Archive for September, 2008

Pavement Archaeology

mystery symbols

mystery symbols

I’ve been working in Soho for many years, and have always wondered about the weird little symbols that one sees carved into kerbstones.

What are they for? How old are they? Are they cut into the stones before or after the kerb is laid? Maybe some of London’s kerbs are cut from ancient Celtic megaliths?

What does a triangle mean? A cross? An X with dots? A little arrow?

I always thought they were only to be found in central London – but I saw some in Twickenham (well St Margarets) the other day.

The thing is – I’m not sure if I want anyone to tell me what they are for. It’s bound to be something really boring. For surveyors? Something to do with quarrying? Highway maintenance schedules? I prefer to think that they are some kind of masonic language. Maybe something to do with ley lines. I’ll ask Julian Cope.

What’s the Matter with a super club?

Last Thursday I was lucky enough to go to the press launch of the new “super club” in London’s O2. Matter really is a hell of a place. It has a huge amount going for it as it can be and will be a club that will play an eclectic amount of music having dance and indie nights as well as having live acts as well.

With its location in the dome the best way to get there is pretty much the best way to travel around London and that is by boat which will take take you a to a 2 minute walk from getting into the club. The boat trips on London are superb and really get your anticipating a good night ahead. Not only that but boats will be running all night on club nights so you can get back into town with ease.

The club itself has a huge amount of cool stuff, the decor is basic (all concrete) but the dance floor in the main auditorium vibrates with the bass of the music and turns your body into a speaker itself. In the vip the is a walkway which goes over the main dance floor which is some 30 foot below.

Check out the Matter website for all their events which are upcoming i will definitely be going again as they have some huge names which will be entertaining.

I am getting some Afghan action

I finally got my own enormous, gorgeous carpet from Afghan Action.

I posted about this London/Afghan charity before, and the good work that they do offering training, education and a good living within Afghanistan. Now I have an example of the craftsperson’s work on my floor and it is utterly stunning.

It’s so nice to get something for the home that is fair trade and will last a lifetime, and the next lifetime, rather than some piece of MDF that is just biding time before it becomes landfill. This is a work of art that will become an heirloom, assuming I get some heirs at some point.

They have carpets starting at £200, which is fantastic for a hand-made object that is fair trade and beautiful, and is packed with so much good karma that you can spend every Sunday lying on it and watching Star Trek reruns totally guilt-free for the rest of your life. They also sell great ethical gifts.

Rave review for Afghan Action…thanks for making my house look less like a student squat and making me feel so good doing it!

Thames Festival

Incase you haven’t heard, this weekend is the Annual Mayors Thames Festival.

Myself and my friend Natasha passed through there today. We had a bit of a walkabout, I had met another friend from Uni in Caranby street for Lunch – Pure California, (expensive but really really nice), and I decided to walk down to check out the Pavilion. Tash called me whilst I was on the way and then we ended up we were doing a bit of a tourist thing – The Serpentine, The Gehry Pavilion, The Royal Albert Hall, and Buckingham Palace. Yeah and this is with a chick that “doesn’t do walking….”

So anyway we figured being so near to the River we should check out this Festival. We were planning to go tomorrow anyway (there’s a fireworks display at around 9pm between Waterloo & Blackfriars Bridges), so it seemed a good idea to see where all the good stuff was happening, and what was going on – even if it was going to be worth the hassle – she lives in New Cross at the moment.

South Bank was heaving – and we could hear the music from Westminster Bridge. There was like a weird scaffold thing on Jubilee Gardens, which we later found out to be the set for Free-running performances. It all looked really awesome. What actually sold us was walking into the Weasley Twins as they came out of the CBBC Tent and getting them to take photos with us. We did that to Cesar Pelli once too you know….

We’re definitely going back tomorrow – the Free-Runners ill be performing again all day tomorrow (look out for Blue), there’s a fire dragon, jive stage, moon festival and street cabaret as well as the aforementioned firework display….

My only regrets are my phone battery running out – hence the lack of pictures… but we’re definitely going tomorrow so that’s easily rectified!

Ahoy There!

Oooh Ooooh! Pirate Party Alert!

Of all my favourite things to do, dressing up as a pirate has to be to be top on my favourites list. Pirates are simply the best, striped tights and pantaloons or wench blouses with buckled boots you cannot fail to look super cool and dangerous when you are a pirate.

Even better is doing so whilst having access to a boat – and best has to be while you are partying on a boat, no? You cannot imaging my joy when I learnt that Bring Stuff are having a Pirate Party on a PUB BOAT!

