Monthly Archives: December 2010

The 365-Days-A-Year Blog

Despite travelling to a bunch of fairly wi-fi unfriendly places last year (it was easier to get online in Oman than in Italy) I managed to blog an article every day. I did this by preparing non-time sensitive pieces in advance and inserting them around more topical articles. It’s a lot of work, as it […]

Old London Not So Drab Shock

A great photograph surfaces via the postcard archives of London, showing Piccadilly Circus in 1963, after the austerity of the fifties, before London had yet started to swing. What surprises me is the vividity of the circus-like colours (forced, obviously, but still very jolly – click to enlarge). I also like the way in which […]

English Humour (Old School)

This sketch received instant classic status over Christmas. For non-English viewers, the Two Ronnies were a Christmas staple, two sprightly older men performing silly patter songs and skits largely based around wordplay. Then one of the Ronnies died, and that was that until this year, when the surviving Ronnie reappeared in a new show with […]

How Would London Have Coped With This?

This is a time-lapse sequence showing a blizzard in New Jersey which eventually reached 32 inches. London would have come to a standstill just after the first inch. (Thanks to Michele for spotting it)

Impress Your London Visitor In Just One Day

Most of my visitors arrive jetlagged, queue for London Eye tickets, have their bags stolen in Covent Garden and snooze through ‘Hairspray’, so they don’t always see the best side of London. If you have someone staying from overseas this winter, you can impress them even if they’ve been here before by taking them to […]

Where Fiction & Reality Blur

I’ve been catching up on lots of movies over this freezing, snowed-in Christmas period, and one of the most intriguing is Banksy’s hilarious ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’, a documentary that purports to be about talentless Thierry Guetta, an ADD French vintage clothing store king who becomes the documentarist to the nascent guerilla street-art group, […]

Re:View – ‘127 Hours’

If it wasn’t for James Franco and director Danny Boyle, this true story of Aron Ralston, the climber who got his arm stuck between ‘a rock and a hard place’ (the title of his inspirational memoir) would simply have become another of the ‘Trapped’ sub-genre of thrillers like ‘Open Water’, ‘Frozen’ and the like. Boyle’s […]

Restoring The Canals

London’s Regents Canal is 8.5 miles long, has 13 locks, 7 basins, 50 bridges and 2 tunnels. It was opened on August 1st 1820, and horses pulled barges along it, making deliveries in London until the railways took over. The riverside people regarded the boat people as ‘water gypsies’, but were friends with the bargees […]

Re:View – ‘Black Swan’

Yes, this psychological-horror ballet drama is being talked about as an Oscar winner. Natalie Portman is incredible in it. The ‘You Are There’ camerawork which physically hurls you into a production of Swan Lake is immersive. And I thought it was ludicrous. Darren Aronofsky is a director committed to actors’ vehicles, and this is virtually […]

Re:View – ‘Monsters’

The only bad thing about ‘Monsters’ is the bland title, which might keep audiences away, and that would be a shame because the film is a genuine game-changer, as radical to the new SF as ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ was to horror. There’s not much here for gorehounds and SF action geeks, but you […]