Oh 'tis fun to be back online permanently again. It's a terrible time-wasting addiction, worse than television. I curse TalkTalk thrice over.
As I haven't been riding much of late, I left the house on foot today. The quest was to see the new Southgate shopping centre in downtown Bath. Despite nearly exploding a year ago, Phase I was opened the other day and I wanted to see what the hype was about.
Southgate, Phase I. Luckily it didn't explode, or where would all those shoppers go?
Southgate, Phase I. 200 seats!
Southgate, Phase I
It doesn't look too bad, as far as shopping centres go. It's been built using sandstone cladding imported from Italy to give it that authentic ye olde Bath look. But in any case it's better than what used to be there, a hideous shopping mall constructed in the post-war period after Bath got bombed.
That said, I felt the powers that be could have been a bit more inventive. Why make it the same as the rest of Bath? Which - as an Australian couple on tour pointed out to me last year - looks like a collection of Masterton homes.
My idea could have been incorporated and would definitely have spiced things up. What this city needs is a statue of a jolly good dictator, like Joe Stalin.
But no, conservatism reigned. Their loss, I say.
Speaking of television, which I was at the start, I turned it on last weekend. And lo! Australia was playing against England in a Rugby League fixture. Probably on account of me being raised in Sydney, I think League is a much better game than Rugby Union because it doesn't get bogged down by a massive scrum every time someone gets tackled. That sort of talk is sacrilege in these 'ere parts and nearly got me excommunicated from Bath.
What I liked about this particular game is that not only did Australia win 26-16, a large number of the Aussies had beards. This reminded me of the good ol' days, and gave rise to the sort of nostalgia that you need to get through a slow Saturday afternoon.
Finally, I was fortunate enough to travel to Manchester last weekend for a free lunch at the Track World Cup. It took us 9hrs to get there and back and we saw three hours of racing (good). This was the result:
Andy Gale (the designated driver and one of our web developers), Simon Withers (C+ tech ed) and Dave Sayer (another of our web developers) sample the delights of a free lunch at the Manchester velodrome while contemplating the drive back to Bath.