Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Angels in the Architecture

He looks around, around
He sees angels in the architecture
Spinning in infinity

This angel can be seen floating in the void above the vehicle Silk Street entrance to the Barbican, and you will also come across it if you take the Highwalk from the Barbican Centre to London Museum; look out for it.

And the Paul Simon track? You can see the video of him and Chevy Chase here.

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

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mummy Loves Andrex

Turns out that this new talent on London streets is Teddy Baden; it seems a little unfair to describe him as sub-Banksy but that's the way it feels. I have featured his work before without knowing it, though.

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

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Local Library - London Style

Following on from yesterday, I bring you the central London equivalent. Recently the occupation movement, taking over empty buildings and spaces in the city, have popped up all over the place. This entrance way to an empty building just of Finsbury Square (secured against occupation) has been taken over as a spontaneous library. There may be more, but the books appear a lot more forlorn than in the phone box.

posted by Ham at 01:05 -- Comments here: 0

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Local Library

Not strictly London, as this is in a Hertfordshire village outside the M25, but I thought you might enjoy seeing the use to which a telephone box has been put.

posted by Ham at 08:41 -- Comments here: 6

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Writing on the Wall

It's interesting that a recent art experiment in London Underground is made to look almost like graffiti - this campaign asked people to submit stories of acts of kindness for publishing. You can read more here. It was apparently active in the lead up to Christmas, but can still be seen.

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

Thursday, January 26, 2012


John Betjeman, seen here in St Pancras Station, is associated in most people's mind with Metro-Land, the distillation of the suburbs made accessible byt he train. You can read more about Metro-Land here.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 5

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Saucer Has Landed

I was quite surprised to come across the new futuristic entrance to Kings Cross Station, this is the one you would use to get to St Pancras International.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 8

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

In Charge of the Money

The Government buildings in Whitehall are quire remarkable in themselves, but few take the time to look at them closely. Let me fix that for you. This is the Treasury building, they've been swiping our money for over a thousand years, you can read a potted history here.

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

Monday, January 23, 2012

Xin Nian Long Kuai Le

A very happy Year of the Dragon to all my Chinese visitors. I do have a number of photos of the dragons in London, but to be honest in most of them St George is doing the dirty. Given the cosmopolitan nature of our city, I thought I'd use a photo taken in the Forbidden City in Beijing. Whichever, a very happy, healthy and prosperous (Chinese) New Year to you all. Not sure I've added the Mandarin for dragon (long) in the grammatically correct place, but my Mandarin is getting very rusty.

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

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Different Age

There was a time when having a name in a different language, especially French, added an air of j'ne sais quo, an air of sophistication. If this shop had "Ladies Hairdresser" above the door, you would expect it to be somewhere other than Maida Vale around the corner from Little Venice.

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

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Italian Connection

The Italian Garden in Hyde Park is where the River Westbourne entered, if you would like to read about this lost river Diamond Geezer is one of the better resources, otherwise just enjoy how fresh and... Italian.... this area looks.

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

Friday, January 20, 2012

Getting Your Ducks in a Row

OK, they are gulls, not ducks, but you get the idea.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 6

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Lost Lady

There is a lot of room in Hyde Park for any number of statues and memorials, this one is a little strange. I have no idea who it is, or what it commemorates, it appears to be a nymph with a sturgeon curled around her waist. The stone looks as if it is at least 200 years old, possibly more, but the face is still quite fine with unusual detail. Anyone know anything more?

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

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A wondrous bird

Oh, a wondrous bird is the pelican!
His bill holds more than his bellican.
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week.
But I'm darned if I know how the hellican.

You can find this couple in London's St James Park

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

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

St Stephen's Tower

After all, you can't see the bell inside, and that's what Big Ben is.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 6

Monday, January 16, 2012

Show us yer boat

Alongside the bike show (and included in the price, £0 in my case) was the boat show. Perhaps someone can explain to me, why??? and then maybe, how??? In this vast arena were hundreds of vessels - very, very many with price tags that would make you wince. I can understand anyone sailing, and some were clearly aimed at that sector. The real money were the ship equivalent of wearing an overly expensive watch. It performs exactly the same function as a £5 watch, but lets people know you can spend £75,000 instead (or more. All those people. Where DOES all that money come from, in this "recession"?

