Archive for the ‘Basics’ Category

A Note On Photo Use

Monday, April 21st, 2008
Folks – I just want to point out a little thing about pictures on this site.

Most of the photos (well, the rubbish ones, really) on this blog are by me. But I also get sent pictures by lots of different readers, who send them in good faith. Good faith that they are sent to ME for use HERE.

I don’t hold copyright to these pictures – it’s retained by the original photographers. It’s always easy to see if I’m using someone else’s work because I credit them every time, usually in the body of the piece because of the weird way that Blogger formats photos.

If there’s a picture I’VE taken on the blog, you are welcome to use it (I’d appreciate a credit but it’s not essential.) Go ahead.

But I CANNOT give permission to use any picture taken by someone else that appears here. Please contact me if you want to use someone else’s photographs and I will put you in touch with them. Don’t just nick the picture. It’s bad manners.

Blimey. I’m a grumpy old Phantom today. So in order to cheer myself up I’ve been going through said photos and have found this one apropos to nothing, from Benedict, showing the Amazing Harrier Jump Jet Crows of Blackheath.

Cue renditions of When I See An Elephant Fly…


Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

A little housekeeping note here, folks. I’ve been talking with various people recently who have admitted that they sign themselves ‘Anonymous’ not because they particularly want to be unknown, but because there doesn’t seem to be another option outside joining Blogger.

I thought I’d just point out there is another option – the Name/URL button. Now I know this implies that you need to put a website there, but you don’t. If you click that button you can use any name you like (and I don’t care how ridiculous the name you choose is…the funnier the better, IMHO) and leave the URL space blank.

Or you can stay anonymous. It’s me, really. I just like to know who I’m speaking with – even if it’s only nicknames. It makes me feel all warm inside…

The First One’s Always Free…

Monday, February 25th, 2008

Folks, you may have noticed I didn’t post this weekend. There is a reason for that.

Some friends who have my well being at heart began to quietly mention that perhaps my topics of conversation were becoming – well, a bit one-dimensional. Whatever subject they happened to be talking about, I would pipe up with “That’s interesting. You know in Greenwich they’ve got a…” or “Back in 1786 there was a guy in Greenwich who…” or “I know a firm in Greenwich that does that…”

It started innocently enough. A livejournal account that I’d update on an occasional basis. I never thought I’d actually get replies – I intended to just burble to the ether. I didn’t inhale.

It’s easy to slip though.

I told them I could give up any time I wanted. I hardly noticed that my bedside table was beginning to become covered in the kind of paraphernalia only associated with hardcore usage. Obscure volumes about Greenwich. Lecture notes from 80 year-old talks about Greenwich. Co-ordinates for long-lost Greenwich plaques. My diary had been bowdlerised to take in Greenwich events. My idea of getting away from it all was looking at various Greenwich’s around the world as possible holiday destinations.

There was nothing for it. I had to go cold turkey. Just for one weekend. To prove that I really could give it up if I wanted to. The computer didn’t go on at all on Saturday. On Sunday it only went on to yield the address (in Hackney) of a party.

I can do it. If I want to. But I don’t.

So now I’m mainlining again. Greenwich should be reclassified.

Congratulations, Mr Phantom. It’s a Blog!

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Folks, I’m happy to announce the arrival of several bouncing new pages on the blog. The wonderful Phantom Webmaster has now linked them all up and given the front page a nice new (and possibly familiar) Phantom Image, all ready for Spring.

There are five new pages:

1)An annotated links section – non-exhaustive – I don’t list every site I like or use. I’ll get round to it at some point.

2) FAQs – where I try to answer some of the things I get asked most frequently about Greenwich or the way the site works.

3)The Phantom’s Little Black Book – Trusted Tradespeople as used by myself, my friends or Phantom regulars.

4) The Phantom Photo Album – which will actually have some pics on it as soon as I’ve worked out how to use it.

5) Parish News. Occasional announcements and events I think look interesting. Again – non-exhaustive – and even now, I’m warning, probably not as frequently updated as it should be.

Let me know what you think of the new bits. If you have any suggestions or questions, do let me know

A Good Place to Re-locate?

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

Julia asks:

I currently reside in the U.S. My family will relocate to the UK in the summer and have found GMV as one of our options. I have two small children 3 and 5 years of age. Since my husband will be working in central London, this seemed like an option since school, transportation, and shopping is within walking distance? Would we need a car?

After calling the school in Millennium I was told that there may not be space for my children for the September term. Is there any other areas in Greenwich you could recommend that is near some good primary and nursery care? And besides that would you say it would be a good place to raise small children? Any comments or recommendations regarding my questions or perhaps even other areas that may work for my family would be much appreciated.

The Phantom replies:

Welcome (perhaps) to Greenwich!

Would you need a car. Hmm. I’d say probably not. GMV is stuck out on a limb a bit, but it’s on many bus routes and about a ten minute walk to North Greenwich Tube Jubilee Line. It’s about a ten minute walk to the nearest supermarket too (there are two within easy walking distance from GMV – at one there’s an electrical store and a big DIY shed as well as Sainsburys; over at the ASDA (another supermarket) there’s a TK Max, Boots the Chemist, some clothing stores, an HMV, Office World. pet superstore and a stationers.)

