Tag Archives: London

Here’s a serendipitous picture of Parliament I found on my camera

I DON’T KNOW how this media stuff works. All I did was light a fag and take a picture of the Palace of Westminster. I understand you can smoke legally inside the Palace of Westminister, in prisons, but not in prisms, and in submarines…

UK carpeted in snow. Minus 18C in Oxon

NICE THAT NASA is looking out for  us. It is really cold here. According to the normally unreliable BBC we are only two degrees Celsius warmer than the South Pole. It’s summer there, mind.

The NASA shot, taken today, is here.  Oxford is between Birmingham and London. I’ve turned the freezer off, all the gear in there is in the back yard.

Butterflies ain’t just for Bangalore

LOYAL READER OF THIS BOG (sic) will remember how much, when I was in Bangalore, I loved the floating flowers called butterflies – they are hard pressed in that city now what with all the demolition going on. And that.

London – described in a Channel Four Despatches documentary a couple of weeks ago as the most polluted city in Western and Eastern Europe – used to have loads of butterflies too.  When I moved there in 1973, there were Commas, Tortoise Shells, Red Admirals, Peacocks, and fritillaries of many a variety.

If you see the occasional Cabbage White these days you will be a fortunate man. But in Oxford, the butterflies still seem to be thriving. The weather has been very nice – I’ve seen Orange Tips, Peacocks, Tortoise Shells, and many of the species called Brimstone. I guess it’s because Oxford is full of green spaces, spaces which are occupied by nettles and the like, weeds to you and me.

While London is full of Borises and Johnsons and people prefer to build rather than plant. λ

Here is a list of my favourite toons

ONE OF my readers – yeah OK, there’s only one anyway, has asked me for a list of my favourite toons, so I thought I’d take time out to oblige him.

In order, and as I write, they are Aberdeen, Scotland – the place where I was born. Florence, Italy – the place where you can never get a beer, just an ice cream. London, Engerland – which is somehow never boring but always quite dull. Muenchen, which is always awake, even for 24 hours a day and you can always get a drink.

Paris, where the waiters love you if you’ve even a smidgeon of colloquial French. Next up is Barcelona, where you always feel like you’re on the edge between reality and dreams. New York is never dull, but somehow never awake. San Francisco has taken me to its heart – goodness knows why. It’s about the size of Aberdeen but with up-hill and down-hill slopes that make Google Maps risible.

Is that 10 yet? Here’s the list so far.

And here are my 10 least favourite toons.

  • Roma, because it is totally inaccessible
  • Reykjavik, because it’s so predictable you’ll see volcanoes and it will be cold
  • Belfast, Ulster, because you never know what you are supposed to be
  • Manchester, because it’s a shambles
  • Halifax, Yorkshire – because it is part of the Cleckshuddersfax triangle
  • Miami, because it’s a bit of a shambles too
  • Berlin, it gets really cold there
  • Hangover (Hannover) because it is the home of hateful CeBIT
  • Wankum, ‘cos I never want to go there
  • Boston, ‘cos I met so many snotty people there with funny voices

totalwankumOf course the lists can be added to and subtracted from. But these are a few of my favourite things.

Pizza comes with innovation topping

THERE’S BEEN a recenty outcry against a restaurant in London which served frogs’ legs as a topping on its pizza, with the restaranteur remaining defiant, and saying he’s going to offer pizzas with escargots too.

Anything London can do, Ole Bengaluru can do better. Pizza Corner, for example, just round the corner,  offers Innovations as a topping.

 

 

Meanwhile, a rare quadruped was discovered just outside my apartment today. We believe it is what is called a cat, an animal in very short supply generally in India. The picture is fuzzy, but we promise we didn’t photoshop it and it is a ginger moggie.

Twilight of the airlines shows in Old Harrow

IT’S BEEN A VERY fine day today here in Harrow, Middlesex, Londonland. Sort of like an Indian Summer, with clear blue skies and the sun is warm too, when it reaches your skin. Go out of the sun for a second, and you feel the cold that’s a coming.

At twilight, we saw a fantastic pink scene unfold before our eyes – it’s like a criss-criss quiz. We managed to capture the new clouds in the sky before they totally disappeared, as the sun set.

Yes – this is the shape of things to come. A perfectly blue sky with criss cross things going in all sorts of directions. We guess they must be jet clouds. The telegraph pole in the foreground delivers – courtesy of British Telecom –  DSL to our little wedge of Harrow.

Where are all these planes going? And why does DSL “enhancement”  happen when it rains? And if sparrows perch on the line, why the degradation? We’ve asked British Telecom all these questions, but answer we’ve had none, to any of them.