HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Entry for April 26, 2007

Posted by HelenEdith on April 26, 2007

I’ve already got a website Helen Stephenson’s Home Page so I’m not absolutely sure whether I need a blog as well, but this Yahoo! 360° space has been sitting here just waiting for me to use it and I can’t resist it any more.

I’m afraid that I’ve had a pretty boring week, as I seem to have been in the throes of a migraine all week. It’s probably my own fault for having too busy a week last week.

The highlight of last week was a work night out. We started out at Hollywood Bowl on the Festival Leisure Park for an hour and a half of ten pin bowling. I’m a complete novice, but was gratified to get a couple of strikes and a spare in the course of the evening. Considering that my first three turns resulted in all six bowls going down the gutter, it was gratifying to discover that looking at the pins seemed to help and it was actually possible to hit them!

After the bowling games, we repaired to an Indian restaurant called Moza, which is also on the Festival Leisure Park. It’s in the atrium area which gives access to the multiplex cinema and it’s an all-you-can-eat buffet. I was very tempted to go back and have seconds of the chicken balti, which I thorougly enjoyed, but decided that I didn’t really need seconds. One person enjoyed the food so much that I saw him go back for thirds!

I home-worked the day after the works night out. It wasn’t arranged that way because of the works night out: Wednesday is my usual home-working day. It breaks the week up not having to commute on a Wednesday. I did fit in a chiropractor’s appointment on this particular Wednesday, though. The chiropractor keeps my back ticking over nicely. If I treat it right, it treats me right.

It was back to the commuting fray on Thursday and Friday. Commuting these days is a round trip of nearly 64 miles between Kent and Essex, and the Dartford Crossing is slap bang in the middle of my route. It’s great when the traffic is running smoothly, particularly as my car is fitted with a DART-Tag, so I can get through the toll booth area without actually stopping.

The traffic wasn’t so good coming home on Thursday and Friday. I got stuck in a tailback on the M25 soon after I joined it at Junction 29 on Thursday evening. That was seven miles of crawling along where achieving third gear occasionally was the highlight of the evening. On Friday the traffic was also bad, but the online traffic reports showed that the A13 was flowing freely, so I decided to use that, and only had a bit of near-stationary traffic near the QEII Bridge to deal with after I joined at Junction 30.

Last time I’d tried to join the A13 at Basildon, I got lost and ended up on a dead-end road somewhere, so it gave me a sense of achievement to actually find the A13 on this occasion. The fact that it was still light undoubtedly helped as well.

One form of Dartford Crossing queue avoidance which I occasionally indulge in is a visit to Lakeside. This is a massive shopping complex and so far I’ve only visited the indoor mall, but one of these days, I must find IKEA, as I want some picture frames. There’s also a supermarket, a car dealership, and various DIY shops dotted around the site.

Maybe it would be better for my bank balance if I practised Dartford Crossing queue avoidance by scouting out some locations where there is something worth pointing a camera at. I wonder if you can get near to the docks at Tilbury… I used to love photographing the shipping on the Thames when it reached the Upper Pool. I really miss those photo opportunities now that my job is no longer City-based.

Well, that’s enough for an opening entry in this blog.

The picture is one of me standing in front of the Taj Mahal last year when I was in India on a business trip and I made the trip to Agra on one of my free Sundays.

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