Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Wayfield Gate

I really love making deliveries, even though nowadays, for health reasons, I cannot carry the load of leaflets that I once could (and so often did).

Being 'out there' in perfectly ordinary places, but realising they have a feel about them, is one of the very best things I have ever done in my life. If only I could have found a way to share what I'd experience with others...

Anyway: inevitably I encountered all manner of places and situations, including squatters and all sorts. It can be a real eye-opener, doing this stuff!

Certain characteristics are associated with particular places, as any regular deliverer gets to know. One such is the 'Wayfield Gate', which occurs throughout much of that part of Chatham...

It occurs from Burma Way at one end, right to the far end of Eden Avenue, and at various points in between. Its main characteristics are a groaning squeak on its hinges, paint typically flaking off, those curved corners on the gate itself, the funny caps atop its supports (they feel a bit odd too!), the fairly distinctive handle, and the definitely distinctive trapezium-shaped bat attached to that handle. It tapers the 'wrong' way, and is something I have only rarely encountered elsewhere – and certainly not in this design. This is exclusive to Wayfield, as far as I have been able to determine.

It's one of those peculiar things that mean that, say I were teleported to an undisclosed destination and I found these gates all around, I'd just know I was in Wayfield...

It's an interesting area in many ways. For example (and I bet none of the Labour councillors representing the area knows this) Ironside Close has almost as many dogs as properties – a total of 23 pooches at last count, among 28 properties. I have met a fair number of them!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Nowrein Part 3

You know that expression "It doesn't get much better than this"? Well, today's meal at Nowrein Indian buffet restaurant in Chatham (close to the boundary with Rochester) reminded me of that saying.

Although the starters were a bit ordinary (an area that could be improved upon) the main dishes were again exemplary, with Tikka Masala, Dhansak, Korma, Fish Begum and two Korai dishes (lamb and chicken) among several others. The last is the word from which the word 'curry' is thought most likely to derive, after a lengthy investigation by Ismail Merchant (of Ivory-Merchant film-making fame).

Along with three rices and a half-dozen side dishes plus two Daal (lentil) additions, plus the usual mini-naan breads, the selection seemed if anything even better than before, and was truly brilliant! The word 'delicious' hardly does it justice – trust me on this! Better still, go and try it for yourself.

By the way, the coffee they serve on request afterward is excellent too, especially now they have brown sugar in (which hadn't arrived when I was in there before).

Although I turned up at half past two in the afternoon, the place was still busy-ish, with several tables occupied including an Indian family of six or so. I have seen Indian groups and families in there before, and that is a good sign too: they know what is and what isn't good, better than anyone else. It is not common to encounter their patronage at such places, so this is a significant indicator.

I notice these things...

The details again...

Nowrein Indian Buffet Restaurant, 74 High Street, Chatham, ME4 4DS. Tel: (01634) 400 450
Open noon to 11 pm every day, including Sundays and Bank Holidays

Sridevi Returns!

Excellent news today comes from contacts of mine within the Indian community here: the delightful actress Sridevi is making a comeback!

Within the world of Bollywood, comprising essentially mass-produced cheap entertainment, Sridevi was – some years ago – a light that shone out from a somewhat mediocre (at the time) movie industry, and was a very good comedy actress in particular.

Sure, good direction was also a vital part of the equation, but the end result was genuinely very good, and way above the general standard of Bollywood back in the 'nineties.

When we had a couple of Indian channels on cable TV back then (along with Deutsche Welle, Rai Uno, JSTV and several other overseas channels) it was fascinating to be able to dip into those other cultures and – if one were to pay proper attention – to learn some interesting and worthwhile things about those others.

I certainly did; and have touched on a few of them previously (especially a police detective series from Japan and the delightful Domenica In from Italy). Most of Bollywood at the time was, frankly, very poor (though 'Mr India' from that era was fun if a little disappointing overall) but Sridevi genuinely raised the quality-level of the experience when appearing in one of the productions, especially when afforded the opportunity to utilise her comedic talents.

The new film is called English Vinglish, and seems to be her first since (would you believe) 1994!

