Ventriloquism, Bandstands and Congestion Charging

“I just got back from seeing a ventriloquist wasn’t expecting miniature dragons singing Bohemian Rhapsody…”



Well, I said this to Josie on Thursday night and it made her laugh. Yes, Joshua graciously invited me along to see David Strassman at the Pleasance Theatre. It was a strange thing – the actual gags weren’t particularly funny and sometimes felt forced, but I’d never seen a ventriloquist before, so to hell with it. The second half picked up and I continued to have this weird feeling of ‘it’s just one guy on stage all this time’. Definitely enjoyable

Now, Emily has boldly taken up to cause of Lucy deserving more airtime in this blog. I was planning to write about this weekend anyway, of course because it was lavly! (Private joke, move along, move along. Dammit – I can’t say ‘move along’ without singing The All-American Rejects to myself. Even when your hope is gone, move along, move along, just to make it through… But I digress.) After meeting up at Euston station after Lucy’s heroic train journey, we travelled to the exotic location of the Queen’s Park bandstand to meet up with anyone who wanted to meet up with us. Which included: Marion! Amber! Emily (who provided minstrels)! Saoirse! Robert (who provided glitter)! Rishal! Clare! It was a great afternoon, and a really nice way to start off the half term.

(Actually, I think in future, all social events should be arranged like this. Getting married? Pop to the bandstand in a nice suit or dress and see who turns up. You’re even covered in case of rain.)

On Saturday we visited Hampstead Heath, because it was the nearest thing to country I could muster. Also because the top of Parliament Hill is a nice spot. It also gave me a chance to make Lucy a proper London criminal with the ‘free’ Silverlink trains. You all know my views on Silverlink, however, so it’s OK. Lucy also believes she bumped into Gail Porter, though I was obviously too oblivious to celebrity to notice.

Lucy then departed on Sunday. (Yes, OK Emily, things did happen in the meantime like watching Diet Doctors and planning her crazed dictatorship of the world, but brevity is important.) I then spent the rest of the day reinstalling Windows onto Katie’s PC5, which I was rather pleased about, because it gave me something to do and created that ‘new computer’ feeling again where everything is clean and fresh and You have 76 updates to instally.

Finally! I would like to take a moment (*clears throat*) to celebrate the expansion of the Congestion Charge in London. Partly because so many people have been protesting road charing schemes recently, so here’s the case for the other side. The charge is a Good Thing (TM) and fairer than many of the alternatives. Taxes on petrol, for example, affect everyone whether they live close to good public transport or not. In London, however, if you haven’t even tried to use the bus or the Tube (or – shock horror – your feet!) to get around you shouldn’t complain about having to pay more for it. Not when uncongested roads help save businesses money in reducing traffic jams, or when the environmental impact of unnecessary car driving has never been so obvious. Invest the money into public transport, and London will be a better place for it.

Plus I don’t drive and get free buses. So, yeah

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11 Comments on :
Ventriloquism, Bandstands and Congestion Charging

  1. The Mighty Pingu says:

    Isn’t Hampstead Heath were naughty people go to do er… naughty things?

  2. Red Dalek says:

    Yes, certain quarters are rather famous for that especially if you’re male, it’s dark and you want George Michael’s autograph.

  3. Lucy says:

    ‘Lucy also believes she bumped into Gail Porter’

    I do not *believe* it, I know it. And that picture scares me

  4. Tasha says:

    I believe I was also at the bandstand… but I guess my visit was just so forgettable?…

  5. Helen says:

    Why did Robert bring giltter? I mean it’s not one of those things you just happen to have on you, is it?
    And did you hoover it up afterwards, of is Queen’s Park Bandstand sparkling merrily as we speak?

  6. Red Dalek says:

    It had been added to his hair by Joshua and Sanna prior to our meeting, and apparently stayed on for a while yet

  7. Marion says:

    Congestion in ‘Congestion carge Area’ has gone up 38% since it was installed (wrong word but hey ho).

    AND my Mother (who bought you a coke!) had to bike it up to kennsington (a 45min bike ride) in the dark (5.30-8pm) every Tuesday to see her clinet.

    So, infact the congestion charge, and Mr Livingstone are total crap. He was Also rude to my mums friend, who is lovely!

    So, urm rant over. Good blogging!

  8. Helen says:

    umm…slightly off the point here, but is this a smiley wearing the niqab? Just been wondering, that’s all.

    Marion, not being a Londoner anymore I don’t think I’m qualified to comment on your views on the CC…but I was introduced to Ken once and he looked right through me in a very superior way, so he’s not my favourite person either. And I liked him at the time and was VERY disillusioned…

  9. Marion says:

    I now like Helen!

    Wow, you can meet new-nice people threw blogs, they have a use after all!

  10. Helen says:

    Hi Marion! Are you a QPCS-er? If so apologies if at any stage of your ‘progression’ I ever shouted at you for breathing in the Library.
    I’m over it now, honestly

    Dom, no reaction on the CC? I have to say that moving away from London has made me realise just how GOOD a public transport service you’ve got. I know Londerners slag it off, but honestly, you live in Newcastle and try and get a bus after 9pm.

  11. Red Dalek says:

    We discussed it over WLM

    But no, I do know what a good public transport service we have but that success has to be paid for from somewhere, which is partly what the CC is for. And it’s a winner whatever happens: high congestion = more money for transport, low congestion = low congestion!

    As for Ken Livingstone himself, I think you’ll find most politicians in any positions of power are not going to be the nicest people on earth. They wouldn’t have got there otherwise. So I’d rather judge him on his policies.

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