Saturday, March 31, 2012

And all at once.....

A host of golden daffodils
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

William Wordsworth's poem might lay claim to being one of the better known - at least for a few lines. The whole poem is here and the daffodils, in Regents Park.

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

Friday, March 30, 2012

Hot Jazz

One of the more original buskers I've seen for a while, on the Southbank.

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

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Canal Trivia

This ordinary canal-side photo around Camden Lock shows a feature that can be seen in many places on canals, a square cut segment in the path for no apparent reason. Except that the reason is a little more obscure. It is a slope, which used to be used to get the horses out that fell in accidentally, in this busy area.

Thought you might enjoy that, anyway.

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

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Does that thing got sossiges?

Treasure hunters on the banks of the Thames at low tide are quite common, but I swear this dog is hoping for another sort of treasure......

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

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Waterloo Sunset 's Fine

The title says it all, and if that leaves you hankering after the original (and they were a real London band) this will take you back.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 7

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sugar Magnolia Blossoms Blooming

Spring is fantastically uplifting, and these magnolias outside St Mary le Strand church are especially fantastic. This is one of the oldest parishes in London (and given their situation, this seems a likely claim) and it is surrounded now by thrashing traffic. These magnolias speak of another time. In my case, intimately linked with the Grateful Dead. We all have our crosses to bear ;-)

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

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Avast ye Landlubbers!!

The Pirate Castle in Camden does a range of activities that mean lots of people enjoy themselves. They probably do the cause of pirates a large disservice.

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

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Neo Banksy

Springing up around Camden are public stencil art like this. Unsigned, they are very reminiscent of Banksy, but somehow I think this is a young pretender. Any ideas?

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

Friday, March 23, 2012

Egyptian London

I've commented in the past on how the Egyptian frenzy in the 1920's had its effect on London and the designs of buildings and public spaces, here we are in New Broad Street looking at some very attractive detail above a door.

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

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Londinium through a lens

Regulars here will know how much I enjoy the Museum of London - now here's a chance for you to join in. They are running a wonderful collaborative exhibition curated by young people; you can read the press release for Londinum through a lens here.

The exhibition looks at the parallels between modern and Roman London.It opens in June and features a map that will be made up of images showing Roman influences in London today. They are encouraging photographers to submit their photos and hoping it becomes a really fun, visual and engaging insight into the Roman legacy in modern London. Details of how to submit photos via email or Flickr are on

This sculpture is outside the National Gallery and is rather fun - it is of James II - "JAcobus Secundus" all togged out as a Roman. Complete with paunch.

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

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

An Eggcelent Idea?

All around London you will see these eggs - all part of the Big Egg Hunt - there are 209 of them, and you are encouraged to collect as many as you can - each entry gives you a chance to win a real Faberge Egg. And of course... the money goes to charity, so it must be good, right? Well, as your entry costs a minimum of £3.25, I thought I'd poke around the website to see how much the charity gets. I quote: Does the charity receive my money? For each 25p text the Promoters will receive at least 10.3p between them, depending on the network provider. For each £3 initial entry the Promoters will receive at least £1.72 OK, they would get nothing otherwise but still.... Doesn't seem good value to me, I'd rather give direct to the charity myself.

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

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

London's Elephants - No. 41 in the Series

Been a while, but here we are back on the elephant trail. The Elephant's Head is in Camden High Street, and if you look carefully in the corner window you will see an elephant on top of an elephant.

The elephants series is here.

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

Monday, March 19, 2012

St Patricks Day Booze-up

This weekend saw the St Patrick's day parade take place on Sunday. I went to have a look, but I have to be honest, it was all too crowded so I settled on an image of a genuine Irishman on the periphery.

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

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hot Stuff

The food emporiums of London have to continually reinvent the way food appears to entice people through the doors. Wrapping in paper seems to be one of the latest fads, this (organic) eatery looked good to me.

posted by Ham at 07:24 -- Comments here: 0

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Abandon Sheep!

This odd remnant of what must have been a grand building is just behind Devonshire Square in New Street. No idea why it is here, but it looks older than the surrounding area, for sure.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 7

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Foggy Day in London

London was famed at one time for its epic fog - a particularly noxious mix of climate and pollution. I remember in my childhood a conductor having to walk in front of a bus they were that thick.

These days they aren't as thick or frequent, but they occasionally lend an unearthly air such as here, in Hyde Park on my commute. Just for added weather interest, on Thursday it was 3 degrees when I left home, and 17 coming back in the evening.

posted by Ham at 00:47 -- Comments here: 2

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Social Housing

As we near the Mayoral elections, it is worth remembering that the LCC, and after them the GLC, were instrumental in building a large quantity of social housing in London, such as this. However the policies started by Margaret Thatcher to deliberately run down the quantity of available council homes means that you can now buy a one bedroom flat in this block, behind Old Street, for £220,000.

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

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hello Blossom

It's been two weeks since blossom seemed to appear overnight in London, here's a tree in Holland Park Avenue on my way home. Not the best photo, but it will give me an excuse to take another soon. Seeing blossom on the trees always cheers me up immeasurably. Now here's a question, do other languages use words like "blossom", "flower" and "petal" as diminutives or terms of affection?