Her return is something to be celebrated!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Babylon 5 – In The Beginning

The full version of this truly amazing, and vitally important movie in the Babylon 5 storyline. This is what it was primarily all about, the Earth-Minbari War leading on to where the humans, and to an extent the other major species, would be going thereafter, into the Third Age of Mankind...

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Tweet of the Day – 24 October 2012

From one Darren Curtis...
"Working at a global design agency in London, just discovered they have printers on the network called Waybuloo, Upseydaisy and Igglepiggle."
This appears to be an updated variation on a theme started many years ago, when my younger brother was at University. There the (line) printers were named Tigger and Pooh....

Different Is Good

If we were all the same, it would be a shame...

One of the numerous alarm-triggers for those who are aware of what is really going on in the world is anything that 'celebrates' a particular sub-section of humanity or 'deplores' anything that can be portrayed as affording one section of humanity an advantage over another. The latter in particular is easily manipulated by those with an agenda of their own.

The reality is, of course, that we were indeed created to be different from each other, but that none of us was created to be any 'higher' or 'lower' than any other – although that doesn't mean we should deny that some were always destined for higher things than the rest of us.

As someone who has been genuinely privileged to have spent some time within one of the 'higher calling' areas of human activity, I can well appreciate that – but it never placed me 'higher' (as such) than anyone else: better informed sometimes, yes, but that was just about the limit. It is always valuable to keep that in mind, by the way, when serving a community: trust me, I've been there, and never forgot that.

The flip-side, though, is seen with those seeking to use (abuse?) a particular characteristic to manufacture a so-called dividing line – something in which James (a.k.a. 'Gordon') Brown specialised, as has been widely reported in recent years.

As is usually the case, a look at the motivations behind this is perhaps the most illuminating. The separation of sections of our society and pitching them against each other is and always was intended to encourage social unrest and ultimately civil disorder. I have covered this before in regard to the Frankfurt School policies that were enacted under 'New' Labour, so this is nothing new or surprising.

The reality is that we were created different from each other for very good reasons. The Bible gives us tremendous insight into this in 1 Corinthians chapter 12...
14 And indeed the body consists not of one member but of many.
15 If the foot were to say, 'I am not a hand and so I do not belong to the body,' it does not belong to the body any the less for that.
16 Or if the ear were to say, 'I am not an eye, and so I do not belong to the body,' that would not stop its belonging to the body.
17 If the whole body were just an eye, how would there be any hearing? If the whole body were hearing, how would there be any smelling?
18 As it is, God has put all the separate parts into the body as he chose.
19 If they were all the same part, how could it be a body?
20 As it is, the parts are many but the body is one.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you,' and nor can the head say to the feet, 'I have no need of you.'

All obvious enough when one thinks about it; but it does remind us that we should be celebrating our differences and our complementarity. Instead, the Lefties abuse this whole concept in pursuance of their own corrupt agenda that seeks to find ways to pitch one group against another (as history has shown, by the way).

The choice for all of us here is clear-cut: we can either follow that path of Labour and the Left, or we can learn from the Creator's own teachings and raise our game. The two are mutually exclusive, so one cannot play it both ways. Which way will you choose?

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Tweet of the Day – 21 October 2012

From the excellent Raules Davies, Trekologist extraordinaire...
"I chaired a talk on the best of Star Trek today- apparently I was talking for over two hours straight. It was supposed to be about 30min!!"
It just goes to show (a) how much good material there is in Star Trek, and (b) how much Raules knows of it, straight off the top of his head.

Impressive stuff, both ways!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Finding That Elusive TV Theme

One television theme from many years ago that I wanted to share with my readers has so far been impossible to find. One great joy of the Internet has been being able to revisit those memories of decades ago because someone has kindly uploaded a theme and perhaps even a video of a programme's entire intro and/or closing sequence.

One I have specifically searching for during these past months has been one of the themes to the long-running ITV series of the 'seventies called "Love Story". Yes, I know, I know... but this particular theme made it worth catching the beginning of the programme and then finding an excuse to go and do something else.

