Dem bones

You are here - apparently

You are here – apparently

I thought I’d make the most of the nice weather last week and go for a wander to Bunhill Fields near Old Street. I knew there were some interesting people buried there, such as Daniel Defoe and William Blake – plus there’s a park bit where you can eat your sarnies.

A lovely bit of green

A lovely bit of green

It’s worth a look. The gravestones are suitably impressive and even though most of them are behind railings, if you go between 1 and 3pm from Monday to Friday, you can ask someone to let you have a gander or you can make an appointment on 020 7374 4127.

Even if you don’t get behind the railings, the Daniel Defoe…grave? tomb? monument? I can’t remember if it said his body was below it so I don’t want to get it wrong and say it’s one thing when it’s not..if you see what I mean. Anyway, one of those things. It’s quite impressive.

Is this an interesting picture?

Is this an interesting picture?

And the William Blake is out in the open too.

Here he lies..guess who the shadow is?

Here he lies..guess who the shadow is?

I ended up having a chat with the mason guy who was renovating one of the tombs. Turns out he goes round quite a lot of the burial grounds having to do this sort of work. Good job he knows what he’s doing. You have to try not to disturb the bricks on top. I should have asked why but I imagine it’s something to do with evil spirits like that the bit in the end of raiders of the lost ark.

I'm fixing a hole where the roots gets in.

I’m fixing a hole where the roots gets in.

One thing I never found out was the reason behind this small ready-to-burn wicker man funeral pyre. Sometimes it’s best to just not ask.

There was a man, who had a wife...etc

There was a man, who had a wife…etc

If you get time, you could also join this jaunt with a visit to the John Wesley Chapel which is just across the road. They have stained glass windows coming out of their walls and a very interesting etched window that I’ve never seen the like of before. Check it out. W

Etched this time - I'm branching out

Etched this time – I’m branching out

**UPDATE** Apparently there’ll be a series of free things going on at Bunhill this year. It’ll be based loosely on what happened there in 2012 but details are still to be finalised. According to the lovely lady at the open spaced department, you can keep up to date by checking here.

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Papp off, why don’t you…

pap offThursday lunchtime while I was on my way to meet a mate I noticed about forty papparatzi milling about outside an office in High Holborn obviously waiting for someone to show. What was even funnier, on the other side of the road there was a massive crowd forming, all with sarnies in one hand and a mobile phone (camera at the ready) in the other. They had no idea who the papps were waiting for as when I asked a few of them, all I got was “No idea”, “It’s got to be someone famous” and “I hear it’s Trendy Spice” yeah right! I reckoned it was going to be someone classy like the chap with the whispering snake on Britain’s Got Talent.

About ten minutes later walking passed the scene again I noticed an arabic looking guy in a suit with his head down with a couple of minders trying to get into the back of the building. Then all hell let loose!

A shout went up from the papps who started running around the corner, whacking each other and any passers-by out of the way all while trying to carry all their massive gear, outsized furry boom mikes and cameras etc. In the end they surrounded the unfortunate bloke, nearly flattening what looked like his lawyer of maturing years into the bargain. The suited bloke was in the building before you knew it and the papps were standing around again playing the old waiting game albiet a lot more bruised!

It was only watching the ten o’clock news later that evening that it turns out the scrum I witnessed was for the horse trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni who was on his way to a doping hearing with the British Horse-racing authority. He’s now been banned for eight years after being found guilty of giving his horses steroids.

I was well shocked at the behaviour of the papparatzi, they honestly didn’t give one for anyone that got in the way and talk about stalking! Now I know what Posh Spice feels like when she pops out for loo roll at her local branch of Tesco’s. That was lunchtime madness of the highest order! P

On a serious note

Irrational beliefsI’m more of a bloke who finds the sight of a man with a megaphone giving out to passers-by outside Mcdonalds great stuff to while away a lunch hour but there are alternatives to this sort of silliness. Today for instance  at Conway Hall is the Intriguing talk “Irrational beliefs in the NHS” (including why hospitals miss out bed 13). Also for more serious stuff have a look at what’s on at the Gresham College. Their free lectures in the forthcoming months include “what makes a good professional” and “public oratory in London from the middle ages to the present day”. Not my cup of char but I am sure these subjects float other peoples boat. Me, I will be out in watching the “sleepers” at various London libraries, eating while on the hoof (and getting microwaved Uncle Ben’s rice all over my clothes) or buying cheap unrefrigerated cheese and ham from the man with the greasy hair in Leather Lane market who says “thank you” in a very high pitched voice. I don’t want to give it large but I do lead a very exciting (lunchtime) life! P

There she goes

Well, that was eventful wasn’t it? Did you see it. Did you get down there and watch it or bask in the wall to wall coverage on BBC?

