Louisa and Julian get married!

Louisa and Julian’s wedding party at Grange Farm.louisa & julian married.jpgme and the girls.jpgat the weding.jpg

A few days earlier they were married at Barkingside Registry Office.

just married.jpg


provender at Provender

We are having a family get-together – al 12 of us – at Provender, a new restaurant in Wanstead High Street (close to Hadley House, where we always used to go). It has good reviews and won a Michelin award:IMG_5591

Provender turns out to be a very gallic place – waiters are French and the food is essentially French. I have moles farces and cassoulet. Both good. We stay there for several hours and are quite noisy. So much that the maitre has to ask me to keep the grandkids quiet! We book Centre Parcs for January 2014 as a family holiday.



Three men without a boat on the Tyburn

There is a sunny break in the days of great and rain which is fortunate. Today I meet with Graham, Ray and Nicolas and we will walk the course of the river Tyburn – one of London’s lost rivers. It was in reality no more than a brook but became a sewer in the 19th century and was then covered over with streets and houses. We shall, however, walk as close as we can to the course of the river which will be in conduits below us.

Ray talks non-stop. But about the houses and the famous people that have lived there. And occasionally whines every so often about “taking a bus ” for the rest of the journey. But he manages the walk which is about 5½ miles which is very good.

IMG_5571 IMG_5573

Outside the Tavistock Clinic, where I trained as a psychotherapeutic counsellor. This is near the source of the Tyburn.

This footbridge carries the aqueduct of the river across Regent's Canal and into Regent's Park. I though Ray might be facing Mecca but all he was doing was listening for the sound of water. Or was that laughter?

This footbridge carries the aqueduct of the river across Regent’s Canal and into Regent’s Park. I though Ray might be facing Mecca but all he was doing was listening for the sound of water. Or was that laughter?

The actual River Tyburn flows through Gray's antique market in the basement. It is all a bit tatty but this is the real Tyburn.

The actual River Tyburn flows through Gray’s antique market in the basement. It is all a bit tatty but this is the real Tyburn.

We get to Westminster where the Tyburn joins the Thames.

We get to Westminster where the Tyburn joins the Thames.

There are three good accounts of walking the River Tyburn published by the Londonist, and these are: part 1, part 2, and part 3.


Additionally, there is the anarchist idea of the Tyburn angling society.



Jack and the Beanstalk

This afternoon we meet with Louisa and Tove and Harper to see Jack and the Beanstalk at the Theatre Royal in Stratford. At the last moment Julian was able to come as School was shut early because of the snow. I had jerk chicken for lunch at the theatre  and wasn’t particularly impressed; the chicken soup though was very good. Reviewed by the Independent.

I’m not a great fan of theatre, let alone pantomimes, but this was wonderful! It was greatly enhanced by having the balcony all to ourselves – to the point that we abandoned our very seats to go and sit in the very front row.


The story line was simple and direct and all the panto ingredients were there but mercifully short and relevant. Best of all was the wonderful ogre/giant. The sets at the Theatre Royal are always very impressive and this certainly was so.

Both Tove and Harper were totally enraptured.


overland around London

As it is such a bright day, if very cold, I decide to make the overland train journey around the capital. London has the Circle Line, but this is all underground; the newly completed overground network is both above ground and extends further out around the city.

I set off at 11.15 and by 11.35 I am on the tube to Stratford where I catch the 12.05 overland train heading for Clapham Junction. 25 minutes later I am at Hampstead and just an hour from leaving Stratford I arrive at Clapham Junction.

The return leg is shorter and actually does spend a bit of time underground – especially crossing the Thames. All in all a grand journey. Is this the first time any commuter has managed to do this since the link was established?

The article that sparked my interest was recently in the Daily Mail.

My log using my Lexux 7:

I am at Highbury and there is a nutter on board; an old guy with a pony-tail that talks to anyone? He gets off at Camden. Seemed quite harmless. Plenty of Polish – east european people also aboard.

25 minutes after setting out I am at Hampstead Heath. Next to me is a young black guy who is an artist sketching with a fine black pen.

45 minutes after leaving Westfield I am in Westfields – but the Shepherd’s Bush site.

I am on Clapham Junction where I leave my train, stay on the same platform, but move along to the train further along the platform that makes the circle back to Highbury. The train leaves at 1.15 pm.

At Denmark Hill the carriage is invaded by scores of soldiers from the Salvation Army. Meanwhile the Babysham pseud continues to drone on loudly on his mobile.

Reaching Surrey Quays I have just passed Millwall football ground! Scum!
After here, the train spends much ofbit’s time underrground as it heads through the Rotherhithe tunnel to come out at Wapping.

the Olympic Village near Stratford

the Olympic Village near Stratford

IMG_5445 IMG_5446

Esme’s 7th birthday

on the tube to Westminster

on the tube to Westminster


on Westminster Bridge




all is going swimmingly!

all is going swimmingly!

We are going to celebrate Esme’s birthday, this Happy Monday, by taking her to London where she wants to see the Aquarium.

The South Bank is deserted; everything seems shut or is being refurbished – including the London Eye. But the Aquarium is open and despite the high prices – £100+ for 3 adults and 3 children (that’s me, Sheila, Louisa, Esme, Rocco and Tove but Harper doesn’t pay) – the experience is good. There is plenty to see and the kids are happy. Oddly enough the block of ice in the penguin area is one of their  high points. Mine was watching the piranhas eat a dead fish and the jellyfish that changed colour.

Afterwards we eat in Wagamama‘s – Esme’s choice.

See Flickr for more photos.

Hogmanay 2012

My DJ is now ill-fitting so instead of looking like a clown I thought I’d wear the kilt (it is Hogmanay after all!) that I’d bought in Edinburgh earlier this year. I’ll still look a clown but a scottish clown. And a bit more stylish?

Mike MacTourist?

Mike MacTourist?


I am, of course, dressing up for the LUSH New Year’s Party held at John and Linda Field’s house this year. It is the usual, but enjoyable, format and ends with charades just before 3 am.

We welcome the New Year 2013

We welcome the New Year 2013

Raspberry Pi is alive and kicking

Having helped the birth a while back and brought it’s BIOS into the world, I have now created a fully alive Raspberry Pi operating  my own Debian Linux OS with a “hard drive” and fully wi-fi operational!

Ah! It's first message. Bless!

Ah! It’s first message. Bless!

LUSH christmas walk

The Lush Christmas walk! Graham is the organiser and takes us to the Butler’s Retreat and back via Connaught Waters to the Hollybush. Most of the LUSH are there with the exception of Margi and Michael.

the Hollybush

the Hollybush

Amy, James and Adam also come and I meet James’ girlfriend Tara.

Spurs are beating Sunderland

Spurs are beating Sunderland

Punch and Judy celebrate 40 years of married bliss

We are off to Harrow to celebrate the  Crocker’s 40th wedding anniversary. Graham and Kevin (of Simon and Kevin) are coming with us.

The Crocker’s house is very atmospheric with candles and fairy lights and the occasion is very jolly and I spend a lot of time talking to everyone and introducing Graham where necessary. I talk to Sabina about her rheumatism, Joel and jude, Nicolas, Fiona and, of course, Kevin and Graham. Kevin talked a bit on the way home of his foster daughter, Teresa, who is physically handicapped from her father’s abuse (he once threw her out of a car).