25 December 2012

The 12 Days of Christmas

By the 6th January there will be a lot of birds flapping about, making a lot of bird poo when they are scared by the noisy pipes and drums.
The Lords, the dancing ladies and the milkmaids will be slipping over in the stuff as they try to get to the fruit and the jewellery.
It won't be a pretty sight.
Top: Highgate, Waterloo, Highbury+Islington, Charterhouse
Middle: Hoxton, Camden, Pimlico, Stroud Green
Bottom: Victoria, Clerkenwell, Wapping, Notting Hill

20 December 2012

Pipes and books and interesting things

Whilst doing a stall at Old Spitalfields Market a couple of months back a man stopped to chat about my wares and we stood for ages chatting about all things Thames foreshore-y and mudlark-y.
Turns out that John is one of the 50 or so people with an official licence to use a metal detector and do more than pick at the surface (like me). He has found all sorts of interesting things over the years. In addition to this he also provides a service helping people find their lost property for just the price of the reward offered, i.e. no result, no fee. See here for more info.
John also makes and sells an interesting and useful product – he hollows out books to create secret compartments for hiding keys, money, jewellery and the like. Aptly named Hollow Books.
John and I will both be trading at Spitalfields on Saturday 22nd. More info here.

Below are some Thames foreshore images by yours truly:

18 December 2012

Spare a thought for the reindeer

They are in training at the moment for the busiest day of their year.
Some come out to do a few extra jobs pre-Christmas, but most just take it easy and rely on the modelling and promo they do at other times of the year.
See here:
Top: Wimbledon, Crouch End, Regent St, Chelsea
Middle: Chelsea, Holloway, East Finchley, Lambeth
Bottom: Kings Cross, More London, Covent Garden, Hampstead

12 December 2012

More London Christmas Market

Another bit of blatant self promo here, but hey!
We Make London's Christmas Market takes place over 4 days this week – from Thursday 13th until Sunday 16th inclusive, 11am–5.30pm/4pm Sunday (why an early finish on Sunday?).
Situated at More London, on the South Bank between London Bridge and Tower bridge (outside Boris' offices and The Scoop), there will be 36 stalls selling unique handmade products, plus food, drink, music and entertainment to keep us all warm.
Here are some off some of my photos of the immediate area.

7 December 2012

The Belsizes

Located in a triangle bordered by Chalk Farm, Hampstead and Swiss Cottage tube stations is the area known as Belsize Park and, seeing as I am going there on Sunday, I thought it was due a mention here.
Checking through my photographic archive I noticed I haven't made that many forays into this area, though I have walked up and down Rosslyn Hill and Haverstock Hill many times and admired the robot-faced air raid shelter entrance, John Cooper's wonderful cubist (restored) 1935 floor mosaic at the Wharrie Cabmen's Shelter, a weathered milestone (4 miles to what?) and many old pubs hinting at the road's even older history. I have a few pics of some of the old shops in Englands Lane, but none of the charming village area along Belsize Lane. I really must get out more!
The word 'belsize' comes from the french 'bel assis' meaning well-situated – the area being perfect for direct access into central London. There are 12 roads in the area bearing this name including a grove, a terrace, a mews and an avenue. And of course, there's Belsize Park tube station too.
Ooh... I just found some excellent info about the area. Here's a link to it so that I can stop typing!

5 December 2012

car2go launches in London

After successful outings in mainland Europe and the US, London has just become the 17th city to be served by car2go.
Yesterday I went along to Boxpark next to Shoreditch station to the launch of this brilliant carsharing service. They call it 'the future of urban mobility' and I agree; I think it's brilliant.
It's a much simpler system than other carsharing schemes available at the moment – with car2go you register as a user (see below) and to get your card which will then activate any available car you see on the street or locate using the smartphone app. You can then drive the car around as necessary and just leave it parked anywhere legal within a car2go zone/borough. There are only three boroughs in London at the moment but I am sure that very quickly these little blue and white cars will be as common as the Boris bikes.
The environmentally friendly hybrid cars save on costs by switching themselves off when the car is at a standstill at traffic lights etc, and are therefore economical to hire. Prices start from 35p a minute up to £59 for a whole day and this includes fuel, insurance, tax, parking and the Congestion Zone charge.
I can see lots of opportunities for my own personal use, such as when I get off the Gatwick Express late at night after the tubes have finished and a black cab home to Holloway costs almost £30. How nice it would be to just sling my bag in the back of one of these little darlings and drive myself home for less than half the price!
Special offer: the registration fee is free if you sign up before the year end and this includes 30 minutes of free driving. Just turn up in person at one of the shops with your driving licence...  
See the website for even more information.
A selection of images; some are mine, and some were supplied on a cute little promo USB stick along with an even tinier toy Smartcar in a box. Nice touch.