Is Holborn Becoming The New Shoreditch?

Untitled courtyard

My mother and father both worked in High Holborn, the odd no-man’s-land between New Oxford Street and Gray’s Inn Road (roughly speaking; the boundaries were changed in 1994). It was filled with sturdy, wealthy insurance offices, law firms, accountancy, marine and travel companies, and the head offices of the Empire’s manufacturing outlets. It’s a pretty […]

No Tide? No Problem!


A lot of Londoners forget that we live on a network of canals (not me; my flat is surrounded by them) but it’s nice to be reminded by this, which comes via the lovely Londonist and YouTube – it was produced by, ahem, a ‘well-known drinks company’. He’s clearly mad, although I’m assuming the stunts […]

Visit London, But Avoid This Trap

Mousetrap play at 60

The play is set in a fantasy world of mock-tudor wood-paneling, an England that I’ve never seen. Each of the eight actors in it have to sign up for a minimum of 47 weeks. One says that during quiet performances you can hear the play creak. That’s hardly surprising; ‘The Mousetrap’ opened in the West End […]

The Link Between Bram Stoker, Henry James & Enid Blyton


It’s time to rediscover more parts of London I’ve forgotten; Some north London towns have changed very little because they’re awkward to reach by public transport, like Crouch End, Stoke Newington and Muswell Hill, where the land was too hilly for underground trains. But there’s a good change that if you live there, or in […]

My Secret London Isn’t Secret At All


In my rediscovery of London, I’m learning something new every day. A visit to the beautiful new Foyles bookshop yesterday revealed a vast new raft of London books on their way for Christmas, with looks at the river, new buildings, gardens, parks, art galleries,  different areas, culture, fashion, a couple of books on underground photography […]

Tricks & Treats @ Forbidden Planet


Just a reminder that this Saturday (Oct 11th) at 3pm in Forbidden Planet I’ll be signing copies of ‘Nyctophobia’, and on Sat Oct 25th there’ll be a mass/mess signing of horror and genre literature at the same venue with the following authors confirmed. It’ll be a nightmare but we’ll probably all go to the pub […]

Re:View – ‘Mr. Turner’


Anyone who has worked extensively with artists will notice a paradox; you can rarely see the art inside of them, for who they are is not what they produce. Mike Leigh makes the case strongly in his biography of William Turner, the Victorian artist who became the master of light on canvas at a time […]

Rediscovering London 1: Soho


Recently I mentioned that the more I traveled the less I found comparably pleasing in London, from obvious complaints (litter and dirt, public advertising, poor pedestrianisation) to larger, less solvable problems (endless privatisation, sky-high rents, overcharging and overcrowding). I’ve been bugged most of all by the half-hearted approach to problem solving; for example an initiative […]

London: More To Discover?


I’ve always joked that London is an onion; break through one layer and there’s another beneath, and another. It’s provided a rich seam for me with the Bryant & May books, but also with other volumes from ‘Soho Black’ to ‘Disturbia’. One of the problems you face when researching London is that books are not […]

How To Avoid Becoming Opinionated


                              There was a time when I used to go to dinners and listen to elderly writers holding court. Now, there’s a time for respecting lifetimes of experience and wisdom, but these events weren’t like that. They mostly consisted of listening […]