Monday, 21 December 2009

Middlesex Hospital

Only the listed chapel stands within what was once the Middlesex Hospital, W1 – final earthly port of call for both Peter Sellers and Bernard Breslaw. Both comedians as dead as the horribly named "Noho Square" development that was to be built on the site. The BT Tower flicks the whole scene a modernist finger in the right hand corner of the pic.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Most Annoying…

…thing in London: missing the train by a second because one's fellow men are incapable of STANDING ON THE RIGHT!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Docklands: Made in Glasgow

Detail of an old steam hammer from the long-dead Albert Dock, east London.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Up Above the Streets & Houses

… Rainbow climbing high. The great thing about this pic of a rainbow over High Holborn was that I wasn't the only big sissy standing taking a picture of it on my camera/i-phone/doo-dah. All this taechnology has turned us into big sissies. A good thing, if you ask me.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

The People's Republic of Soho

The Broadwick Street mural depicts Brendan Behan and Dylan Thomas among a myriad of Soho characters. But where's Groucho?

Wednesday, 16 December 2009


Backstage, somewhere between The City and Westminster, is the oasis of peace and quiet that is Temple – the tranquility only broken by the odd (usually very odd) Da Vinci Code nutjob asking if Tom hanks has been by.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

A Tree Grows in Clerkenwell

By the former House of Detention, one of London long-forgotten gaols, a tree strives for the light in its own urban prison, Clerkenwell Close EC1.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Bacchus Would Approve of…

Fusty and dusty, Gordon's Wine Bar was once described as "the venue where Miss Haversham had her hen night."

Established in 1890, it remains an oasis of originality in an ever-more humdrum West End.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Waterloo Libre

Sunny Cuba in wintry Waterloo.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Cathedral Underwater

If you want a cathedral we've got three to spare. Two south of the river, two to the north.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Valley of the Shadow

Edwin Lutyens' St Jude's Church at Hampstead Garden Suburb sends an imposing message in the milky sunshine of a midwinter morning.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

The Source of the Nile

You asked. So here it is. The actual, factual, bona fide Clapton Pond (above). Complete with the No.38 in the background.

The name ‘Clapton’ or ‘farm on the hill’ is derived from the Old English words ‘clop’, a lump or hill, and ‘ton’ farm.

Pond means a pond.

(NB: If you’re on the wrong bus and wanted to catch the Clapton Pond Neighbourhood Action Group then click HERE.)

Monday, 7 December 2009

Things to Do in London at Christmas…

Visit the rellies. (At the Grant Museum of Zoology.)

(Note: Rellies: noun, Aust orig: relatives, blood relations,family members.)

Sunday, 6 December 2009


A gentle post for a lazy Sunday. A view of The City skyline looking east from the terrace at Somerset House in a fast encroaching early dusk, winter 2009.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Support Your Local Bookshop II

Approached by no less than THREE v. helpful, v.polite, v. nice young members of staff at Waterstone’s bookshop in Kensington last Thursday, all of whom asked,”Can I help you?” Each with a seemingly genuine desire to be of assistance.

“No thank you,” I replied each time with a smile that was MILES away from being as v. helpful, v. polite and v. nice as each of theirs. Feeling misanthropic, I mooched out of the shop, regretting that I hadn’t given them the reply I’d wanted to. Which was:

“Help me? Help me? I’m a man in early middle age browsing in a bookshop. This is ONE of the only TWO places ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH where I require no help. The other is in a record shop. Help is what I require almost EVERY MOMENT OF THE DAY UNLESS I AM BROWSING IN A BOOKSHOP OR A RECORD SHOP. If being approached THREE TIMES suggests that I LOOK LIKE I NEED HELP EVEN HERE IN A BOOKSHOP then only the record shop is left as a safe haven of surety and self-confidence. But if I already look like I need helping the bookshop, how long before I look out of place in a record shop too? Huh? Eh? What?

Just shoot me now.

P.S. Support your local bookshop. Even if it’s not as good as Marchpane (pictured) in Cecil Court WC2 (and few bookshops are) with your continued support, maybe one day it will BECOME as good.

P.P.S. Support your local record shop, too.

Friday, 4 December 2009

East End Backstage

Behind the scenes in the East End. A dormant Petticoat Lane market by moonlight.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

We Three Kings of Clerkenwell

Artists to have recorded We Three Kings include: The Beach Boys, The Barenaked Ladies, Harry Connick, Burl Ives, Patti Smith and Tori Amos.

Is The Three Kings in Clerkenwell the best pub in London? Damn near.

Does it have the best pub sign (above)? Easily.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Ring Around the Moon

“See a ring around the moon, a storm is sure to follow soon.” 
Wise saw by Mr A. Homespun-Wisdom

“A ring around the moon is caused by high altitude clouds, which precede low-pressure systems bearing moisture. So yes, it does indicate rain. The clouds contain ice crystals which refract the Moon's light, giving a halo effect.”
Cold, hard fact from Mrs A. Boffin

“There’s a Ring Around the Moon”
Old time romantic song by J. Mercer

“See a ring and a moon and you’re standing on the Victoria Embankment.”
C. Pond Esq.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

I don't have a chimney so you'll have to read my blog to find out what I want. I'm getting my letter in early this year so we can avoid a repeat of last year's socks and cufflinks fiasco. You really effed up there Santa: maybe go easy on the booze at the other houses before you get to mine, eh?

Anyway. Listen up: and listen with BOTH ears.

I want a Rickenbacker 360 from Vintage & Rare Guitars (above) in Denmark Street. A black one. Blonde at a push.

If they don't have that then I'll take a Gretsch Chet Atkins. In green. Only in green.


Clapton Pond Esq.

P.S. Will wait up for you. And here's the deal: No guitar for me – no mince pie and whisky for you. And Rudolph can whistle for his carrot.