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Monday, March 31, 2008

The Seamen's Mission

Shot with Olympus E510
And have you seen the old man
Outside the seaman's mission
Memory fading with
The medal ribbons that he wears

Ralph McTell sung about one in the "Streets of London": This seaman's mission in Limehouse had gone to rack and ruin a few years back. It's been refurbished now, and it's a "Character Conversion" with a one bedroom flat for £225,000. Doesn't that just say it all.

See where on the London Daily Photo Map

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posted by Ham at 01:28 -- Comments here: 0

Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Lock

It's almost always a good when a restaurant is confident enough in their food to have the kitchen on show, The Lock is no exception. I was there for a birthday celebration and I can confirm that the food is good enough to warrant beating a path to their door. Not so certain about the service, though,

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 0

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Jazz Beat

Shot with Olympus E510

Someone asked me the other day if I thought London has a heart - I'm sure it does, and the rhythm is a jazz beat.You can take its pulse at the Jazz Cafe in Camden - check out who's appearing there.

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posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 0

Friday, March 28, 2008

Three and Out

Shot with Olympus E510
There's a film on release soon that has angered the rail unions. Called "Three and Out" it is centred around a Tube driver who witnesses two deaths under the wheels of his train then learns that if he sees a third, he receives a payoff from his job. So he seeks out suicidal people to become his next victim.

Courtesy of Annie Mole, the source of all things Underground, I was included in the invite list for a private screening at the Empire Leicester Square. I'm pleased to report that the film is rather good; a prime example of British humour and worth seeing. Beleive it or not, it deals robustly but sensitively with the issues, and I think the driver's anger is misplaced. The hospitality wasn't quite as good as that for Juno , but they did run to a free drink and popcorn.

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posted by Ham at 00:55 -- Comments here: 0

Thursday, March 27, 2008

l'Entente Amicale

Shot with Olympus E510

The French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, is on a state visit to the UK at the moment, who is in all the news talking about Anglo French friendship. The general attitude taken is one of wry amusement: "Of course we'd like to believe it, but let's wait and see what happens"

I thought it would be appropriate to show the statue of possibly the greatest Frenchman of the 20th century, Charles de Gaulle. I'd wager a small cash sum that very few of you knew where it is, as it is tucked away in a hidden corner in Carlton Terrace, a place few people ever venture. And of course being so inaccessible NOT a comment on the Anglo French relationship, it's just where he set up the Free French HQ in the war.

On the offchance that someone somewhere hasn't heard it, I'll leave you with possibly the oldest joke in the book: In Heaven, the cooks are French, the policemen are English, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian, the bankers are Swiss. In Hell the cooks are English, the policemen are German, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, the bankers are Italian, and the customers are American.

See where on the London Daily Photo Map

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posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 0

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Widow's Son

Shot with Olympus E510

The Widow's Son is a pub in East London with one of the more quirky backgrounds that you will find. The story runs that at the start of the 19th century, when this was just a house, a widow had a son in the navy. He was due to return home on Good Friday and asked for his mother to bake some hot cross buns. This she did, but he never came. But never the less each year the woman made a bun ready. When she died they were all found hanging from the ceiling. When a pub was built, they carried on the ceremony; each year a sailor brings another bun. You can see the current buns (sorry!) in the net, and some of the sailors hats on a shelf behind the bar (they leave one each year). Tragically, they only have keg beer, no cask.

Click here for another bun picture and my bun recipe.

See where on the London Daily Photo Map

posted by Ham at 00:33 -- Comments here: 1

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Bank Holiday Monday Funfair

Shot with Olympus E510
There is something ineffably sad about an empty funfair. Not just for the barkers and carnies for who it must represent a disaster, but in and of itself - the hollow ring of whitened bones. It was no surprise, given the weather, that few people were there, the bigger surprise was that, as ever, there were a still some stalwarts who hadn't let the freezing weather and the snow put them off.

Two other of my photos are here and here

posted by Ham at 01:15 -- Comments here: 1

Monday, March 24, 2008

Please Do Not Adjust Your Set

Shot with Olympus E510
It's not static on your screen - it is snow. OK, it's my fault. Snow on Easter Day in London, England. You see, I've just replaced the bike that got mashed last July, so I was determined to got out on it whatever the weather. This is what happens. If you want something more seasonal, you'll have to make do with this Easter Bunny I found on my travels. (Photo in the garden Chez Ham.)

posted by Ham at 00:38 -- Comments here: 2

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Burger, anyone?

