You Think This Year Was Turbulent?

    Watching the parliamentary fallout of the Brexit vote, which can be read as a disaster of its own making or accidental proof of democracy reasserting itself in London, I wondered what was happening in our fair city during the same year in other centuries. We can take it as read that there were […]

Ideas On A Conveyor Belt

Having one good idea is not enough For me one of the most powerful films this year was a documentary. ‘McQueen’ did much more than look at the life of Lee Alexander McQueen CBE, the bad boy of fashion who hailed from Stratford East and tore down the class/taste barrier with his iconic shows. He […]

Meanwhile, At The Peculiar Crimes Unit…

I use real locations for most of my stories. It helps to get some sense of size and space when you have a lot of people moving around, so that the reader can visualise events more easily. Early Bryant & May readers will know that I used to have the PCU occupying the upper part […]

London Buildings: The Talk Of The Town

On the corner of Charing Cross Road and Leicester Square (actually Cranbourn St) an overbearing and rather ugly venue was built at the turn of the 19th century to be used for circus performers and variety acts. In the very first variety show Little Tich and Charlie Chaplin appeared – it was always to feature […]

Tricky New Year London Quiz Answers

Here are the answers to eleven odd questions about London/ 1. On which London monument do pearls turn to diamonds, and why is it turning blue? Big Ben. On the background design of its faces, working outwards. When it’s finished being renovated its hands will be blue, as they once were. 2. There’s a man-eating […]

The Tricky New Year London Quiz!

Okay, ten tricky questions about London, and as it’s the new year I’m prepared to be flexible with the answers, which will arrive here tomorrow. On your marks… 1  On which London monument do pearls turn to diamonds, and why is it turning blue? 2. There’s a man-eating tiger in Knightsbridge. Where is it? 3. […]

What The Author Did Next

    NB. The photos: I was on the South Bank last night after seeing Ralph Fiennes in ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ and took these shots, sitting by the Thames with friends and beers. Despite the fact that London now looks like Singapore, you can still find a pub with an upturned flowerpot for an ashtray. […]

London In Their Words 1

Today, as heavy grey veils of rain drape London, sinking us into a semi-darkness that acts as a reminder that we are a Northern and virtually Nordic capital, here are some views of the metropolis from residents in their own words…   I am the city whose fog will fall like a finger gently Erasing […]

Start Your Own Shitstorm!

I did a bad thing. I upset a Milennial. He’s some guy with a narrow jacket and a children’s TV show haircut who was swanking off online about his latest article in a pointless freesheet known mainly for publishing recycled press releases about trainers and beard gel. After I made a joke about the rag […]

Another London Walk

It started off with this photograph, taken during the war. There’s a street in the City of London called Walbrook which was heavily bombed. After the site had been cleared, ready to build a new office building, there was an excavation that turned up – on the very last day of the dig – the […]