Sunday, 30 March 2014

Ian Fleming

16 Victoria Square is where Ian Fleming lived from March 1953. It’s here, just a few hundred yards from Buckingham Palace,  that the great man wrote the Bond series, between drinking Martinis and smoking cigarettes. 

Dukes Hotel in Mayfair is where Fleming first heard the line “shaken not stirred”. Legend has it that both Sean Connery and Pierce Brosnan celebrated landing the Bond role at the bar of the Dukes Hotel.


Sunday, 16 March 2014

Tony Benn. Maximum respect

After this was filmed Tony Benn wrote in the Gaurdian

"That should be the end of a simple story of an old man being completely fooled by a comedian in a hoax interview – but there was a sequel which showed it all in a very different light.
Lots of young people came up to me in the street, or wrote in to say how much they had enjoyed the programme and how glad they were that I had stood up to him
... In fact, the programmes were exactly what Channel 4 had said they would be - a chance to present politics to young people. Ali G is a very clever man, and I am beginning to wonder if that was what he actually intended to do. If so, perhaps he can help explain New Labour by interviewing the prime minister about the Third Way."

Sunday, 9 March 2014

London Heathrow Approach Time-Lapse

Time lapse film of planes coming into land at London Heathrow Airport. Interesting to see how many seem to be blown slightly off course as they approach the runway.

Thursday, 6 March 2014


Word of the Day for Thursday, March 6, 2014

wayfarer \WEY-fair-er\, noun:

a traveler, especially on foot.

But as you passed along these horrible records, in an hour's time destined to be obliterated by the feet of thousands and thousands of wayfarers, you were not left unassailed by the clamorous petitions of the more urgent applicants for charity.
-- Herman Melville, Redburn: His First Voyage, 1849 is not inconceivable that, for all his sorrowful thoughts, our botanist, with his trained observation, his habit of looking at little things upon the ground, would be the one to see and pick up the coin that has fallen from some wayfarer's pocket.
-- H. G. Wells, A Modern Utopia, 1905

Wayfarer is the modern form of the Middle English weyfarere. It's been used in English since the 1400s.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

The Serpentine

The Serpentine is a 28 acre lake in Hyde Park. It was added to the park in 1720 by Queen Caroline, wife of George II to add recreational activities to the park. It had been used as a hunting forest by Henry VIII in 16th century and among other things a location for settling differences. It’s where the Duke of Hamilton and Lord Mohun killed each other in a dual in 1712. The Duke was the ambassador to Paris while Lord Mohun was regarded as being of ‘the basest sort’ (whatever that is). If only such distinguished public figures could resolve their disputes like that nowadays.

From some angles the Serpentine seems to have wiped the London skyline from view. You could almost be in the countryside.

There are two Serpentine Galleries in the park with one having the newly constructed Magazine Restaurant grafted onto the side of it. The design is by controversial architect Zaha Hadid and created a lot of fuss during its design and construction. I think it looks good and more to the point it works well as a restaurant, making good use of the space and natural daylight.

The other Serpentine Gallery is famous for the annual Serpentine Pavilion construction it hosts each year. Close by is ‘Rock On Top of Another Rock’ an installation by Fischi & Weiss.