Archive for September, 2005

Overcrowded London

Is it just me or are there suddenly millions more people around this week?
There’s been standing room only on the morning train and bus several days, and not just on any one particular route, it seems to be everywhere. More people on the trains, more on the buses and tubes, more traffic on the streets and more bodies on the pavements. Busy busy busy people everywhere. Where do they all come from? I’m sure they weren’t all here before.
Is it the time of year or the weather or something? Nobody much is on holiday, we’re all back at the same time and there just isn’t enough space for everyone. I don’t think it’s the lack of trains and buses or anything like that anymore, just too many people. Maybe it’s all those fair weather cyclists who bought expensive trendy new bikes immediately after the July bombings and have now hung them up in their sheds, bedrooms, lofts, or wherever they keep them.

Happy birthday M4!

BBC NEWS | England | London | Actress Mansfield’s M4 connection

Apparently Jayne Mansfield cut the ribbon opening the M4 45 years ago. 45 years of the M4! Wow. I wonder what the date of the first traffic jam was. Or the date of the first frustrated driver missing his flight because of said traffic.

Incidentally, I noticed they didn’t mention that Jayne Mansfield met her end in a legenedary car crash, ultimately spawning the urban legend that she was decapitated (she wasn’t – her blonde wig flew off and the story grew out of that).

Amnesty International

bus.jpgThere’s a laughing, singing, dancing, magical Amnesty fundraiser this Saturday!

DJs Shakti, Principal, and Tom Lloyd on the decks
Comedy and MCing from Birmingham’s Craig Deeley
Conjuring and magic from Champagne Bobby
and THREE live bands:
Lofi Americana from The Sways, Blondie-esque girl pop from the Bright Lights, and maniac Rockabilly stray-cats-meets-primal -scream rock n roll from Ludes (fresh from their appearance at TDK cross central

Come along — it’s a perfect occasion to celebrate the life of recently-departed Amnesty International founder Peter Benenson: every penny from this night goes to help Amnesty end human rights abuses worldwide. Raise a toast to Peter and make your night fabulous and worthwhile.

Saturday 1st October
Water rats Theatre, 328 Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross WC1
7.30 til 2.00 / 10 quid >> every penny goes to Amnesty

Petrol is for chumps

gwiz.gifWhen it comes to cars suitable for London, I’ll never get over my first love: the G-Wiz, with its cheeky Bangalore style. For �7000 I could be topping out at 40mph and filling up with juice at my nearest FREE electrical outlet. Not to mention swanning around my free parking in Central London and scoffing at congestion charges and road tax.

But I saw my first Prius the other day, and I admit that it turned my head. Sure, it may be �17,000 and require the occasional visit to the petrol station, but it’s a proper car: Room for five, motorway speeds and a range that will take me outside the M25.

Of course, no amount of electricity will get you where you want to go in London during rush hour. I guess I’ll stick with pedal power.

Its got cold

I just called up my Estate office…. its bloody freezing, and they wont put the heat back on yet.

the man is gonna come over and flick the switch that connects the radiators to the boilers on Wednsday – and then they are going to turn the radiator boilers back on on the 1st of October.

so if you happen to walk past my house anytime soon, and see a eskimo breathing ice through the window – Now you know why!

The Rocks love their influences even if no one else knows who they actually sound like.

So while I was in London I did a lot. So much that it would bore residents to tears so I?ll stick with music related events I attended during my stay.

The first was at Luminaire last Friday to see The Rocks. Luminaire is a great little spot with a terrific vibe — with incredibly friendly and helpful bartenders — and the club was hosting the Art Brut Battle of the Franchises Vol. I. I?m going to guess that every other band on the bill besides The Rocks were either musical jokes or combos that have only been around an incredibly short time with nary a moment to actually practice. I?m not saying it wasn?t great fun to watch the train-wreck after train-wreck occurring on stage because it was. I just want to make sure you have a grasp on the level of talent on display.

