A blog about nothing


NBC President: So what's the show about?

George: What did you do today?

NBC President: Got up, came to work.

George: That's what the show's about.

Jerry: Maybe something funny happens on your way to work.

George: No! Nothing happens!

We're not sure what we have here. Kate, who sent it to us, wasn't sure whether it was a story. We're not even sure quite which blobs denote Brockley, Crofton Park, et al. But we know it shows commuter journey times to SW1 across London.

Brockley, by the looks of things, does comparatively well but it starkly highlights the poverty of South East London's transport infrastructure overall.

Seinfeld references? Commuter times? All contemptibly bourgeois for Ross, no doubt but then he has his own blog to rail against The Man.

58 comments:

jon s said...

Hmmm,

it does tend to beat up SE london a bit, probably something to do with the transport links to Victoria. How would it look of the DFT moved to the city or Canary Wharf?

Brockley Nick said...

Yes, it obviously depends on where you choose as your end point, which is why we're not sure quite what to say about it, other than it's a nice map. But it does look as though we SE London's public transport infrastructure is less integrated than, say NE London's.

jon s said...

Yes, it shows the lack of integration in SE London, and my guess is that similar flow diagrams were used to support the ELL extension..

It also shows the impact of the DLR on integrating transport.

What would be interesting is to archive this and compare it to a new one once the ELL extension is in service.

Tom said...

I demand my right to the software that created this map!

Please!

Tom said...

Interestingly, it shows that Hither Green (the green blob in the bottom RH corner) is better connected to Town than anywhere else in SE London, other than New Cross.

Brockley is the little green blob!

Kate said...

The rest of that site is pretty useful as it's more interactive; here's a link:

http://www.mysociety.org/2006/travel-time-maps/

It's kinda good news for Brockley, since the station is the little green blob to the east of Lewisham, demonstrating that you can commute to SW1 in just under an hour. But I thought the interactive stuff was more interesting as you can set your own desired work travel time and house price, and cross-reference the two to get a map showing areas of the capital which would suit you.

Kate said...

Sorry, west of Lewisham. Clearly I need another cup of tea.

Brockley Nick said...

@Kate - clearly I missed the point of your email entirely, sorry. That would have made it a blog about something, and would have robbed me of an opportunity to quote Seinfeld.

Anonymous said...

mysociety.org created this map for free. But it uses publicly owned databases that charge a pretty penny for anyone who wants to use them. There was an item on this in guardian online. A couple of sample maps are there to wet your appetite. It would be so useful to tap in a couple of postcodes and find out the journey time and cost of housing. A pretty fundamental issue for working people in London.

JPM said...

Could we create a realtime map which pinpoints the dog poo in Brockley? We could then observe which owners are letting their lovely pets do the deed, find out where they live, and then post it back. Sounds good to me.

Brockley Nick said...

I actually think dog poo problems are remarkably few and far between in Brockley. Generally, dog ownership appears to be pretty low.

Pete said...

I was on Hilly Fields yesterday walking my parents in law's dog and there were loads of dogs out.

I always clean up after him though, so don't blame me for any crap you see.

Kate said...

Tell you what Nick, here's a subject for a post that should get some tempers heated! Dogs in public - on a lead or not? When out running, I have previously been bitten by a dog, which makes me ultra-cautious about going near dogs on Hilly Fields.

ElijahBailey said...

Those maps rule.

Also when you think about there are only two terminal stations south of the river. That doesn't help matters much.

Pete said...

I do let him off the lead in Hilly Fields. Would it be better if I didn't? He hasn't ever bitten anyone.

Kate said...

Ah, here's another link for you - I just realised that link (above) is to the older set of MySociety maps. The interactive ones I mentioned are here:

http://www.mysociety.org/2007/more-travel-maps/

Anonymous said...

Kate- I believe the issue of the number of dogs on Hilly Fields has been discussed by the Users Group, specifically the group of owners who all gather there with their 15 or so dogs in the early evening as some people felt intimidated. Not sure what the outcome was though.
Moira

Pete said...

