Monday, 30 December 2013

I don't know about you . . .

but I'm thinking of putting on the wet weather gear, saddling up the bike, and visiting my local shops. They have after all staffed up and opened all over this chill December.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

A building that needs tender loving care

Beautiful modernist W1 building on the corner of New Cavendish Street and Hanson Street. I wonder who designed it. Ground floor metal shutters make it look a bit neglected: it would be wonderful if more shopkeepers and small business owners could fit metal shutters inside their windows - they work just as well, and don't have to be weatherproof, just secure.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Seeing the Light in Oxford Street

Oxford Street was doing fabulous business on Friday night. It was a pleasure to see it. It is after all London’s major commercial artery, with end-to-end shops and some beautiful buildings. 

What made me take particular notice was not only how beautiful it looked with the holiday lights on, but because, on a busy Friday night, it 'flowed'. There was no traffic-related problem in sight.

What happened? Let me do a quick back-of-the-envelope analysis.

There was clarity. Buses, taxis, bikes and pedestrians (very important shoppers) were all happily paying attention to one another, all engaged in an altruistic street ballet of 'you go first, I’m happy to give way'. Everyone and everything was moving.

There was a distinct absence of private cars (they were all on the north/south streets) until we got to the Marble Arch end. It seemed to make a huge difference.

PS: And if you want to really see how traffic is flowing, sit up front on the upper deck of a bus.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Essence of Tree

I walked past these leaves
on Tuesday, struck by the intensity
of the scent of this dying bough
blown down from a London Plane,
below, on the edge of Green Park.