Category Remember remember

My museum is better than your museum (plus two shards)

You may have heard of Dennis Severs’ House on Folgate Street in Spitalfields. It’s the small museum that makes a virtue of its crumbly interior, where rooms have been unrenovated and returned to their eighteenth century mood and your tour is provided by candlelight and the insidious smells of the past. It is a fascinating […]

A London shop devoted to umbrellas and sticks

Umbrellas. Now there’s a commercial opportunity. Unsurprisingly, London has a very well established shop devoted to this much maligned accessory. James Smith and Sons has been around for some time. 1830 to be exact. They sell umbrellas and that other curiosity, the stick. We’re talking walking sticks here. Once, they were all the rage. Now […]

A stroll in Regent’s Park (or ‘the Regent’s Park’, as it’s more formally known)

Nothing like a flower arrangement to get this fella in. And Regent’s Park, one of the Royal parks of London, does arrangements rather well. Like a suit you put on once a year, a walk down one of its main arteries provides a formal floral kick that leaves you feeling just that little bit wealthier… […]

Like a fading Hollywood star, Sitges looks great in the evening light…

Sitges. Home of the free pour. Can someone – please, anyone! – remind me of this for next time? The summer retreat of Picasso, Sitges has dimensions beyond its beach and bars. An impossibly idyllic old town struts out onto a headland, a church romantically at its stern as if put there for the photographs, and a meander […]

Fifty Shards: Day 23. A bit of Clive James…

Clive James was on the box last night. Charmingly witty with his usual enthusiasm for word-play, I find it hard to believe he has leukaemia even though his face is drawn from it. Recently, he mentioned that he is too ill to travel back to his homeland, and it seems underneath the wit is a forlornness contemplating mortality. […]

Signs of life in Bloomsbury

Or perhaps the School of Life? No matter, Bloomsbury remains the undiscovered gem of London, the British Museum its gate, moat and castle wrapped into one. ‘Stop. Do not come forward. Here is Bloomsbury’s waiting room but you will require further scrutiny before travelling beyond our gates.’ Bloomsbury is a neighbourhood scarred by its proximity to […]

At you like a ton of bricks

Brick Lane. Nothing says London better. Take a wonderful sunny day and then you’ve nailed it. Dive in because tomorrow is another day, as they say, and then it could all be so very different cos I remember the days of burnt-out buildings and tatty collectables laid out on blankets asking for best price. Spitalfields […]