Thursday, 31 May 2012

Triumphs of Savile Row

Savile Row, W1, a street where needles 
have been busy for the Jubilee Celebrations

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

The street beach comes to London

Ping Pong's street beach
in Great Marlborough Street.
Neat, and it probably means
they serve iced coffee.

Sunshine and shade on the British Library terrace.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Blog text howlers

Cool yard time 

What is it about writing a blog that suddenly
turns a hitherto immaculate text content 
editor brain (mine, haha) into a text designer 
brain (not mine), focusing on word sound 
rather than spelling and making more than 
a few grammatical errors along the way 
that then have to be corrected?
It's frustrating and I throw the topic
open for general discussion. Is it that 
blogging consists of what is in effect a
stream of consciousness first draft which, 
because of the speed and immediacy 
of the medium, we tend to think of as a 
final, publishable draft? I'd be interested
in others' thoughts.

Monday, 28 May 2012

The scents of summer

Passiflora against a painted wall

Jasmine against a
Bath Stone wall

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Nature in the city

A gated community of trees

Medical London

Yesterday was a bit too hot to spend all day
out of doors so it made a perfect day for
visiting an airconditioned museum. Crossing
the Tottenham Court Road to get there
I saw someone come out freshly bandaged 
from University College Hospital
Poor chap had lost a forearm - but 
through the bandaging I could see that 
the joint had been preserved as well as 
a stub of the forearm bones so that he 
could later be fitted with a prosthetic forearm. 
The museum exhibits reminded me. 

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Summer reflections

Glassware from the Wellcome History
of Medicine collection (today it was cool 
to spend some of the time indoors)


Friday, 25 May 2012

Writers' London: Working Day

Cool green and a spot in the sun
(and that is a Philippe Starck  
Prince AHA stool in the lower pic)

Starting to find place in the sun 
(about time - Ed.) and have
started to write a book called
Self-lobotomy: a guideTM.  
Pre-order your copy now.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Nature in the city

Evening walk to Regent's Park 
and Primrose Hill. The scents of tree 
and hedge flowers were intoxicating. 
It seems to me this scent is one of the 
most precious things made scarce 
by lack of green in the urban space. 

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Summer London

I knew it would not be long before I visited 
the newly opened Photographers' Gallery
architects O’Donnell + Tuomey.To be perfectly
honest, I avoided the opening because, in spite of
Edward Burtynsky's huge talent and relentlessly
accurate eye, I didn't want to be depressed by
his subject matter in this exhibition. I still
haven't been able to look at the opening
exhibition but I took some pics of the
street scene outside the gallery.

The mesh screens, above, cleverly
prevent this floor to ceiling window
view from being vertiginous.

The buildings on the south side
of the gallery.
The north side of Ramilles Street,
opposite the gallery.

Summer London and the windowboxes shine

Monday, 21 May 2012

Quiet London

Further on the apostrophe: 
Pic from The Telegraph
At least it's in there. 

Weekend walk around Clerkenwell.
People walk the built environment
over weekends because of what you
can see without all the weekday traffic.
which begins tomorrow. 

On a Clerkenwell doorway, this lovely 
scrunched up font:

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Towards the urban dreamscape

Visiting Old Street and its surroundings
after an interval, I am struck as always 
by how London marvellously reinvents 
itself. Instead of a wide and thunderous
dual carriageway, I found this:
 Uplighters, alfresco seating and bike racks
Neat rubbish collection
 Alfresco tables that double as tree protection
 Tree protection that works

An urban dreamscape, in the heart 
of commerce. Hats off to the Metropolitan
Borough of Finsbury (London Borough
of Islington)


Saturday, 19 May 2012

Quiet London

Ivan Hewett on Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau:

Followed by comment, with a quote 
from Beethoven, by YvesLaPointe

"Without him, what would Lieder be today?  
Sometimes art needs no explanation, it stands by 
what it is. And here was a man who lived Beethoven's 
maxim: von herz, mogen es wieder zu herzen gehen.  
From the heart, may it go again to the heart."

Personal PS: in music lessons, his was the first 
living 'foreign' name I learned to spell correctly (as in 
this is a name you don't mispell). Thank you, JG; 
the lesson has stood me in good stead. 

Friday, 18 May 2012

Writers' London: Working Day

R I P 
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau
His voice, his repertoire, his tempi, 

his musical sensibility, were important 
to the world - and so important to me 
during my growing up years that
I prepared for his death as for that
of a relative. 

I am retracting yesterday's post on
the apostrophe.Writing is either literate
or illiterate and punctuation exists
to help define the difference.

Consult Ms Lynne Truss if you
haven't already.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

You know it's summer when . . .

. . . the sound of builders' hammers ring out.

Oh, by the way, on the apostrophe:

The basis of working out whether an apostrophe 
should come before of after the es is to work out
if the word that needs the apostrophe is singular
or plural. Writer's London is correct if I am
referring to 'one writer' ('the writer in London', say,
or myself as a writer). Writers' London is correct
if I am referring to 'all writers' ('more than one 
writer'; the London of writers). In setting up this
blog, since I am referring to both, I chose
to leave out the apostrophe - until Friday when
I wanted to publish it on Twitter and realized
my mistake. Twitter is public; ergo, Twitter, fast,
brief and frequently lighthearted as it is, is
publishing in the formal sense - just so
you know. See Wikipedia page (which
incidentally includes a rather fetching
engraving of an early Gutenberg press).

Hilary Mantel's approach to research

"Question every historical fact you think you know, 
and never take the word of a single source."

"Don't show off. Your reader only needs to know 
about one tenth of what you know. 
Depth of research gives the writer confidence 
and suppleness, but doesn't need to be 
demonstrated on every page."

from The Royal Society of Literature Review 2012 

Coming later by me: the apostrophe
and how to position it correctly.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Wonderful accompaniments to a cup of tea. 

 African lily (Agapanthus africanus):
no flower does it better.

Writers' London: Working Day

London's air temperature 
has gone up - definitely 
worth writing about. 
:) :):)

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Writers' London: Working Day

Winter-cold weather but miles of Union Jacks
and bunting all down Regent Street. The
congested road conditions certainly offer plenty
of time for people to enjoy it. I rush to the office,
sit down, and get on with book one.

Later in the day, I set off for art gallery land
(see pic of Hauser & Wirth) down Savile Row
and Sackville Street where there is a short, sharp
hailstorm. With an ironic raising of the eyebrows,
and a wide grin, everyone walking down that
street immediately made eye contact with
everyone else. It's London.

Quiet London

African Lily (Agapanthus africanus):
no flower does it better.