56 Day Appearance #3 (Mark 2)

A sunny morning towards the end of July greeted me for my next Appearance, and the questions were as follows:

Henry VIII Hotel to Dolphin Square

Chesterfield Hotel to Elephant and Castle Overground Station

Almeida Theatre to Colony Club

Kensal Green Station to Kentish Town Station

The first run is virtually a Blue Book (Bayswater Station to St Georges Square) and for the life of me, I couldn’t see it. I took an eternity to start and panicked into calling an utterly dreadful line down Kensington Church Street… Earls Court Road, then Cheyne Walk and along the river. I was later to discover that I’d got 1/10 for that – probably 1 point more than I deserved.

I managed to redeem myself on the next run going via St James, The Mall, over Westminster Bridge and then down to Elephant and Castle. 2 points dropped for hesitation and a 7/10, I might be able to pull this back yet.

The next run is a banker and I still managed to drop 2 points for hesitation but 8/10 and now it’s down to me to get the last one right.

If I’m going to be honest I have no idea what I needed to do here – all I did know was that the first run was pulling my score down and I needed to get this right. So I did think about it beforehand, and I seem to remember being quite fluent, but the whole experience is really quite surreal so I may, in fact, have been a gibbering buffoon. I’ve dropped 2 points for hesitation and got an 8/10 – 24/40 and I’ll take that ‘C’ all day.

So that’s 3 – 0 up ATM but I’m taking nothing for granted and shall press on to be 2 months wiser for my next Appearance in September.

 Image result for confused face

I watched a film the other night and there was a speech from one of the characters which knocked me sideways. It went something like:

‘…Actions create consequences, and from these actions, new worlds are produced…. So the world in which we seek to undo our mistakes is not the same world in which those mistakes were made.’

I thought that this was so incredibly deep, profound and brim full, nay, overflowing with spiritual resonance that I have put it on my blog in the hope that people will see me as an intellectual giant.

Unfortunately, I haven’t a bloody clue what he was waffling on about.



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56 Day Appearance #2 (Mark 2)

Hi Peeps, really sorry about not doing an update for so long, but I had to cancel 2 appearances and then I was up again at the end of May. Here’s what I was asked:

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital to Mile End Hospital

Peckham Rye Station to Royal Hospital

Highgate Golf Course to Royal Gardens Hotel

St Charles Hospital to Liverpool St Station platforms (Harwich Lane)

The first run I’ve gone up to Knightsbridge… Constitution Hill… Strand… Bank Junction then taken the straight line to Mile End Rd and done a left. The string says Victoria Embankment so I’ve dropped a point for going a bit wide and 2 for hesitation (I did stutter a lot) and a 7/10 – happy days.

Next up I got onto Peckham High Street and did the line towards Vauxhall Bridge and when I got there I decided to take Nine Elms Lane and go over Chelsea Bridge for reasons I can’t really explain. So another point dropped for going wide, 2 for hesitation and 1 for an incorrect street name – 6/10.

For this one I’ve gone the right side of the Heath, but then I’ve gone Finchley Rd – Wellington Rd and all the way to Baker Street before Marylebone Rd – Old Marylebone Rd – Sussex Gardens… Kensington Church Street – Kensington High Street. Mercifully, I’ve only dropped 2 points for going very wide and the now standard 2 points for being a stuttering buffoon. 6/10.

The last run I’ve got onto Ladbroke Grove then Westbourne Park Rd – Chepstow Rd and made my way down to Bayswater Rd – Oxford Street and via Red Lion Square to Holborn Circus (Junction) then I did Charterhouse St – Lindsay St – Long Lane – Beech St – Chiswell St – Finsbury Pavement – South Place – Wilson St – Sun St – Appold St – Primrose St and Harwich Lane. When I stringed this it was pitifully low and I’ve been docked 2 points plus the expected 2 points for hesitation and got 6/10.

So it’s another ‘Come To Daddy’ moment for this Knowledge Boy as I’ve got 25/40 and another C, and the world is a wonderful place.

Earlier this year I had an interview in Islington. Now, as the interview wasn’t until 3.30 in the afternoon, I decided to get there around lunch time and do some pointing on foot.

