This Week In London

…The Monument reopened. Wren’s commemorative 202 ft Doric column to the Great Fire of London had been planned and built very soon after the event, and has now been restored to its former glory. Its height is the distance to the fire’s starting point. A rather smart 3-D poster for jeans in the style of […]

We Need New Words!

The wonderful Douglas Adams started a trend for finding new words to suit previously unvoiced concepts. My favourite was a word for ‘the behaviour of sellotape when you’re tired’. He used the names of defunct railway stations. How about creating appropriate words for the following states? There needs to be a word for the feeling […]

Looking Up In London

I’ve been searching London’s upper storeys for years – ever since my novel ‘Roofworld’, in fact. But this is the only example I can recall of the Beatles’ influence in London. This shop is in Hanway Street, off Tottenham Court Road, and has a definite touch of Yellow Submarines about it.

London With A Twist

…Oliver, that is. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the stage musical hadn’t been around for over 40 years, or the book for 171 years, given all the attention it’s been getting in the last few months. The book’s famous illustrations showing views of London have never been bettered, so I was surprised to come […]

Hunting Lions In London

There are so many books about London that collecting them is not only an expensive hobby, but likely to push you out of your home – you’ll be needing an aircraft hangar if you’re planning to start collecting them. Rootling about in my London collection tonight, I came across this gem of a book. Inside […]

London’s Ugliest Buildings

Lest anyone who hasn’t visited London thinks the city is filled with wonderful architecture, take a look at Nicholas Grimshaw’s Sainsbury building in Camden. Incredibly, this is the glamourous side; the back looks like a run-down concentration camp, and is now faced by ‘luxury apartments’ whose buyers will have wonderful views of the corrugated steel […]

A Man’s Home Is His Castle

I took this photograph yesterday in Baron’s Court, London. I’m guessing this homeowner wanted to go a bit Roman with his columns and have a rich marble effect going on, but couldn’t get his neighbour’s permission to do the other half of their shared column. The solution is probably agreeable to both sides, but doesn’t […]

The Great Book Hunt – Two

As before, books hidden in a London location for you to claim. Here’s the spot – a coffee shop in King’s Cross that serves the best Italian coffee this side of Milan. Two signed and dated editions of Bryant & May books can be found here on Friday 6th February. Ask Mario or Enzo if […]

Moriarty, Holmes Back In London

Walking through the deserted, snowbound city yesterday on my way to a radio interview, it felt more as if I had wandered into a time warp and emerged in 1885. Apart from a few buried cars, there was little to date the surrounding streets, and the few people I saw wore hats and passed a […]

Suddenly It’s The 1970s!

Wildcat strikes across the nation, workers complaining about immigrant labour, no transport running, industry paralysed – did we suddenly get hurled back into the past? The next thing you know, the Black & White Minstrels will be back on TV. Then we’ll know we’re dead and have gone to Hell. Actually, when I turn on […]