It’s festive (meat) time again…

Talking statue_2

Today was the last day at work this year and also the one to get those festive meats in from Smithfield Meat Market.

On the way there walking from London Bridge at 7.30am, I passed the Rowland Hill talking statue across the road from the great Postman’s Park.

I might’ve worked for the Post Office in my dark and distant career past but it was still far too early to hit the “Hear Roland here” button! More on this great talking statue here and more on talking statues in general here. Whatever next eh? P

Talking statue_1

Talking of festive things, a big Christmas and New Year’s greeting from London in your lunch hour to all our readers! May you all have a great festive season! W and P

Camden Town for the rough lie-down…

CAMDEN

Fancy an exhibition for the week coming up to Christmas where there is no mention of that Santa chap and you don’t have to part with your hard-earned? Well this is for you then, held in the upstairs space of Holborn Library (a good favourite of ourselves, a few sleepers, our good friend Marc Gooderham and that chap who never gets off computer number 6!) P

A passage to bonkersness

Seen in Newman's Passage

Why?

While walking around London this weekend, the family and I stumbled upon Newman’s Passage in Fitzrovia. It’s a small mews that links Newman and Rathbone Street. If you enter by Newman Street you get spat out just under the Newman Arms pub (which is very cosy).

As well as being a very atmospheric little place, it also had a tableau of seal, boy, angels and green shed. I really have no idea what’s going on but the kids liked it.

Also, it had some lovely stencilled letters high up on a wall, which I love.

2015-12-13 14.52.11

And if you walk down there one day and wonder where you’ve seen it before…well it used to appear in the opening credits of Minder.

Minder pic

I could be so good for you

Alas, the crooked lampost is now gone. W

Santa’s little helpers

The trees. The trees.

The trees. The trees.

When you see the twinkling lights across London’s streets. Just think about how they got there. At one time I thought it was fairies. It turns out it’s actually down to some council type guys.

Seen in Guildhall, this is one of them having to stabilise a tree and decorate it in the middle of a pond (while his mates look on and offer no help). Bet he’s glad Christmas only comes once a year. W

Flexing those lunchtime muscles

xray

Earlier this year we featured the excellent X-Ray Audio exhibition at The Horse Hospital (post here.) Well it’s back again and well worth going to if you haven’t already been!

X-Ray Audio – Bone Music 1946-1964 
Saturday 28th November – Saturday 19th December 2015
The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1JD

It’s all about illegal recordings cut into X-ray plates from the cold war period and here’s more about them from  x-rayaudio.squarespace.com

“In the Soviet states during the cold-war era, most modern Western bands and music was banned for all sorts of reasons including ‘neo-fascism’, ‘mysticism’ and even ‘obscurantism’. Much Russian music was also forbidden for a variety of other reasons. Even certain rhythms were regarded unfavourably. But a vibrant, secret and risky trade grew up in what became known as ‘Bones’ or ‘Ribs’”.

“These Bones were medical X-Ray fluorography sheets unofficially obtained from hospitals, cut into discs and embossed with the grooves of bootlegged gramophone records – a kind of medical version of a DJ dub plate.”flexi

Alongside the great exhibition are two related live events that are a must to go to, if you like the sound of that sort of madness.

The first is on Saturday 5th December with Strictly Kev (DJ Food) (£6.50/£8) talking about his flexidisc collection with Stephen Coates (The Real Tuesday Weld/X-ray audio) and there’s a free mystery flexi for the first 20 people through the door. (Above: Some of this writer’s flexi discs.) More details here.

And on Friday 11th December (£10/£12) the night features Lydia Kavina (grand-niece of Lev Theremin) and one of the best Theremin players in the world performing, alongside x-ray audio, who provide a live demonstration of recording onto X-Ray plates. More details here. Earlier this year we attended a similar event and all we can say it was brilliant!

So go and have a look at the exhibition during a lunchtime or attend on the night(s), you won’t be disappointed! P