After a couple of hours I decided to write up some notes and get a coffee at The Angel on Islington High Street. With 20 minutes to go before my interview on St John Street I decided to visit the lavatory before making my way there. Well, they have those push taps in the toilets, so I put my hand under the tap and pushed it. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it came out like a water cannon, hit my hand and saturated my crotch. As luck would have it I was wearing a light grey suit!

I really had no choice here, off came the strides and I tried desperately to dry them under the hand dryer. While I’m stood there, in walked 2 blokes who just looked at me, sniggered and carried on. It’s a fact that trying to explain anything would just be seen as an admission of guilt.

I managed to dry them as best I could and made it to the interview with 10 seconds to spare.

In case you’re wondering, I didn’t get the job.

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56 Day Appearance # 1 (Mark 2)

It’s the 2nd week of the New Year and I’m up for my 1st 56, albeit the 2nd time round. Here’s what I was asked:
Millwall FC to The Lloyds Building
The Bishop’s Avenue to Turnpike Lane Station
Claremont Road to Croftdown Road
Old Oak Lane to The River Café
The examiner looked at my card and suggested that we go back to the Blue Books. After the last few months, I’m over the moon about this but still nervous as hell!
The first run is virtually Sandford Street to Lime Street, the only difference was that I dropped it on Leadenhall Street at the top of Lime Street. I did think about this one quite a lot before I started and so I’ve got a very generous 8/10, dropping 2 points for hesitation.
On reflection I think the best line to follow for this would be Fortis Green to West Green Road, but I’ve opted for Bishopswood Road to Westbury Avenue. Anyway 2 points dropped for hesitating and 2 incorrect street names – 6/10 and I have no complaints on that.
The 3rd run is Marble Drive to Chetwynd Road and I’ve messed around by leaving by The Vale (which probably isn’t a bad choice) but when I got to the roundabout instead of taking North End Way/East Heath Road, I’ve gone Spaniard’s Road and over the top of Hampstead Heath. So 2 points dropped for going wide and 1 point dropped for not knowing York Rise – 7/10.
I now need 3 points to score for the first time in months and this run is Old Oak Lane to Charing Cross Hospital. However, I’ve dropped the British Safety Council, Chancellor’s Road and another point which I can’t remember and my heart is beginning to sink. I was then asked for The River Café and I’m back in with a chance. With the 3 points dropped I have to guess that I called this one quite well as I’ve scored 7/10 and more to the point 28/40 and a ‘C’.
I don’t know if I could describe the feeling as elation or relief, but whatever it was it felt pretty damned good. I do seem to get into my stride a bit better after calling a couple of runs. The Examiner gave me some great advice at the end, which I took on board. And so I’m back again in the 2nd week of March, and it might not make any headlines, but my love affair with the Knowledge is back on.

Passing Australia House whilst out pointing the other day reminded me of something. Some 20 odd years ago I applied for a Visa to work in Australia. This was in the days before anyone had a computer and I had to fill in a form that was as thick as a telephone directory and then had to photocopy all my documents in triplicate. I had a vision that the postman would deliver it in a wheel barrow.
About 2 months later I got a letter asking me to attend an interview as I had ‘passed’ the form- filling-in part. I arrived in my suit and was ushered into a room with 3 rather stern looking gentlemen sat on the other side of the desk. (I don’t think any of them had a map of the 6 mile radius!) They began asking me some questions like, ‘Where will you live?’, ‘Have you a job lined up?’ etc.
The questions then seemed to turn a bit sinister, and I think this may have been the point where my application was rejected. The questions were like, ‘Do you have any association with known felons?’, ‘Have you ever been a member of any subversive cults?’
Then I was asked, ‘Do you have a criminal record?’
And I said, ‘I didn’t know you still needed one.’

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28 Day Appearances #6, #7, #8 and #9

Apologies for not doing an update for sooo long, I was hoping to turn this around and here’s how I got on.

The start of September saw me return to the Exam Centre to have my 2nd stab at getting through my 28’s. I was asked:

Streatham Station to John Soames Museum

BBC Rehearsal Studios to Ronnie Scott’s

London Clinic to Gordon Hospital

German YMCA to Indian YMCA

I managed to drop the Rookery Theatre and Streatham Common station on the 1st run and took the line through Streatham and Brixton and over Waterloo Bridge when the cotton says it should be Kings Avenue/Clapham Road and along the south side of the river. Minus 2 points each for points dropped, going wide and incorrect street names – 4/10.

