London

Autumn Schedule: London Insights

9

  As summer ends I’ll shortly be heading home and spending some time with something I need to catch up on: London. There are a few experiences in the city that I haven’t tried for a while, so I’ll be visiting institutions, tourist attractions and secret places to see what London in the Phoney War […]

The ‘Wild Chamber’ of London parks

Blackheath

Certain geographical factors determine our creative lives. When you travel around Figueres in Northern Spain you quickly see why Salvador Dali painted in ambers and ochres; it’s in the landscape all over the area. Whole views look exactly like his paintings. Writers often explore the issues that surround staying or leaving a hometown to head […]

This Time London Sits By The Fire & Watches

Great Fire

350 years ago (well, not quite – on September 16th), the Great Fire of London destroyed nearly all of central London’s wooden buildings. Samuel Pepys famously watched the conflagration that not only followed the devastation of the previous year’s bubonic plague but also came in the middle of several other events; the Anglo-Dutch war, public […]

A London Bookshop Cornucopia

Word On The Water

If there’s one thing I miss when abroad, it’s the quality of English bookshops. As someone who has not watched live television since Winston Churchill’s funeral it’s important to know these places are still around. I miss the bookshops of Charing Cross Rd, most of which have been replaced by cake shops , but there are […]

A New Take On Capital Crime

Drone-with-bag

After the revelation that gangsta rap videos were helping to reduce gun crime in London by teaching morons to hold guns the wrong way comes this latest twist in fighting crime. It’s been talked about for a long time but has now reached us locally. Officers from Islington, North London, recovered two drones carrying mobile […]

When London Went To The Dogs

steptoefilm2

It looks like London’s last greyhound stadium will be going soon. Dog racing, which proved hugely popular from the late 1920s to the 1940s, is in terminal decline, especial after a scandal in 2006 revealing that old greyhounds were being put down after becoming too old to race. Tracks in Catford, Wembley, West Ham, Clapton and […]

How To Be A Student Again

IMG_7076

We’ve all embarked on renovations that take a tad longer than we expected, right? This year we embarked on our flat’s first refurb in 15 years. The only snag – although we moved out at the end of April, it will take until Christmas, or very nearly, to complete, and I’d packed what I thought I […]

12 Things British People Call Each Other

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

  Tosh 19th cent in the sense of ‘nonsense’, but its derivation as a nickname is less certain, although I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a diminutive of ‘kosher’, someone who scavenges in the sewers, especially in London during the Victorian era. The word ‘tosher’ was also used to describe the thieves who stripped copper from […]

The Grey City Gets Greener

P_KXC_ECA_CBP_N142_kxweb-800x450

Despite the fact that our former mayor lost interest in tackling London’s frequently horrible arterial pollution, the capital remains the greenest city in what is already an astoundingly verdant country. It’s something you tend to forget until you come home from – well, almost anywhere else. It’s one of the reasons why I’ve chosen to […]

London’s A Liar

eyk

Regular readers will be aware of the respect I have for The Londonist, one of the capital’s most quirky (and relentlessly perky) sites, and one which will direct you deeper into the world of obscure specialist London websites, a wormhole from which you may never escape. But  it’s been bothering me for a while that those […]