The doors of Brick Lane: London

I enjoyed a weekend in London recently and decided to take a trip to Brick Lane in East London. I’d seen a television programme that week that was all about the history of the East End. I wanted to see it for myself – so went along to explore.

There was street art everywhere I looked. I went snap-happy with my camera and loved every moment. Here are some of the amazing doors I found!

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Europe… According to the British

Britain and Europe.

You thought that they were linked? Clearly the Brits disagree…

It’s all very mixed up.

The UK (or is it Great Britain? Or Scotland? Or Wales?…. England even?)…. They don’t really feel like Europe. Quite often you hear the UK media refer to ‘over in Europe’ as though the UK itself is not part of it.

Well it makes sense. We (Brits) are ever so glad to have the ‘English’ Channel to keep us and them far enough apart.

Here’s what the Brits really think of the rest of Europe.

Fireworks for Fawkes

I’ve just got home from a wonderful evening watching fireworks. I love firework displays.

The school that I work for held an annual event to commemorate Guy Fawkes Night. Ah yes – “Remember, remember the 5th of November”.

Okay – some of you are probably wondering why I’ve been watching fireworks tonight – it’s not New Year’s Eve – it’s not Chinese New Year – it’s not my birthday… Well it’s all about something which happened in 1605. The King of England didn’t get blown up – phew – how lucky he was.

The evening tonight didn’t actually mention Guy Fawkes (the guy who was caught as part of the plot to kill King James I of England). That would be too politically ‘provoking‘. However, the fireworks were brilliant – the children and parents were thoroughly entertained – and I had a great time.

History Part – If you actually want to know more about the whole Guy Fawkes story, you can check here.

 

The 10 Driving Commandments!

Other drivers never cease to amaze me. How did half the drivers on the road ever pass their test?

I passed my driving test at 17 years of age. I was given driving lessons as a present. “Wonderful, a passage to adulthood and freedom”. 14 years on, I think I’m a pretty decent driver. I’ve had a couple of accidents bumps…. Not all my own fault (but everybody probably says that).

In a recent poll online a massive 90% of drivers said that they were ‘good/very good’ drivers. Astounding – they can’t all be so good. I’ve been out on the roads around Europe and I beg to differ.

So, I’ve decided to compile the 10 Commandments of Driving.

I. Thou shalt use those things known as indicators.

Why do people think that the drivers around them have psychic abilities enabling them to predict the manoeuvres of the driver in front. Use those indicators guys….. Oh, and when I say use them, I mean use them before you start turning. It’s a bit late to flick the lights on when you’re halfway around the corner.

II. Thou shalt not sit in the middle lane.

Why, oh why? This is the most annoying habit. The United Kingdom is the place to visit if you want to see the commandment being broken. British drivers are awful when it comes to motorway driving. It’s not uncommon to see the inside and outside lanes empty as drivers queue behind each other in the middle. Why?

III. Thou shalt not use the mobile while driving.

Texting and phoning whilst driving really gets to me. How many times do we have to sit and wait at traffic lights for the driver in front who is so self-absorbed in what they’re doing with the mobile rather than driving. Ban them! Ban them!

IV. Thou shalt not pick one’s nose whilst driving.

Please see previous post about this subject.

V. Thou shalt not take 2 hours to get in and out of a parking space wide enough for a bus to fit in.

Some people think that their car is clearly a lot bigger than it actually is.

VI. Thou shalt not worship chav* idols.

Fluffy dice are out! Dangly bunnies, kittens and dream catchers were never in. Nodding dogs on the back shelf – say no more……. (* chav = see full description here).

VII. Thou shalt not perform ‘acts’ whilst driving.

By this I think I have re-captured your attention. Let’s just say, you should not be doing anything you wouldn’t want your mother to know about whilst the vehicle is in motion.

VIII. Thou shalt not weave in and out of other cars.

Driving is not a skill connected with tapestry work, but some drivers think that by zooming across all lanes, in and out and side to side that they are saving time. It rarely works.

