There’s a whole lot of (hand) shaking going on…


Yesterday I popped into The Library and Museum of Freemasonry at Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queens Street WC2 5AZ to have a look at the exhibition “Spotlight – Freemasons and entertainment.”

Firstly I thought it would be hard work getting into the building, imagining going through a handshake test, followed by all sort of trouser rolling and apron wearing jollities but no. It was a straightforward “go up the stairs and keep to your right for the exhibition.” When I reached the library I was greeted by a happy librarian only willing to talk about the Freemason’s Hall which is a fine old Art Deco building by the way.

The exhibition itself is interesting enough if you like that sort of thing but the only information I gleamed from it was Rick Wakeman and Freddy “Parrot-face” Davies are examples of lodge members who are also “modern day entertainers.” Not my sort of entertainers, sorry.


But it’s in the far room off the library (which houses the exhibition) where all the good stuff is. This is where the actual museum is and if you like pottery, regalia, cloaks and daggers and such-like with mad imagery on them, this is the place for you!

There’s plates printed with pyramids, tea pots with weird logos, strange looking medals and also a stone supposedly from King Solomon’s mines. It’s all mad stuff and well worth spending half an hour at. Below is my personal favourite from the exhibition.


But on no account leave a bad comment in the visitors book or you might find next time you want a bank loan or planning permission you might be mysteriously declined with no explanation. P

Mr Sandman, please tell me the truth

Mr Sandman

Walking past Holborn Station today I saw something that really stopped me in my tracks, a sand artist working on a sculpture of a relaxed hound. I had to ask the chap how long it took him (he said seven hours) and also took a photo of it as I was amazed at how good it was and I even parted with 50p!

As soon as I got back to work I couldn’t wait to show my workmates the great sculpture. One looked at the picture and said “That’s funny, it looks just like the dog that a guy sculpts in Chelmsford town centre at the weekend.” Another workmate piped up “That chap was doing the same thing at six o’clock last night outside the station and oddly enough at the same stage, just fiddling around with the dog’s nose with a small paint-brush.”

I’ve only looked on youtube tonight and noticed a few different sand sculptors working on a dog in a similar sort of pose. Please tell me it’s just co-incidental and sand artists love sculpting a hound lying like that.

I’d love to think that this was made through a bit of craftsmanship and not formed from some clever moveable mould. If it is a con, could I get my 50p back through trading and standards or a small claims court? P

Balls of London

Surveying spheres_1

Walking down one of the roads off Kingsway, Holborn the other lunchtime, I thought I’d walked on a film set from The Prisoner as I spotted lots of mini-Rovers everywhere!

Surveying spheres_3

They were all around from windowsills, in doorways and plonked by those little patches of soil you get around trees. Was I losing my mind at 1.30 on a Wednesday afternoon? Or was I being watched by some advanced surveillance device, making sure I would be back at my desk on time rather than nipping off home early for an afternoon of gardening?

Surveying spheres_2

Needless to say I was wrong on both counts as I spotted a Surveyor’s tripod nearby with a couple of rods propped up against a wall.  There was also a chap in a high vis waistcoat laying another ball on a windowsill and I just had to ask him what they were all about.

Turns out they are called Reference Spheres used by Surveyors who use Tacheometry to determine their positioning. And now you know. Me, I’d rather they were Mini-Rovers! P

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