There were several themes over the years, but the one I have in mind was by a jazz trio of piano, plucked bass and drums. It was very good and with a moderate 'tingle factor'. It was mostly slow, with an uptempo middle section, very distinctive and certainly unforgettable. I have a feeling it might have been composed by Derek Hilton, but cannot be sure. There seems to be no record of it attributed to him that I can find via that route.

 If anyone knows where an on-line version of this theme exists, presumably hidden away from search engines and other such front-on approaches that in my experience fail to find it, do please post a link in the comments and I'll gladly embed it here (or provide the link if embedding has been disabled or is otherwise not possible) so that all who visit this 'blog can enjoy this excellent piece.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Endeavour's Final Mission

Encapsulated in less than three minutes: the journey, by road, to Los Angeles' Science Center (sic)...

Bloggers Forum Photos

It's a bit late to add these to my original post as an update, as many visitors here would undoubtedly miss them; so here – with permission – are the two main photographs from that specific event, which was held in the room I have today discovered is known as The Canvas. Click on the images to display each full sized...

Jaye Nolan (centre) and Phil Kane. I didn't catch the other lady's name...

...and there I am, almost in the middle and at the back of the room in the second photo, with the Ginger Liberal Chris Sams on my right (left in the photo) and former Twydall Tory Alan W Collins (mostly hidden!) next to him.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Boundary of Acceptability

It is always an unpleasant situation when a political party puts its own agenda full-square above the interests of the people; and with the boundary review issue the Liberal Democrats in Parliament have done precisely that.

This is one of those (thankfully not all that common) issues that are purely about serving the people fairly, by trying to make parliamentary constituencies a lot more consistent in population/electorate than they are currently. The aim is to give each elector roughly the same voting significance as any other.

That's it: there is no hidden agenda or party political manipulation involved. Indeed, it is only a part-correction of the present aberration anyway. Despite a re-working of the proposals to produce a Mark Two version of them, the Lib Dems still will not support them, as their leader Nick Clegg has now confirmed (it was not exactly unexpected, but one lives in hope).

This is very sad because the public aren't daft (well, not all that many of them are!) and they will inevitably interpret this in exactly the way I have stated it: putting party (and former horse-trading) ahead of anything like principles – so that party will now be perceived as unprincipled by many more people than already believe that to be the case. In other words, all they are doing is harming themselves – and after a largely promising two years or so in coalition.

It is at times like this that I despair. After all the work of encouragement and helping to rehabilitate The Lib Dems, I find that it is all about to unravel and that party is on the brink of setting itself back again, perhaps never to recover this time. Just as their popular support in the country looked like it couldn't drop any lower...

(Finally, the boring bit: I see that local Labour are trying to paint the proposed boundary changes as something to favour our Conservative MPs. This is, of course, nonsense as they all have commanding leads and hardly need extra votes – which is what Medway Labour claim would result for the two seats affected by the changes: the third isn't up for change. Indeed, with a fixed electorate in the equation, it'd be more beneficial to shift the boundaries another way, so that some of the 'excess' votes might swing it in a marginal seat elsewhere. As an analysis at Political Betting [I think] put it some months ago: anything more than a one-vote win is in effect a waste of votes that could be better utilised elsewhere.)

Nowrein Part 2

I am just back from a delicious (late) lunch at the newly-opened Nowrein Indian buffet restaurant I mentioned a few days ago. It really is very, very good – though I ought to mention that they can't yet take cards for payment (that facility is expected to be put in next week) so take some real money along – you won't need all that much anyway...

Especially bearing in mind that they are in competition with several long-established Indian eateries close by, and with the possible confusion of yet another such place that has also just opened this week, it is remarkable indeed that they have already served over 600 customers in just these few days. I hear that the word is getting around that this is the best in the area – something I already knew but locals probably did not, on the whole.

Their buffet varies from day to day, the owner confirmed to me in conversation today, and over a week covers the entirety of styles of main, side and starter dishes that one expects to encounter on a conventional Indian menu. Today, for example, there were four starters, plus puppadoms and chutneys, also Korma, Tikka Masala, Jalfrezi, Vindaloo and other main dishes that I don't recall offhand, along with at least five side dishes and three styles of rice.