IX. Thou shalt not display signs with absolutely no purpose.

These signs (and they’re everywhere) don’t make logical  or meaningful sense to me. What are the possible reasons? To make drivers drive better around you? Shouldn’t we all be doing that anyway? Then there is the argument that when they are in a crash the first on the scene can attend to the baby. This idea is flawed considering half the cars I see don’t have a child or baby in them. So instead of only using the sign when they need too, they leave it up constantly to cause un-due concern in cases of an emergency.

X. Thou shalt not drive as though our cars are connected. Keep your distance!

This happens all the time in The Netherlands. I cannot bear it. Some drivers stop their car so close that I’m convinced that they’re trying to read something on the back of my car. Keep back!

Feel free to pass this on to any drivers that you can think of that could do with a little reminder.

Happy driving people!

Slicing through London’s skyline.

London’s skyline is set for a new landmark. The Shard of Glass in Southwark is a striking piece of architecture. Cutting into the sky like a piece of glass it will reach a height of 1,017 ft (310 m). Due for completion in 2012, the Shard will become the tallest building in the European Union and the 45th tallest building in the world.

Photo from Wikipedia (Artist Impression)

Known as the Shard London Bridge, Shard of Glass, 32 London Bridge or simply The Shard – no matter what the name it is known by, the building will stay in the memory of everyone!

It has been designed with various triangular shapes connected and will be covered in glass from the base to the very tip. For the brave visitors out there, there will be an open-air observation deck on the 72nd floor (right at the top).

I know where I’ll be visiting next year! What a vision.

Three superimposed images showing how the Shar...

Image via Wikipedia

A nice cup of tea.

Tea – there’s nothing like a nice cup of tea. The mere mention of the word will have made all the English readers sit bolt upright. Perhaps some of you saw the title, dashed to the kitchen, popped the kettle on and returned with a freshly made ‘brew’ ready to read on…. I hope so. This should be good.

"Oh, that's just made everything in the world seem better".

A nice cup of tea is a powerful thing. It is the solution to all problems – or so the English believe. In the book ‘Watching the English: The Hidden Rules of English Behaviour’ Kate Fox paints the perfect picture of typically English families in their typical English households with their insane belief that tea can do mighty things. Being English myself, I have to admit that tea-drinking plays a major part in social occasions – yes, even more so than wine or dare I say it –beer.

Fox explains ‘the universal rule (certainly for the English is…): when in doubt, put the kettle on. Visitors arrive; the English have the usual difficulties with greetings and say ‘I’ll just put the kettle on’. When the conversation runs dry and there’s nothing more to say about the weather, the English say ‘Now, who’d like more tea? I’ll just put the kettle on’. After a bad accident – people are injured and in shock: tea is needed. ‘I’ll put the kettle on’. World War Three breaks out – a nuclear attack is imminent. ‘I’ll put the kettle on’.

You see – tea has wonderful magic powers that can cure people, revive people, calm them down and give them the well-needed ‘get up and go’. It is so very true of life in England that we (the English) do say many of the things above. My mum loves a nice cup of tea. The ritual must be followed – milk in first then the tea (after it has been prepared in the teapot). Apologies to the readers who are shocked by the ‘milk in first’ comment – you are probably thinking ‘no, but it is surely milk in last’. I have heard an debate on this matter (honest – some people care that much about it.

So, who’s up for a lovely cup of tea then? I’m just putting the kettle on now…

You may also enjoy reading this:

The British. Anarchy & Rage.

Oh, so true! – The British really know how to show their rage.

Don’t ever push a Brit to the edge – They’ll end up having two cups (of tea).

Now, if you came to this blog post wanting far more intellectual material regarding anarchy then you might like to find out more about becoming an anarchist. Oh yes – I have all the answers.

I did a little random googling research and found the perfect site for all you wanna-be anarchists.

How To Be An Anarchist has all the answers. The 13 steps will help anyone. Although I am sceptical about the fact that the ‘Things you’ll need’ list includes Intelligence…… Is that really necessary on the list?