Monthly Archives: December 2010

Hidden London: Cabbies’ Cafes

There are supposed to be around 25,000 black cabs in London. There are supposed to be 25,000 streets within a six mile radius of Charing Cross Station. There are also 13 cabbies’ cafes dotted around London. There were once an awful lot more. The first one was built in 1875 to provide cabbies with somewhere […]

Re:View – ‘Devil’

The cursed hand of M Knight Shyamalan plants itself firmly across John Erick Dowdle’s short, sharp precinct movie in the first of what is intended to be a series of chillers called The Night Chronicles. Shyamalan says the series is born of a desire to tell stories, but on the evidence of his output, what […]

Ten Great Places To Eat In Central London

The French are upset, apparently. London has been voted a better gastronomic city than Paris, and even English cheese has come out ahead of French cheese. Personally I think Paris wins for ambience, as London restaurants often involve sitting in gloomy interiors. What I don’t like; restaurants for the Ladies Who Lunch (and don’t eat), […]

Please Miss, I’ve Finished.

Can I get down from the table now? I’ve just finished the new Bryant & May novel, and have rather surprised myself with the ending. I think you’ll be surprised too. Perhaps I should do the Stephen King thing of having a fag and a drink, but I don’t smoke and it’s too early for […]

Understanding Shakespeare

Probably the most consistent criticism I hear about Shakespeare from people I talk to, especially kids, is that the language is impossible to understand. To an extent I agree – if you only read the text it often seems to make little sense – and certainly the analogies and references prove hard work. But the […]

Thanks A Bunch, BT

Most nights there’s something different rotating on the vast circular screen at the top of the Post Office Tower, as I still like to think of it. I can see it from my kitchen and it looks very cool. Sadly, BT, not exactly known for its visionary sense of style, has decided not to reopen […]

The Gap Grows

As the huge internet hit ‘Gap Yah’ shows, the gap between the children of the upper middle classes and the rest of us is opening fast. This Christmas the West End seems to be filled with two types of students; young folks with nice clothes and strangulated vowels talking about skiing and Barbados, and normal […]

Re:View – ‘Never Let Me Go’

This is one of the new generation of SF movies that concentrate on character more than hardware, so that you could bracket it with ‘Moon’ and the underrated ‘Mr Nobody’ (see trailer on this site). Tommy (Andrew Garfield), Kathy (Carey Mulligan) and Ruth (Keira Knightly) grow up in an alternative-timeline 1950s-style boarding school where the […]

London’s Forgotten Abbey

After our family moved from Greenwich to Abbey Wood, I went exploring the bluebell-filled woods and came across a ruined abbey. I recently went back to find it exactly the same as in my childhood, just as deserted. Lesnes Abbey was founded by Richard de Luci, Chief Justiciar of England, in 1178 as an act […]

Thamesmead: London’s No-Go Zone

I was interested to read about Stella English, the winner of the show ‘The Apprentice’, who grew up on Thamesmead and still managed to land the £100,000 job. Thamesmead is London’s most notorious housing estate, home to some 50,000 people. In recent years it became known as the fraud capital of the UK because of […]