Saturday, 29 December 2012


apopemptic \ap-uh-PEMP-tik\, adjective:

1. Pertaining to leave-taking or departing; valedictory.

The others followed suit and, politely apopemptic, vanished into the night.

-- Sōseki Natsume, Aiko Ito, Graeme Wilson, I Am a Cat

Rising to prominence in the middle 1700s, apopemptic derives from the Greek apopemptikós, pertaining to 'sending away.'

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Lexington Street

Lexington Street is a part of Soho that people seem to overlook. Geographically it feels more ‘West End’ than Soho being so close to Carnaby Street, the Palladium Theatre and the big stores.  Despite this it can seem more authentic, more laid back with bars and restaurants seemingly unchanged for years giving a glimpse of pre 50’s Soho.

This small patch contains the excellent Andrew Edmunds, a one room up, one room down restaurant in a run down, bohemian Georgian townhouse. It also includes Aurora and the recently opened Café Gourmand.

The Café Gourmand menu offers only a small selection but the food is wholesome and authentically French. The café runs a ‘bring your own’ drink policy charging a small corkage fee. The place is well worth a visit.

The John Snow pub is named after the father of modern epidemiology. He is best known as the physician that traced a cholera outbreak to a Soho Square water pump in 1854. A replica pump has been placed opposite the pub as a memorial. I would have thought having a pub named after you would be the ultimate honour.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012


A plague of Santa's. I'm sure that's not right. A herd, a sleigh. Who knows?

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Soviet Art - Saatchi Gallery

visited the Saatchi Gallery in the Kings Road to see an exhibition on Russian Art. Split into two, the lower galleries feature work in the “Gaiety is the most outstanding feature of the Soviet Union: New Art from Russia” exhibits. The title could not be further from the truth. In fact I’d be surprised if the word ‘gaiety’ had ever passed a Russians lips on the evidence of this exhibition. The works featured photography of hard, beaten and battered Soviets. Criminals covered in homemade tattoos that contained hidden messages,gang insignia and symbols of their crimes. Other pictures featured destitute Russians exposing themselves in the freezing snow, each with a stoned, inebriated look on their rugged faces giving just a tiny clue to the extreme lives they must lead. 

The photography of Vikenti Nilin was very interesting. It featured men and women perched on the edge of windowsills and balconies. Not sitting comfortably but dangling as if about to fall while staring emotionless into the abyss.  The large, black and white photography was fascinating while being uncomfortable to view.

Valery Koshlyakov
 “Breaking The Ice: Moscow Art 1960-80s” was in the upper galleries. This was perhaps more traditional and had the feel of work that is over thirty years old.  Slightly Pop Art’ish with loads of western influences. As always with a Saatchi show there is work to like and work to dislike but it is never boring.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

China Town

Gerrard Street in Soho is home to London’s China Town. 

In 1677, Lord Gerrard gave permission for the area, then a military training ground, to be developed. Houses were built and the development spread into what we now know as Soho. It soon became a haven for immigrants including French Huguenots, Italians and Maltese. The Chinese community arrived in the 1950’s after their Limehouse homes had been destroyed during the blitz. The area already had a vibrant nightlife and was home to the notorious ‘43’ Club, whose owner Kate Meyrick was jailed five times before the club was finally closed. Ronnie Scott opened his first jazz club in the basement at number 39.

By the 1960’s the area was firmly established as the China Town we now know with Chinese supermarkets and authentic Chinese restaurants.

"I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand, 
walking through the streets of Soho in the rain. 
He was looking for the place called Lee Ho Fook's, 
going to get a big dish of beef chow mein" 

Werewolves of London - Waren Zevon

Saturday, 8 December 2012

First Tunnels under the Thames

1.       Thames Tunnel, Wapping to Rotherhithe – 1843
2.       Tower Subway, Tower Hill to Vine Lane – 1870
3.       Northern Line Tunnels, City Branch – 1890
4.       Blackwall Tunnel, Poplar to Greenwich – 1897
5.       Waterloo & City Line Tunnels – 1898
6.       Northern Line Tunnels, Bank Branch – 1900
7.       Bakerloo Line Tunnels – 1906
8.       Rotherhithe Tunnel, Limehouse to Rotherhithe – 1908
9.       Woolwich Foot Tunnel, North Woolwich to Woolwich – 1912
10.   Northern Line Tunnels, Charring Cross Branch – 1926

Source – Top Ten of London – Alexander Ash.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Anthony Gormley

White Cube, Bermondsey Street

‘Model’ by Anthony Gormley is the current exhibition on show at the White Cube Gallery in Bermondsey. The smaller galleries show a series of working models while the central corridor seems littered with discarded iron block sculptures. It’s not until you reach South Gallery II that it all starts to make sense. The gallery contains a huge 100 ton, sheet metal set of cubes that represent the human form. Visitors can enter the sculpture, via the foot, only after having signed a disclaimer that they will not hold the gallery responsible should they be injured while inside the labyrinth of inter connected metal chambers. Some are dark and can only be entered by feeling your way along the solid metal structure, while others are spacious and open to the gallery lighting. The experience is meant to represent the journey through a body and it certainly is an experience I would recommend.

Saturday, 1 December 2012


trundle \TRUHN-dl\, verb:
To move or walk with a rolling gait.

They get her into a wheelbarrow and trundle her all over town.

-- Alice Munroe, Meneseteung

Fling leaflets down basements; expose them in stalls; trundle them along streets on barrows to be sold for a penny or given away.

-- Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own: Three Guineas

Trundle, first used in the 1500s, may originate from the Old English trendel, "ring or disk," which is also the root of the modern English trend.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Adore and Endure each other

Olek In London from olek on Vimeo.

Crocheted artwork on the streets of London. The four large knitted pieces quote Martin Luther King Jnr’s famous letter, written while in an Alabama jail in 1963 “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”