There’s only one word for that: “Magic darts…”

Next to the panto poster, there was an ad for some darts-related gig. A friendly tournament featuring names from the golden age of darts when it was a staple of World Of Sport and they could win tournaments too pissed to remember they were playing, let alone subtract treble 17 from 281 (seeing as you ask, it’s 230).

"Be prepared to laugh."

But the thing that caught my eye was the host – Duncan ‘Chase Me’ Norvelle. Those of a certain age will remember him from variety shows on TV in the 80’s – and curiously, as a dancer on Top Of The Pops (not as in Pan’s People but as a sort of enthusiastic ringer to get the starstruck youths to stop staring at the cameras and dance to Bananarama or the Pointer Sisters.

His schtick was to play the camp entertainer with the sleeves of his pastel suit rolled up to reveal VERY limp wrists. Is this man gay? Or has he no pride? A short visit to Wikipedia may answer these and more. Fair play to him – he’s kept a career going on it for 30 years – unless he owns an MOT testing centre on the side. He’s certainly been very protective of the Norvelle brand. Stoic even.

However, I do find the concept of an extremely limp-wristed gentleman hosting a darts event somewhat ironic. “Be prepared to laugh,” says the poster. Well I wouldn’t enter into too much preparation – unless he continually throws darts into his own feet due to his under-developed wrist muscles… Still he still looks well on it – but those 80’s publicity shots do flatter to deceive.

Panto season.



On a Christmassy tip, this is the poster for Stevenage panto (at the Gordon Craig theatre, which adjoins the station’s car parks). This year it’s Jack & The Beanstalk ‘starring’ David Spinx out of Eastenders. Good to see Dave’s keen to stretch himself, exploring a whole new character and avoiding the trap of type-casting: one character a frightful, lumbering monster and the other, the giant from Jack & The Beanstalk. Does that work? Kind of. But not as well as I was hoping. Anyway, my wife took our daughter to see it and it got two thumbs up. The free sweets and the sing-song at the end were a ‘true tour de force’ according to my 4-year-old.

What happens in Stevenage stays in Stevenage

Las Vegas in the snow (of all things)

Las Vegas in the snow (of all things)

Been away in Las Vegas for the last fortnight so I’ve not been able to keep tabs on Stevenage’s parking situation – extremely frustrating, I’m sure you’ll agree. I shall try not to leave the country in future or at least install a webcam or over-zealous neighbourhood watcher in my absence.

Grand Cherokee back in position.

But the silver Polo has lost out yet again to the red MG.

All change.

Well I thought I was in a different car park. The Grand Cherokee lost its #1 place to another car and had to park at the other end of the line. I nearly lost my bearings. And the silver Polo’s favourite illegal spot was taken by the red MG. It’s always a toss-up between those two. I wonder if they know each other…

A quiet Friday.

I’ll admit it – I was running later than usual. But in my defence, it was the morning after the office Christmas party – not that I caned it in any way, shape or form.

But knowing that no one else would be busting a gut to make it in for 9, I allowed myself a few minutes’ grace this morning. Glory be – Swingate still had tons of spaces. It was uncanny.

And just for the record, the silver Polo was in its usual place – next to its big brother and minder, the blue Grand Cherokee – though lately I’m beginning to think its more grey than blue.

Got the slower train. Got a seat. Watched the first 40 minutes of Wake Up Ron Burgundy. All was (and still is ) well.

Debut in Southgate.

I was running later than usual this morning, but not by much. I thought Swingate might have pushing it so the sensible option was Danesgate. Except it wasn’t. I was greeted by those 4 red letters no Stevenage parker wants to see: FULL.

That left me 2 options:
1. The multi-storey which has literally over 1000 spaces which I’ve used once before.
2. Southgate, an unknown quantity for me.

Well I’ve stolen my own thunder in the title so you can be forgiven for not being on the edge of your seat (just this once!).

I really didn’t fancy the multi-storey again. It’s completely empty in the morning and again at night. You can imagine either a bullet-ridden car chase bursting onto the scene or a hip hop promo featuring honeys, 4×4’s with blacked out windows and fancy rims.

It’s everyone’s last resort. It even features on YouTube alongside a chap threatening to end it all. It’s that sort of place.

The upshot is that driving to Southgate and walking back to the station delays me enough to miss my train. There is an upside to this, however. The next train is slower but I can invariably get a seat which is definitely not the case with the 8.08. And satisfying the completist in me, I have now parked in all 5 car parks that my pass gives me access to. I’ve collected the set!

All that excitement and I’ve not even made it to London yet!

Day off.

Bit under the weather. Rather than share the lurgie with my colleagues, I shall work from home today – so no thrilling updates from Swingate, Danesgate, Daneshill, Southgate or the St George’s Way multi-storey. I promise to make it up to you all tomorrow.

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