Friday, October 23, 2009

Thames Drilling Rig

Autumnal sun, yellows orange and greens abound on the trees around the Thames path to the West of the North side of Vauxhall Bridge making the final stretch of the daily commute to the office actully quite enjoyable. The atmosphere is especially attractive when the tide is in and the Thames is still flowing backwards upstream as a result.

A novel feature of late is a large brilliant red drilling rig situated in the river just upstream of the MI5/6 building. The rig seems packed with many wonders of modern science incuding a number of aerials and satellite dishes etc. For a time its presence made for much speculation as to its purpose. An acquatic extension for the MI5 spies to practice upon perhaps; the government searchingfor oil maybe to make a start on paying down the huge national debt they have created but the reality turned out to be a more prosaic machine for facilitating the buiding of systems to reduce outfalls into the river during heavy rainstorms. Still James Bond always used to spin a yarn about his being an import/export line of business so who knows.

I'll try to post a picture later.

Hopefully the picture has downloaded. The current location of the drill is about a mile upstream of the Houses of Parliament Near to the Thames footpath at Rivermill.
EDIT Current 25th October 2009 view is now posted above


  1. Your post made me laugh, Jerry. I didn't realise the MI5/MI6 building was now common knowledge, although I seem to remember that the director of one or other of these venerable institutions was "outed" a few years back? Would this be where George Smiley used to hang out?
    Is your daily commute by car or by train? If the latter, I suppose Waterloo is your terminus. I well remember the feeling of dread as I caught the train to Egham at the beginning of each term!

  2. Greetings Barnaby. Egham Station still exists in the SW Trains network. The Greenline coach that used to take me to Beaumont no longer serves Old Windsor as I think it has long since been diverted to Heathrow.

    The daily commuting ritual usually comprises a mile walk along the railway footpath to the local station; SWTrain to Vauxhall; a mile walk from there over Vauxhall Bridge and along the river foothpath. The Riverwalk is short but a good time/place for reflection.

    Do you still work at a day job - if so I can imagine that your travelling through some idyllic French landscape

  3. Goodness, what time do you get up in the morning?! In any case, it sounds like a nice and varied itinerary. Which of the three legs do you prefer?
    I "retired" about a month ago but had been working from home for the last 15 years. As a matter of fact, the countryside around here is not at all idyllic - flat and featureless - but we're within 30 minutes of Beaune and Nuits St Georges.
    When we were living in Dijon, I used to cycle in to work everyday along the Burgundy Canal.
    PS. Many congratulations on your 10k performance. I'm pretty sure that I couldn't do that now...


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