Thursday, 7 February 2019

Queens Park Crewe and other Scenes

Here are some photos taken on 27 January when I took a walk in the cold wind to take a look round the Queens Park to the West of Crewe. I've decided to post photos here rather than on Flickr in future.
Tree on Wistaston Road

Views in Queens Park

. Unusually these photos all came out clear and neatly framed. Probably because I was not in any hurry, just taking a stroll.

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Hot Water

It has taken me a month since I moved to my new flat to work out how to activate the boiler that supplies hot water to the taps. The name on the boiler is 'Zip Aquapoint III'. Here is a photo I took, using a torch for illumination, since it is installed in an inaccessible place at the back of the cupboard under the sink.This is a type I have never encountered before.

I looked up the make on the Web to find instructions, but they mostly covered installation. There was mention of an 'economy' setting, which appeared to be by moving the circular panel round to the first white dot, but that didn't seem to have any effect. It has taken me a couple of weeks to find a small white switch, right at the back of another cupboard, which switches it on!

There are other more prominent red switches, one of which activates the electric hob. What the other does I have yet to find out. Possibly it is to do with the shower. Meanwhile I have managed to boil up hot water using the electric kettle. Previously I've always used a gas hob for cooking, so an electric hob is unfamiliar and will take some time to get used to. It doesn't help that it is totally black, including the knobs, and not illuminated by the ceiling lights.

Friday, 1 February 2019

First Snow of Winter

We had a little snow here on Wednesday, but since then it has held off and stayed in the south of the country. Here is a photo I took from the front porch of the house. There is a massive church on the corner opposite.

Fortunately the forecast heavier snow didn't reach this far north so I didn't need to put on my snow boots for my first appointment with a GP at the local Medical Centre on the Thursday morning. In the afternoon I took a long walk through Wistaston, returning by bus.

Monday, 21 January 2019

My Move to Crewe

I completed a move to Crewe on 4 January 2019, but it has taken until 21 January to reestablish my internet link, mostly due to my own incompetence with electronic devices probably. A mobile phone that I bought to assist my move, but struggled to operate, appears to have gone kaput.

The flat I  have rented is nicely placed for walking access to the pedestrianised town centre, and midway between big supermarkets, Asda and Morrisons, though it is a pity that M&S has moved out to a ghastly car park called Grand Junction, and there are many closed up shops like BHS.

I've joined the local public Library which is just beyond the end of the road, and is part of the "Lifestyle Centre" which includes a swimming pool. I've also begun visiting the Crewe Chess Club which meets nearby on Wednesday evenings.

I've obtained a new local bus pass, signed up to the electoral register, and registered with a GP at the Grosvenor Medical Centre which is a longish walk along West Street, or past Morrisons, and I've walked most of the nearby roads to get familiar with the district.

Generally I am rather happy with the move, and look on it as a new adventure, though probably the last in my regular moves every ten or eleven years, since I will be 79 next month.

Delamere Street from the Flag Lane end.

61 Delamere Street
Flat 1 is behind the bay windows.

The photo of the flat was taken on 3 January, and the photo of the street on 27 January, and added to this post on 7 February.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018


November seems to have passed without a diary entry.

I've been attending some MathsJam events, a regular one in Bexhill and a one-off in Brighton where I gave a short presentation on the disphenocingulum.

My book on Knight's Tours is near enough completed in 800 pages. There is just the Index to do, and then arranging the publication, probably via the Lulu organisation.

However I am also making efforts to find a new place to move to in the Midlands. Every ten years or so I feel the need of a change of scene. A reduction in my monthly rent is also needed.

The National Chess Library on which I did a lot of work is now advertised at the bottom of the English Chess Federation website. It needs to be better publicised to attract visitors.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Chess in Crewe

Over the week end 11 to 15 October I travelled to Crewe to take part in the chess congress organised there by Crewe Chess Club. Playing in the Minor section I managed to score 2.5 out of 5, by two wins and a draw against weaker players. In the other two games I played quite well but made mistakes. The first was against the eventual winner who won all his games.

The tournament was played at the Ibis hotel which is somewhat isolated on an industrial estate a longish walk from the station. Breakfast was included in the price, but on the final morning the fried potato pieces were apparently reheated from the previous day and inedible, but otherwise the food was OK. The coffee or tea provided in the room was very meagre, and no biscuits, but a complimentary bottle of water. The lighting in the room was also poor. There was a pleasant Nature walk around the hotel through woods beside a stream.

I also used the time to look around the Crewe town centre which is a mixture of boarded up shops, like the former BHS store, and new developments like the Lifestyle Centre, though the former Library building seems to have been abandoned. The Asda supermarket is enormous but very dreary from the exterior. A busker playing "Somewhere over the Rainbow" was helpful in adding cheer to the place. Neither W H Smith's nor Waterstone's stocked a Crewe A to Z. Presumably people now rely on accessing maps on the internet via their smart phones.

On the Friday I also took time to take the number 3 bus down to Tunstall in Stoke on Trent to take a further look at possible properties to rent if I move that way. Travelling on the trains to Crewe and back worked OK as regards the times. This was the first time for several years I had been on the London Underground. I had forgotten how deep the Northern line goes, with so many escalators, The main problems were on the final leg home from London Bridge when they kept announcing platform changes. I also had to stand from there to High Brooms. Probably I should have travelled earlier to avoid the rush hour.

Monday, 8 October 2018

A London Walk

On Thursday I bought a day return to London, for use on the Friday, with the aim of attending the British Chess Problem Society meeting. I didn't get round to travelling until the afternoon, but still arrived with plenty of time to spare. Looked around London Bridge Station to check the way to the Underground for future reference - it's quite a maze.

Eventually found my way out to Tooley Street which was jam-packed all down its length with buses bumper to bumper. Walked through Hays Galleria and along the Embankment.

The red-brick building that was my old school, St Olaves Grammar, is now subsumed into a monstrous concrete hotel, that still looks as if it requires a few more floors to be added. The whole area behind the school, where the London Mayor's offices now are used to be an industrial area full of tall cranes, long since gone. It is now a tourist hot spot for viewing Tower Bridge.

I took a walk over Tower Bridge, through the crowds of tourists, and along the cobbled walk on the north side of the river below the Tower of London. This comes out at the Monument built by Hooke and Wren to commemorate the 1666 Fire of London.

Walking up Pudding Lane I took a wrong turning along Eastcheap and Great Tower Street, heading back towards the Tower instead of up Gracechurch Street. Realising I'd gone wrong I took a left turn somewhere and headed towards the "Gherkin" building that I could glimpse between the other high-rise buildings. Found it quite easily and was back to Bishopsgate.

There was stilll time to spare before the meeting at 6pm so I walked up past Bishopsgate Institute and took a stroll round Spitalsfield, which is now a covered market with numerous restaurants.

Finally to the meeting in the small Hall at the back of St Bottolph's Church. It was pleasant to see some old faces of Problemists not seen for some time. I'm hoping to be able to get back into some composing ad solving, bit need to get up to date on the latest stipulations.

More later perhaps.