conduct a Dutch auction until the price came down to what I was willing to pay. I almost wish I hadn't thought of that - I…

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Added by Adrian Essex on March 14, 2012 at 21:01 — 1 Comment

Don't just sit there - procrastinate, butterfly brain

The thing that goes wrong with my day most often is that I allow myself to be distracted. Today I have a very clear to do list. There's quite  a lot I must get done by about 4 this afternoon. The to do list is clear, concise and prioritised. But have I done anything on it - have I be blowed. No, I looked in my email inbox, and from there one inconsequential thing just leads to another, and now look where I've ended up. Talking out loud to a keyboard! I'm almost certainly not going to do…

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Added by Adrian Essex on February 3, 2012 at 10:00 — 1 Comment

Blood Pressure

I've been checking my blood pressure (bp). I own one of those little machines you can have at home which claims to measure bp and pulse rate, and I chanced to find it again recently. I've got a set of scales in the basement so I think I can measure my weight fairly accurately and I have a vague recollection of my height from years ago (though I am at a time of my life when I might be shrinking). What a splendid chance to combine two interests (hypochondria and computers) and create a graph…

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Added by Adrian Essex on January 22, 2012 at 12:23 — 1 Comment

A couple of damp squibs

I bought an iPad almost by accident. A family member was vaguely interested so I had a look on eBay and there was an iPad for sale, at what seemed like a good price. I bid, knowing I wouldn't get it and lo and behold I got it. So this weekend I've been away and I took my iPad with me, a chance to get to know it on the really quite long train journeys involved. Perhaps a train isn't the ideal environment to grow to love an Internet connected device, but it didn't do very well in the hotel… Continue

Added by Adrian Essex on November 6, 2011 at 20:20 — No Comments

Solar Panel Scepticism - Lies, Promises and the First Estate

There will be a meeting on Wednesday September 14th in the Hornsey Library about the installation of Solar Energy. The meeting is organised by an architect, and speakers include an installer, a householder with an installation, a local 'green' activist group and a group aiming to retro fit Victorian Terraces with energy efficient stuff. No doubt they will make a convincing case…

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Added by Adrian Essex on September 13, 2011 at 11:32 — No Comments

Another Food Blog

We've had visitors this week (my parents-in-law). They spend all day but don't stay overnight with us, so I'm responsible for lunch, and frankly, I don't cope very well. I prepare almost nothing, everything is shop bought and ready made (apart from one lunch at the Queen's).

So the day they arrived  I'd ordered some cupcakes from Bittersweet. These were delivered…

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Added by Adrian Essex on September 1, 2011 at 23:30 — No Comments

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