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

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bike Polo

I tried water polo, but my horse drowned. This variant looks like good fun and is increasing in popularity in London, most bike-centric events seem to stage a few rounds. I think I may just observe from the sidelines, though.

posted by Ham at 08:05 -- Comments here: 1

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fit for Everyone

I'm sure they must exist in other places around the world, but the first time I saw this type of exercise machine for public use was in China. There, given the size of their homes and the population density it made perfect sense, and what is more they were used most of the time. I'm less convinced about this in London, but it seems like a good idea if people do use them.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 5

Friday, January 13, 2012


This bit of graffiti in Rathbone Place just amused me.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 5

Thursday, January 12, 2012

London's Elephants - No. 40 in the Series

While this heffalump was originally in the Elephant Parade, it has since been adopted and can be found ont he north side of Oxford Street, near Marble Arch. Say Hello to Ella May.

The elephants series is here.

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

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ordinary Londoners - No 24 In the series

And this is Paul, who works in Hobgoblin Music, and part of the charm of the place. I asked if I could take his portrait - "only if it is in black and white" - my pleasure to oblige. He was making quite a good noise come out of the concertina. Fascinatingly it was invented by Charles Wheatstone, a Victorian inventor more famous to me for the Wheatstone Bridge (an ingenious way to measure electrical resistance). They don't make them like that any more.

The ordinary Londoner series is here.


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

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hobgoblin Music

One of the places to go in London, and therefore in all probability the world, for acoustic and folk instruments is Hobgoblin Music in Rathbone Place. If you think that's a bold claim, do you know anywhere else you can buy a portable didgeridoo?

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 8

Monday, January 09, 2012

Charlotte Street

In days gone by, back in the 20's, Charlotte Street was one of the most happening London Streets, home to the Bloomsbury Set in Fitzrovia. It is a tribute to the persistence of habit that it is still one of the more interesting restaurant streets in London, with a Filipino restaurant just down from Chez Gerard. If you are visiting London, this area would be high on my recommendation list to eat in.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 6

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Cool Stuff

London is full of cool stuff, like this gallery in Percy Street. I'm afraid I can't remember much about it, except it was in Percy Street.

posted by Ham at 00:32 -- Comments here: 0

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Taking Time Out

Time Out is a cornerstone of London life, they have consistently been the listing magazine to find out what's on, no matter what you taste or proclivity. Their offices are in Tottenham Court Road.

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

Friday, January 06, 2012

Feast Your Eyes at Gaby's

Gaby's Deli in Charing Cross Road has been part of London's backdrop for as long as I can remember; one of the best places for a sandwich or falafel in the area - as you might guess from this salt beef sandwich. Unfortunately its days are numbered as he is due to be evicted in May to make way for a restaurant chain. Just what we need, eh? You can join the facebook group to save Gaby's here.

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

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Imagined Lives

The National Portrait Gallery off Trafalgar Square is running a story competition at the moment called "Imagined Lives". The pictures you can see (and ten others) were originally attributed to be of known people, but it has been discovered that we don't know who they are. For example, the lady was thought to be Mary Queen of Scots...but isn't. Your task, should you wish to accept it, is to create a story of up to 300 words to accompany one of the portraits. It's running till 22nd July, so you have plenty of time, find out more here.

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

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A Seasonal Market

Covent Garden Market is still very festive, what's more some of the stalls are worth visiting, too.

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

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Skating on Thin Ice

There are increasing numbers of ice rinks appearing in London year on year, but Somerset House is one of the more established ones. Times and tickets are here, but apart from the ticket price, you will have to pay a "booking fee" - what on EARTH is that about, if there is no way you can purchase tickets without it? (including on site) That sort of underhand practice makes me really cross.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 5

Monday, January 02, 2012

5 a Day!

London's fruit stalls very often have excellent quality fruit, some pick up the supermarket fruit that is past it's sell by - so perfectly ripe to eat. This one is good to look at even when it is closed.

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

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year

With the first of the month (and the first of the year) comes a worldwide City Daily Photo theme day. As ever, the January theme is the best photo of the previous year. My selection combines the London griffon with the London Bridge spike, commemorating where people's heads used to be stuck as a warning to potential London wrongdoers in the days gone by.

To see what others around the world have selected, Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 11

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

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