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Monday, November 30, 2009

How many have you got?

Shot with Olympus E620
The A to Z Streetmap has earned its place on just about every Londoner's bookshelf. Even in these sat-nav centered days, it is still indispensible, and it is hard to imagine any time without it. But, if it wasn't for Phyllis Pearsall, a portrait painter who got lost walking to a party, it would not have existed. Phyllis had the idea of creating a street by street map and then walked 3,000 miles to create it. Read her story here.

This post was inspired in part by seeing how many old A-Z I had lying around, and part by an A-Z amble through London's more obscure museums A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P QR S T U V

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

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Had a good meal?

Are you like me - never entirely comfortable with the idea of lashing out large sums of money on a single meal that might represent the entire weekly budget for a family? There's no getting away from that, but The Gun have subscribed to Streetsmart, an organisation that collects an optional £1 from each diner. That's kinda cool.

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

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What a lot of photos

It was four years ago today that I stuck my rather old digital compact out my front door and took the first photo. Since then, there has been a new photo shown here every day. That's a lot of photos.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 3

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Camden Cat

Shot with Olympus E500
Cool cats go to Camden Market?

posted by Ham at 00:28 -- Comments here: 1

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Most Familiar, Least Known Place

Shot with Olympus E520
This is my nomination for the most familiar but least known place in London. It's the Polish War Memorial, on a roundabout above the A40, commemorating all those Polish Airmen who fought in the RAF and lost their lives in WW2. Best known, becasue it appears on traffic reports each morning "There's a ten mile jam back to the Polish War Memorial". Least seen because you can't see it from the road and nobody comes here that doesn't have to.

posted by Ham at 00:02 --

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Last of the Old School

Shot with Olympus E520
London, and Soho in particular, used to be full of bespoke tailors, Mr Eddie & Chris Kerr in Berwick Street are among the last. Most of the tailors had disappeared by the end of the eighties, and I can't even remeber the name of the last one I used. I can remember that the old guy that owned the place had his father (in his 90's) cutting, who was trained in Saville Row. That name is going to bug me, now. (Next morning: Got it! "Burnards" - anyone else remember them?)

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Prayers to the God of Graffiti

Again, one of those shots that just offered itself up to me.

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

Monday, November 23, 2009


Shot with Olympus E520
It could have been a fashion shoot, but was only me passing with a camera.

posted by Ham at 00:48 -- Comments here: 0

Sunday, November 22, 2009

St Bartholomew the Great

Shot with Olympus E620
This is detail from above the door to St Bartholomew the Great, a place of worship since 1143, with a fascinating history that survives the Great Fire and the Blitz.

posted by Ham at 09:58 -- Comments here: 0

Saturday, November 21, 2009

From Heaven to Hell

Just some graffiti that caught my eye.

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

Friday, November 20, 2009

Urban Golf

Shot with Olympus E620
I didn't know what to expect when I ventured into Urban Golf in Smithfield. Was it a "Nineteenth Hole" (there is one, rather welcoming, too) or an old warehouse where you could pitch up and crack balls against a wall? All turned out to be a bit more high tech than all that. Not being a golf player, I can't say what it's like, but the idea of plaing an eighteen hole course in the centre of London has a certain appeal.

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

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The End of the Line

Shot with Olympus E620
This is Uxbridge station, end of the line for Metro-land
Child of the first war, forgotten by the second, we called you Metro-land.
We laid our schemes, lured by the lush brochure,
Down byways beckoned, to build at last the cottage of our dreams,
A city clerk turned countryman again, and linked to the Metropolis by train.
Metro-land, John Betjeman (BBC, 1973)
If you want to find out about Metro-Land, here and here is background and here is foreground (how it is today). And before anyone complains that Betjeman ended in Amersham, not Uxbridge, I was nowhere near Amersham today.

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

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Glory is for God Alone

Shot with Olympus E620
As you walk through the city, you often see strange heraldic symbols. This one in St Helen's Place is from the Leathersellers, a Livery Company dating back to 1444.

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

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ship Ahoy!!

Shot with Olympus E620
This granite ship steams out of Holland House, Bury Street, just behind St Mary Axe. Built in 1916 for a Dutch company, it was one of the first buildings designed with flexible partitioning. I just love the bow wave in the carving. A general view is here.

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

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Nosh Bar (Part II)

Shot with Olympus E620
As I said the other day I was going to, I visited the Nosh Bar in Great Windmill Street, and I am happy to report back.

Cutting to the chase, this is a good sandwich, at a fair price. If I say it is not a great sandwich, that's because it uses commercially pickled beef (you know, the sort that ends up with a texture with micro-holes) and, as a result, could be described as on the too-lean side. That said, it could not have been more tender, and you get a measured 200g+ on your £5 sandwich. On the very good side, they do have new green pickled cucumbers, which get my vote. In short, recommended.

posted by Ham at 07:19 -- Comments here: 0

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Shot with Olympus E620
This small but original monument can be found in Queens Square. The inscription reads
"Donated by the local community
in affectionate memory of
Patricia Penn (Penny)
1914 - 192292
Champion of local causes -
and cat lover.

