: ' London life'

“Can I bring my budgie?”

. . . and other bizarre requests made of London Cabbies Cabbies in London get to see all walks of life. In fact, you never quite know who you’ll get in the back of your cab [...]

Run for the Hills

At the Tate Gallery among the paintings by Constable and Monet was a sight stranger than any picture by Jackson Pollock which would later adorn its walls. Wearing his pyjamas an off-duty policeman dived into the [...]

Jump on a bus

One of my favourite London films is Brannigan, starring John Wayne as a Chicago detective. It is as if Visit London had commissioned Paul Greengrass to direct a travel documentary aimed at American tourists. Fast paced [...]

Manners maketh man

ondon’s cabbies, it would seem, have the undeserved reputation of being self opinionated and lacking manners. Driving all day on London’s roads it can hardly be surprising that common courtesies are not always observed; many times [...]

Blue is the new green

I have been driving down the Embankment watching as the soft incandescent lights strung between lampposts slowly died of age, and no one bothered to replace them. Then the wet desolated pavement alongside the Thames was reminiscent [...]

Bog standard

No matter how glum I may feel driving around London the sight of a Pimlico Plumbers’ van with their amusing number plates. W4TER, DRA1N, BOG 1 or my favourite 701LET is guaranteed to put a smile [...]

London’s Fag End

Tobacco is said to have arrived on our shores in 1586 and was first smoked at the Pied Bull in Islington, the habit proved so popular that only 28 years later there was recorded over 7,000 [...]

The New Centurions

ow before you start reading today’s little missive I must add a cautionary note. If you haven’t reached your thirtieth birthday my words of wisdom will have no relevance in your life and I suggest you [...]

Demographic analysis

  his month London’s first French language terrestrial radio station starts broadcasting to the capital’s 400,000 native French speakers as a reminder of their own culture, but why are so many French institutions based around South [...]

I don’t Adam and Eve it!

he Oxford English Dictionary claims that the first use of the word cockney as a reference to native Londoners was in 1521, and since I did The Knowledge I’ve been telling anyone who cares to listen [...]