I blog when I go abroad, and occasionally when I do stuff in the UK too. There's a nicer interface over here.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The number of the beast

I was going to go for a 15, 20, even 25 mile walk yesterday. I didn't. Managed the just-under-6-miles from home to me Dad's place though, good preparation for Christmas that. I just couldn't be arsed leaving the house any earlier than 3pm, despite getting up plenty early enough for a long 'un. I just lazed around watching football on TV instead. Ho hum.

Got on the radio again this morning. 6music once more, this time for bigging up Mysterious Cities of Gold's theme tune.

Left the house at 0945 today to walk to Chessington, but gave up halfway and got on a bus. The reason I was heading that way is 'cos I'd agreed last night to join Loz and Freya on their trip to the zoo.

I love zoos. They're great. If memory serves correctly I've been to zoos in Paris, Cologne, Berlin, New York, Singapore, Sydney, and now Chessington. Actually that doesn't sound like enough, but maybe it is. Anyway. Chessington's is perhaps somewhat less splendid than the others but heading there on what turned into a fairly grey and very cold English December day was a great idea. I love visiting summery places out of season. Spending a few days on the Isle of Wight in November 2003 was a superb case in point. There's something about the bleak desolation, exacerbated by the weather, of a half-closed, almost-deserted tourist attraction which really appeals to me; Chessington Zoo today provided just that. The bleakness was even compounded by the horrid building site of the 150 room hotel being built on the premises. Ace.

The animals help too, mind. There aren't masses of 'em but they've got spider monkeys and rabbits and alpaca and gorillas and lions and tigers and stuff, innit. I do think it's a genuine shame, rather than just something to take the piss out of, when something so obviously educational is let down by bad English though. Like, say, on a sign explaining stuff about the Grey Owl where, highlighted as one of the things to remember, is a mis-spelling of the word "Arctic". Artic indeed :-(

Hung out at Loz's for a while after the zoo, getting a couple of films he illegaled for me last night in the process, then decided to walk home. The "walking as a form of transport" route is just over 3 miles, but is a pretty horrible walk through shitholes and along very big roads; but the "I've got nothing worthwhile to do with my time" route I managed to concoct was 6.5 miles, and thoroughly pleasant. Well, not thoroughly, but perhaps 85% so. Deliberately walked faster than normal, partly to see what speed I could keep up and partly 'cos I was fairly keen on the idea of watching Chelsea -vs- Arsenal, think I kept a steady 4.3mph. Not bad I suppose.

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