Tag Archives: London

Oxford Street vs Notting Hill Gate

Compare and Contrast:

Eco HaloOxford Street 'eco halo'

It looks like someone’s basically ripped an idea for street art right from one London Street and moved it to another (the same street practically) but 2 miles further east. Smacks of a wee bit of laziness to me, even if it’s only in the due diligence – but that doesn’t desperately surprise me considering how long it’s taken all the parties involved in ‘rejuvenating’ the west end to actually get moving…

Snow in Campden Hill

The view from my balcony’s french doors..

The view from my Bedroom.

Mizzling.

I woke with a start this morning, partly due to the realisation that I was in fact already dreadfully late and partly due to our new found alarm clock that is St.George’s Church, just behind my house on the corner of Campden Hill Gardens which dutifully rings it’s bells in what seems to be no particular order at eight in the morning, midday and sometime around six.

From the moment I opened the blinds it was clear that the weather was going to be against  me all day, and as I walked out onto the balcony clutching my early morning dose of caffine it was became rapidly clear that it wasn’t just sheets of cloud flying across the sky above Trelick Tower on the horizon, but a fine drizzle was also starting to fall, the sort that can only be described as miserable drizzle; that stuff that soaks everything it comes into contact within mere seconds, which effectively  leaves you looking like a drowned rat for the whole day no matter what you try to do to dry off.

The only good thing weather wise was the cool stiff breeze, which was blowing the leaves around Campden Hill road in great swirling vortices, showing the first real sign of autumn taking hold that we’ve seen this year, as I strode out the flat I was a man on a mission, 30 odd photos needed sourcing, setting up, taking and finally processing – not the easiest of tasks when some of the things you’re taking photos of are entirely shrouded in cloud, and by the time I’d walked the familiar 400 yards from house to tube station I was utterly soaked; they say that the man with the weather has a sense of humour, if he does – it’s an evil one.

Buggered Public Transport

Tube FuckedWhat has happened to the tube this week? The Central line is entirely buggered, it took 25 minutes yesterday to get from Notting Hill Gate to Marble Arch before my impatience got the better of me and I decided to walk the distance from Marble Arch to Soho rather than wait for the train that was crawling from station to station, stopping in tunnels and being held in stations for 5 minutes at a time, and today it seems to be totally up-the-chuff again with severe delays and people calling you to use the buses instead of the tube, add to that the Hammersmith & City and Circle line running with delays due to the bizarre excuse of ‘too few trains?’ and a host of other signal, track and train failures on the District, Victoria, Bakerloo, Piccadilly and Northern Lines.

Every Londoner is aware that the tube isn’t the most reliable service in the world, but generally it holds up remarkably well considering the ineptness of it’s engineering upkeep and the constant battle between public and private organisations into who, and how it should be run/run by, but this week is ridiculous; the whole system seems to have simply fallen over and given up, on Monday getting a train from any of my local stations was entirely out of the question, yesterday was slow and today seems almost as bad a Monday, and all this while we’re being told fares are rising, our Oyster cards are being spied on, our taxes are being pissed into Metronet’s profit margins and all whilst the system is falling apart in front of our eyes.

This is supposed to be a world class city, I mean we’re talking about spending £8 Billion on the Olympics and yet we can’t even seem to get our own workforce into work without delaying and inconveniencing them at every step. As someone that was totally against PPP around my depression at our public transport network is a silver lining that I was totally justified in whining about the change-over to PPP which, I don’t think anyone can argue, has proved to be a complete and total disaster.

Campden Hill-Billy’s

And we’re in…. yay! – I’ve actually been blogging while the net connection has been down at home, so I’ll get them online shortly. It’s been quite nice not having the net at home, I’ve covered more papers and books than I’d ever normally do!

Movin’

It might appear all calm on the western front, but that couldn’t be further from the truth, the new house is less than 24 hours away, and a weekend of white vans, lumping, dumping, swearing and being generally knackered is on the cards, and oh boy am I looking forward to it. It’ll be so nice to have my own space back, all my stuff, and most importantly our own little castle, high up on Campden Hill… Indeed it’s a move of only 92 steps from our old flat, it’s just a pity of those two moves we’ve had to take such a detour! But who cares, the weekend beckons as does our warm new flat and I can’t wait.

The yoof of today.

