Monday, October 07, 2013

another train adventure

hi there

honestly i have no idea why my exploits involving trains tend to be such popular posts here, but with nothing much else better to write of, here you go with another adventure. here's to hoping that you enjoy it all as much as the last one or two!

there was no particular reason to take a train ride today as such, except i thought it worthwhile to call in at Sandton and had no intention at all of going anywhere near the place in a car. the closest the car was going to go was to the train station, which i think is a mile or so further away than home anyway.

and so the car took me there, and off i went for a walk from the car to the train station. which is quite a distance.



yes, indeed i am wearing a class, stylish Reni had there. as you can see, there's some formidable sun action on the go, despite the clouds doing their best to provide some relief and cover.

mostly, then, the hat is worn as a sign of loyalty to Reni & Mani & John & Ian. a uniform of solidarity with one generation under the same groove, if you like. but partially it is also symbolic of my commitment to challenging and fighting cancer by any means necessary and possible.

once again the train there was a bit too full of business types for my liking, so i took no pictures. i don't need the accusations of industrial espionage, to be frank. no one can prove anything, i have witnesses.

speaking of which, my good friend Jonathan was very excited when i told him of my last voyage and mentioned there were a number of well armed, tooled up if you like, tramps. Jonathan has an interesting relationship with the gentlemen of the road and sees an armed tramp as nothing more or nothing less than a challenge.

strangely there was only one around this time, but i got a picture for Jonathan at the least.



not the greatest picture, sure, but i think you can make out this chap is armed with at least two sticks. i am uncertain to just what extent Jonathan will see this as a challenge, should the two ever meet, but at least he is aware of what awaits him. i would be pretty sure that if the two met the subject of Jonathan's immense ironing skill and prowess would not get much of a mention, but somewhat understandably, for those who know, Jonathan just takes the approach of, as it were, striking whilst the iron is hot.

speaking of which, i am unsure as to what to make of this chair, or bench thingie.



other than it being located in a place not usually known as a spot for people to sit down and have a rest, it appears to be made of or made to look like it is constructed from gun bits. not exactly the most inviting thing to go and sit on, is it? unless you like sitting on weapons, i suppose. i would, now that i think, sit on a chair that looked like ED209 out of RoboCop, so maybe they are on to something here.

although as it is in a location that does not lend itself to being described as a natural stopping off point maybe the intention of the gun chair is to say "you can sit here if you like but we advise against it".

i really do not care for or particularly like the chair, even though i took a picture and put it here, so i am not going to discuss it any more.

what was i doing? oh yes, i went to visit a dear friend. i am not sure at all if Anthea wants to be mentioned by name on this blog, so i will probably just leave her name well out of it. i had not seen Anth...my friend for a while, far too long in fact. my recent accidental meeting of Kidron meant i was ashamed to walk around knowing i had seen him a good deal more recently. so as i found, quite by chance, an item that would please her greatly, i arranged the train journey to see her.



there she is showing off the one disc i gave her that from a legal perspective is perfectly fine to show off on the web. actually it is two discs, a special edition of that album by that band i know she likes a lot. which band? that one that headlines Glastonbury a lot, the one with that guy who is married to that girl, you know that guy that does that thing on stage.

were there other discs? perhaps. now is not the time to discuss them, what with royalties, ownership and rights being some sort of issue these days. instead let me show you a picture than Anth..my very good friend took of me.



wow, i look almost decent there! well, no surprise, as Anth...my dear friend is a wonderful photographer, and has the skill to make anyone or anything look decent in a picture. better than my "selfies" for sure, although a different affair from my much beloved Commodore 64 style pictures.

oddly, by a strange quirk of fate, i happened to bump into my dear friend and personal photographer, Trigger, whilst out. we greeted, but he looked rather busy, so it did not seem to be the time to ask him to take pictures.

i have not as yet drawn attention to the shirt i have on, have i? bit of a sore point for me, truth be told. i bought it, you see, and i said to myself "i know, i will wear this when we take my (considerably) better half's mother, my beloved and respected mother-in-law, out for dinner". and then she cancelled on me. so i did not wear the shirt for another week, as we rearranged to take her out the week after. and then she cancelled that one too. the universe is truly trying to say something to you when your mother-in-law refuses your company and your providing of a meal, although i have no idea what it is trying to say.

it has left me sad that the shirt was not worn for the first time in the circumstances i had imagined, but i shall not beat myself up. it was there to be worn, not saved to suit the calendar of my mother-in-law.

onwards then, and my walks took me past the Balalaika (i think that is the name), a good a place as any to try and take a selfie and show you that the hat was on as part of my war on cancer.



i am sure the location of the picture will be of passing interest to some, for the rest i trust i have your support and backing in the war on this most terrible disease.