Sort of thing that makes youthink she'd have been an interesting person to know, this is, after all, the heart of the Bloomsbury Set.

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

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Living in a Bubble

Shot with Olympus E620
London played host last weekend to the Peugeot BB1, a concept car born from the idea that toting yourself around in a box made of a ton of metal belching out smoke might not be the smartest way to get about a city. I have to say, for a car this is seriously funky. Personally, I love the way that the Youtube vid uses bikes (and bike polo) to give the car more street cred.

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

Friday, November 13, 2009

Look to the Sky!!!

Shot with Olympus E620
The fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square plays host to a fibreglass Sir Keith Park for the next six months. An unsung hero sidelined by his unwillingness or inability to play politics, it was he more than any other individual who saved Great Britain in WWII. You can read about him here or here.

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

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Christmas Lights

Shot with Olympus E620
the Christmas lights on Oxford and Regent Streets this year are among the best I can remember despite (or maybe because of) the heavy commercialisation. Those sparkly carpets and the floaty stars provide a magical aspect. Go on, remember what it was like to be young and go and see them.

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

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Director & Actor - Bunny and the Bull

Shot with Olympus E620
Last Friday I was fortunate to be invited to a blogger's screening of Bunny and the Bull, with an introductory (short) talk by the Director and and actor. Most people were enthusiastic about the "Mighty Boosh" connection, but as I had only heard the original radio show, I didn't know what to expect. What was delivered was a well executed exercise in original writing, very reminiscent in its way of old style Ealing comedy. You might say it isn't subtle, but actually the direction and the photography is rather good and, for me, lifted it into a "must see" category. See a trailer here, or the website here. But there's something rather good about going to a London screening, even if you do have to sit in lime leather chairs ...

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

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

London's Elephants - No 32 in a series

Shot with Olympus E620
If you do go to the Victoria Miro gallery, you also have the opportunity to see NS Harsha's work, including this one, "In Musth". It has always amused me that a must (or musth) is the word for an elephant on heat. When I say "always", I mean each time I hear someone say "It's a must".

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

Monday, November 09, 2009

The Walthamstow Tapestry

Shot with Olympus E620
Grayson Perry won the Turner Prize (in 2003), which did little to endear his work to me. But then I felt I had to see anything called the Walthamstow Tapestry and I was surprisingly interested. I left still uncertain of his work's long term value, but fascinated with what I saw, I recommend it. Originally, the exhibition was scheduled to finish on Saturday, but it has been extended by another week. (I'll try to add some detail photos later today)

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

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The Cenotaph

Shot with Olympus E620
On the eleventh hour of the eleventh month the guns fell silent. The Cenotaph commemorates the event and those who died. Each year, the closest Sunday to November 11 is Rememberance Sunday.

So, wherever you are at 11 O'Clock, however you feel about war, take a moment and remember that people just like you paid with their lives for you to live your life.

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

Saturday, November 07, 2009

X Marks the Spot

Shot with Olympus E620
You may have heard about the re-designed Oxford Circus junction, where traffic is stopped from both directions and lets pedestrians cross diagonaly, here it is in operation. Makes sense to me.

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

Friday, November 06, 2009

A Load of Bollards

Shot with Olympus E520
Some time ago, when I took this photo in Kensington, I thought I might find out what Hans Town was all about. I think it's probably more fascinating that there is a blog dedicated to London Bollards....

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

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Remember the 5th of November

On the 5th November, Fireworks Day, I'd like to feature somewhere you probably haven't heard about or visited (although some people have), it is Gunpowder Park. Reclaimed from Royal Gunpowder Mills when it was used for the development and research of explosives, it sits just inside the M25 to the north of London. This slab of concrete basically says "Bang" in lots of different ways.

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

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Ooooo you are a nice pair of shoes

One of the features of London City Airport - the world's best airport? - apart from checking 30 minutes before the flight, apart from free Internet, apart from a railway station 100 meters from checkin, apart from flights going on time and luggage not getting lost - is a complimentary shoeshine.

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

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Docklands Light Railway

I don't often travel by public transport, but the Docklands Light Railway is [probably my favourite line. In fact, traveling the length and breath of it should be on everyone's recommendation for London - you get to see familiar and unfamiliar sights from a new perspective. This shot is inside London City Airport station.

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

Monday, November 02, 2009

What goes around, comes around

Shot with Olympus E520
Look, I know it's not the world's best photo, but a grafitti removal van in the same frame as a grafitti artist? I couldn't resist. It's a circle of life.

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

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


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