Yesterday at about 4pm there must have been about 10 dogs being looked after by about three people, and none of them were on leads. They were all pretty well behaved though.

Anonymous said...

Globalisation killed the surbanite dream of telecommuting.

Anonymous said...

someone in the vicinity of geoffrey road has definately got a new pooch for xmas, and lets it poop all over the place. every day. An enterprising local has even affixed a "please clean up after your dog" sign to a telephone pole. we can always dream. in the meantime, the pavements of geoffrey road are treacherous.

JPM said...

And here was I thinking they lived in Manor Avenue and had got ten. (I can only think that Nick doesn't walk down it on his way to the Wickham.)

I've an idea for a new thread... "Snapcrap". Take a picture of the offenders. Make sure you get the owners in shot though and then we can hang them in our gallery of shame. (Probably beyond shame though.)

Monkeyboy said...

Amazing how theres thread drift....

1) Dog on Hilly field. I dripped over some kind of rat/dog hybrid. The owner glared at me as if trampled her child - maybe I had? who knows. Obviously my fault.

2) I tripped over a possum while jogging in Centenial Park in Sydney one evening. Bastard fruit eating, nocturnal marsupials.

3) In italy they have dogs as pets. Any other animal is either food or vermin.

4) Just eating a jacket potato with cheese and beans. The plastic fork kind of flicked up. Now I'm trying to clean the mess off my shirt and hair while trying to maintain a modicum of dignity.

GT said...

I have noticed a big increase in the amount of dog poo on the pavements in Brockley. For those of you lucky enough to own a digicam you can report it on Love Lewisham.

Anonymous said...

I have a complaint for the drunken man with the Rottweiler (last night on Tyrwhitt Road) who could have warned me about the big steamy that was just left....Thanks big guy.

Anonymous said...

There does seem to have been a massive increase in the amount of dog cr*p littering Malpas Road recently. The amount of effluent in the streets means it's starting to get that early-19th century vibe back...

jon s said...

How about a trout pond on hilly fields that can be fed by the dog crap. Dafnia eat the dog crap, then trout eat the dafnia. Seems like a nice local solution............

Headhunter said...

Personally I think there are too many cats in brockley. They crap on the path in our garden, I've caught them coming in through the kitchen window to eat leftovers off plates in the sink and 2 of our neighbours and our neighbours have 2 male cays who seem to delight in sitting about 2 metres apart caterwauling and screeching at each other. I've take to throwing stones at them to shut 'em up. I'm hoping that one of the chavs that drives along Manor Avenue with bass speakers pumping will flatten a couple of them this year to bring the population down. Or perhaps 1 or 2 of the gun totin' drug dealers on UBR will take a few pot shots. Bloody mogs - can't stand 'em. bring on the dogs!

Anonymous said...

There's a particular spot along Adelaide Avenue by Hilly Fields that I always have to leap over whilst on my morning run around Hilly Fields due to the freshly laid cr*p there every day. What's wrong with dog owners? It's not that difficult to clear up after your pooch is it?

Amanda said...

To Headhunter: for me it's foxes. I just find them so annoying, they come bounding into the garden with their lolling tails, scaring the cats and birds off. They then make themselves comfy in the sunniest spot and then proceed scratching themselves, which of course makes you feel itchy. But THEN they start digging into their hind areas. At which point, I turn away.

But it is at night that the fun really starts with them. I think it 's mating season or something, because they have been 'serenading' each other at 4.30am (I checked).

headhunter said...

The foxes don't bother me too much, I quite like their ghostly barking in the night. When it comes to scaring birds and slaughtering local wildlife, cats are far worse and there are SO many of them in the area! Vermin!

spincat said...

Our generations of cats have cohabited with the foxes on King's sportsground - round behind us - for about 15 years now. I love the foxes, but the sad thing is when they get urban mange - a really horrible condition that kills them in the end.