No points dropped on the next run and pulled a pretty good line down to Edgeware Road\George Street and the through the top of Mayfair onto Regent Street and up Dean Street to get the one way down on Frith Street. Lost 1 point for a wrong street name and 2 for hesitation – 7/10.

I was expecting Smith Square as the destination on this one and set off without really thinking and made a right Harry Halls of it. Went down Regent Street, past Conduit Street then to Piccadilly Circus and Charles 1st Island before coming back down the Mall and the running the line which should have started by taking a right down Conduit Street. (I know this isn’t the best line, but I could have redeemed myself a little here.) Minus 5 points for going wide and another 3 for hesitation – 2/10.

The last line, I must have called 30 times. I’ve gone down Bayswater Road then up to Portman Square and the straight line to Goodge Street, ALL the way up Tottenham Court Road and then Grafton Way/Fitzroy Street. And to add insult to injury, I was about as fluent as Keith Richards after a 10 day bender. 3/10 – 16/40, another D and I have managed to beat myself again.

I spoke at quite some length to the Examiner after this, and he advised me to think more before racing off. The gist of this conversation was ‘Don’t worry about hesitation before you start, it’s all about the line.’ Something I need to take forward with me.


The 1st week in October was my next visit and this time I was asked:

Leonard Hotel to Parsons Green Station

Shepherds Restaurant to King Edward VII Gallery

Gate Theatre to St James Theatre

Colony Club to Chiltern Firehouse

I didn’t take the 1st run through the park and went down Park Lane instead, for reasons I can’t explain. It was then a fairly straight line down Knightsbridge/Brompton Road/Fulham Road to Parsons Green Lane. I have to guess that this isn’t a terrible option as with a point dropped for not knowing a start point and another 2 for incorrect street names, I’ve still scored 5/10 – all to play for.

I’ve dropped another 2 points on the 2nd run and then took the line up from Parliament Street up to Tottenham Court Road and instead of doing the right to Store Street, I’ve chosen Chenies Street. 6/10 and I’m very happy with that.

Another 4 points dropped on 3rd run but the line from Pembridge Road/Villas/Square/Gardens then Bayswater Road, through the park and winding my way down to Buckingham Gate for the right into Palace Street was deemed to be spot on – 6/10.

The final run is almost the first part of the BB run from Half Moon Street to Fairhazel Gardens. I call my Blue Books every day and somehow I’ve managed to call an illegal. On your 56’s the Examiners would ask you to call a certain part of the run again. Sadly, on your 28’s, you don’t get a 2nd chance to make a first impression. 0/10 and another D.

I’ve been told by several people that before you get your badge, you’ll be ‘on your knees’ and this is about where I was when I left the Exam centre. I had to take a long, hard look at what I was doing. I remember when I was made redundant in 2013 and spent over 3 months working full time on the Knowledge. It was the happiest I had been for a long time, and I realised that I needed to fall back in love with the Knowledge, take the knockbacks on the chin and treat them as a learning curve.

With this philosophy, in early November I’m up for my next Appearance, and here’s what I got:

Hammersmith Grove to Gunter Grove

Holborn Police Station to HMS Belfast

London Canal Museum to Basin Approach

When I got to this Appearance I realised that my Poppy was back at the flat. Now I’m not suggesting that this would affect my scoring here, but it did hack me off a little.

The first run, the only exit I could see was Goldhawk Road when Beadon Road would have been the best choice, so I’ve taken the rather circuitous route via Holland Park roundabout… Earls Court Road… Redcliffe Gardens\Edith Grove and the come back on myself. The examiner has given me a thoroughly generous 7/10.

I’ve dropped 6 points on my next run, but pulled a good line on a pretty straight forward run over London Bridge and scored 4/10.

The 3rd run doesn’t exist because I managed to drop 9 points including the RMT, ASLEF and TSSA- 1/10.

The final run I got in a bit of a state remembering the spin at the end and also dropped a couple of points, but still managed to score a respectable, and highly insignificant 6/10.

