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How good is this?

He even plays the moothie!

What’s in a Name?

Just spent a couple of days in a rather wealthy corner of the south east of England – ie Esher in Surrey.

Surely this coffee shop name is ironic?

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And this is one of the many Estate Agents in the suburb (no tittering at the back!)

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London 1927

Thanks to Glade Rover for forwarding details of this remarkable film

That London

I took the following photo in Regent Street in London on Monday

It had me thinking that maybe this was the beginning of a solution to London’s horrendous traffic problems.

In India they’re well down the line on this.

Going Underground

I never cease to be amazed by the London Underground. This hugely complex and busy transport system works amazingly smoothly and well.

I took this photo last week of an escalator on the London Underground at Leicester Square:

At the time I took it, I thought that this must be the longest escalator on the system.

I was wrong.

There is an escalator at the Angel station in Islington which holds the distinction for being the longest at 60 metres.

In another photo from the bowels of the London earth, the name of this destination still evokes the sniggering schoolboy in me:

Much of the, if not original then certainly very old, tile work remains in the stations:

Most people will be familiar with the London Tube map. The cover of the free map available at stations looks like this:

“Next stop Irony, for the Northern Line change at Compassion”

Apparently the work of an artist asked to sum up each location with his impression.

Hello Old Friend!

In a crowded and sometimes stressful itinerary this week, one of the more pleasant appointments came today when I met up with an old friend of mine from the days in a previous life when I lived and worked in London.

Thanks to Friends Reunited and latterly Facebook, Johnnie and I have exchanged a few messages and emails. We have reminisced and laughed about various people that we worked with, and some of the ‘high jinks’ we indulged in as lads.

Still crazy after all these years....

That contact reached a milestone today at an Italian restaurant just round the corner from GOSH when Johnnie and I met up for the first time in over 30 years. The anecdotes and conversation flowed almost as generously as the Peroni. The company was almost as delicious as the breaded mushrooms and seafood spaghetti.

Alas it was all too brief.

I’m hoping to tempt Johnnie and his good lady to Scotland for a break.

In the meantime, if you read this my friend, it was superb to renew your acquaintance and your generosity has not diminished over the years!

Cripes on a Bike!

You may have read about London Mayor Boris Johnson’s bike hire initiative. On my short walk yesterday I took a photo which perhaps gives an indication of how Londoners have embraced the concept.

Tuesday – A Brief Break

My presence wasn’t required during one of Eve’s tests yesterday. Indeed as it involved verbal question and response the psychologist thought my presence would be a distraction. I therefore took the opportunity of taking a walk for half an hour.

Events permitting, I have arranged to meet an old friend, with whom I worked in London over 30 years ago, on Friday. By then Eve’s testing will be over and she’ll be back on to full medication allowing me to meet up with John. “The restaurant is in Lamb’s Conduit Street Rabbie” he said on the phone the other day in a rather poor attempt at a Scottish accent!

Lamb’s Conduit Street is just a corner turn from Great Ormond Street so I thought I’d check out where I was to go on Friday. As I turned left I  saw a the subject of a previous posting here and also of a TV documentary.

Naturally curious I checked it out:

They have about 500 members now. The place isn’t all that much, if at all, bigger than my own retail empire. There were plenty of member/workers busily serving and filling shelves and there was a good vibe about the place. A kind of “hand knitted” charm but backed up with sound business principles. Not a great deal of choice on offer and I’m not sure about the hygiene of selling loose flour from a tea chest, but it’s hard not to wish the project well.

Southbound

Yes, tomorrow my youngest daughter and I depart for London. She has a week of tests lined up at the world renowned Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital and I will be staying in the hospital with her.

I am told that there is wi-fi access so although the blogging may not be the familiar hotch-potch of idiosyncracy and stolen jokes , it will hopefully be interesting and varied and actually more of what blogging is supposed to be..

I have written a couple of (admittedly rather lengthy) articles to give some background to why we are off to GOSH  and they will appear soon.

Edit: In fact the first one is below and I’m not entirely sure how that happened!

Happy 150th. Birthday Big Ben

Which I know is the bell which is housed in the tower and not the tower itself. However the two have become synonymous.

I took this photo on our trip to London last year.

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