Monday, February 20, 2006

Hemel and London

Had a nice w/e visiting friends. Visted Hemel Hempstead for the first time, meeting up with my friend chris. Now I don't know a great deal about town planning, but who ever helped make hemel become a commuter town, clearly knew less. There's more roundabouts then trees I reckon. The crowning glory of all these is a roundabout known locally as the 'magic roundabout'. I saw a sign like this:

But not exactly like this because Kodak have now moved from the building behind (and I'm informed the town tried to raise money to purchase the red Kodak letters because it was of significant local interest - which prob says a lot about hemel). 'What's that flower sign all about?' I asked Chris, to be informed that it was a large roundabout made up of a series of mini-roundabouts, designed to allow traffic to flow both ways around - genius!!

I'm pretty sure this can be the only example of such ridiculousness in the entire world. It does kind of work, but to be honest you probably save no time turning right on such an arrangement, then going all the way around a conventional roundabout.

Also met my friend c.e.m who did a phd at same time as me, she has a proper job! It was great to see her and check out her Mary Poppins view of London rooftops from her flat, it just required a few dancing chimney sweeps darting between the chimney stacks to make it more authentic.

Went into London sat eve with Chris, and we wandered around Covent Garden and Leicsester Square. Had a few beers in a nice pub and we tried to convince some guys from Leeds that Chris went to the same school as the arctic monkeys - I don't think we suceeded. Getting back was a nightmare - some power failure on the trains so we had to join this huge queue for coaches to take us on to watford junction station. Had to wait ages. On arriving at Watford junction we disembarked and were told to join another queue to take another coach to all stations on the way to Milton Keynes. Yep, we ended up getting back on exactly the same coach we'd just got off, as it was directed on this new destination.

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