So that’s 18/40 and another D and I’m 3 – 0 down on my 2nd time round on my 28s and looking at going back to where I was nearly 2 years ago and starting my 56’s again. I’ve seen this Examiner twice before and scored both times. Now I’m not just saying this in case they read this blog, but he is genuinely a nice guy and we spoke at length about the way forward, and he had some very kind things to say. Calling Over, P2P, Pointing et al – you cannot get through this by seeing it all as a chore


On 1st December I was back up again. I have spent the last 3 months using a spreadsheet to try to suss out which Examiners will be working at my next Appearance, and with this in mind I went through the Bankers of those who would be there. Frankly, I think MI5 would struggle to crack this rota, and inevitably I was called up by an Examiner who wasn’t supposed to be there! Here’s what I was asked:

Burney Street to Honor Oak Park Stn

Deptford Creek Bridge to Surrey Quays Watersports Centre

Islington Police Station to Moorfields Eye Hospital A & E

Wiltons Music Hall to Hanbury Street

I’ve dropped 5 rather obscure points on Royal Hill before getting Burney Street. I’ve then gone Greenwich High Road…New Cross Road\Florence Road\Malpas Road…Honor oak Park\Devonshire Road and used Boveney Road for the spin. Another point dropped for not using Friendly Street\Wickham Road and 1 for hesitation – 3/10.

Another 6 points dropped here and instead of using Grove Street, I’ve gone round the one way system and dropped another 2 points – 2/10.

No points dropped on the next run and with Tolpuddle Street\Penton Street\Pentonville Road\The Angel\City Road\Baldwin Street\Peerless Street\Bath Street\Cayton Street I’ve scored 10/10 and I’m back in with a chance.

I was asked Wiltons Music Hall to Code Street – this is a Banker and I could not see Code Street. The Examiner reminded me that I needed this and I just couldn’t see it. Another 2 points dropped before I ran a great line to Hanbury Street to score 7/10 – 22/40 and 2 points short of a magical C.

The Examiner was very sympathetic after this Appearance and had some very kind things to say. He told me not to give up and that if I stick with it I will get my badge.

So, 19 months after my 1st 56 Day Appearance, my next visit will be 1st 56 Day Appearance (Mark 2). Of course I’m disappointed to get this knockback, but I do believe that there are some distinct positives. For instance, I’ve got 19 months more Knowledge in my head and I can only see this as being infinitely better prepared than my 1st time round. My last contract finished just over a week before my last Appearance and I managed to learn more in that time than I had in the previous month – being able to do this full time, particularly in the latter stages is massive. With this in mind I shall do my utmost to go full time when I get my next drop to 28s. I’ve also been very naïve when using the Wizann pointing app – because I was scoring 70% most of the time I wasn’t really picking up many new points. Frankly the way I have haemorrhaged points since getting my drop has cost me dear and this will be addressed.

I’m back up again in mid January and there will be a spring in my step because I will be 6 weeks wiser than I am now. Be lucky people.

I read a shocking story online from the Skegness Evening Argos

There were some quite disgusting scenes today on Skegness beach. A man and a woman were arguing in front of families with children and then the woman hit the man around the back of the head. He went crazy and started to hit the woman. Quite quickly a Policeman turned up and used his truncheon to subdue the man. Unfortunately, the man managed to wrestle the truncheon from the Policeman and started hitting him and the woman with it.

Then a crocodile turned up and stole all the sausages……….


For anyone under the age of Forty something who are scratching their heads, here’s a link to a Punch and Judy Show     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6LmZ0A1s9U


Posted in Appearances | 17 Comments

28 Day Appearance #5


My next 28 was in the 2nd week of August and here’s what I was asked:

Limehouse Station to Schonfield Square

River Café to Marriott Regents Park

Victoria Station to Arsenal FC

London Zoo to Waterloo Station


The great news about the first run was that I didn’t drop any points. I’d only recently got back from my hols and although I was calling my blue books and doing the daily sheets, I’d only taken my map book with me and checking your lines when you’re moving from page 78 to page 32 then page 19 etc isn’t very conducive with a good line. I’m not making excuses but I reckon I’d not done myself any favours with this and instead of seeing Stamford Hill/Manor Road, I’ve seen Green Lanes/ Lordship Park to get to Lordship Road. I’ve gone as wide as Old Street roundabout to get there, however I’ve been fluent and got no street names wrong – 3/10, I’ve lost 70% for going wide.

