Well it’s been a busy weekend after a busy week – and to be honest I’m just entirely knackered: spent all day Saturday working with on a catalogue making updates to measurements and sizing charts which is a laborious, thankless and entirely soul destroying task that I eventually got finished at half past two on Sunday morning, a day that I’m hoping to be able to reclaim in bed with a much deserved day off during the week!
But it’s not all been work which is good – on a recommendation that it’s “nice” we took the streetcar for a spin today around the M25 and all the way down to Hastings, which on paper sounds like it should be nice, and in parts it’s lovely – but the bit by the sea (and let’s face it if you go to the coast you want to see the sea!) was a chav-infested hell hole, car parks that were like the surface of the moon and roads clogged with 17 year olds ‘cruising’ in modified cars… in fairness we probably didn’t give it quite the chance we should have, but we took one look at it and drove out – maybe we’ll give it another go when it’s chucking it down, that seems to keep chavy-teenagers indoors
Away from Hastings it was out onto the country roads of Kent travelling through Battle taking a convoluted route back to London which was lovely – I’d forgotten how nice it was just to jump in the car, switch the radio on and just go for an entirely random drive, not the cheapest thing to do in what’s essentially a hire car, but nice nevertheless… I like rural Kent, it looks like the sort of place I could escape to, much like rural Bedfordshire – it’s deceptively rural, beautiful countryside, but never far away from a proper road straight back into London.
So on the way back we took yet another detour – this time via Coulsdon, admittedly not the epicentre of most peoples world’s, but to the Urbexer Coulsdon is the home of the catherdral of urbex: Cane Hill, so we popped in for a little unplanned worship… ok, I’ve taken that metaphor as far as it’ll go… anyway, with darkness closing in we took a dusk walk around the perimeter of the fence, taking photos as we went
It was, much as we expected, still magnificent; every inch the Victorian lunatic asylum – imposing, stately and grand – albeit in a falling down sort of a way… and even though it was just a walk around the perimeter you almost felt in touch with the building as it stands high up on the hill, surrounded by trees the only things we met along the way were the occasional hoot of an owl, or the bark of a fox – it was perfect, and it’s spurred us on to go up there again to take a much more detailed look at the building as it stands now in 2007; so don your hard hats and head over to the urbex section to keep an eye out for Cane Hill photos and reports to come!
Well this weekend’s been a short one, Saturday was a work day, which is the first for a while; and it started in the fog, crashing up the M1 avoiding people who don’t look in their mirrors before changing lanes, we ended up at MeadowHall in Sheffield to pick up a mini-dv to DV connecter for my powerbook which was an interesting experience before zooming off to a business meeting in central Sheffield.
Sheffield’s an interesting place, I’ve not been for years; and it’s looking a little worse for wear in places, it’s still that odd mix of swanky new flats and crumbling buildings, a bit like the Docklands of 10 years ago, there are a million great urbex sites, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get up there with that in mind without prior commitments for business, but you never know, with some forward planning it might happen. Meeting successfully concluded it was time to bimble down memory lane, both with family ties in South Yorks we tore around the back roads before eventually hitting the A1 again for the trip back down south, calling in on the parents briefly to find a strange transposition as I find myself and my brother talking about work, while my parents (although both gainfully employed) talking about being students, dad doing a degree and mum doing an optician’s assistant course.
And so to Sunday, spent mainly in bed, catching up on all the sleep we’d missed during the week and saturday, browsing the net for houses and catching up on the papers, spooks and some other stuff the media server had caught for us during the week, and so the weekend ended… back to the grindstone for another week, and a busy one it’s going to be too, so that’s my weekend, how was yours?
Well it’s been a remarkably quiet bank holiday weekend, spent on my own for the most part; which has been nice in a way, but would perhaps of been nicer if the books weren’t in storage as let’s face it there’s only so much TV you can watch… especially when the TV in question is just stuff on the media server. So far I’ve ploughed through the first three seasons of River Cottage, season one of the IT crowd, the one (and criminally only) season of Trust plus Absolute Power Seasons One and Two as well as the DVD of Nigella Bites, whilst day dreaming of how nice it’ll be to have my own kitchen back!
I’ve made a conscious decision to not work at all, having had plans to work this weekend it’s been good to clear the deck and just get away from the humdrum of the office and all the headaches which that brings… especially as the four day week that’s coming is going to be especially manic with two super-client proposals going out plus three or four little projects to finish up.
I’ve also been writing this weekend, and some of it has made it here, with descriptions of our explorations of the Old Warden Tunnel and Clophill’s Haunted Church now online with a tonne of photos from each site to go alongside the descriptions. I’ve also been writing some bits for the food section, but they’re not quite finished yet, so I’m going to hold them back for later on in the week!
We’ve been off urbexing… details of our first exploration as well as pictures and stories of our not really thinking well in imperial measurements in the urbex section.
Posted in Urbex
So it’s been announced (after much discussion) that Shoreditch Station on the East London Line is to close after the planners finally settled their differences with the conservationists regarding the fate of a little known Grade 2 listed viaduct/goods yard, it’ll be the first permanent station closure on the underground since Aldwych was closed and the Epping to Ongar end of the Central line was sliced off in 1994.
Get down their now to get photos of the building as unlike some of London Underground’s other relics I fear the building itself may not survive long after it’s closure as it’s on prime land to be redeveloped as part of the cities’ inexorable push East. The official closing date is 9th June 2006. It must be said, as glad as I am that they’re finally getting on with the East London Line Extension, it’d be nice to finish a few other projects before starting… maybe for example; finishing Notting Hill Gate tube station?
So the Midland Grand Hotel… Well it’s been a week since we went to the Midland Grand Hotel to go ghost hunting and I’ve not written about it, why? Well because I’m a lazy arse frankly, but that’s another story. So about the visit, well the Hotel (what we saw of it) was amazing: and we plan to go back to take a more in depth look around at some point in the near future. The TV show was interesting in what it actually uncovered but we didn’t see any ghosts ourselves.
One thing we did notice though was just how un-naturally cold the building was, now whether this was paranormal or just because of the nature of the building is up for debate, I think it was because it was an old building that wasn’t particularly well insulated: I sit in the natural causes camp, although without further investigation I couldn’t even begin to tell you why it would be colder inside under the glow of stage lights than it was out on a windy damp day in London.
There were some interesting occurrences, the medium sensing an over-whelming presence in the room we were sat in was both intriguing and just a little bit chilling, and the ladies sat across from us (who didn’t know each other) all seeing a figure standing on the balcony of the hotel, not an odd thing considering the amount of film crew there were swarming about the building – until we found out that the bit of the building they were looking at has been sealed from the public (film crew included) for many many years and may even be structurally unsafe internally making access difficult for all but the most determined of hoaxers.
But we didn’t see anything, other than feeling cold the experience was based quite firmly in the normal and natural for both myself and Dave… Does this mean that I’ll stop believing? Probably not, but I think my pragmatism helps keep a belief in check, which can only be a good thing I think.
Well this Tuesday should be interesting, myself and Dave are off to The Grand Midland Hotel (the ornate frontage of St Pancras Station) for a live television experiment into the paranormal. If you’ve got digital it’s Living TV and it starts just after 8pm, it should be interesting, because both myself and dave have an interest in the building itself (we’re both architecture freaks) and we’ve recently been discussing ghosts and stuff because of a series of programs that we’ve been on the tv… my main interest is whether any experiences we may have or see at the hotel will change our perception of the building itself.
It should be interesting to say the least. I’m keeping an open mind, but I’m hoping to experience new things, and that’s not to say I’m going out looking for a ghost.