The garlic mini-naans were a little dry for my taste, but were okay. Everything else was truly superb (and I'm a well-known fusspot!) and well up to the standard I have come to expect from this outfit.

My intention is to go there once a week if I am able and available; and at just under a fiver (from Thursday: half price meanwhile) for an eat-all-you-can buffet, it is not only affordable but, frankly, irresistible!

Nowrein Indian Buffet Restaurant, 74 High Street, Chatham, ME4 4DS. Tel: (01634) 400 450
Open noon to 11 pm every day, including Sundays and Bank Holidays

Monday, 15 October 2012

Savile Row

Not the London road famous for gentlemen's fine tailoring, but the row that seems likely to erupt any time now over the Jimmy Savile allegations.

As more and more allegations (perhaps even revelations) come into the public arena, there seems to be enough to them to indicate that a lot of BBC staff were well aware of what was going on and apparently did nothing.

Although I am not going into any further detail right now, I feel it is useful to put down a marker here and now that the whole area of this type of activity and its covering-up by others is known by some to be commonplace within that side of our society that is, or aids, the political Left – from the BBC to Common Purpose, and the countries where one finds 'grooming' and trafficking of minors in particular is not only prevalent but apparently officially sanctioned, or at least not actively opposed.

Like the cover-ups and similar that are now coming to light over the Savile, Glitter and no doubt other cases, there is as yet not all that much in the public domain, and certainly very little exposure within the big media. My suspicion is that this might be about to change, so having this short post here right now will become more useful when we know how much if anything of that evidence is brought to wider public notice in the weeks and months to come...

Parish Notice – 15 October 2012

As I pass the 3,500 post mark (with close to 300,000 pageviews), and realise also that there are some 2,780 comments on this 'blog (including my own responses in comments threads), I feel it might be time to make the nominal 'title' of this 'blog a little less boring than the equivalent of "Hammond of Texas" (a Stargate SG-1 reference, by the way: it's what Jaffa Master Bra'tac calls General Hammond who ran the SGC for years).

Therefore I have tweaked the title to now read – wait for it...

John Ward: Right by the Medway

This reflects not only my political stance, but also that I do now live quite close to the River Medway. I haven't changed the banner or anything else, at least not yet, but might do one of these days. I'm thinking about it...


Another Rondo Veneziano track, and one with spectacular graphics of Iceland (so recommended to be viewed in full screen mode) – and hopefully available to view in Germany too, as compensation for my being unable to locate another version of Miniature currently on-line...

Colours of Autumn

There are some very good, high quality stills of autumn sequenced to this delightful track called simply Miniature, by Rondo Veneziano. It seems appropriate at this time of the year, and it is definitely worth switching to full screen view...

Tour of Venice

While we're with Rondo Veneziano, let's take a nice Monday morning tour around Venice's waterways, gardens and architecture. This really is worth spening a little under ten minutes watching all the way through, ideally in full screen view...


Purity of sound, and a still image, by Rondo Veneziano...

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Islamic Conversion

Here in the Spectator is an especially insightful and revealing look at the widespread practice of women 'converting' to Islam. It is being done by making it oh-so-easy, and entices in thousands of converts a year, the majority of whom are women.

It is well worth setting aside a quarter of an hour or so to read this fairly lengthy piece and then have a good think about it and what it means. With that method I have recently been openly advocating of taking a mental step and seeing this in its wider context, a number of things should pop out and make themselves evident.

I shall not go into those right now, as I believe it is important for readers to work these things out for themselves in matters such as this, but I might well re-visit this article in a week or so and go into such detail at that time. We shall see...

The comments to Melissa Kite's piece are very mixed and, in parts of the comment thread, go into areas that are well outside my expertise so I cannot contribute anything on those, either there or here. Despite that, there are some real truths being enunciated there (much of which most of us already knew, despite all the denials from Islamic mouthpieces) and the inevitable manipulators who try to pretend it is not so.

