I live in Chislehurst, Kent, BR7 which - over the top of the hill - turns into Mottingham, London, SE9. I would have been quite happy to live in either place - until today!


I have just ordered a new gate and some fencing from a rather good Kent-based manufacturer, for our scout hut. I paid a delivery charge of £21 plus VAT. Had I lived over the hill I would have to have paid £52 plus VAT, an increase of £37.20 inc. VAT for that extra few hundred yards. Mottingham isn't even in the Congestion Charge zone.


It's not every day that I can say that living in Chislehurst is cheaper than living in Mottingham! Does anyone know any more expensive examples of London living? Contact Me.

John Hemming-Clark's Top Five Team Names

1. Bear Girls

2. Soup-a-Stars (Catering Team)

3. Ready Aim Splat (Paintballing)

4. Ceral Killers (Given to some scouts on camp that gained a reputation for scoffing the Coco Pops)

5. Nuns with the Runs

Wandering, well cycling, around London today I chanced upon a number of those, so called Legible London, maps that have been springing up for several years now, but.....


As every scout knows, Ordnance Survey maps show North at the top so that we can get our bearings quickly and easily. Not so with Legible London. Any way up but the correct way! In the end I gave up looking at them - they're dreadful - and very frustrating! Look at my example. Look where North is! The Strand and The Mall are going up and down the map and not at a twenty-five degree angle.


Does the sun rise in the East? Not now it doesn't.

Map London

So this afternoon I walked down to my local garden centre and then had to queue for ages.


Me: I would like to buy some garden gift vouchers please.

Sales assistant: We don't have any in stock.

Me: Isn't that akin to having no plants?

Sales assistant: We've had a run on them.

Me: Okay. When will you get some more in?

Sales assistant: I don't know. [Then adds, helpfully] You could try our other branch.

Me: Where's that?

Sales assistant: Welling.

Me: I live in Chislehurst.

Sales assistant: So?

Me: I walked here. Welling's five miles away.

Sales assistant: It'll only take you a hour and a bit.

Me: I tell you what - you 'phone Welling branch and get them to walk here with my vouchers.

Sales assistant: I don't think that that's possible.

Me: Exactly.


Having wasted ten minutes on queuing (one till open) and then the above I tut-tutted and left, wondering why it was so that I had just wasted (with the walk there and back) nearly an hour of my life. As I walked up the main road I came upon a cyclist who was lying on the pavement having just cycled at full pelt downhill into a van exiting a side road. If it's one thing scout leaders can all do it's first aid so I stopped to offer aid and assistance. Had the garden centre had the vouchers in stock I would probably have been well past the accident spot before it happened...


And the moral of this story is???

"Be the most enthusiastic person you know. Enthusiasm sustains you when times are tough, encourages those around you and is totally infectious." Bear Grylls

What is the scourge of the modern world?