I also like the ghostly barking, though one night we had a vixen calling for her cub all night - this got exhausting, until a small baby-fox bark called back in the end : like a Disney film

Monkeyboy said...

The foxes are just tellimg me that they are getting some while I, sadly, am not.

Bastards!

Amanda said...

You of course know why there's so many cats about?



Mice! As to "slaughtering wildlife" better a cat that keeps them at bay than having to call in Swiftkill.

Mind you many of the cats round here are so pampered that I doubt Swiftkill will be short of work.


Edit to Spincat: Yes, I have noticed that foxes appear to been afflicted with some skin ailment. My prejudice against foxes such that rather than garnering my sympathy, it makes even more displeased at their [rescence in the garden. (Not really, I do feel sorry for them, but I just wish they keep quiet at night!)

Graeme said...

Mice - Aargh!. Must have cornered/glued/poisoned about 50 or so in the last couple of years, and have had to rip apart my kitchen to find out where the f***ers are getting in. Did I read somewhere that there's been a dramatic increase in the amount of mice around these parts recently?

I used to think they were cute too, but now they make me shudder.

Tamsin said...

Only just on-line. To revert back to the original subject matter - Hither Green is presumably a blob because the fast train from Bromley South to Victoria stops there.

Fascinating map though - and it would be good to see some with other end points.

Monkeyboy said...

I found a mouse once sitting in bag of museli...it was a half empty bag so god knows how long I'd been eating out of it's toilet. Not a great day.

Tried those humane mouse traps, now I go for the 99p lethal mouse traps from B&Q.

Tamsin said...

Cats kill birds - not good. And a fiesty cat can see of a fox any day. We were once looking after a friend's guinea pig for a while and had it out in a run in the garden. A fox was interested but our neighbour's little white kitten - a quarter of the size - squared up to it. If anyone was going to get the guinea-pit it had to be her!

Headhunter said...

I had a rat in my flat, it was under the floorboards, I think it came in through an open window in the kitchen then behind the washing machine which was pulled out at the time as I was getting it replaced. When the new one was pushed in it was trapped under the floor, but it used to chew at the floorboards in an attempt to get out. I plugged one of those sonic things in and although it's not supposed to work through floors, I didn't hear much from it ever again, I assume it died under the floor somewhere.

Graeme, yes, rat and mouse populations, and for that matter other pests are on the increase. harsh winters used to see quite a few of them off but with global warming and mild weather they are able to survive. Squirrels don't even need to hibernate anymore it seems!

In my experience domestic cats are about as much use as a chocolate teapot in getting rid of mice and rats - they're just too slow/domesticate and well fed.

Monkeyboy said...

OK.... a real debate. I like cats, there arogant f**k you attitude appeals to me.

Dogs? not keen, and they're not too fond of me so we have an uneasy truce.

I'm sure Ross will have a theory about dog breeds and the spread of the bourgeois in S London

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

I hate dog owners... honestly, I take my cats for a walk in hillyfields and there are often dogs not on leads.

The frustrating thing about it is that DOGS HAVE TO BE ON LEADS - its a lewisham by-law. But, no lewisham do not enforce it which means my cats and I are effectly excluded from any public park in the borough.

Similar thing in greenwich. A guy even said 'you should watch out mate, my dog will easily go for your cats and kill them' DESPITE the fact he was ignoring the law which required his type of dog to have a Muzzle and a lead!

Honestly, Im very annoyed about this. I Pay my taxes, is it so hard for lewisham to enforce the law to allow people to use public goods? I feel bullied by the dog-owners.

Anonymous said...

There are trains From Lewisham to Victoria but not Hither Green.

Hither Green To Charing Cross takes 18-25 mins, then District line to St. James 10-15 mins, 5 min walk. Journey time 32-45 mins.

The preferred route seems to be the District/Circle Line as the journey time from Brockley and Hither Green is 11 mins plus Jubilee Line.

ALternatively it could be they have taken into account the time spent wiping dog pooh off their shoes?

