Archive for the ‘London’ Category

Black Sheep Coffee King’s Cross Station

October 4, 2021

Passing through King’s Cross Station, I noticed what I had never seen before, Black Sheep Coffee.

A mild evening, pavements wet with rain, I decided to give it a try.

They were closing and yet it was not late, not yet yet eight o’clock. I was offered Robusta. You got to be kidding me.

I learnt from an Italian guy bringing in the tables that it was a chain, all over London.

The only reason I walked in I saw their equipment. They had good equipment, usually a good sign.

Travelling into across and out of London during coronavirus pandemic

October 4, 2021

LNER Azuma into King’s Cross, luckily not busy, but I was one of the few passengers actually wearing a mask.

Outside King’s Cross Station, Black Sheep Coffee shop, never seen before. Not too cold, a mild evening, take a break and have a coffee. They were closing and yet it was not late, not yet yet eight o’clock. I was offered Robusta. You got to be kidding me.

I learnt from an Italian guy bringing in the tables that it was a chain, all over London.

The only reason I walked in I saw their equipment. They had good equipment, always a good sign.

Lady manning barrier at King’s Cross advised I travelled via Oxford Circus, Victoria Line to Oxford Circus, then Bakerloo Line to Waterloo. The reason for this advice, apart from quicker, was that I only had to cross the platform, whereas via Leicester Square I have to negotiate steps.

What struck me was how decrepit the London Underground, and the sparsity of information. In the past there was as enter the platform, opposite the route. Nada. Nor could I find a map pf the system. This is very basic.

Tube not busy, though not deserted as last few tines have passed through London. Only half the passengers wearing masks. To wear a mask is mandatory on Transport for London. Why is it not being enforced?

Waterloo, South Western Railway to Portsmouth. These are usually short trains. I was pleasantly surprised to find a long train of at east ten coaches. This is a marked improvement. The train not busy. Only a tiny minority wearing a mask.

I was very very lucky I passed through London when I did. London was later hit by a heavy downpour, flash flooding, with parts of the London Underground flooded.

Cressida Dicks should be fired

March 15, 2021

As a former Police Minister and notwithstanding the lockdown and pandemic, this has got to be the most absurd, stupid and often brutal police response to a peaceful vigil. Hobnail booted, thick response when smart, risk assessed, intelligence-led policing was demanded. Sad night. — Tony McNulty

The Met’s overnight statement is an exercise in passing blame downwards. A princess was there: you think there were no political decisions made? Or public order plans set? Even if it was only the unit concerned out of control, who created the culture? — Paul Mason

 

Appalling scenes Saturday night, Met Police manhandling women at a peaceful vigil. A vigil for a Sarah Everard, a serving member of the Met Police charged with her kidnap and murder.

Sickening the statements from the Met Police the following day, we had to act the vigil was not safe.

Was it made safer, Met Police in the face of those at the vigil, pinning women to the ground, adding to the numbers present?

Unbelievable arrogance Cressida Dicks, unfit to hold office and should be fired.

What is equally of concern, today the government will try to force measures through Parliament, draconian measures, increased Police powers, to stop the right to demonstrate.

We have the right to peaceful assembly, to demonstrate.

The tweets speak for themselves.

 

 

Met Police a bunch of out of control thugs

March 13, 2021

Sarah Everard kidnaped and abducted whilst walking on the street in London.

A few days ago, her body found in Kent.

A serving Met Officer arrested and charged with her kidnap and murder.

Today the Met Officer charged with her kidnap and murder appeared in Court.

Today a vigil should have taken place on Clapham Common, but police tried to stop it.

The vigil went ahead anyway.

The police stormed the vigil attacking peaceful protesters.

Every single police thug should be identified, face criminal charges and be kicked out of the Met.

This is not Belarus or Russia.

Cressida Dicks should never have been appointed as Head of the Met. She is unfit to remain in office and should be fired,

A woman is kidnapped and killed, a serving Met Police Officer charged, and when women hold a peaceful vigil in her memory, the response of of the same Met Police, to attack those at the vigil.

I will let the tweets speak for themselves.

Happy New Year 2021

January 1, 2021

New Year 2021, firework display London was muted, spread over a wider area, fewer fireworks, a laser light show and what I assmed to be drones incredible display.

The past twenty years, massive firework display concentrated in the centre near London Eye, barges anchored in the Thames with fireworks, massive crowds.

This year no crowds, the fireworks fewer and spread over a wider area, reduces air pollution which exacerbates the risk of covid-19.

Racists go into overdrive the mention of Black Lives Matter.