When travelling diagonally from SW to NE, NW to SE etc I need to stop thinking about going through the parks and actually look at the line. I’ve got to Silverton Road and headed up Lillie Road/Old Brompton Road so I could get through Hyde Park. I’ve also turned down Elsworthy Road and the only way I could see to get to get to King Henrys Road is L Primrose Hill Rd/ L Adelaide Road/L Harley Road and then into King Henrys. Again, I’ve been fluent, dropped no points and got all my street names right – 2/10.

I’m pretty sure at this stage that I’ve got some serious catching up to do. So the 3rd run, I’ve actually called that or something similar quite a few times and I know that I could pull a pretty good line here. Then like a complete plank, I managed not to call Andrew Borde Street at the top of Charing Cross Road, so I’m deemed to have done an illegal – 0/10.

The last line was no points dropped, decent line, fluent and I’ve scored a highly irrelevant 7/10. My worst score to date, 12/40, but more importantly 1 – 4 down and I’m back to the start of my 28s which is a 5 month knockback.

To be fair to the examiner, he was very sympathetic and I have no doubt that being the bearer of bad news really must be the worst part of their job.

I’ll press on regardless, because I have no Plan B for my pension. I spoke to Ian at Knowledge school and he had a lot of encouraging things to say. I don’t suppose I’d really realised that a big part of his job is to pick people up when they get knocked back.

My next Appearance is towards the end of this week and after scoring 5 on the trot, I’ve managed not to score in the last 4. Really need to turn this around.

It’s not that I’m sulking (well I am a bit) but I haven’t got anything funny to say (no change there then!). I’ve avoided being political on this blog, but I think that the biggest threat to our industry has hit us like a tornado in the last couple of years. So much so, that it has become a big issue in the London Mayoral election. A couple of months back LBC devoted a 2 hour programme to this and some very pertinent points were raised, and if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to give my take on them. I’m going from memory here so I hope I get this right!

The first guest up was Steve McNamara of the LTDA. Now apart from his recent faus pas about cyclists, I think he’s very articulate and knowledgeable. The first point he raised was about granting a Private Hire Operating licence to uber by TfL. The rules state that to get one you must have a land line in London. TfL responded by saying that you only need one on the day you apply!!!

It’s also interesting that uber call themselves a technology company, well so are Microsoft but I’ll put my life on it that they don’t hold a Private Hire Operators licence.

He also stated that uber, a firm worth $50 billion, are domiciled in Holland and pay less tax in this country than a School Teacher or a Fireman, yet their drivers are claiming tax credits as they don’t earn enough to pay their rent.

Next up was one of the top guys in Surface Transport at TfL, I’m sorry I can’t remember his name. Well, I’ve got to suppose that this chap is picking up a 6 figure salary, and I was cringing while listening to the radio. He was asked 3 questions which elicited the same reply. The questions were:

‘How many drivers do uber have in London?’

‘Of the 300 Private Hire driver applications TfL are getting every week, how many are driving for uber?’

‘How many Touting Enforcement Officers do TfL employ?’

His response to all 3 questions was ‘I don’t know.’ Good grief, who did his research – Boris?

There were then a couple of Mayoral candidates on including George Galloway, who can’t wait to run uber out of town. With 25,000 cab drivers and their families, it’s going to get votes.

Going off topic briefly, while I’m talking about Mayoral things and perhaps it’s just me, but I would have considered being the elected Mayor of the biggest city in Western Europe was pretty much a full time job. Likewise being an MP. What an incredible being Boris Johnson is to do both, and still have the energy to cycle home and tell Black Cab drivers to ‘F*@k off and die’.                                                                                 http://metro.co.uk/2015/06/18/why-dont-you-f-off-and-die-boris-johnson-in-tasty-exchange-with-cabbie-over-uber-5251241/

Anyway getting back to LBC with Ian Collins in the chair who kept stating throughout the show that uber had been invited to give their side of things and could even come back at a later date to respond to all that has been said. As far as I’m aware they haven’t taken up the offer.