I took the opportunity to have a bit of a run and see what I could see. In then end, the answer was not much. Apart from this bloke.

I think it says death to capitalism or something like that

I think it says death to capitalism or something like that

It did seem completely inconceivable how much of London shut down. I don’t know about you, but if you’re shutting down that many roads, I want a bit more for my money. I want carnival floats and big people dancing around with papier mache heads; I want a number of designated stops along the route where children from local schools play out scenes from Maggie’s life, including a moving scene where Maggie (played by Jennifer Jones from 5G) and Arthur Scargill (Mohammad al Saddiqi) sing “Don’t go breaking my heart”; I want whistle blowing and men dressed as women.

I did manage to run down a traffic-less Kingsway and Aldwych though, so it’s not all bad. W

No cars. NO CARS!

No cars. NO CARS!

We have no time to stand and stare

Unless you have switched your eyes and ears off, you’ll know that this Wednesday will see the procession and funeral of Margaret “Maggie” Thatcher.

I’m not sure what to expect of a full military funeral. I’m hoping for a balls-out, goose-stepping soviet style procession with tanks and warheads but will settle for an oompah band and french bangers. The shindig starts off at Westminstinster Palace before parading its pomp and circumstance all the way along the Strand until it ends up at St Paul’s Cathedral itself.

Have a look at the tfl website for more information about the route and the road closures. It looks like Blackfriars will definitely be closed throughout.

As something free to have a look at, if you can take an early lunch (The service starts at 11am), it can’t really be beaten .

As it is, even if you miss the cortege, there’s bound to be some interesting sights about– especially as LIYLH’s P is hoping to inflate a small child’s paddling pool and indulge in some hoop trundling in order to lighten the mood. If it all turns horribly violent however, you may want to give the whole thing a miss. W

We’re loving it!

love police_3Thursday lunchtime I witnessed what looked like a mad one-man protest outside the Holborn branch of McDonalds. A man with a (turned up to the max) megaphone was demonstrating in a very witty style and was getting a fair bit of reaction from the crowd so I had to stop and have a listen. There was something a bit different about this protest though, there were no banners or signs in sight and the only leaflet that was given out (and only when I asked) was a “tacky” one in the speaker’s own words. Here’s the leaflet in near enough in the same condition when I got it on Thursday lunchtime.

love police leafletWhat the guy was saying was brilliant and on a top humour tip! Two of the lines I remember well were “and they serve something called a happy meal, can you see anybody happy coming out of there?” and “some people have birthday parties for their kids at McDonalds, that’s child abuse in my eyes” The passers-by didn’t quite know what to make of it all, some walked past with their heads down (as per in London town) while others got quite agitated. In the ten minutes I was there at least three people asked him “and what is WRONG with the food at McDonalds?” What!

I went over and told the guy how funny it all was before he was told to move on by McDonalds staff and the security from the financial college next door. I was so intrigued with what I saw, I got back to work told a few people about it and had a look on the web. It was Danny Shine the spiritual entertainer, once of the Love Police which my good mate The Rhythm Doctor told me about a while ago that I had forgotten all about. I also realised I had walked past Danny a few months previous in Covent Garden while he was chatting on the megaphone standing beside or possibly on top of a step ladder. I didn’t stop then, thinking he was some sort of “out there” busker. I am ashamed to say I didn’t know too much about what Danny did before seeing him on Thursday but I do now and would love to see it again!  Big up Danny and keep spreading the love, there ARE people listening! Check out Danny on film when he was in the Love Police and on his own as the spiritual entertainer. Brilliant! P

Walk the (free) walk(s)!

do you like the way i walk?This was sitting on the reception desk when I got into work this morning, a leaflet for a series of free guided walks around London and a lot of them during lunchtime in the week.

There is no excuse now for staying in and looking at the internet during lunchtime even if you are skint! Walks include “Horrible Holborn” this Wednesday 10th and Friday 12th April, The Bloomsbury Group, Crown Court Church which we have featured before, and a whole heap more until 28th June. How good is that? More info here. P