Swingate: Now you don’t (see it).

Imagine how ghasted by flabber was when I saw a sign saying that Swingate was closing for 2 weeks. One of my first thoughts was – wow – maybe after a 6-month break, this might be worthy of a post in Parking In Stevenage. Of course that was very closely followed by the more practical consideration of where to park my reasonable-in-every-way-except-the-£1400-auto-gearbox-repair Ford Focus.

I don’t know what’s happened it’s getting harder to get into my car parks of choice unless it’s a Friday. My guess is that few people take holiday in January so everyone is using the car park. Throughout the rest of the year, we have a few of us who go AWOL and introduce some more slack into the system.

It’s got to the point that I can only dream of getting a spot in Daneshill or Danesgate, let alone Swingate. So for now, Southgate is my car’s new home. Downside: a long walk and desolate at night. Upside. No trees = no birdshit on the paintwork or door handles. Nice.

And the good news continues. Why have they closed Swingate for 2 weeks? They’re knocking down the Stevenage Voluntary Services building. it was a pig-ugly building – the longest portakabin I’ve ever seen that had a matching portaloo sitting 8 feet away, like a moon to its planet. It always looked very depressing – no wonder people stopped volunteering their services. Search Google for a pic and you won’t find one. Fortunately, yours truly captured this temporary structure a while back – when it photo-bombed my shot of a Rolls Royce and my Focus.

Before

Before

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After

If you remember before these photos, I mentioned good news. Yes, that good news is not just that an eyesore is being removed so we can see the eyesore behind it. No – this will add around half a dozen new spaces to Swingate. Is someone re-programming the barrier? Due diligence, ladies and gentlemen!

The Perfect Storm – London-style.

As if a tube strike wasn’t enough, a decidedly un-British monsoon and a power surge in New Southgate tunnel conspired to hamper my commute home. Having to walk to King’s Cross as there were no buses due for ages and you can imagine the crush when they eventually arrived/sailed straight past. So then waiting for the 6.44, at 6.44 there was no sign of the front 4 coaches that always arrive separately and join uncomfortably.

So very cleverly, avoiding the crush of the people waiting on Platform 9, I snuck round the top and back down a deserted Platform 8 and took this pic.

Vanishing Point

Vanishing Point

So then checking my National Rail app on my phone, I saw the platform had been announced for the 6.53 – Platform 7. I could walk to the ticket barrier end and round that way, but I had the brainwave of getting the lift up to the walkway and down. Easy. Except a few others had the same idea and when the 2 guys and their very muscular dog got in with us, the computer lady said we had to reduce the weight. It took a little for the 2 chaps with the dog to work out what this meant, but the penny dropped and they wandered off.

So we left nearly on time and we seemed to be home and (getting) dry. Then the main carriage lights went off and we were reduced to a crawl. The driver, bless him, used the tannoy to tell us a power surge in the tunnel had buggered the train. Luckily it seemed to get fixed and we carried on… Look no wonder I don’t post on this blog any more. So tedious! Yes I KNOW that was the point…

Premier Inn re-creates King’s Cross in Lego, to mark “Lego Movie” launch.

We thought we recognised that grid/structure working its way up from the ground. The main concourse at King’s Cross – there it is! It’s part of a marketing coup from the makers of Lego Movie, persuading advertisers to run Lego versions of their commercials. Premier Inn aren’t alone, by any means. Confused.com and BT are among the ads going all stop-frame and bricky for a wall-to-wall Lego fest during an ad-break in Sundays’ Dancing On Ice.

fun-lego-bt-flatmates

King’s Cross narrowly missed the Lego treatment a while back when it’s illustrious neighbour, St Pancras was immortalised in Lego. 18 months and 150,000 bricks, that’s all it took.

LegoStP_EM026

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