Anonymous said...

That's 11 mins to London Bridge!

Headhunter said...

Monkeyboy - I have the same "uneasy truce" with cats, they leave me alone and I do likewise (unless they make my life difficult by crapping on the garden path and screeching all day and night).

APP&P - problem is that dogs need exercise. You can't expect a dog to be locked up all day and then on a leash for the its walk(s). Parks are the only place dogs get to run around and burn off energy. It's cruel to keep them on a lead the whole time.

Having said this, there are people who do not train their dogs to come when told or make life difficult for other dog (or cat) owners so I certainly have sympathy for you but I still maintain you can't keep a dog and never let it off the lead!

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

@headhunter. I agree, its cruel. Its also cruel for my cats not being able to even go to a public park on a lead.

Are you saying that its ok to break council by-laws becuase you disagree with them? I think not.

keep your dogs on a lead, so everyone can enjoy the parks. If you think it is cruel to obey the law then you really shouldn't have a dog.... and btw, thats what back gardens are for.

ElijahBailey said...

My cat chases foxes that are on her territory. It is quite an amusing site.

She can't hunt though so impact on the local wildlife is not an issue.

Headhunter said...

APP&P - the thing is cats do not need to be walked. You obviously enjoy walking yours but you are an exception.

Unfortunately you can't just let a dog out into the street to exercise and you cannot expect all dog owners to restrict their dogs to walks on leads purely because you wish to take your cats for a walk on a lead!

I'm afraid I do disagree with council bye-laws and if I had a dog I would most certainly let it off the lead on Hilly Fields - it is cruel to do otherwise and an example of a ridiculous council bye law. In any case I don't believe that the bye law pertains to park land like Hilly Fields - I've certainly seen no signs telling dog owners they must keep their dogs on leads there.

A back garden is not enough space for even a medium size dog to exercise properly, especially a young one - they need space to run about and "socialise" with other dogs.

Having said this, I would certainly ensure that my dog was properly trained, there's nothing worse than someone weakly calling their dog and the thing blatantly ignoring them...

Bea said...

Last year the house two down from us was totally gutted and renovated – result: a mouse infestation.

I was so NOT happy to have to wipe mice dropping off the kitchen counter at 6.30 am as I made my morning coffee and disinfect everything left out before using it. Mind you it meant I lived in a minimalist environment – the floor was swept of crumbs and the bins were emptied everyday.

From February to Easter I tried, humane traps, traditional traps, sonic sounds and finally poison none of which worked.

The two overweight cats belonging to the neighbour below were a fat lot of use – and then the neighbour next door bought a kitten. Yeah – the mouse problem was solved.

I saw that feisty friend not only take on the foxes but chase the mice in the garden to death. As I watched her progress thought the grass pouncing and leaping on the mice like some demented oversized frog I felt like a gladiatorial spectator wishing her on and wanting blood. In two short weeks the mice problem had completely gone!

Monkeyboy said...

At least we don't have cockroaches. When I was in Australia if you so much as left a dirty spoon in the sink they would gat their mates over for a party... 'orrible.

Headhunter said...

Oh, perhaps I'm wrong about cats then - as long as they're young fit and underfed... As they get older, fatter and more domesticated they still seem to be useless in the face of mouse infestations!

Yeah cockroaches are a nightmare. I lived in japan for 3 years and at 1 time was in a flat over a Korean restaurant. Japanese cockroaches come and go as they please, the worst is when you're quietly watching telly with a beer when you hear the dreaded low hum as they fly in through the window - and the size of them! good couple of inches or so, and if you actually manage to smash them before they run under the bed or something, they leave a massive sticky mess which you have to scrub off the carpet.... Urgh...

Anonymous said...

I think its a personality thing with cats, which I suppose is genetic ie dependent on how much of the killer instinct has been bred out.

My nine year old still brought in mice until he ate one that was poisoned and died a horrible slow death himself. I know of a couple of other people near Hilly Fields who's cats have died through poisoning. And there does seem to be a problem with mice around Hilly Fields although they never bother me. A difficult one.