So there we are in Pizza Express on Notting Hill Gate tucking into wholesome doughy goodness after a long day and an evening meeting when at 10.15pm the waiter has to rush to the inner door to hold it closed against three small boys, 10 minutes later they returned and the waiter wasn’t quite so quick to hold the door shut; as they burst into the restaurant they went straight for the people at the tables, “trick or treat” they cried, their lack of costumes and cups rattling under your nose showed they weren’t out for harmless fun, but cold hard cash: I felt like picking them up and throwing them in front of the 94, or even better the Oxford Tube (it’s got an extra set of wheels you know, for that extra level of squishiness that you just don’t get with an LT bus…), but the waiter once again shooed them away before they were able to wreak any further havoc on our quiet evening meals to high pitched cries of “don’t touch me”.

They couldn’t have been much more than 12, one looked morbidly obese, and it made me think just how much the world’s changed, being almost ancient (26 on Thursday *sob*) I can remember back when I was that age that you just wouldn’t have dared do something like that. To be honest I wasn’t even allowed to trick or treat, and frankly if I’d have spoken to any adult like they did to the waiter and diners yesterday evening that my parents would have booted me firmly into the middle of next year with a size 11 up my arse… it certainly left Dave and I wondering, has the world really changed that much in just a few years? And if it has where are the kids of today going to end up?

Media Guardian is not trying…

Capital FMSpotted this in Media Guardian today, headlining a story about how Capital is hemorrhaging listeners, and I couldn’t help but giggle at the photo, I mean how long is it since the radio cafe closed? When did capital last use that logo? Are we actually using a photo that’s about 10 years old? – Come on Media Guardian, do try harder!

Random phone photos

Some more random phone photos:

Above, two things you don’t see very often, an honestly badged chav car, and being undertaken by a house… and below, images from yesterday’s escape from the downpour.

Round Up

You’ll have to excuse me, as I know I’ve not blogged for decades: I have, as the the generic excuse of every lazy blogger goes, been busy.

I’ve been running all over the place doing all sorts of things, including, directing and shooting a fashion shoot for a well known tailor, attending endless meetings discussing everything from the details and minutia of an innovative start-up to bowels and bloating with another (and there really is a reason for this…), doing another shoot taking photos of bus lanes, buildings and traffic islands for later digital play and many other things. I’ve also been feverishly picking up new camera parts, searching for a new HD-DV cam (thinking of the Canon XH1) and preparing several pitches for several new and interesting potentials.

Alongside all of this the house hunt is once again picking up pace, with everything above and more it’s been a slow process, we’ve also done some (shock horror) socialising, coffee, films and galleries.

I really must whinge about the new Tate Modern exhibition, having made the effort to cross the river eariler this week, meeting dave mid-way across the Millennium Bridge (very Spooks), to go and see the much talked about “Slides”, we were very disappointed to find only two were open, and both of these were filled with devil spawn and their pushy-mummies while the others, gated and guarded by a surly looking Tate modern attendant were apparently ‘fully booked’ – and fuck me they looked it, not. So miffed at not getting to have a go on the slides, we were ultra critical of the installation which seemed even more pointless when you can’t get the endorphin hit they’re supposed to provide on the way down… to us they seemed badly lit, poorly constructed (horrid welding… if you’re into that sort of thing), and just a little uninviting: they certainly weren’t embracing like the Weather Project was, so disappointed at Tate.

However I really must enthuse about The Devil Wears Prada, which is wickedly funny; well shot, beautifully styled and strangely true to life in many of it’s nuances, anyone that’s worked in or around the fashion industry will be able to see someone they know in any one of the main characters. Meryl Streep as Anna Wintour ahem, Miranda Priestly is stunning whilst Anne Hathaway puts in a sterling performance as ugly duckling turned swan. Whilst on the subject of movies I must also say that since Odeon took over the UCI at Whiteleys the seats are now so much more comfy, avoiding that horrid mid-movie-numb-bum, that used to be a danger whenever visiting that particular cinema.

I must also positively drool over Notting Hell, Rachel Johnson’s new book all about the trials and tribulations of life on the communal garden in my favourite part of London, again if you live, or have ever lived in W11 this book will give you deep deep joy, and it’s hilariously accurate, although I’ve yet to come across any reference to Dutch neighbours who fake orgasms every saturday morning – so I’m guessing that that’s just one of our personal experiences.

So it’s Monday morning, admittedly a long time before work is to start, but Monday none the less – I’m promising myself that I’ll do more blogging this week, I’ve got a phone full of more tube fashion disasters and I’ve got tales of a conversation overheard in Starbucks Notting Hill Gate which I’m just too tired to explain the utter ridiculousness of right now, but I promise I’ll do that some time this week!