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

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pillars of Society

This is an internal view of Liverpool Street Station, and one you might think is no longer available to see. However, if you go to the far right of the upper walkway and venture down an unlikely looking path, this is what you'll see.

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 7

Monday, March 12, 2012

Eating Well

Another feature of Spitalfields Market is that it is well served by eating houses catering for all manner of tastes, not just giant chains. One of my favourites is Pilpel, a falafel joint that turns out very tasty food at a reasonable price. If that doesn't take your fancy, why, next door you have a Caribbean food, then Indonesian, then Italian deli, then Chinese. Each of them appear to be small outfits turning out food of high quality. If you are in the area at lunchtime, do yourself a favour and give them a try.

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

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Arms Dealer

Of course, not all of us are well heeled enough to shop in yesterday's Antique Emporium, so you may be interested to hear about the Old Spitalfields Antique Market. Held every Thursday and on the last Saturday of every month there is a truly eclectic range of stalls with all manner of antiques and collectables, it looks to me as if it is set to rival Portobello Road (although nowhere near as big and without the antiques shops and arcades. It is a lot easier to walk around, though.

posted by Ham at 08:02 -- Comments here: 1

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Not to be confused with Westfield, Westland is an anachronism - an antiques dealer and architectural salvage yard in the heart of the City of London (Leonard St, EC2). So, if you have just received your bonus and don't know what to spend it on, why not pop out in lunchtime and browse. If you can't get there in your hectic day, why not buy online? I know there are no prices, but that won't bother you, surely? (tbh it is great fun browsing through their stock, I recommend it - like an antique shop without quite as much temptation.)

posted by Ham at 06:55 -- Comments here: 1

Friday, March 09, 2012

Thought for the Day

If you don't cycle, commuting in London is stressful enough any day of the week, it is always welcome to get some sense of the humanity of the people that work in the transport system. This quote (from George Bernard Shaw) does it for me, if you would like to see more stuff like this you can do no better than head over to Going Underground blog.

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

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Wotcher, Cock

The time has come for me to explain to those that might not understand that a cockney saying "Wotcher, Cock" is not being rude. Instead it is a term of affection, a shortening of Cock Sparrow (or, sparrer to the locals) often used as a term of endearment representing a chirpy, irrepressible soul. So now you know.

I found this behind Devonshire Square, thinking it was in Cock Lane, but now I'm not so sure.

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

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Shoeshine Man

I've always nursed a thought that I could turn up to have my shoes shined - with trainers on. Still, every fourth pair is free!

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

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Say it with pictures - Art Against Knives

One of the incumbents of the pop-up mall "Boxpark" (shown a few days ago) is an example of what can sometimes be done to bring some good out of bad, when approached with determination. What they are doing is trying to develop youth-led and community-driven projects to turn youngsters away from knife violence.

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

Monday, March 05, 2012

Looking On

Here's one reason to go to Westfield in Stratford - the view from John Lewis department store. They do make the attempt to part you from your money, they have a cafe operational, plus you have to walk past shelves and shelves of instantly forgettable souvenirs, but the view from here is free and open to all.

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

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Break a Record

I've long felt an association with Julian Richer of Richer Sounds, he and I are near contemporaries and I've been buying HiFi from him for nearly as long as he has been selling it - my first JVC JRS-100 is still doing service as the amp for my PC. For those not familiar, Richer Sounds is a London business that sells proper HiFi for reduced prices and has held the Guinness record for retail value per square foot for more than 20 years.

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

Saturday, March 03, 2012

King Edgar

I'm always fascinated by the thought of what would happen if e stepped out of our time into another. London is one of the few places that has a record of substantial human activity for thousands of years. 1200 years ago, King Edgar gifted land near here, perhaps the very same as I am standing on - to his knights who undertook three tasks. Devonshire Square is the location of this memorial; for a hollow sculpture this has an amazing amount of life.

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

Friday, March 02, 2012

Coffee in the Nude

In the mass market, fast food world we love in, it is refreshing to come across something a little different - especially if you appreciate coffee. Nude Espresso is the work of a New Zealander who has made London his home, and roasts and produces some of the finest coffee anywhere. They have a few branches, but you can also drop into their roastery here off Brick Lane and buy fresh roasted coffee to take home. Isn't the smell of coffee roasting still one of the finest experiences?

posted by Ham at 00:12 -- Comments here: 5

Thursday, March 01, 2012

March Theme Day - Electricity

The Worldwide City Daily Theme Day for March is Electricity, so here is the Battersea Power Station, a relic from the days when these powerhouses were built to keep London running. These days it is much harder to find a use for an icon like this, and various schemes have been floated over the years, including a theme park, houses, shops, you name it. It just so happens, if you have a bright idea and £500 Million to spare, this is just the right time - could you save this wonderful building?

To see how others around the world have interpreted the theme, Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

posted by Ham at 00:02 -- Comments here: 9

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

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