The next guest was from the United Cabbies Group and, again, I’m sorry I don’t know his name. He sits on the TfL committee for Surface Transport, and stated that he had been told personally by Boris, ‘Dave (Cameron) has said that I have to leave uber alone.’ This is not beyond the realms of possibility. A very good friend of his, Rachel Whetstone has been hired as head of PR at uber to fix its ‘reputational problems’. The whole story is here http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3083737/Troubled-taxi-booking-app-Uber-hires-Google-spin-doctor-close-friend-David-Cameron-bid-fix-reputational-problems.html

The last guest was from the National Private Hire Association, the minicabs equivalent of the LTDA I would suppose. Again a very affable and articulate chap. He went on to state that he was baffled that uber had been found to have a driver without the correct insurance and had only been fined £7,500 when the punishment was always to revoke the licence of the operator. (This is not including a number of journalists who have photocopied entirely bogus insurance certificates and had them ok’d by uber.) Here’s an excellent article which would check every Taxi and Minicab entering the congestion Zone for the correct insurance at virtually no cost                                                                                                           http://taxi-news.co.uk/letter-to-taxileaks-editor-uber-drivers-without-hire-and-reward-insurance/

In addition to the points mentioned on the show was one about the number of individuals illegally touting for business. This is putting the public at risk as these drivers are not insured and God only knows who you’re getting in a cab with. If every Black Cab Driver paid a levy of £10 per week to TfL this would raise over £250,000 per week. This could put well in excess of 300 Touting Enforcement Officers on the streets, and it would be made known that if you are caught, you will lose your licence for good and be prosecuted.

My last point is that blocking the streets in protest of these issues doesn’t endear us to the public. I think it would be far better to say that everyone who gets in a Black Cab on the protest day between 2 and 3pm, for instance, rides for free.

Food for thought?

Be lucky,


Posted in Appearances | 12 Comments

28 Day Appearance #4

I was up for the 4th of my 28s early in July and was asked:

Grove Road to Cat and Mutton Bridge

Tooting Broadway Taxi Rank to Rectory Lane

Old Brewery SE10 to Brockley Police Station

Alexandra Palace to Dulwich and Sydenham Golf Club

I have to suppose that E3 isn’t my strongest postcode, I dropped 7 points before I even started and managed 2/10 for this run. I’m then trying to keep it together on the off chance that I can pull this back.

The next run I’ve dropped another 4 points and because I didn’t know the spin here, I’ve pulled a crap line and scored another 2/10.

Remarkably no points dropped on the next run but I missed Florence Road and wasn’t allowed to bring it back – I knew I wouldn’t be able to but you can only ask, can’t you? Another wide line and 5/10.

No points dropped on the next one and but for my hesitation I would have got a 9, but the damage was already done on my previous runs and, sadly, 8/10 was too little too late.

So from such a promising start I just cannot score when it matters. Calling over on the week running up to this, I was on fire. If you look at athletes, all their training and competitions are all about peaking at the Olympics. Well, mercifully, I won’t have to wait 4 years to get another go, in fact, I’m back up this week – watch this blog.



After I came out I had the rest of the day off, so I decided to do some pointing around SE1. It was a stiflingly hot day and I went for a pint of cold Guinness in the Anchor. I was informed by the barman, who was Irish BTW, that if I wanted to take it outside, I had to have a plastic glass! Guinness – in a plastic glass – ‘HOW VERY DARE HE’. His own father would have disowned him for even thinking such a thing.

Anyway a bit more pointing and I had a walk around Borough Market. They do all sorts of exotic food including Venison burgers, I didn’t have one though, as they’re really dear (Really deer, geddit?).

So after a good 3 hours walking about in my suit in the blazing sunshine, I was sweating like a fat bloke on a trampoline, and decided to call it a day. I’ll be back a bit quicker with the next instalment of this fascinating and unpredictable journey.

Posted in Appearances | 16 Comments

28 Day Appearances #2 and #3

No update for over a month and then you get 2 at the same time!

The first week in May was my 2nd 28 and I was asked

Camden Arts Centre to Coliseum Theatre

St Martin’s Hotel to Canonbury Station

French Ordinary Court to Grange Hotel Holborn

My Hotel WC2 to Chelsea Gate (Battersea Park)

To supplement my pointing, I’d been out doing the Theatre Ramble, so I was gutted that I managed to drop the Duke of York along with 2 other points that I can’t remember. It’s LOL only and I also didn’t use the Lindfield/Langland Gardens spin at the start. I went down Fitzjohn’s Ave/Avenue Rd through Regents Park down to Oxford St…Princes Circus and the took the straight line from Monmouth St. Along with the 3 points dropped I’ve got 5/10 for this.

