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Phew, home

This’ll be brief; we just got back from a day in London (bidness thing for Uncle B, but we got some shopping in). Caught the bullet train. Ashford to St Pancras in thirty minutes.

Okay, that doesn’t mean anything to most of yez, but trust me…that’s fast (at least two hours by car). Also, it makes a day in London practical, at least occasionally.

That there’s the St Pancras Midland Grand Hotel, in the same style as the original St Pancras Station (the current station is modern and nearby). It’s an awesome building.

When it was built in 1873, it was absolutely state-of-the-art. Elevators. Revolving doors. Oh, it was the future.

Just not quite the future enough: no running water in the rooms. In 1873, not a big deal. Not long after 1873, really big deal. By 1935, it had declined so far it had to shut down. Spent almost eighty years boarded up.

Imagine that. Great huge bulk of a building smack in the middle of London, empty. I bet it was spooky inside.

Anyhoo, the Marriott chain got hold of it, fixed it up and reopened it last year.

Admiring it from street level is about the best this pair of mustelids could afford.


Comment from @No_Limit_Weazza
Time: March 28, 2012, 10:39 pm

I have found a video game you could explore next.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: March 28, 2012, 10:53 pm

It’s handy for the British Library if you suddenly feel the need to read something. But how long does it take to get from Badger Cottage to Ashford? And these South East high speed trains are all very well for Kent/Sussex folk but they’re as much use as a toffee hacksaw for people in Hants/IOW/Dorset/Devon.

I heard there’d been a pretty major renovation of King’s Cross too, although apparently it’s mostly below ground and not much to look at from street level.

By the way, take a look at Russell Square in Google Earth. The overhead imagery has captured a passenger jet just as it flies over. It looks bizarre. Here’s Google Maps.

Comment from Mrs. Compton
Time: March 28, 2012, 10:56 pm

Bullet train…. car…. ARGH!!!!!!!!

Comment from Mrs. Compton
Time: March 28, 2012, 10:58 pm

David, Kings Cross is just amazing now. They have all sorts of artsy fartsy stuff there now too that’s quite fun. And of course don’t miss Harry’s station. 🙂

Comment from Nina
Time: March 28, 2012, 11:00 pm

I really really wanted to go see my kid and her man in Englandland next week for break, but I just ain’t got the moolah. Two years of pay cuts and furloughs have taken their toll.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 28, 2012, 11:15 pm

Sorry about that, Nina. I’m way overdue to go home and see my dad, but time and money are in too short supply for me, too.

Comment from Spad13
Time: March 28, 2012, 11:39 pm

Maybe Nina should go visit Father Weasel and Weasel should visit Nina’s daughter and everyone could skype.

Comment from Poindexter
Time: March 29, 2012, 12:03 am

Sandra and I were going to stay there last year. It was our 25th wedding anniversary, and I had a gazillion Marriott points accumulated, and we were looking at going to England for two weeks, staying at three different Marriott hotels (that was one of them).

For various reasons, we ended up not going. Instead, we made a number of other trips, including going on the National Review cruise (my wife cherishes the photo I took of Mark Steyn with his arm around her), taking a few trips to NYC, and going to Paris for a long weekend.

It was a great year. ..poindexter..

Comment from Mrs. Compton
Time: March 29, 2012, 12:52 am

Poindexter, aren’t the NRO cruises the best!!! I must brag, I got to sit in the bar with Mark and share naughty jokes with Jonah Goldberg and Rob Long!!

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: March 29, 2012, 1:03 am

…there’s a saint pancreas?

Comment from JC
Time: March 29, 2012, 1:23 am

Earl Scruggs, he dead. At the age of 88.

Comment from sandman says nothing to see here
Time: March 29, 2012, 1:59 am

True Gentleman; Earl Scruggs, revolutionized early Bluegrass with The Legendary Bill Monroe and later with Lester Flatts.

I always loved their version of Orange Blossom Special.

That is a loss.

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: March 29, 2012, 4:29 am

Nooo not Earl! 🙁

Comment from Oceania
Time: March 29, 2012, 5:19 am

Ahhh Londonstan Town … the memories. The Mammories …. Pop down to Hyde Park – catch a deer for dinner … and a stroll down old Fleet and Admiralty …
Filthy place – full of Filthy People.
Although Arclight is worth visiting – if he isn’t out chasing radiation clouds. You see, at night, they release Xe, Kr and I from certain reactors, and the cloud drifts over Londonstan.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: March 29, 2012, 8:13 am

I get a mental image of a weasel and a badger standing on their hind legs, holding paws, and looking up at the building.

Comment from Mike C.
Time: March 29, 2012, 8:47 am

Earl dead. Man, a point of light just went out in the universe… I mean, you knew it was coming, but Christ, what a bummer.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 29, 2012, 9:18 am

Just read the email from my dad. Happy to say, nobody had Earl in this round of the Pool – I’d’ve had a hard time paying out on that one.

Comment from Mike C.
Time: March 29, 2012, 10:18 am

Who would have wanted to be paid out on that one?

Comment from Truman North
Time: March 29, 2012, 1:23 pm

Holy crap, Ashford? LOL I lived there for two years. I knew you’d moved to the southeast, but I didn’t know you lived where I lived!

Yes, I can vouch for her. Ashford to London in 30 minutes is hella fast. The regular service is more like 90 minutes. And it gets slower and slower the closer you get to London, so it’s like you’re living in the public transportation version of an asymptote, or Zeno’s Paradox or something.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 29, 2012, 1:33 pm

We live a ways away from Ashford, it’s just the best transport hub in the Southeast. We could catch a slow train from home to there, but it’s one of those stop-every-few-miles things. Quicker to drive.

Bit hard for me to wrap my head around the idea of an international railway station. You can go straight from Ashford to Amsterdam or Paris.

Hey, we’re having our first petrol panic of the new economy in the UK. Sales of gas cans up 467% while people hoard.

Comment from orabidoo
Time: March 29, 2012, 4:26 pm

Soon the Britishers will watch with disbelief the jerry cans that used to be available to commoner public.

Their gargantuan 20 litre girth being a banned relic of the past, the new container will be the 12 ounce claypot moulded lovingly on the disused swallow nest by HRH Charles Wyndesore of Balmoral.

One of these cannisters of petroleum distillate shall be bestowed upon a worthy recipient every year in the yard of Beckinghamshire Manour.

English Isles and Modeurnit€… and ne’er the twain shall meet.

I do declare, Nigel, the good olden days of industrial excess are now, under that rascal Cameroon. Quite soon all that we could afford will be flaxen windmills and earthy organic flint for trading with Danish longships.

Comment from Oceania
Time: March 30, 2012, 2:18 am

I still have the petrol tins from WW2 with their funny lids … Jerry cans are still popular …

I hear there is no petrol in your fare Isles? It bubbles from the ground here.

Comment from Oceania
Time: March 30, 2012, 5:30 am

“There is a demographic catastrophe happening in Europe that nobody wants to talk about, that we daren’t bring up because we are so cagey about not offending people racially. And rightly we should be. But there is a cultural thing as well… By 2020, fifty percent of the children in the Netherlands under the age of 18 will be of Muslim descent… And don’t forget, coupled with this there is this collapse of numbers. Western Europeans are not having any babies. The population of Germany at the end of the century is going to be 56% of what it is now. The populations of France, 52% of what it is now. The population of Italy is going to be down 7 million people.”

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