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Christopher Fowler
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London
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What's this all about, then? A boat sticking out of a wall? That's the first puzzle you encounter on entering St Magnus the Martyr. It's just another research day in London. I was heading to a specific London location to see something few people bother checking out. Who, I wonder, is still interested in the city's history? 'London is like a railway junction; it has no true life of its own,' says…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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Another research day, and this one takes me to Fen Court, where a new rooftop garden, better than the glorified food court at the top of the Walkie Talkie, is open to any and all, and affords terrific views of the city. And unlike the Walkie Talkie it doesn't need to be booked for a visit - just turn up. It's bare at the moment but will be fully planted in summer. Finding the entrance is a…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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I'm out and about doing London research today, inspired by our erstwhile commenter Jan, who sent me a couple of shots of the Thames foreshore. (She knows her history but the camera could do with a bit of an upgrade). Jan points out that the beach of the South Bank runs parallel with Shad Thames heading toward St Saviours Dock where the Neckinger was joined (through the efforts of the Lay brothers…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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Dr Samuel Johnson once predicted the drawbacks of aviation. In his philosophical novel The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abissinia (1759) he thought about the advantages of flying and concluded; 'What would be the security of the good if the bad could at leisure invade them from the sky?' While he was working on his dictionary he was according to legend entirely unaided, but old textbooks of mine…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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My local area of King's Cross was traditionally connected to hunting deer, and the psychogeographic connection remains when you walk around the neighbourhood and spot the number of either accidental or deliberate references to deer and stag horns - they adorn buildings and pubs, often tucked into decorative motifs. Having just read Dr Matthew Green's delightfully atmospheric 'London: A Travel…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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Well, none of us saw that coming! The makers of ebooks, touted as the biggest thing since actual books, have discovered that they have a finite audience. They're mostly purchased by readers who buy more than the average number of paper books. I love ebooks, especially if I'm travelling or the book I'm reading is over 400 pages long, but I don't have the habit of listening to audiobooks or, indeed…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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Sadly there's no snow in Covent Garden (or anywhere else in the country). It's warm and rainy here but to get us into the Christmas, Pagan or holiday spirit, depending upon how you live, here's Anna and the Apocalypse, not a band but last year's small-scale smash and one of the few Scottish zombie musicals in recent memory. Here's the christmassiest of its songs, although Both the film and the…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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My Brother had a Big Birthday yesterday and although he does not enjoy coming up to London, he gave it a try for a city day out. It turned out to be a pretty good template for a chatty stroll in the short daylight hours. We started in Shoreditch at the Bike Shed, a warren-like motorcycle club/restaurant/bar/museum/ barbershop, then progressed down Shoreditch High Street to Boxpark to watch the…
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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To commemorate Mr Trump visiting London with a thousand armed minders making sure that protesters couldn't reach him, I thought we'd have a little number dedicated to the NRA. NB Not intended as a comment on US foreign policy.
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Christopher Fowler
Posted in
London
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Yesterday morning London was filled with dense violet fog. Only later in the day did the dome of St Paul's loom out, followed by the spire of the Shard. There are always a few days in November when London feels correctly autumnal, just as Christmas in the capital tends to arrive in January. Every year I visit a Christmas market in an effort to jump-start a yuletide mindset. Usually I head for…
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