You’d have a pretty sad life if you just stuck to those places though – they’re not all that nice, just useful. There are buses to Blackheath (a lovely little village, with a Farmers Market on a Sunday and lots of nice eateries, and to Greenwich which – well – you know all about Greenwich, I’m sure. If not, a trawl through this blog should help there…

I heard there’s a car sharing scheme on the peninusla but I don’t know anything about it.

The best primary school in the area is Halstow Road School, or so my next door neighbour tells me (people with young families may disagree with me there, of course.) I’m sure I read somewhere that it’s in the top 100 in Britain, I believe, but even if I have that wrong, competition is fierce. Some people move into the catchment area just to get their children into the school. It’s about a ten-fifteen minute walk from GMV, but check to see if you would ‘count’ if you lived there. Houses in the Halstow Road catchment area are a bit more expensive than GMV, but they tend to have gardens and more space. Obviously that area is FULL of young families.

There is a Steiner School in Westcombe Park, just up the hill from East Greenwich (Westcombe Park or Maze Hill railway stations) and I’ve heard good things about the General Wolfe School in West Greenwich, (loads of stations, LR and buses) though the housing stock tends to be much more expensive (and very dinky indeed…) You will find a lot of young families there too.

Families are growing in GMV, but because the housing units tend to be smaller, there is less room for spreading out. It’s reasonably safe though, and the eco park, views of the river and comparitively large amounts of green open spaces mean there’s somewhere to play.

Is it a good area to bring up children? I’ll have to open that one up to the floor!

Squeaky-Clean Phantom

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Showing off a little here, guys. I’ve been invited to be immortalised by the British Library’s web-archiving scheme – which seems pretty cool to me. It means that they take periodic ‘snapshots’ of the blog to save for the future.

Thing is, I have to sign (well, anonymously-sign, which I am surprised but pleased is allowed) a document to say that I either own copyright or have cleared copyright for stuff I use on the site. Most of this is easy – I write the copy and take the pictures, but I’ve been going through old posts removing images that might even whiff of ‘copyright-iffy’ and checking with odd people whose work I’ve used to make sure they’re ok with being associated with me in the archive (for example ScaredOfChives’s one-off piece about the Arsenal Football Club.) If I’ve missed anything do let me know.

In the meanwhile, in the future, if you send something to me, I will assume I can use it in the blog unless you say it’s just for my eyes, in which case I will, of course respect your wishes.

Sorry for the dull post. It was supposed to be a “Whoo-hoo! I’m going to be in the British Library!” entry and ended up being a really tedious downer about copyright…


LiveJournal Syndication

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Sarah asks on another thread:

Just wondering, is there a way to subscribe to your feed back on Livejournal, so I can read it on my Friends page?

The Phantom replies:

The Phantom Webmaster has kindly set up a feed for Livejournal people, which I thought I’d share – the following means nothing to me, but I assume that if you’re an LJ regular you will know what it is:

Username: Phantomg

Finding Old Posts

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

Anonymous has just said something about having to reply before posts fall off the bottom of the page, which has made me think that I ought to just point out that you can always find anything that’s on this blog – even after its “best before” date.

There are three basic ways (until I manage to find a better way of indexing everything)

1. The least useful way – if you know which month it was posted, look down the side bar for that particular month. A pain in the backside, but sometimes yields results.

2. A so-so method. Look at the list of labels at the top of the page and try to second-guess which one (or ones) I will have listed your subject under, click on that label and scroll down. I’m often a bit arbitrary about labels though and it can be a bit of a slog, especially if there are a few dozen posts about, say, restaurants.

3. The best method. Use the Google search box at the top of the page. Its default is “search within this blog” so if you’re looking for a specific thing – say a particular restaurant, you can type it in and hit ‘search.’ And yes. The Phantom Webmaster has apologised for the bad pun at the top of the results page.


Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Sorry about this folks – this is an annoying widget that will go once my Technorati Profile is live…

Apparently I rank 360,865th in whatever system Technorati uses. Cool. I have no idea how they work it out. I expected to be at least in the millions. Of course that could just be in Greenwich blog rankings…

Nah. They must have it wrong. But thank you to my two fans who have tipped me a wink there already. Presumably you know more about how this all works than me. Cheersies to the pair of you – I’m still trying to work out how to even find your respective blogs. Just call me the Phantom Luddite.

Quick question about ads

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

Folks – Anonymous just mentioned the ads:

What’s happened to the adverts? I used to click on the estate agents as a kind of thank-you, but have just realised they’re not there anymore?

First of all – thanks very much for the clicks – I’m not allowed to ask you to do it – but since you do – well – who am I to complain? Sometimes I can even afford a cup of tea and a bun on the fat profits…

But here’s my question. I haven’t stopped them – and they’re still appearing on my version – but I know it’s not necessarily the version you see. Can you still see them?

Just to reassure you – I don’t get any say whatsoever in what ads go down the side of the blog – so I have absolutely no necessity to suck-up to any advertisers – I could be being very rude about something that’s got an ad for it on the same page – that’s the chance they take. If I’m nice about somewhere it’s because I genuinely like it. This is an Advertorial-Free Zone…