Major works on London Overground

30 06 2008

Hi all

London Overground is having a rejig from September. This means real disruption as National Rail will be doing some major works. This includes widening a tunnel (I presume this is the Hampstead Heath Tunnel) and rebuilding two bridges.

What does it mean to the services on London Overground? Well it means that some lines will be completely closed!

The lines that are closing include:

1. Gospel Oak to Barking line
Closed from 1st September to 28th September.

2. Willesden Junction to Camden Road
Divided into two closures…
a. Willesden Junction to Gospel Oak – Closed from 1st September to 16th November.
b. Gospel Oak to Camden Road – Closed 22nd to 28th September.

Lines running will include the following:
1. Watford Junction to Stratford – this route would use the Primrose Hill junction just after South Hampstead to directly connect to the open section of the North London line between Camden Road and Stratford. This would run Mondays to Saturdays.
2. Watford Junction to Euston – this is the usual route to Euston, but will only run on Sundays.
3. Richmond to Willesden Junction – The other open part of the North London line which will run like shuttle service.
4. Willesden Junction to Clapham Junction – The West London line is unaffected.

So what about the closed sections? The answer is bus services. The following will run…
Bus service A – Gospel Oak and Kensal Rise. Buses will not serve Finchley Road & Frognal (looks like getting to West Hampstead to Finchley Road on the Jubilee line seems a reasonable option).
Bus service B – Gospel Oak to Blackhorse Road
Bus service C – Blackhorse Road to Barking. There’s no direct bus service to Walthamstow Queens Road, so a shuttle bus has been supplied from Wathamstow Central.
Bus service D – Gospel Oak to Camden Road. To run from 22nd to 28th September.

More details can be found in the leaflet supplied by TfL by clicking here.

It also seems that some London Underground stations are not far at all!!! Here is the complete list for the stations affected…
– Kensal Rise – Kensal Green station (Bakerloo, 800m)
– Brondesbury – Kilburn station (Jubilee, 300m)
– West Hampstead – Jubilee line station (100m)
– Finchley Road & Frognal – Finchley Road station (Jubilee & Metropolitan, 400m)
– Hampstead Heath – Belsize Park station (Northern, 800m)
– Kentish Town West – Chalk Farm station (Northern, 750m)
– Upper Holloway – Archway station (Northern, 450m)
– South Tottenham – Seven Sisters station (Victoria, 300m)
– Blackhouse Road – Victoria line station (direct)
– Walthamstow Queens Road – Walthamstow Central station (Victoria, 450m)
– Leytonstone High Road – Leytonstone station (Central, 800m)
– Barking – District and Hammersmith & City station (direct)

The works will take place on 1st September until 16th November. So anyone planning their journey will have to plan well during this period!

What do you think of these works? What alternative transport will you use? Let me know!

P.S. It looks like in the leaflet, it mentions that Shepherd’s Bush Overground station will open in October 2008 around the same time the Central line station opens! We’ll just wait and see!

Tower Gateway shuts its doors for now…

28 06 2008

Hi all

Well today, Tower Gateway DLR station is closed for refurbishment works. But it is a major rebuilding programme. So what are they doing?

Well, the reason for the closure is to allow a total reconstruction of the narrow platform that supposed to allow two DLR trains to terminate. However, only one can be used at any one time. So, the idea is to building one single track line with two platforms. One would be used for arrivals and the other for departures. In addition to this, because of the addition of another train car, they would have to extend the platforms to accommodate this.

The project is due to be completed by Spring 2009.

So what are the alternatives? Bank station on the DLR perhaps? The answer is no! The problem at Bank is the major replacement escalator works that are happening at the Bank/Monument complex…however, if you are interchanging with the Northern line, it should be okay…

Other logical routes are…
1. Canary Wharf on the Jubilee line into central London
2. Shadwell DLR station…then a replacement bus service to Canada Water or Whitechapel…a bit long winded in my opinion
3. Stratford station, but you have to change at Poplar first!
4. Limehouse DLR station, then c2c services to Fenchurch Street…then you can get to Tower Hill.

There are probably other routes, but these seem the most appropriate options!

What do you have to say about the Tower Gateway closure? Good or bad? Let me know!

Peep Show is fab!

25 06 2008

Hi all

What do you think of Peep Show! This is comic genius and has been making me laugh for the last few weeks! I recently bought the latest series on DVD only because I hadn’t watched all the episodes (I admit I haven’t watched any of the latest series because I keep missing it…or I am out).

