Christmas trees and Christmas decorations

A busy start to the week, resulting in an expanding waistline. Perhaps abstinence in the new Year might reverse the trend ……… must [will try] to take time out this week for some exercise.

Tuesday this week involved a trip to London for a lunch, at London Marriott Hotel County hall, and afterwards a trip to Liberty’s in Regent Street. The Regent Street Christmas Lights were the same as last year. Well, not quite, they’ve called the lights, re-imagined. Meaning they’re the same but with subtle changes.

Yesterday its was the Camberley & District Probus Club Christmas lunch, held at Pine Ridge Golf Club. Over 100 members, wives, widows and guests joined our one monthly lunch in the year where wives and partners are join us, accompanied with excellent food, humourous speeches, and general good bonhomie.

Here’s my seasonal selection of photos.


Reporter in Wonderland riding the Tube

Having spent time, though must say not recently, I’ve seen the aging infrastructure in America – mostly with their bridges and railways. It contrasts with their world leading position in science and technology. Oh, and the two other things we’re hopeless at, and at which, in my opinion, they excel: public address systems and air conditioning.

It, therefore, comes as no surprise that the New York Times has published this article – New York City Transit Reporter in Wonderland: Riding the London Tube.

The Evening Standard finds that Londoners baffled by New York Times article branding the Tube a ‘wonderland’ that ‘runs like clockwork’.

Impressive map of all London rail lines – Tube, Overground, DLR and National Rail

Visiting the City Metric website I happened on an article about London’s abandoned tube stations.

Fascinating in itself, though more impressive is a link within the article to a map of showing the entire National Rail, Tube, Underground, Overground, and DLR lines stations, and platforms in and around London. Oh, and it includes past stations and lines too. The nearest stations at the limit of the map to us in Surrey Heath are Virginia Water, Longcross, and West Byfleet, which shows just how extensive is the coverage of Central and Outer London rail lines.

The map is a creation of French designers at Carto.Metro. Below is a screenshot from the map. Being copyright protected it’s not possible to post the complete map here. You can, though, freely download the map and explore its content at your leisure.

It’s not Eros in Piccadilly Circus. Do you know who it depicts?

Everyone knows that the statue in Piccadilly Circus is the statue of Eros – mostly that’s because it’s the name to which it’s commonly referred.

Well, the truth is that it’s not a depiction of Eros, but Anteros, his twin brother. Londonist explains why our confusion over the name,

Gilbert [the sculptor] spent a long time considering how to celebrate the life of Shaftesbury, a philanthropist and social reformer. Lord Shaftesbury campaigned against many injustices, such as child labour conditions, limiting child employment in factories and mines.

For five years Gilbert considered various ideas to celebrate the charitable life of the Earl. He eventually decided on a fountain, topped with the winged figure of Anteros, the ancient Greek symbol of Selfless Love.

Gilbert described Anteros as portraying “reflective and mature love, as opposed to Eros or Cupid, the frivolous tyrant.”

But the English, with our unhelpfully generic singular word for ‘love’, whether its love for your grandma, your hot new boyfriend or your baby niece, struggled with this idea. The boy with the bow and arrow was Eros, and neither explanations nor re-branding exercises were going to change that.

It was the first sculpture in the world to be cast in aluminium and is set on a bronze fountain.

Diego Delso,, License CC-BY-SA

Phew, terrorist incident on Westminster Bridge, just where I was with friends yesterday

Terrorist incident on Westminster Bridge this afternoon, just where I was with friends yesterday. The area around the London Eye, Embankment, Westminster Bridge and Parliament Square was immensely busy yesterday, and I imagine the same today. Do hope none to seriously injured – that’s apart from the madmen causing the mayhem. [My photo of the bridge from yesterday]

Explore the London Blitz with Bomb Sight web-mapping

Builders continue to uncover unexploded WW2 bombs in London building sites. The London Evening Standard reported on the finding of a 500lb just last week.

Below is a photo of the bomb, and a screen capture of a website and phone app that shows bomb locations in London. Click on the map screen capture to link to the website. We mostly know that many thousands of bombs were dropped on London, to see this in the Bomb Sight onscreen map is a reminder of those numbers.

Here’s what the authors of the website say about their website,

The Bomb Sight project is mapping the London WW2 bomb census between 7/10/1940 and 06/06/1941. Previously available only by viewing in the Reading Room at The National Archives, Bomb Sight is making the maps available to citizen researchers, academics and students. They will be able to explore where the bombs fell and to discover memories and photographs from the period.

ww2-bomb bomb-sight