Location: London


I was walking through Bloomsbury a few months back and thought I’d gone mad. As a hackney carriage clip-clopped past and some rhubarbing coachmen in brown bowlers crossed the road I looked at my watch and thought ‘Oh no, I’ve accidentally gone back 100 years again. I hate it when that happens.’ It turned out […]

The Walled City Of London


I’m plotting a fantasy novel – don’t laugh, it’ll be another of my ‘One Off’ books to sit beside my crime novels – and was reminding myself about the early days of London. It’s easy to forget that our 2000 year+ city was as much of a walled city as any in Spain, Tunisia or […]

The Full English


One of the very few things I liked about living in Los Angeles were the breakfasts, vast profligate platefuls in Carmen Miranda colours, sometimes also sporting bits of fruit. Before I went there I had never heard of a three egg omelette, let alone an egg-white one (hey, if you’ve that big a cholesterol problem, […]

Glorious London!


We rarely see our cities through the eyes of others. While I was away a good friend from Barcelona stayed here in London, and after heading home her praise for the city was fulsome. It helped that the spring weather was glorious, but she found the sheer choice of activities overwhelming, citing the theatre, the […]

London Endures

Westminster rain

The London Mayor Sadiq Khan is right; terror attacks are part and parcel of living in a big city and you have to be vigilant to combat the dangers. Donald Trump Jr  just launched an attack of his own on Kahn (on Twitter, this presidency’s preferred mode of communication for the conducting of ill-informed dialogue). Kahn […]

The Bad Boys Are Back


There’s a running gag in the Bryant & May books about Bryant and Gilbert & Sullivan that reaches its head in the the new novel out next week, ‘Wild Chamber’. I’m drawn to partnerships, the push and pull of people who can’t live with or without each other, and whatever one thinks of their music, […]

‘London. It Begins With Me And Ends With Me.’


That’s a quote I used from an anonymous teenager who was quite rightly pointing out that we each only get to see our own slice of a place in a particular time. The buildings remain in one form or another and become fascinating to us because we know they have seen other eras. As I […]

Splashing Out In London


It’s easy to forget that England is a temperate zone, and so London, at its centre, gets no real extremes of weather. You can get sunburnt in Devon and see snow in Scotland but most of us are within a steady range of temperature. None of which explains our passion for open-air swimming. London has […]

Seeing London Through Someone Else’s Eyes


I have European guests staying with me at the moment, and each day they set off across the city to experience it before returning and describing what they saw. Of course it’s spring so they’re getting four seasons in one day, which is driving them mad, but it’s interesting to note what else they love […]

Living In ‘The London Bubble’ Means…

A giant soap bubble floats past the Houses of Parliament in central London October 29, 2012.  REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth (BRITAIN - Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS CITYSPACE)

*uses West Country accent* ‘So what’s this ‘London Bubble’ we’ve been reading so much about then?’ It’s a state of mind that clouds us in the capital and stops us from thinking properly. It’s the thing we enter when we open the Evening Standard property pages, look at an article praising a stack of minuscule […]