But I have been watching it right from the beginning. Something to laugh about when you are having a night in (don’t we all?). If you haven’t seen it, then I recommend you check it out…get it on DVD! Or if you are a digital fan (and that does not include DVD in this sense), then why not download it on iTunes? All five series are available.

Okay, l’ll end here…got to watch another one…

(p.s. I am bound to come back to this subject again…so please forgive me if I ever do!)

Respect learner drivers!

22 06 2008

Hi all

The most annoying thing of the day for me is when qualified, ignorant drivers sound their horn to learner drivers because they are too slow! Why? What’s the hurry?

To all qualified drivers who have the cheek to sound your horn, you were once learner drivers weren’t you? You had to do driving lessons like the learners and you had to take the driving test to get where you are today? Right? Then why do some of you have a go at the current learners on the road just because they were hesitant to go? Or perhaps are driving slowly because they want to reach the correct speed limit of the road? You all need patience. You need to respect the learners as we all were once in that position.

I got really annoyed with the driver behind me that sounded their horn when I was driving behind a learner at a roundabout. I mean I wasn’t going to sound my horn…they are only learning! That same driver who sounded their horn even blocked a Keep Clear section of road…where are your driving manners???

What’s your point of view? Do you agree with me? If not, why not (and why must you disagree)? Let me know!

iPhones are not around in the Apple Store

14 06 2008

Hi all

Just before the WWDC ’08 announcement on 9th June, there was still an opportunity to get hold of the current iPhone.

As many of you will know, O2 were doing a limited offer back in May that gave customers a change to own the 8Gb model for only £199. This £100 discount attracted a lot of people until the stocks ran out.

Also around that time, the online Apple Store were not selling the 8Gb or 16Gb models of the iPhone as they were ‘currently unavailable’. The only place that had stock were the Apple retail stores. In addition, they were on display too!

Today, I decided to pop into an Apple Store in London to check out whether you could still get hold of the iPhone even though the new iPhone 3G was announced (and will come out 11th July). The answer is no! They were quick to take the advert boards off, and remove all the display models. In place are a lot of iPod Touch-es which are still attracting a lot of people somehow.

eBay is perhaps the only way to get hold of the model, but hey, who’s going to buy one, when on a £45 a month contract with O2, you can get the 8Gb iPhone 3G for nothing? Perhaps it is the best time to sell yours before the new model comes out? Or perhaps not…maybe wait for the iPhone 3G is out so you can hand over your current iPhone for someone else? Maybe they could use the iPhone as a iPod Touch instead!

Oriental City – past, present and future?

11 06 2008

Hi again!

As promised, I dedicate this blog entry entirely on Oriental City. This blog is divided into three sections, the past, present and future? (a question still yet to be entirely answered).

As you already know, the place has closed. This week, the place is getting demolished for a brand new development. So you may be asking what is happening now? Well, some places have found some other places to run their business. For instance, the supermarket is moving to Queensway, Bayswater and a few retail shops have found places but one particular place has collected names and address to let them know when and where they would be moving and the bakery is moving to North London. As for others, like the people in the Food Court, there’s uncertainty.

Miss Oriental City? Here are some more photos of the Oriental City that was…

1. Oriental City entrance

2. Even the logo is going…

3. The Food Court that was

4. The supermarket, but the shelves are pretty empty now

5. China City Restaurant has other branches in central London now

6. Finally, Zen Tian Di Oriental Buffet Restaurant. One of the first places that I went to experience an Oriental Buffet…there’s no mention of it moving though.

So the question now is what is the future of Oriental City? If you had a look at the local newspapers recently, you may have read reports that a 21,000 square foot site has been found for Oriental City which is not far from where it used to be. As long as it can be secured, then it will mean some hope for the traders. So what would be offered if the site is secured? Well there would be enough room for at least 40% of the businesses who were in the former Oriental City. Details include a mini food court, a small supermarket and at least room for ten shops saving 200 jobs. Where will it be? At present, details have not been disclosed.

And what about the property developers? Well considering it may take more than three years to build the redevelopment, they claim that they have identified a space for the traders when the development opens. But there is fear that the time to take to build is a very long time and that businesses will close down altogether.

I will come back to this subject at some point, but what are your thoughts on the current situation? Let me know.

iPhone 3G is coming!

11 06 2008

Hi all

Did you hear the news from WWDC ’08? Or has anyone? Well the interesting thing discussed was the launch of the iPhone 3G!

