Archive for June, 2007

Flat-cap-sporting inventors wanted


The world’s first cash point was installed in a Barclays in Enfield, 40 years ago this week.

Big whoop, but you must read the charming story that the BBC has written about it. It’s like some kind of Carry On Cash Point; a simpler time that you can hardly imagine really existed.

“Reg Varney, from the television series On the Buses, was the first to withdraw cash.”

This is like those stories, so beloved by the North American press, of pensioners flighting off cougars with pen knives. It re-enforces a lovely, deeply held believe in who we are — or were.

“Inspiration had struck [inventor] Mr Shepherd-Barron, now 82, while he was in the bath.”

Ah, the bath — mental stimulant for so many great ideas. Viz Archemedes and J-Lo.

“Barclays was convinced immediately. Over a pink gin, the then chief executive signed a hurried contract with Mr Shepherd-Barron.”

Read the whole, life-affirming article here. Inventors, all it takes is a bath, a pink gin, the ear of the CEO of Barclays Bank, and a dream.

Photo from the BBC article

London Film School Alumni

The London Film School class of 2000 is hosting an informal networking party for ALL LFS alumni (whether you graduated or not!). Be there or be square. Information follows:

LFS Networking Party
Tuesday, June 26th
6:30 – 11:00 p.m.
Chandos Pub
(Map Here)

Lights out, London!


Will you be partaking in tonight’s Lights Out London event?

It’s June 21, the longest day of the year, astronomy fans. Capital Radio figures it’s the perfect time for dancing…dancing in the dark.

Lights Out London aims to prove that we can all make a difference to the future of our planet. On Thursday 21st June – Midsummer’s Night – we are inviting the whole of London to turn off all lights and non-essential appliances between 9 and 10pm.

Note non-essential — don’t unplug Grandma, kids.

There are a few ideas for what to do during this self-imposed blackout on their events page. The mini-wind-turbine-driven LED light installation on the South Bank sounds good!

However, I think I’ll try my own version of this event:

teresa’s garden sound party
A Secret Roof Terrace in Bethnal Green
It’s going to be like a sound bath in the garden, just listening to nature

Photo from onedotzero

Meat & Some Veg

London has gone organic food mad. I spent yesterday at the Marylebone Fair – a yearly event featuring a fantastic selection of stalls selling specialist cheeses, bread, fruit & veg plus lots of exquisite jewellery and clothing. Since I was last on Marylebone High Street a few months ago, the place seems to have been transformed. Now it’s impossible to walk more than a few feet without seeing a new organic food grocery or pricey bakery. I’m still on the fence whether I’m prepared to pay £21/k for a sirloin steak or £2.50 for a loaf of bread especially since I’ve been going to the best butcher in London called Bifulcos for almost a decade. It’s rare these days to find a butcher that not only knows their customers all by name but, in my case, even tries to set them up on dates. A few years ago I had to dissuade them from introducing me to a ‘very nice man’ when they heard I was single. Bifulcos in Cricklewood sells fantastic Scottish beef, Osso Bucco, salt beef and their own fantastic sausages. Sure, it’s a little more expensive than the supermarkets but doesn’t seem half as expensive as the organic shops I’ve been to lately.

View image

See your freedom erode…

Don’t usually post about films, but this one seems to outline just another incidence of our eroding freedom in the West. See it tomorrow:

Renoir Cinema
Brunswick Centre
Russell Square WC1N1AW
Box Office: 0870 850 6927

Its almost here, Tour De France and the Le Grand Depart

I thought it best to let you know, just in case you didn’t… that the Tour De France will be kicking off from London on Saturday the 7th with the Prologue followed by Stage 1 leading out from Greenwich to Canterbury on the 8th

Opening Ceremony – Friday 6 July 2007
Trafalgar Square will host a celebration of the 2007 Tour de France arriving in London. It’ll be free to partake, and Nelson’s Column should make an impressive backdrop for the planned events. More information about the Ceremony as we get it. Starts at 6pm

Prologue – Saturday 7 July 2007

To get a good spot as the Prologue twists through central London, be sure to get there very early. The actual race will be preceded by the publicity caravan, where you’ll be drowned with free products distributed by the many sponsors of the race.
# Caravan – 1pm
# Race Starts 3pm
# Race Ends – 6.20pm
Stage 1 – Sunday 8 July 2007

The caravan parade leaves the Mall at 8.40am. Riders will be signing on from 9.25am to 10.20am. The riders will then leave the Mall at 10.25am and there’s a ceremony at Tower Bridge at 10.45am. The race will then get properly underway when the riders reach Greenwich, opposite the Maritime Museum at 11am, in what is commonly referred to as the départ réel. The Tour director will announce the start of the race by waving a white flag from the official car.
Road Closures

There is no other sporting event like it, the worlds largest free to view spectator sport and only just behind the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics in terms of its global visibility. Come along and have the best weekend of cycling you may ever ever have.


Text from LondonCycleSport

Excuse me, you forgot your book….

Has a strange person offered you a free book on the Tube recently? They may have been from the London Book Project, a group of like-minded journalists in London who hate the free sheet glut and are hoping to turn the Tube into a “giant, free library!”

The Project members are handing out thousands of books, bought with their own money from second-hand book stores, in a bid to jump-start the thing.

I have been taking the tube lately and I haven’t seen a book yet myself. Are Tube staff binning these little jewels or have the voracious London readers gobbled them all up? Please comment if you have picked up or left a book!

Freelances’ Fair 2007, BAFTA, London

10.00am Friday 29th June
BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9LN

This is the second anual event. Last year’s event included information stalls, seminars and networking with people in film and TV. The event is free, and so are the seminars.


Wharf Bridge


Gasworks W10


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