Shot with Olympus E510
The Burghers of Calais is a Rodin sculpture that you can see in any one of a number of places (12, to be exact), the original is still in Calais but this particular one is just by the Palace of Westminster. Rodin's intent was to show that "heroic deeds are performed at great sacrifice by average people".

See where on the London Daily Photo Map

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posted by Ham at 00:41 -- Comments here: 0

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Who wants yesterday's papers?

Shot with Olympus E510
An artist by the name of Sumer Erek did, apparently. He, with help from loads of people turned 85,000 discarded free papers into a house. You can see an article and video about the making of the house here. I saw it in Dalston, now it's off on its travels around the country.

And talking of recycling - have you noticed my new feature on the right hand side? Now, you can click the button and get taken to a random page from the more than 800 daily photos in this blog.

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posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 1

Friday, March 21, 2008

Pied Bull Yard

Shot with Olympus E510
Pied Bull Yard is another of London's hidden gems, not even on the map, close by the British Museum. In this small yard, apart from the camera shops, I give you two compelling reasons to visit. The London REview Bookshop is an exceptional bookshop in these days of best seller dominance. Then, there is Truckles, a wine bar that takes you back in feel to Dickens' London, worth visitng for the pleasure of a pint of ale served in a pewter tankard.

See where on the London Daily Photo Map

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posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 1

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bijou Residence

Shot with Olympus E510
The Camden Bus estate agents (in Camden, oddly enough must have one of the more original office buildings, and one of the most memorable for a London business. This gent outside is clearly waiting for them to open in order to acquire a suitable residence.

A view of the political battleground that the Routemasters left behind can be read on the Diamond Geezer.

See where on the London Daily Photo Map

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posted by Ham at 01:30 -- Comments here: 3

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dance Yourself Dizzy

Shot with Olympus E510
For this week, The Way We See It took me to Cecil Court, a short passage stuffed full of interesting shops. Antiquarian and specialist bookshops, curios and antiques, art galleries - they are all here. And at the St Martin's Lane end - Freed and more ballet shoes than you can pirouette at.

See where on The London Daily Photo Map

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posted by Ham at 00:00 -- Comments here: 3

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

London's Elephants - No 23 in a series

Shot with Olympus E510
The Worshipful Company of Cutlers is one of the City's livery companies, dating back to the 13th Century, it gained it's Royal Charter in the 15th Century. The elephant on its shield probably refers to the ivory that was used for the handles of the best items. Whatever the reason, it means they have possibly the finest pair of knockers in London.

See where on the London Daily Photo Map

The elephant series is here.


posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 2

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The London Stone

Shot with Olympus E510

The London Stone is an unexceptional looking stone set in a hard to find viewing area of an ordinary wall in Cannon Street. It is also possibly one of the oldest London artefacts, dating back possibly to the Druids, with a history that has often ascribed magical or mystic powers to it. Read all about it here and see what can be seen of it from the street (not a lot) here.

See where on the London Daily Photo Map

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posted by Ham at 23:37 -- Comments here: 2

Crane Hire

Shot with Olympus E510
It's a sad fact about my chosen blog format that I can't show two pictures - one that says Crane Hire, and one that says Crane Higher and Higher. In the City of London, come the weekend, roads are closed and the City is taken over by building works. I can tell you, you would have been thankful to be on my bike and not in a car.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 4

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Leaky London

Shot with Olympus E510
Doesn't it always seem as if all the streets in your town are being dug up at the same time? Well if it does, the chances are whoever is arranging it learnt their craft in London. We award degrees in road digging, or so it seems. But look - what street is this ??

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posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 2

Friday, March 14, 2008

Banksy's Latest

Shot with Olympus E510
The latest Banksy has caused quite a media frenzy, as a result there seem to be a constant stream of people coming to see it. It's interesting to watch how people interact with it - some treat it as a god, some just look, some have fun. It's on the side wall of an independent shop - a chemist - and it's been covered with perspex to protect it. How times have changed.

I'd say the message of this image was clear. That is, unless you have an alternative agenda. I couldn't believe the spin put on the story here.