Fortunately, easily-observable facts have, over the years, shown who is right and who is not. One big myth is that a lot of what goes on is not down to Islam, such as killings; but contributors to the comment thread have provided easy-to-check quotations that show that they are, no matter how well it is camouflaged through technicalities and clever wording.

I think this article, along with at least some of the associated comments, is one of the most significant I have found on the whole topic, especially as it comes from a very personal and human appreciation of faiths and their significance to individuals. I have therefore taken a copy for my permanent records.

There is also some useful complementary material that helps to firm-up some of the more general aspects of real-world Islam at The Commentator.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Mahna Mahna

Just for fun, to round off this evening's musical interlude...

Hill Street Blues

Now here's a programme I have never been able to watch all the way through, or want to do so. It was the intro sequence with this wonderful and haunting theme, and a regular cast list that seemed to just go on and on, that caught my attention at the start – then I'd go off and do something else(!)

One of the regular actors was James B Sikking, and a car that 'lives' just across the road from me has a licence number that suggests that name, so it will no doubt come as little surprise to those who know of my penchant for naming vehicles after what's on their licence plates that this is my pet name for that blue (yes, even the colour suggests the series!) car just across the way, less than a minute's walk from my front door...

Joe 90

This is one of Barry Gray's brilliant themes for Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's 'supermarionation' series that I have never featured before.

That omission is corrected right here and now, with the stereo mix of both the opening and closing themes in their original sequences...

Airwolf theme

It's seemingly impossible to find the original full-length Airwolf theme on-line, but of the many remakes by various artists I think this one, though not perfect, is the best I have found after quite a lengthy search.

It's fully up-to-date technically, so is a lot better quality technically than the original would have been anyway. Visually, we get only a still image on this 'video', so this is for the sound track only, and well worth it at that...


Who remembers this? A high tingle-factor, well-written TV sitcom theme with a clever interplay of two vocal parts. The series (by Carla Lane) was so-so, but the theme was something special...

Dolly Parton has performed a full-length version of the song, and (I have now learned) wrote it as well, which is something I never knew before...

Johnny Five is Still Alive!

There are rumours and indications of a new Short Circuit movie – some sources say that it's to be a remake, others that it is to be a sequel, which makes more sense.

The Internet Movie DataBase (IMDB) has preliminary indications of a remake of the original story – which, frankly, is pointless, though typical Hollywood practice.

Separately, and completely unconfirmed, is this claimed synopsis of what is being planned. Now, I don't know what to believe as yet, but it should be good news that at least something is being done and that its release is currently scheduled for some time next year, which starts less than three months from now.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

New Indian Buffet

It's very good – but then it would be, as it's part of the growing group of restaurants that includes my favourite Medway-based eaterie, Cliffe Spice. I well know the standards set there!

This one, opened today, is called Nowrein after the owner's daughter, and offers a comprehensive buffet-based deal of starters, main courses, side dishes and desserts. I was privileged to be invited to today's opening. For the opening week, the price of the buffet is at half its normal rate at just £4·95 during the daytime and £7·95 in the evening. Children are charged at a significantly lower rate in each case. This offer extends until 17 October 2012. It's an 'all you can eat' fixed price deal, too.

I remember first experiencing the delights of an Indian buffet when one near my old home in the Wimbledon area started doing Sunday lunchtime buffets. That was Zayka, and it's still there I believe, all these years later, directly opposite the Nelson Hospital where I was born(!)

Instead of the usual fare of one starter, one main dish, one type of rice and one side dish, the idea is to try a little of this and some of that, and anything else you might fancy. I had several small starter items, for example, making up a normal-sized starter combined, and a popadum with chutneys and relish.

The main dishes included meat and chicken dishes such as bhuna, dopiaza, plain curry and tikka masala, along with a choice of types of rice and side dishes such as brinjal (aubergine), sag aloo (spinach and potato) and a mixed veg' curry. It was all of the very high quality I have come to expect from this outfit, with the only (very slight) fault being too much coconut in one of the dishes. Very few people would even notice, I suspect....

