The Changeless Lives Of London Buildings


When we think about the multiple uses that buildings in London have over the years, it’s hard not to believe in psychogeography, the theory that land retains resonances from times past. But I think the reason for some changeless buildings lies less in the spirit than in the patterns of the land, and you could […]

Falling Back In Love With London Part Three


If you really want your faith restored in London, autumn and winter are the seasons for you. We don’t do outdoors well; this isn’t Auckland. If you’re looking for sports, head for the coast in July. Here it’s about the arts, socialising, dining, creating, and autumn is a fine time to do it. The evenings […]

Raymond Kirkpatrick’s New Rules For London


In travels across London, one can’t help but notice how some things could be improved. Of course I’m far too polite to suggest changes so I invited one of Arthur Bryant’s contacts, the heavy metal-loving bear-like Professor of English, Raymond Kirkpatrick,  to be our guest speaker. Here are his top five bugbears;   1. Remember we aren’t children! […]

Falling Back In Love With London Part Two


After a summer spent working/ mucking about in different European countries I returned to London with a heavy heart, but was determined to learn to love this wet, grey, punishing city again. I’d hit some exhibitions and galleries, and now, as London takes its theatre very seriously, this was my next port of call; making […]

Why London’s Green Spaces Are Not All Equal


London remains the most verdant city of its size in the world. Its vast plane trees absorb C02 and every neighbourhood, no matter how small, has some kind of greenery in it. We have more open space than many in the countryside because much rural land is now in private hands. But London’s greenery is complicated; […]

Falling Back In Love With London


Everyone who takes London for a lover has an occasional falling-out with it. Several elements conspired to make me lose heart with my birth-city in the last two years; policies that allowed the creation of so many super-rich hot-spots at the expense of once lively neighbourhoods were matched by the destruction of my old stamping […]

Scotland Yard’s ‘Black Museum’ Of Crime Uncovered


These masks were worn by robbers, and make you realise just how far removed from fantasy real crime was. Once they were housed in what was known as the Black Museum. It comprised two back rooms in Scotland Yard and was filled with the artefacts of violent crime, to be shown only to police officers. […]

It’s Time To Relax Rules In Parks

Park dawn

It started with a row over the hoverboard – it’s this year’s must-have, a silent gyroscopic skateboard operated by minute movements in your toes that works like a Segway without the huge wheels and arms. It’s already becoming popular in Europe, where people are always looking for new ways to travel short distances without the […]

Mad Tales Of London No.1: The Berners Street House


This is an occasional series I’m starting to inspire you (and me!) about London, and to remind us that it can be as mad as an old man’s trousers. In 1810 the chap above, Theodore Hook, had a wager with a mate, Sam Beazley – that he could make any house in London the most […]

‘London’s Nightly Carnival’


London is not ‘the city that never sleeps’. It has an engine – the low hum of business – that awakes at around 5:30am, and goes to sleep again towards midnight. The timings have always been the same, although before the wars of the 20th century and the rationing of travel Londoners ate much later. […]