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1:06pm on Tuesday, 9th April, 2019:

Colchester Vignette


I was in Colchester this morning for a dental check-up ("You grind your front teeth in your sleep!" "No I don't!" "You wouldn't know, you're asleep. "It's physically impossible for me to grind my teeth even if I want to." "That's not what the evidence is telling me..."). Anyway, afterwards I wandered around for a bit looking for stuff to get my wife for her birthday (fortunately, it's the thought that counts, not the actual gift). Here's some of what I noticed while getting my money's worth from the parking fee I paid (note that my phone was out of battery, otherwise I'd have photographed some of these.).

One of the estate agents consistently spells "town centre" as "town center". Change your spell-checker to British English, estate agent.

A sign on a garage door saying "do not park, garage in constant use" was unnecessary on account of how there were eight wheelie bins standing in the way.

Church Walk, which is so narrow that only a single vehicle can go up it and has double yellow lines both sides of the road was blocked by two commercial vehicles that had been parked there. They had their hazard lights flashing, but I don't think this renders them invisible to traffic wardens.

"Malebog" is Danish for "colouring book".

The Snappy Snaps sign has to be the most weathered in the town centre. It looks like the kind that you see on derelict seaside buildings advertising Cadbury's 99 ice creams for 1/3.

In the bank, an old woman joined the queue behind me. Once there, she started panting as if she had difficulty breathing and really wanted the person in front of her to yield and let her go first. If she'd been panting before she arrived I might have let her, but I wasn't falling for her scam.

Three women were holding brochures at a little stand marked "energy". One of them approached me and said "Morning!" in a friendly fashion. I have no idea what she said in the three sentences after that. I hear a lot of accents at the university and generally have no problem with them, but hers was so strong I wasn't even sure she was speaking English.

A woman talking to an embarrassed Big Issue seller as I passed by said "You're so young and beautiful!" to her. Well, perhaps relative to you, woman talking, but not in absolute terms. The Big Issue seller knew she was being patronised, but thanked her anyway to cement the sale.

That was Colchester this morning.

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Copyright © 2019 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).