there is of course no way that i could engage in travels without conducting some sort of business affairs with that most curious of concepts, the postal service. one can never be certain, but if even only in appearance only they do not seem to be on strike at the present time. it was worth the risk, then, of posting an unspecified item on the off chance it might get delivered as it should.



of course i have every confidence that the interesting ways of the postal service will ensure this item is delivered as addressed and indeed as intended.

i had another purpose for my journey today, one that also involved compact so-called discs and music. that Musica lot, you see, had advertised a 2 CD set called The Essential Barbara Streisand. i was quite excited about this as, well, who isn't excited by some Barbs? in this case it was the first time i had seen any sort of collection of hers that featured the three Barbs-tastic songs that i wanted - Woman In Love, Memory and indeed The Way We Were. all other Barbs 'best ofs' or compilations usually have just 1, 2 or indeed none of those tracks.



getting Musica to sell me the item that they not only advertised in a flashy brochure but also had stock of proved to be a quite fascinating thing. very fascinating.

i looked on the shelves and could not see it, so when i took two other items to the till (more on those later) i asked the lady if she could please provide me with the Barbs set, pointing it out on the magazine she had on the counter. what came next was a great display of customer service.

instead of checking on the computer, which was right f****** there in front of her, she pointed me in the direction of something called an info desk and told me i had to ask the guy there. this i did, when the guy on the info desk had finished flirting with a fellow employee. he went to look on the same shelf as i did, and found that it was not there. he then check on the computer and discovered the copies of it were all in the storeroom. here comes the class bit.

you might expect i would hear the words "i will go and fetch it for you". these were not the words i heard. i instead had some sort of indirect attack launched on me. the chap informed me that it was "too much trouble" and "not worth the effort" to go and get something from the stock room. there was, in his on eloquent and distinct words, "many much" items in the stock room. all of this suggested that he was not going to fetch it. or, at least, that he thought he was not going to fetch it.

"so let me get this clear," i responded, as and when the chap came up for air and his blood pressure returned to normal, "you are advertising an item that you have in stock and you are not going to sell it to me, is that right?". i have nothing but delight in telling you it only took him a matter of moments to evaluate the scenario all by himself and off he subsequently toddled to this most treacherous of storerooms, it being a mere 7 or so steps away from where the conversation, if i can call it such, happened.

i thus have two disc Babs heaven in my collection.



what exactly was the issue with the chap? who knows and who cares, really. leaving aside just sheer laziness, or a reluctance to entertain profit and commerce, perhaps there's a rather large, unseen member of staff with peculiar tastes that lurks in this storeroom and this chap had known the pleasures of these peculiar tastes in the past. most likely, though, he was just all excited about the flirting he was doing with a fellow staff member and he was probably in a rush to go somewhere to fiddle with himself whilst still fresh in the mind. which makes a reluctance to go to the storeroom odd, but happily so.

the next few pictures are wildly out of sequence. i would say sorry but that would imply i was prepared to do something about it, like put them in order, which i am not, so i will not.

i had three minutes to catch a train via Sandton's impressive, Dante like levels of a train station, so i decided to cheat a bit and use the elevator instead of the escalators. as it was a room full of mirrors, just as Hendrix had once spoken of, i thought it a good idea to do one of them selfie things, only with my pants on.



that did not really work so well, did it? i suppose i could have switched the flash off, that might have helped, but in general blueberry pictures have so little going for them that it seemed a shame to take away the one thing it did have.

if i had the iTwat with me i dare say i could have taken a simply amazing image in the lift. i just could not be arsed taking it with me, though, sorry. and yes i know there has been a lack of Commodore 64 pictures recently, sorry. will try and take some more soon.

and yes indeed, i do have my hat on. see, there's me battling cancer even when inside. where there are strict anti-smoking rules and regulations in place.

speaking of bad pictures, running this one through that "auto correct" on Microsoft Photo Thing seems to have had a bizarre effect on my skin. unless i look like this to the real world and i am just unaware of it.



that's me on the train home, as it were. no i do not have my hat on. there is a list of rules and regulations about what you cannot do on the train. a massive list, too long to read all the details of on one train journey. i just assume, then, that getting or giving cancer is one of the many things banned on the train, thus i had no need to have the hat on. The Stone Roses would understand.

back to the pictures that were not put in sequence when i uploaded, then. see them as some sort of deleted scenes or similar if you like.

on my travels, strolling around, i saw a lot of these things. they look like they are toys for children, but i believe they are some sort of limited taxi service. i think they are called Tika Takkas or something like that, f*** knows really.