The best thing about this is that it’s free (before 10pm)… OK the second best thing. The best thing has to be the fact that you get to be a part of the Biggest Bestest Pirate take-over on the River Thames this (pitiful) summer!

Bring Pirates is being held on the Tattershall Castle on the 20th September. Full details can be found on the Bring Stuff Website, or the Facebook event page. There’s going to be games like Yarr’ing at the police boats and prizes for Best Pirate and Best Pirate Jig – you know what you are even encouraged to be rude and piratey!! this is my kind of party!

If you needed anymore reasons to be there, I’d tell you to take a look at last years photos. But I think we all know this is not an event to be missed – I’ll see you all there me Heartys!!

London Levees

What does a video about Hurricane Katrina have to do with London:

1) London’s levee system is mentioned at the end of the video
2) I’m moving from London to New Orleans on Monday
3) Londoners watch Youtube (if you click through to the video on youtube and watch and comment, the video will rise to the top thus highlighting the fact that what happened in New Orleans after Katrina was a man-made disaster).

Thank goodness for the boys in blue (not)

Stoke Newington is CRAWLING with police this morning. You’ve never seen so many police. All over the frigging place.

“What are they doing?”, you ask. Busting a major crack ring? On the trail of a terrorist cell?

Nope.

Catching cyclists.

Yep – you heard me right. They have Stokey on lock-down so that they can bust people for riding down alleys without dismounting, running red lights, etc.

OK – bad cycling annoys me as much as the next person. I can’t stand the little toads that ride at speed down the pavement – I just shout at them: “are you too frightened to ride on the road?” And running a red light when there are pedestrians around is a no-no for me too.

But seriously – a police crackdown, utilising this many officers to catch a few mildly anti-social cyclists is just absurd. Is this what I pay them for?

A friend of mine was fined £30 by a copper the other day. The crime: going across the pavement with his bike in order to lock it to a railing. He freewheeled the bike, standing on the pedal, like you do. Result a £30 fine. Frigging ridiculous.

So – the question is: now that cycling has begun to really take off as a form of green, healthy transport for Londoners (post-Olympic effect too), who has ordered the police to crack down on cyclists in this absurd manner?

Hey police cadets – looking forward to a glorious career of hassling cyclists?

Banksy in New Orleans

Banksy Battles the Gray Ghost

Banksy Battles the Gray Ghost

I’ve been very remiss in my posting these days. That’s because I’ve been orchestrating an international move from London to New Orleans. Come Monday, partner PJ and I will be back in the arms again of my family and childhood friends. Head Metblog Dude, Sean Bonner, has allowed me to carry on bitching on the New Orleans Metblog, so yay!
And, speaking of New Orleans Metblog, Richard has posted that London’s own Banksy has been gracing the walls of The Big Easy and doing battle with the Gray Ghost.
On his website Banksy seems surprised at the city’s constant state of decay: “I looked out the window of the taxi on the drive into New Orleans and remarked ‘There’s still so much devastation – I can’t believe they haven’t cleaned this mess up.’ To which the driver stared at me and said ‘This part of the city wasn’t affected by the hurricane. It’s always looked like this.'”
Oh, how I cannot wait to be home again.

SELFISH…

For the second time this week I was late this morning. There were 5 Fire engines, two police vans, and a emergency response unit as I exited Hammersmith pink line and made my way over to the Broadway Centre

A bomb maybe? or a security alert? NO… a fucking suicide.

I am awfully sorry if you think I am being unsympathetic, but I don’t think its fair. I have suffered depression, as have many other londoner’s. In fact the Metro pointed out this morning that 3 men in Britain commit suicide everyday. It is a sad thing. But WHY OH WHY do they feel the need to do it

a/ in front of a train – it MUST hurt
b/at the busiest train station they can think of
c/ at 8.30 in the morning.

Someone at work said its might be the last attempt to piss off a world that’s dealt them badly. Well I say get a bloody therapist or do it somewhere else. Its not fair, its not nice, and I saw the poor guys that had to clean it up – and it was THEM I felt sorry for.

So please think twice if your planning to jump tomorrow morning, cos Ruby for one has NO sympathy.

The twitterings of a bridge

Those of you who are aware of Twitter may be amused to hear that Tower Bridge is now at it. What a happy, eventful and productive life the old girl seems to be leading. Hurrah for Tower Bridge, and her endless opening and closing!

If you feel tempted to become a follower of Tower Bridge (and, let’s face it, who could resist?), here’s a link

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