Wednesday, 24 February 2010

London skyline

Ever wondered what the London skyline would look like if it included the Eiffel Tower? Click here to find out

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Sunday, 21 February 2010

Ghostsign # 2

Saw this ghostsign in Lewisham. “Jays” £40 worth of furniture for just 4’ (shillings). I didn’t realise that there was any interest in this type of thing until I was contacted by Sam Roberts. The excellent Ghostsigns site is looking for more examples. Get involved.
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Friday, 19 February 2010

Dirty Water

Watching Jay-Z and Alicia Keys perform the great ‘Empire State of Mind’ at the Brits made me wonder why there are no good, modern songs about London. Ok, "London’s Calling" by the Clash but the fact that London is drowning and Joe Strummer lives by the river is hardly inspirational.

Ian Dury got close as did Dr Feelgood but they are more Essex than London (Billericay & Canvey Island). My own favourite is Dirty Water by The Inmates, which is a cover of the Standells song about Boston so doesn’t really qualify

I'm gonna tell you a story
I'm gonna tell you about my town
I'm gonna tell you a story
And, it's all about my town

Yeah, down by the river
Down by the banks of the river Thames
That's where you'll find me
Along with lovers, fuggers, and thieves
Well I love that dirty water

Oh, London, you're my home
Because I love that dirty water
Oh, oh, London, you're my home
Well, I love that dirty water,

Did you know...............It takes 61 seconds to open Tower Bridge, which opens approximatly 1,000 times a year

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Saturday, 6 February 2010


perambulate \puh-RAM-byuh-layt\, intransitive verb:

1. To walk about; to roam; to stroll; as, "he perambulated in the park."

transitive verb:

1. To walk through or over.
2. To travel over for the purpose of surveying or inspecting.

At Syon, we perambulate a succession of rooms of the greatest magnificence, beginning with the entrance hall, with an apse of columns -- characteristic of Adam, all dazzling whiteness.
-- A. L. Rowse, "At Home with History in London", New York Times, January 19, 1986

Perambulate comes from Latin per-, "through" + ambulare, "to walk." The noun form is perambulation.

A fore ye go

One of the aims of this blog is to record parts of London before they disappear. Not just the great and the good but the odd and unusual. The stuff that seems to appear overnight and is then gone within a few weeks never to return. A good example is the cardboard tube installation that suddenly materialized at the back of the Festival Hall.
Not fish nor fowl, not for shelter or warmth. This 22 metre, short-lived structure was created by Japanese architect and designer Shigeru Ban. Made from cardboard tubes and called the Paper Tower it stood proudly on the South Bank but vanished just as Londoners were getting used to it.

The flip side to this is that a real gem has been discovered in Oxford Street due to the demolition of several buildings that included the much loved Astoria. While Transport for London try to make everyone’s life as miserable as possible during the construction of the Crosslink Station, at the junction with Tottenham Court Road, a fantastic old sign has come into view.
Like a ghost from the past the sign "Veglio & Co Cafe, Established in 1854" has suddenly appeared.

Another 'Ghost Sign' can be found in Rathone Street (or should that be Upper Rathbone Place?). It looks as though the man charged with displaying the new sign could not bring himself to cover the old one.
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