Only 1 point dropped on this run but I’ve kept it big again and where I should have used Essex Road/Cross St/Halton Road/Braes St for the line, I’ve gone up Upper St and used Highbury Corner. Not a horrendous line and 7/10.

On this one I made my way to Bank Junction and instead of going the Poultry route, I went via Queen Victoria Street. Another 2 points dropped (sorry can’t remember them) and with the wide line it’s another 5/10.

Another 2 points dropped before I start on this one and I’ve gone to Baker Street before heading south when this should have gone through Mayfair. A very wide line and 5 points dropped for not giving the most direct route. So that’s 3/10 – 20/40 and my first D for a while.

This was the same Examiner I saw at my previous Appearance, and where I thought he was very generous to score me last time, I took this to be his way of saying that he expected a bigger improvement. I genuinely have no truck with that and will press on regardless.

I’ve noticed that the marking has become stricter. For example, on your 56s you get ‘thinking time’ – on your 28s it called ‘Hesitation’ and you do get marked down for it. Also the Examiners are far less tolerant of wide lines, and I suppose this is to be expected.

Moving on and 4 weeks to the day I’m up for my 3rd 28 Day and I saw the Examiner from only my 2nd Appearance. This was almost a year ago and I was amazed that he remembered me. I was asked

Norland Square to England’s Lane

South Quay DLR Station to Euston Station

Novotel Waterloo to Wapping Station

Islington Police Station to Surry Docks Farm

Norland Square, how could I ever forget that one! (See 56 Day Appearance #3). Anyhow, no points dropped and I thought of going up Ladbroke Grove but continued east and went up Pembridge Road and the went Westbourne Grove…Harrow Road..Lisson Grove..Avenue Road…Primrose Hill Road and right into England’s Lane. This is a bit low and with my hesitation I’ve scored 7/10.

The next line I’ve taken a bit on the low side, although I was a bit more fluent than the last one, another 7/10.

I dropped the Garden Museum on the next run and was then asked for the Novotel Waterloo.

The Examiner asked sympathetically, ‘Do you know what is over the road from that?’

‘Yes sir, the Garden Museum’, I sighed.

I took this over Tower Bridge and although it isn’t ‘on the cotton’, I think Southwark Bridge is perhaps the bridge of choice here. With the 1 point dropped this is a 6/10.

I need 4 on my last run to score. I set off on the right on Tolpuddle St and went right on Liverpool Road. The rest of the line was pretty good but also irrelevant. I had just made an illegal turn and as the rules clearly state, that’s 0/10.

Gutted, gutted, gutted. I half thought about leaving on the left and going down Penton St, and I should have followed the Golden Rule of taking it a bit wide if you’re not sure. It’s far better to drop a couple of points.

The examiner went on to say that there was a huge improvement in me since the last time, which was very kind of him. In fact when I look at where I was only 12 months ago, I was a couple of notches below dreadful.

Anyway, the 28s are currently running at 21 days, and while it gives me less time, I’m glad that I’ve got a quick opportunity to bounce back.



Since my last post there has been a General Election (just in case you didn’t notice!) and after listening to all these buffoons for so long, I thought it would be an idea to recite a rousing speech in ‘PoliticSpeak’. That is using as many clichés as possible in a long winded ramble without actually saying anything.

Yes, it is now my intention to ‘put my nose to the grindstone’ and ‘hit the ground running’. I will ‘put my foot down’ with any slackers ‘with a firm hand’. People say that ‘it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game’, well let me tell you, most of my colleagues couldn’t ‘hit a cow’s arse with a banjo’. When I recently said that the opposition had ‘opened a can of worms’ I did not expect to ‘eat my words’. Our policies will be judged as ‘all or nothing’ and we always make ‘a big deal about nothing’. I shall keep ‘boring you rigid’ with this cliché filled nonsense ‘until the cows come home’ and remember, ‘it’s not over til the fat lady sings’.

For the record, I avoid clichés ‘like the plague’.

Posted in Appearances | 5 Comments