The new Nowrein restaurant is open every day (including Sundays and bank holidays) from 12 noon right through to 11 pm, and can be found at 74 High Street, Chatham, Kent ME4 4DS. It has a licensed bar, and an upstairs seating area as well as (and as large as) that on the ground floor. The telephone number is (01634) 400 450.

Highly recommended – and a little different from the norm – and I intend to be back there at least once during the offer period, and no doubt ongoing whenever I can justify it. At least it isn't exactly expensive, so that should be reasonably frequent.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Mission to Mars

While I'm finding full movies as on-line videos, here's the admittedly flawed but still very beautiful Mission to Mars, directed by Brian de Palma (no less!). I judge as being among the best sequences in the film (a) the weightless dancing, and (b) the 'evolution' sequence near the end.

It's something to realise that this film was made twelve years ago, in 2000 (despite what it says on the YouTube player itself). They did a cracking job!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Dark City

Here's a real treat for the night – and you really do want to watch this at night, in the dark!

If you have never seen Alex Proyas' masterpiece Dark City, released in 1998, now's your chance. This is the Director's Cut version of the whole movie, and it is one of the best such movies ever made.

Okay, some of the casting is a little less than ideal (Jennifer Connelly does not make a convincing cabaret singer, even though it is her voice here – despite the credit for Anita Kelsey that has been left over from the original 'theatre' version) but overall it is truly brilliant and you'll never forget it, I promise!

From the haunting song Sway to the 'tuning', and all the way to Shell Beach, you're now on an amazing journey, but there's no more Mister Quick...

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Bloggers Forum

I was one of around twenty local bloggers in this area who participated in a Bloggers Forum this afternoon, which formed a part of the Unfinished event held by Rochester Literary Festival (Roch esterLitFest). The session was facilitated by the wonderful Jaye Nolan of Rochester People fame (and other sites and work).

The start was delayed, so I was able to spend some time beforehand with such Medway blogging luminaries as Alan W Collins (formerly the Twydall Tory) and Chris Sams (the Ginger Liberal) as well as Ed Jennings who no longer blogs as such but does have other on-line activities in the social media.

Once it was time to go upstairs to the venue's fairly large meeting room, what came about was a very interesting one-hour session, covering a range of topics from niche blogging genres via reviewing products to video blogging (vlogs). Not everyone there spoke – although I think a little over half of us did – and I tried to be helpful on a couple of occasions. I might even have succeeded, perhaps once anyway...

Overall it seems to have been judged a successful and worthwhile venture, and it looks as though there could be a programme of regular meet-ups of Medway's bloggers in the future.

When the official write-up and photos taken at the Forum appear, I shall add links as appropriate. I hope it'll be okay to post the group photograph here; but if not I'll leave it at just the link.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Something To Do

Not that I am ever bored; but something I have been doing for quite some time now is correcting markers in this area (i.e. Medway) on Google Maps. Thus if you have noticed shops and other establishments apparently in houses on the middle of fields, check again and their markers might have been moved to the correct place by now.

It doesn't happen immediately, but has to be 'reviewed' by the Google people, so there are no doubt one or two still waiting to be okay-ed, but I have successfully had a dozen or more of these mis-placements corrected over the last year or so.

It gives me something to do...

Monday, 1 October 2012

My Feathered Friends

These two are here most days, and invariably I think of Rossini whenever I spot them...

Can you guess why? Yes, it's his always delightful and famous piece of music that always makes me smile throughout its duration. It's obviously, really...

This (fractionally up-tempo from the ideal) performance of La Gazza Ladra (The Thieving Magpie) overture is by the Wiener Philharmoniker (Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra) conducted by Claudio Abbado...

It's Autumn 2012 !

It'll soon be winter, the way the weather is going, and that will bring its own delights alongside (and despite) the desolate landscape of leafless trees and frost and perhaps even snow – for example, CBeebies' simple but lovely Winter Song will again come into season.

Never underestimate the power of simplicity, when done well and with a lot of what might be termed 'heart'!

In the meantime, here's Justin Hayward with Forever Autumn from that truly superb and ground-breaking double-album by Jeff Wayne (who co-wrote the song) War of the Worlds. The images were put together by someone known on-line as 'RetroLisa'...