Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday, August 28th, London


Driving down from York to London today, it seemed the perfect time to share some comments about English radio.  First, the talk shows seem vastly superior to those I hear in the U.S.  In particular, One to One, Soul Music, and You and Yours are excellent.  The integration of guests and callers is much better handled, and the hosts seem better at keeping the conversation on target.  Second, the news is slow to move into new stories, endlessly repeating old headlines and providing no new insights.  Third, the traffic reporting is much more local, with quarter hour announcements about the highways you are driving on.  I'm very impressed with the technology employed to broadcast to micro-areas in almost real-time.

What you don't see on the English roads are trucks.  I noticed it first when I kept creeping up alongside trailers (they're called caravans here), and wanted to see what was pulling them.  Lo and behold, it was always passenger cars, looking a little like our Touareg.  Then I started looking for the classic Ford or Dodge 1500 trucks.  Nada.  And on these narrow roads in towns, I wouldn't want to drive one.

We're turning the car in today, and I fear we might have gotten a few tickets.  In town after town, out in the boonies, there are these traffic cameras that are strategically located where I was driving just a bt over the speed limit.  The light (flash) up when the catch you, indicating the proper speed limit, and it is said they are linked to a system fast enough to tag you, and send the ticket to your rental car company in time for your departure.  We'll see what the real cost of this manual, diesel, economy car is.

Well, we turned in the car, and were dinged for a scraped tire and back bumper.  We've a $500 deductible, and the car will be assessed and our bill sent to us.  No word on tickets, so we'll just await that bill too.

We bought 7-day passes on the underground, and rode it to Trafalgar square for a dinner at Cafe Rouge, and a walk through the area that will show the Opening Night of the Paralympics tomorrow on a big screen.  We'll probably head to the British Museum during the day tomorrow, and then stop by the square on the way home.

Here is a link to the photos taken today:  Tuesday, August 28th, London


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