Monthly Archives: December 2012

A Good West End Show? The Odds Are Against You.

Geographically, London is a unique city. Because of fire, plague and war it has been continually rebuilt, and has gradually moved from East to West. And because it has always had so many residents right at its centre, each zone kept a distinct feel well into postwar years. Soho had a high population of council […]

‘Of A Certain Age’: The Answers

Okay teams, let’s take a look at the answers to what I thought was a ridiculously easy quiz – apparently not. Agatha – ‘Hancock’ is not a day of the week. Mr Groves? No, don’t look at your friend, I’m talking to you – poor score! Nell, take a bow for doing the days and […]

Quiz: How To Tell If You’re ‘Of A Certain Age’

Every now and again it strikes home that I now live in a city where those born here are in a minority – at dinner the other night I realised I was the only born Londoner – indeed, born Englishman – around a very large table. It doesn’t remotely bother me – why should it? […]

How To Conduct A Proper Pub Crawl

Yesterday my friend Suzi Feay conducted a superb pub crawl. Although she had selected a shortlist of pubs chosen for their literary connections, starting with The Coal Hole (Gilbert & Sullivan) and The Edgar Wallace, she adapted this and was able to avoid Ye Old Cheshire Cheese (Boswell, Johnson et al, too obvious) and add […]

2012: Top Five Highs, Top Five Lows

THE HIGHS 1. Three words: Best. Olympics. Ever. For Mo Farah and The Bolt giving us the silliest, most imitated gestures of the games, for The Queen parachuting in (she really did that, you know) and everything else in between. We had our doubts after seeing Wolf Olins’ crappy logo and rubbish mascots, but it did […]

A Merry Christmas From Mr Bryant & Mr May

On the first slay of Christmas, Santa brings you…a new short short story from the decrepit duo – read it here!

Thames Turns Into Giant Bathtub

This thing went down the Thames yesterday. So the Thames became a giant bathtub. I remember there was once a small nightclub next to The Fridge, the famous Brixton club, called The Freezer. Then they opened a lounge bar called The Oven. A poster for the bar read: ‘Visit The Oven. It’s next to The […]

Why Don’t Crime Novels Reflect The New London?

The new census data about Britain is revealing. Christians are down by 13% to 59%, people with no religion are up to 25%, the white population is down 5 points to 85%, whites in London are down to 59%, 1 in 3 Londoners are born abroad, the Muslim population is up to nearly 5%, property […]

Unfashionable London

Articles have been running in the London press about the billionaires flooding into London to take advantage of our lax house purchasing system – the result being that some of the most beautiful squares in the city are now filled with empty houses. The billionaires don’t really see London when they’re here, and certainly don’t […]

How Did London Take It?

By now I imagine every Londoner who’s remotely interested in the subject has seen the extraordinary website ‘Bomb Sight’, which maps all the bombs that fell on London during the Blitz. It seems everyone who lived through it has a story about a bomb falling near them; a neighbour or relative who heard something overhead […]