See where on the London Daily Photo Map

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posted by Ham at 00:18 -- Comments here: 2

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ordinary Londoners - No 13 in a series

Shot with Olympus E510
Today's Ordinary Londoner is Kais, a Bangladeshi, 21 in London studying law, and helping out in Express Packaging here. When I asked him what he thought of London he said "boring". What can I say? Kais, get a blog.

The Ordinary Londoners series is here.

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posted by Ham at 00:07 -- Comments here: 1

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Shot with Olympus E510
Shardenfreude (n.) - The pleasure gained when completing a building with some resemblance to a shard of glass. OK, I know this isn't the real "Shard of Glass", instead it is the Broadgate Tower which is claiming its place as 7th tallest building in London. But I couldn't wait to use the line.

It's a very cleverly designed building: the angles used make it look wafer thin. A useless bit of trivia, it sits on a 60,000 tonne concrete raft stretching across the rails going in to Liverpool Street Station.

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posted by Ham at 00:35 -- Comments here: 2

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Those Daffodils

Shot with Olympus E510
I wandered lonely as a cloud
Of pollution that gives you ills
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host of golden daffodils
Beside the road and in the grass
Where at lunchtime you cool your arse

Continuous as the traffic roar
Twinkling like indicators bright
They stretched ahead more and more-
Like endless repeats night after night:

Ten thousand saw I at a view,
Like jolly wardens with jackets new

The cars beside were still; but they
Were stiller still, being plants:
A poet could not but be gay,
Like George Michael with music trance.
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
I’d get arrested and end up in court.

Oft now when in the cell I grace
In vacant or in pensive mood
I consider flashing in a public place
Is truly the essence of something rude
And I damn the cause of my ills
Those silly, silly daffodils.

With apologies to William Wordsworth currently to be heard spinning in his plot in Grasmere, Cumbria at 10,000 RPM.

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posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 2

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Balkan Question

Shot with Olympus E510
This Sunday, Trafalgar Square was awash with happy Kosovans, pleased with their independence. I wish them well, I really do, but I'm afraid that I think that if history has taught us anything, it is that for every one person made happy in the Balkans, there are two made unhappy.I don't know the answer - I don't even know the question. If you have a spare hour or three, a summary of the Balkan's history is here.

I came away with quite a few shots that I quite like, such as this. If you were there and a guy in a red cycling helmet and yellow jacket took a photo of you, feel free to get in touch for a copy of the picture.

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posted by Ham at 00:59 -- Comments here: 2

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Shattered Dreams

Shot with Olympus E510
Riding through docklands, I passed by this sight. Not much of a photo, maybe, but it seems a fair reflection of the state of the African Dream.

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posted by Ham at 00:07 -- Comments here: 0

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Queen Victoria

Shot with Olympus E510
Standing on top of a pedestal by Blackfriars Bridge, Queen Victoria watches the night time traffic drive along Victoria Embankment. She hasn't got bored with it in over 100 years, so I don't suppose she will.

posted by Ham at 00:04 -- Comments here: 0

Friday, March 07, 2008

Caviar, anyone?

Shot with Olympus E510

The lamp standards along the Victoria and the Albert embankments on the north and the western end of the South Bank all have these curious fish on their bases. I suspect that most people would mutter "Dolphin?" if you asked what they were, but in point of fact, they are Sturgeon. Want to see what a real one looks like? Here.

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posted by Ham at 00:23 -- Comments here: 3

Thursday, March 06, 2008

A Story of Love

Shot with Olympus E510

London is blessed with a very large number of parks, but Clissold Park has to be ranked as one of the most romantic, at least in the story of its background. Back in the 18th century, the local landowner had an only daughter who was courted by the local vicar. The father saw this as a most inappropriate match and refused consent. It was only many years later, when the father died, that they were finally able to marry. And his name? The Reverend Clissold...

The title of this post refers to a Ray Bradbury short story that evokes the sort of time that Abraham Lincoln often writes about. Can I urge you to take five minutes out of your day to read the story ( full text here ) right to the end, I think you will feel the world is a little more human by the end.

See where on the London Daily Photo Map.

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posted by Ham at 00:12 -- Comments here: 0

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Name: Ham Location: London, United Kingdom View my complete profile


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