Thursday, 22 May 2014

A London Transport Diesel-engined Ninety-seven horse-power Omnibus!

While travelling on a No 38 bus towards Cambridge Circus I sat behind a man with a parrot on his shoulder. Or is it a parrot with a man stuck under its claw. The eccentricity of the situation reminded me of this song

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

London's skyline

This photograph was taken from Greenwich Park looking west towards the City of London. At first sight all looks perfectly normal. The Shard is to the left, in South London, St Paul’s is central with the ugly Willkie Talkie building (or ‘fry scrapper’ as it is known due to its ability to melt cars with a ‘death ray’ produced by its curved windows) both being in the City. Behind this are the 'Cheese Grater' and the 'Gherkin'. I'm sure architects only erect large buildings to fulfil their comedic ingenuity on a nickname.

The scene changes in close up. A plague of cranes (I’m sure that’s the collective noun) seems to have descended on the city as if in a Sci-Fi movie. Strangely they are all pointing in the same direction as if drawn by a mysterious grand master calling the cranes to observe a masonic ritual. 

London is either in need of major repair, in the process of rebuilding itself or Boris Johnson has bought a job lot of cranes.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014



\ WON-der-luhst \  , noun;
 A strong, innate desire to rove or travel about.

Quotes: In the first few seconds an aching sadness wrenched his heart, but it soon gave way to a feeling of sweet disquiet, the excitement of gypsy wanderlust .
-- Mikhail Bulgakov, translated by Diana Burgin and Katherine Tiernan O'Connor, The Master and Margarita , 1967

A person susceptible to " wanderlust " is not so much addicted to movement as committed to transformation.
-- Forward by Pico Iyer, "Why We Travel," Wanderlust , 2000

Origin: Wanderlust  is a German loanword that translates literally to "wander desire." It entered English in the early 1900s.

Saturday, 3 May 2014


Word of the Day


\ SAL-ee \  , noun;
1. An excursion or trip, usually off the main course.
2. A sortie of troops from a besieged place upon an enemy.
3. A sudden rushing forth or activity.

1. To make a sally, as a body of troops from a besieged place.
2. To set out on a side trip or excursion.
3. To set out briskly or energetically.
4. (of things) to issue forth.

Quotes: Don Quixote happened to take the same road he'd followed on his first sally , across the plain on Montiel, with less discomfort than before, because it was early morning and the sun, being low, didn't bother them.
-- Miguel de Cervantes, translated by John Rutherford, Don Quixote , 1605

He himself never wears jewels and as a matter of fact does not even carry money, borrowing a dollar from his doorman when he makes a sally  from his office.
-- Herbert Brean, "Golconda on E. 51st," Life , 1952

Sally  comes from the Latin salÄ«re  meaning "to leap" by way of the Middle French saillie , which means "attack." It entered English in the mid-1500s.