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A Victorian Advent Calendar – 7th Dec

Considering the regular complaints about the commercialisation of the modern Christmas, I decided to have my own Advent Calendar this month – made from adverts that were printed in Victorian newspapers. Each day I will display an advert from my


Christmas beers at Nicholsons Pubs

Had an invite to sample some new Christmas themed beers earlier this week, where the pub chain had sent some of its pub managers to smaller breweries and worked on developing some new beers for the holiday season. Nicholsons is


A Victorian Advent Calendar – 1st Dec

Much of our modern Christmas traditions date from the Victorian era, including the advert calendar – and like the Christmas Tree, it is also German in origin. Although the first known Advent calendar can be traced back to 1851, the


London Underground Moquette at Canary Wharf

The main shopping centre at Canary Wharf is doing something exceptionally rare this weekend – they are admitting that men like to buy clothes. Throughout the year, the place puts on lots of shopping events for the ladies, but the


Support a London Museum this Christmas

I am going to make a suggestion. If you are looking for a present to give someone this Christmas, and you want something that they can use all year round – rather than socks and fragrances… give them a membership


Parish Notice: Adding Google+ to the website

Just a bit of news about the website itself: I tend to be wary of leaping onto technology bandwagons until at least they have checked if the brakes work properly and they know if the driver is competent. However, as


Mince Pies that go stale before Christmas Day

Tis the season to be buffeted this way and that by exhortations to shop early and shop often for Christmas goodies. With some shops setting up Christmas zones in the middle of October, there are the usual complaints about how


Google makes changes to its RSS Reader – Howls of Protest Erupt

Changes, everything changes eventually – and people will instantly dislike the changes simply because they are different. I tend to look at a new website and complain less about aesthetics, than about functionality. I don’t really care about aesthetics –


The Northern Line tunnel – bombed and flooded in 1940 – and still sealed shut

Just before midnight on the 9th September 1940, sailors up on deck of the cargo sailing ship, Seven Seas were watching an air raid by German bombers over the Charing Cross railway bridge when an explosion hit the river and


The Waverley is in trouble

Ever since I moved to a flat next to the river, my summer evenings have been enlivened by the sight of a rather pretty boat chugging past the flat at night, with a distinctive paddle-steamer sound and decoratively lit for


A garish smorgasbord of 2012 memorabilia in John Lewis

One of the so-called “anchor tenants” within the gargantuan shopping centre next to the Olympic Park is John Lewis, and they have set aside part of their new department store as a 2012 shop and viewing area. Since it opened,


How the media reported that “Big Ben” is leaning

Over the weekend, the sort of story that has newspaper editors salivating cropped up – that Big Ben is leaning to one side and that the angle is now noticeable to the naked eye. Obviously, the first caveat is that


Were London’s Streets Once Paved with Gold?

I am sure you’ll be familiar with the claim that Dick Whittington was lured to London by rumours that the streets were paved with gold, but like most fables there just might be the slightest hint of truth in the


Collecting cups

Many venues that I like to visit will come with the ubiquitous café and shop – sometimes very fancy and posh, sometimes quite acceptable, often overpriced. Going into the shop, people seem delighted to buy a generic bar of chocolate


The tube train that travels through time and space

A couple of decades ago, there was a children’s TV show which is often considered to be a precursor of the Crystal Maze in that it featured a few people trying to solve a series of puzzles. The celebrities would


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