So what is new? Well first thing is that iPhone 3G is much faster than the current iPhone. It now has built in 3G which means faster access online on the mobile Safari web browser which is excellent and e-mail! Also, on Google Maps is a built in GPS receiver which will track where you are. Something that will be of good use when moving around.

The design of the iPhone 3G has slightly changed with a black or white plastic back, and the headphone jack can now take any pair of headphones which will be good news for anyone who has good quality ones! The screen is glorious and the camera is the same 2.0 megapixel as before and there is no video camera…but that may be a future requirement…who knows?

And what is the deal with pricing? Well O2 are giving a brilliant deal to new and current users who will finally have a chance to afford an iPhone 3G at long last! There are four tariffs and two iPhone 3G models. Here’s the run down:

iPhone 3G 8Gb
£30 tariff – phone price: £99, 75 minutes, 125 texts
£35 tariff – phone price: £99, 600 minutes, 500 texts
£45 tariff – phone price: FREE, 1200 minutes, 500 texts
£75 tariff – phone price: FREE, 3000 minutes, 500 texts

A good deal for £45 tariff, the iPhone 3G is absolutely free! What a cool deal!

iPhone 3G 16Gb
£30 tariff – phone price: £159, 75 minutes, 125 texts
£35 tariff – phone price: £159, 600 minutes, 500 texts
£45 tariff – phone price: £59, 1200 minutes, 500 texts
£75 tariff – phone price: FREE, 3000 minutes, 500 texts

In addition, the iPhone 3G 16Gb comes in black or white, the 8Gb is only available in black. All tariffs are subject to an 18 month contract…but good news existing iPhone users, you can upgrade to the new iPhone 3G even if you haven’t finished your current contract! But you have until 11th October to do just that…so plenty of time!

In addition, O2 are giving pay as you go customers a chance to get an iPhone 3G as well, so it should appeal to a wider audience!

With all this and more, don’t rush just yet for the iPhone 3G! It comes out on 11th July!

So what do you think of the new iPhone? Are you going to get one? Let me know!

The online store is closed!

9 06 2008

The online Apple Store is closed at the moment…

Must be something new…

WWDC ’08 is coming!

8 06 2008

Hi all

WWDC ’08 kicks off tomorrow! So what is WWDC? It stands for Worldwide Developer’s Conference and is the event in which Apple Inc. introduce brand new products and features. Now you know what that means, let’s get down to the finer details predicted to come in tomorrow’s keynote speech addressed by Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs.

1. 3G iPhone – There is strong evidence that a brand new iPhone will be unveiled tomorrow…it is rumoured to come in two colours, black and red, have 3G support, GPS and video conferencing facilities as well as be thinner and most of all be at a reduced price in which the mobile operators will subside the costs. Sounds truly exciting because of the amazing new features! Hopefully those who have the existing iPhone will be entitled to a free upgrade. Do remember, that O2, Carphone Warehouse and the online Apple store do not sell the existing iPhone. So there is a good possibility of a brand new iPhone being released very soon.

2. iPhone software update – In version 2.0 of the software, there are some exciting new features…but the most interesting is the introduction of the App Store that will allow users to finally download applications for their iPhone! This is definitely one of the pluses – getting some exciting applications on the iPhone has been one of the missing features that should have been available in the first place…will it be released tomorrow? We will have to wait and see. In addition, developer’s have been using the iPhone SDK in beta form to develop applications for the iPhone, so there will probably be a mention of that also.

3. .Mac change? – Now over to some minor announcements. There has been rumours about a .Mac rebranding. The supposed change is to call .Mac, Me. Me is supposed to be much better than .Mac and have better support for mobile devices. I was about to sign up for .Mac, but I think I will wait and see if there is any news on this item tomorrow.

4. Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard – Where did this come from? This only surfaced in the last two weeks! Sources claim that Apple will announced the next version of Mac OS X tomorrow. This version focusses on stability and security with very few changes from the current 10.5 Leopard. Apart from the name, there are reports that it will only run on Intel based Macs meaning the end of the road for all Macs which use the PowerPC G3 and G4 processors.

Well, this is what is expected to come…but who knows? None of these could feature, or perhaps some of them…or maybe something else? What are your views? Let me know.

PC World gets rebranding?

7 06 2008

Take a look at the photo below…

This is PC World in Brentford, London. This store has been used as a ‘prototype’ for the rebranding of PC World. It even has had a refreshed look in store! Whether this will continue on for a while is unknown, but it has had a previous rebrand that I admit looked ugly!

Next time you happen to be visiting, take a look for yourself!