in the heat, even with my hat on, it was sorely tempting to try one of these from one place to another. i did not, however. i couldn't work out how you engaged the drivers of them to perform the fuction they are supposed to, seeing as none of them looked either eager or enthusiastic to work. a bitr of a shame, really, as i am sure you would be as amused as i would be to see if i can actually fit into one of the mini sized contraptions.

perhaps i will take another journey on the train in the not too distant future, then, and give one of these three wheeled taxis of unspecified name a go.

some more attempts at selfies, then, and here's one of them post modernist, avant garde type looks at me for you, if you are interested.



quite a nice skyline. i should probably try and take a pictue of it with a proper camera one day.

no. if it's too much effort to take the iTwat along to take class C64 style pictures on, it is not likely i am going to take a proper camera with me. just so we are clear.

now then, here's a picture of me either arriving at or leaving a train station. i do not remember. 



i don't think it really matters either way, the imporant thing here is that i have my hat on, for as you can see the sun is out. well, you can't see the sun itself, but you can see the magical effect it has on the skies.

it's just dawned on me that the available via iTwat only remix of Bowie's Sound & Vision was released today and i have not logged on to purchase it from them. whoops. i shall do that later.

on that note, however, my business today did mean passing by the celebrated iTwat store, so i thought some blueberry pictures would be appreciated. as ever, the store was populated by people dressed oh so very stylish, checking that their "apps", "skins" and "OS" matched their clothes.



i really don't understand the appeal of hanging around in an iTwat store, but if most of the people who like to be annoying in shopping centres like Sandton City would care to just stand around pointlessly in there instead of constantly stopping in front of me, that's fine by me.

in my limited experience of iTwat stores, i have found it is better to research what you want online and just go and buy what you want from wherever is offering the best price. going into an iTwat store itself leaves you open to hearing "well, no, what you really should consider for your specific needs is this piece of sh!t model right here that we are overstocked with".



on to much happier things, and i am informed by a reliable, never ever to be argued with source (no, not my (considerably) better half, this time i am serious) that the place pictured below crafts and sells the finest chocolate gingers in the known world. that is the opinion of my Gran and thus must not be questioned.



unless of course you think you know of a place that makes them even better. in that case, i would do my best to go to wherever that is in the world and get some for her.

my views on chocolate ginger are pretty much that i have never tried one so i don't know. all i know is that my Gran loves them, so i love them.

ah, now this one is me leaving the train station after my sojourn or whatever you want to call it.



yes, i have the hat on in the car. why? because what if The Stone Roses came on the stereo? plus, my car may one day decide it wants a sunroof or something. i am then prepared for it.

right, other items purchased then. these were also from Musica, and a lot easier too. they were on the shelf you see, so the chap didn't have to risk getting bummed or something in the storeroom. a strange idea, stores having stock easily available for sale and making it easy for people to purchase.

the first purchase was a seemingly nice one - the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert on blu ray for the equivalent of £9. strange as the DVD version is about £15 in price here. sorry, i cannot give a US$ value as the Americans seem to still have banned use of their own currency.



there are two slight downsides to this purchase. first off, you may note something in the top corner. that's a statement that reads "SD Blu Ray", as in Standard Definition. no 1080 magic, then. no worries. it was not filmed in high definition and it probably seemed more trouble than it was worth to "remaster" it. except on the back, now i have looked, it says that SD is just the name that the makers of the disc, Eagle Vision, give to "upscaling" stuff. and the back says it is that 1080i thing.

which is good, but also bad when one considers the second downside. there is no Spinal Tap listed. they are not named on the cover, and the tracklisting on the back omits them between Bob Geldof (who intoduced them with a "too much perspective" line) and the other sort of comedy band to appear on the day, Guns N Roses. oh dear.

still, if that is the only cut, i should be able to enjoy David Bowie doing The Lord's Prayer in "upscaled" high definition later, after i have downloaded that iTwat thing.

an even better purchase than the above was this.



yeah, i know a super deluxe set of Harry's albums is now out, but not here. this was also priced really good, and the CDs contain extras that the stand-alone versions of the albums did not have on them. and when i say priced really good, it was marked at about £12.50, but when i got to the till (see above) the price came up as around £9. not for me to argue, and i will accept that as some sort of apology for the incident with the info dude.

do i want the ultra mega sized and high priced Harry box set? of course, who would not? i will get it one of these days. it's like the album The Stone Roses - i don't have it on vinyl. and i will not until such a time as i can go to Manchester and buy it there. it just seems right to do it that way.

and that's about it, unless for some bizarre reason you want to see a picture of me holding one of them Crunchie bar things.



tomorrow i intend to potter about and do other things, so expect no great adventures or dull tales, depending on what you made of all of this. well, pottering around whilst listening to Harry. and, of course, Barbs.

for whatever reason you chose to read this, thank you very much indeed for doing so.




be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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