Shocking the images from Wu Han where covid-19 originated. People packed in the streets, coronavirus has not gone away. Similar shocking scenes in New Zealand.

Covid-19 is a respiratory disease, it spreads through person-to person-contact. The only way to stay safe and stop its spread is to avoid other people, avoid crowded enclosed spaces, wear a mask.

Data presented Monday was sobering, the new more infectious strain of covid-19 the number of new cases rising rapidly. The last two days of 2020, the number of daily deaths in UK close to 1,000 deaths per day. On New Years Eve, the number of new cases exceeded 55,000. In the last two weeks, the number of new cases has doubled.

UK should have gone into tier 4 at least a week earlier. UK should now be in lockdown.

Two vaccines have received Emergency Approval, Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca, to be rolled out in a mass vaccination programme. But we should be cautious and not relax our guard. Vaccinations are usually carried out in advance of a disease not during a global pandemic. The vaccine does not become effective for several weeks, in other words may sill catch covid-19 and fall ill. Little is known about transmission, you may be vaccinated but still pass covid-19 to others.

New Year’s Eve, coffee in a coffee shop, I learnt the barista who served me last week, now off sick with coronavirus.

I end with a short reflection from Paulo Coelho on what has been a very difficult year for everyone.

London coronavirus ghost town

September 24, 2020

Eerie, travelling across London and barely a soul to be seen.

Reclaim the Streets Soho

June 3, 2020

The impact of covid-19 has hit everyone hard, every sector, but none so hard as the hospitality sector, with no sign yet of when they may be able to open.

Look at Soho, boarded-up streets and unless action is taken soon, they will remain boarded-up. And unlike airlines and travel sector which spread covid-19, are victims.

And yet it should not have been. Opening up too soon, relaxing lockdown, will create a second wave, but there was absolutely no reason why indie coffee shops and restaurants, not chains, could have not opened up in May, the weather was ideal, opened up with their tables and chairs spread well spaced apart in the street to maintain social distancing.

What has stopped this happening is the intransigence of local councils who would rather see local businesses die than give them a helping hand.

We can hear birdsong, streets are traffic free, city centres pollution free.

Covid-19 has jolted us into another now.

There can be no return to normal as normal was not normal.

Time to Reclaim the Streets.

Pedestrianise not only Soho but also Covent Garden, leaving only the arterial routes for through traffic. Deliveries park on the periphery, deliver by hand cart or trolley.

Kick start the local economy, allow indie coffee shops and restaurants to spread their tables well spaced apart into the street, no chains no pubs No Smoking, social distancing maintained.

Win win for everyone, local businesses helped back on their feet, improves the ambience.

Soho Summer Festival:

We’re proposing that streets around Soho are temporarily pedestrianised, in order to allow restaurants and bars the space for outdoor seating. This would allow the public to enjoy the Soho we know and love, while maintaining a safe social distance.

The norm in Athens, local streets at night turn into restaurants.  The Mayor of Athens is extending the pedestrianised streets.

The norm in North Laine in Brighton, coffee shops and restaurants, tables in the street. Brighton is extending its pedestrianised streets.

This does not require a change in licencing laws, it does require a change in the mindset of local jobsworths who would rather see local businesses go to the wall than improve the ambience of our city centres.

An initiate to Reclaim the Streets in Soho has been launched, an initiative dubbed the Soho Summer Festival. Initially pedestrianise the area for the summer. 

Once the summer has passed, it should be made permanent.

Happy New Year 2020

January 1, 2020

So may the New Year be a happy one to you, happy to many more whose happiness depends on you! — Charles Dickens

Happy New Year

Feliz año nuevo

Ευτυχισμένο το νέο έτος

С новым годом

2025: The Long Hot Winter

December 25, 2019

Christmas 2025, the future.

Brian Eno narrates this fictional documentary set in the year 2025, interviewing Londoners about their first Christmas heatwave.

A terrifying missive from the near future.

Though do we even have to look that far ahead?

Fires in California, Chile, Siberia, Australia. Floods in England, floods across Europe. Melting polar ice caps, disappearing glaciers.

Cappuccino at Craft Coffee

November 28, 2019

When passing through or by King’s Cross Station it is always worth having an extra half an hour to spare to visit the excellent food market located outside the front of the station., then wander down the side of the station to find Craft Coffee.

Craft Coffee, a little stall, serves some of the best coffee in London.

Today Guatemalan roasted by Notes.

Occasionally bags of the coffee served, but not today.

Best coffee I have had since Athens.


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