If I ever have another cat I'll certainly not be encouraging it to eat wild animals, which will no doubt contribute to the vicious circle of more domesticated cats, less mice eaten, increase in mice, more poison laid done, more cats dying and so on.
Moira

Bea said...

Headhunter - I have lived in Japan too - 5 years - and so know exactly where you're coming from with the giant flying cockroaches. They used to come in through the gap in the kitchen backdoor at my ex-mother-in-law's place and the mayhem that ensured during this time until the thing had been sprayed to death and the floors all wiped clean again was hilarious. It was the only thing that could drag the family away from dinner once it was served up.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Extract from council park bylaws:

48. No person shall in the ground walk, exercise or bring any dog in any part of the ground:
unless such dog is under proper control;
and in any event in such a manner as to cause danger or nuisance or give reasonable grounds for annoyance to other persons in the ground.
49. No person shall in the ground walk, exercise or bring any dog in any children’s play area.
[This byelaw 49 applies to any of the grounds listed in Schedule 2C]
50. No person shall in the ground walk, exercise or bring any dog in any part of the ground which, by a notice placed in a conspicuous position in the ground, has been set aside as a dog-free area.

Looks like I will be walking my cat in the childrens play area!

Headhunter said...

Bea, I loved Japan but cockroaches certainly weren't the highlight! Has anyone ever eaten cockroach? Apparently deep fried they taste like prawns, which I suppose makes sense as prawns are basically underwater coackroaches (they eat general crap off the bottom of the sea)...

APP&P - the bye laws look a bit ambiguous "....unless such dog is under proper control...", if you ask me a well trained dog off its leash is under control. Certainly when I was growing up we had 2 dogs and both came to heel the instant they were called.

Anonymous said...

APP&P i think there's also a little area next to the bowls club that is an explicitly dog-free zone.. complete with railings and a little park bench. And, from memory, plenty of wildflowers, in season.

andy pandy pudding & pie said...

Thanks Anon, that sounds great. My cats will love the area, esp. chasing all the insects etc.. on the flowers! Thanks!

@Headhunter, yeah, it is quite ambiguous. Its quite interesting actually, if it went to court in respect of my kitten being killed or injured, what would the dog owner say in their defence? The dog didnt reply when it was called? Or state that the dog isnt theres, either the dog will be impounded or the dog owner would face a damaages suit against the loss/hardship suffered.

Glad you all had a good time at the brockley drinks though! Shame I couldnt make it, I'm working in Chatham.

Bea said...

Headhunter: I’ve never eaten cockroaches (although there is a post about them here somewhere in relation to Vietnam I believe) but when I was first in Japan, in Nagano Prefecture, the local delicacy was roasted crickets marinated in a teriyaki sauce. They looked very much like cockroaches!

In my defence, the first time I tried them I’d already downed loads of Kirin beers and drank too many miniature cups of o-sake. It was pretty tough saying, ”No way!” to the local rice farmers when being proudly offered this food and awaiting with delight to watch the wimpy Gaijin gag on it!

Headhunter said...

APP&P, well I'd certainly agree that a dog owner with no control of his/her dog off the lead should be held responsible for damage or injury to anyone else including cats and other dogs but I think still think it's cruel and unnecessary to blanket rule that all dogs must be on leads at all times anywhere in Lewisham Borough on the off chance that a minority cannot control their pets!

Bea, yeah I had the opportunity to eat deep fried crickets and what looked like stick insects in Thailand but I'm afraid I wasn't drunk and chickened out...

Anonymous said...

I've eaten maeng da in Thailand - looks like a mix of coackroach and cricket - delicious, like savoury pear drops. You can get a liquid distilled from them which, when you add a couple of drops to vodka and fresh lime juice is amazing. (My own experimentation one drunken afternoon).

Hugh - I back on to that little park and I suspect that's from where my cat ate the poisoned mouse.
Moira

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