Filed under London

Glass Art

Glass Art

Glass is one of those materials we tend to take for granted, as it is used in windows and drinking glasses, and I’ve long had a glass scrubbing board. Glass was used in religious houses to encourage people to look up, to think of higher things, but windows could create magical effects when the light … Continue reading

John Gibson – A British Sculptor in Rome

John Gibson – A British Sculptor in Rome

I knew many British people did the Grand Tour to widen their education, but had no idea some artists lived and worked there. Gibson (1790-1866) was born in Conwy, Wales but settled in Rome in 1817 where he studied with Antonio Canova and set up his own studio which itself became a tourist attraction for … Continue reading

Writing Non Fiction

Writing Non Fiction

Writing fiction or non fiction requires the ability to get inside a story, and inside the heads of characters. But non fiction has to go further – it has to be checkable, you need to protect yourself from challenges. But the process of research and writing can change you for the better. I am a … Continue reading

An Unhappy Tenant

This is a wonderfully wry ad from a London paper dated October 1815: WANTED IMMEDIATELY to enable me to leave the house which I have for these last five years inhabited, in the same plight and condition in which I found it, 500 LIVE RATS for which I will gladly pay the sum of £5 … Continue reading

Crosses and Public Spaces

Crosses and Public Spaces

I am fascinated by the creation, marking and use of public space. The centre of many towns and cities had Market or High Crosses which were the focus for communities. This is from Francis Watkins and the Dollond Telescope Patent Controversy describes the region near Charring Cross/Trafalgar Square in central London. The latter continues to be the … Continue reading

Jack London’s London Journey Begins

Against all the advice of his friends and the authorities, Jack London purchases some dirty, frayed, working man’s clothes and sets forth on his journey, with some money seemed inside his singlet in case of emergency. He bids farewell to his friends and : No sooner was I out on the streets than I was … Continue reading

Unseen City

Unseen City

I stumbled upon this exhibition at London’s Guildhall, expecting it to be about -oh, I don’t know – underground tunnels or something, but it’s about The City, ie the rituals about London and its guilds that few of us ever hear about, but there are a lot of them – I knew of the Swan … Continue reading

Sutton House

Sutton House

This is a National Trust property and the oldest home in East London. It was built by the courtier Sir Ralph Sadleir in 1535. His wife was a cousin of Oliver Cromwell. Instead of tapestries or wallpaper, the walls were covered with panels carved into ‘linenfold’ shapes, all of which were different. Some were painted. … Continue reading

Good Gym

Here’s an article from Friday’s i newspaper on people getting fit and doing good for the community. It always strikes me as a waste of time and energy going to the gym. Better to do something useful. “A sweat-drenched crew of joggers advances on Hackney’s Wilton Way estate, pickaxes and pitchforks in hand They’ve come … Continue reading