However I was there to see The Rocks. I had never heard of the band before and was going on Time Out?s description of the group being similar to The Pixies mixed with Blondie.

The people at Time Out really have no grasp of how to execute a half-way informed piece rock crit lit, do they? The Rocks sound absolutely nothing like either of those two bands.

However The Rocks dosound almost exactly like The Strokes who sound and awful lot like Television who were spawned by The Heartbreakers, which is doubly funny since the guitarist for The Rocks was wearing a Heartbreakers T-shirt.

I think my head just exploded.

So that was last Friday. Tomorrow I?ll fill you in on last week?s Saturday night dance fest!

In need of some loving….

London Metblogs is looking for a few good bloggers to join our motley crew. Twisted sense of humour, eyes in the back of your head and knowledge of the Local goings ons are not required, but definately help.

When it comes to posting there are really only two rules: Rule #1: The posts have to be about London. Rule #2: NO MORE RULES!

Our only real requirment is that you post an average of 2-3 times per week.

Soo… Please apply here


The Building Centre

Today… with my school gang, I toodled off down to the West End to visit the Building Centre, a permanent exhibition and information hot bed for the design andconstruction industry. Its been around for about seventy years and according to the faculties literiture ‘it has remained at the heart of the industry and today plays host to many important events, receiving more than 100,000 visitors and delegates throughout the year’.

The place basically covers everything you can thing of that you would require when involved witharchitecture and design, construction and planning, home improvement, DIY and self build.

Today we took in a 30 minute presentation of Formica… thats laminate and plastic coveings for us normal people, which I for one found highly interesting and amazingly UN – boring… I dont get how they managed to make sheet veneer look so cool, innovative and fabulous… but then the Building Centre has had 70 years of practice.

Totally free, Id say this place is worth a look.

The Building Centre
26 Store Street
Tel: 020 7692 4000


Civilizing Spaces
Improving London’s Public Realm
12 September – 8 October 2005
Engineering Club Lecture: The aerodynamics of bicycles
23 September 2005 Mike Burrows
Capital Health Seminar: Can buildings make you feel better?
18 October 2005
Capital Health Seminar: The role of design in controlling infection
20 October 2005
Capital Health Lecture: Art in hospitals
31 October 2005
Capital Health Seminar:The New Health Care Architecture
8 November 2005
Concrete Elegence Lecture: Engineered Precast Elegance – refinement, rigour
9 November 2005

Somers Town Art Opening

SpH4b_1.jpgI’m the biggest fan of local photographer Alastair Fyfe, and I’m excited that he’s created spectacular murals for the newly developed Basil Jellicoe Hall in Somers Town.

Somers Town is a little-known area near Euston Station that has been a colourful and multicultural part of London since its origins as a Victorian slum.

The work illustrates the life and work of Father Basil Jellicoe, the visionary who pioneered the rebuilding of Somers Town—from demolishing the slum to rebuilding a community. Today Basil Jellicoe Hall, under the wing of SPH, is at the heart of the area’s move into the future. The four groups featured in the photoillustratons range from the scouts to Bengali Somerstown Futures.

The pieces are being unveiled tomorrow (Friday 23rd September 2005) from 16.30�18.30 at Basil Jellicoe Hall, Drummond Crescent NW1 (off Eversholt Street, near Euston Station).

Battersea Bridge Closed

I just heard on the local news that Battersea Bridge is closed – possibly for the next few weeks.

According to the BBC News Repots online, a Barge carry gravel crashed into the Bridge and broke steel beams that damaged the structure.


Obvioulsly this is a huge deal for motor traffic, and public transport, Battersea Bridge being one of the favourite routes to the darker side of London ( sorry Sean I HAD TO say that!!!)… but the idea of walking, rollerskating skateboarding and maybe even kite flying on one of the cities bigger bridges… its sounds kinda cool dont you think???

pic forciably removed form BBC Online

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