Tag Archives: Seismograph London

Tere Tere, Vana Kere (final solution to the magpie problem)

3MAGPIES

The magpie problem has been increasing of late. Other than in Barcelona Airport car park (where I counted five) I’ve been so many lone magpies it’s almost led me to restart my online magpie dating agency. Unfortunately this would exacerbate the situation exponentially with all those photos of desperate single magpies.

Worse still it was not until a few weeks ago I first encountered a real live magpie in Tallinn, before this the only evidence of Estonian magpies I had observed were the five graffiti magpies at the top of the stairs on Linnahall. Then I spotted one, flying alone down Ristiku, and the same one again the next day in the same place. As if that were not bad enough, later that night, on my way to the Tallinn Music Academy Christmas Ball, I saw this watercolour (above, duplicated & augmented) of a single magpie in the window of an art shop, just across the road from NuKu. What kind of sick, twisted mind not only paints a lone magpie but then allows it to be displayed publicly? Spreading misery and sorrow to unsuspecting passers by.

I am completely against the thought of ever having a tattoo, but these recent events have led me to consider having two magpies inked onto my left palm. This way I can always turn sorrow into a girl, if you ken what I mean. For the moment I think I might carry a picture of two magpies, see how it works out. Perhaps I should simply avoid gaming the signal and tweaking the probabilities, after all I see five magpies quite often and I don’t think I can keep so many secrets.

Restaurant Review :: The Beer Emporium (Bristol)

Beer Emporium Bristol

Verdict: A great selection of beer & some freakishly moreish chips. 

In between ordering food, plugging in phone to charge, estimating if I had enough time to eat and walk to the station before the train leaves and tasting an awesome local stout… it occurred to my subconscious mind that the song being sung in a folksy, guitarsy, Joni Mitchellsy way by Sarah R-K was in fact ‘Ice Ice Baby’ by Vanilla Ice. This part of their Unsigned Underground night pleased me very much.

It probably goes without saying that a restaurant modelled after a Belgian beer cellar and specialising in craft beers, has an exceptional selection of beers on tap and in bottle. Over 122 Belgian bottled varieties they claim. The food is good. I mean great, I mean gourmet great. I have to say it was one of the best burgers I have ever had, succulent & tasty. The handcut chips were excellent and whatever combination of cooking oil and herbs they use to season is undoubtedly addictive.

The staff were friendly, knowledgeable about their beers and very helpful in making sure the meal was served with enough time to make the train home. If you are in Bristol I would highly recommend The Beer Emporium.

Restaurant Review :: The Diner (Neal Street)

The Diner, Neal Street

 

Verdict: Very high quality at gourmet burger prices.

The Diner is one of a chain of seven around London, each set up to feel like a 1950s American style Diner, albeit a 1950s American style Diner perhaps imagined by some vague historian in a distant dystopian, minimalist, future, sci-fi world. All the elements are there, the booths, the soundtrack, the americana, the garish lighting, the neon. All just sitting in the uncanny valley somewhere between The Fifth Element and IKEA.

That said, the food is really good. Quality ingredients, well prepared an plenty of them. The sides are huge and well cooked. I have honestly never left The Diner in any way hungry. The selection of drinks is wide, from quality micro brewery beer & cider to ‘hard shakes’. Definitely one of the best burger joints around London but at a price just a bit too premium to be regularly visited, save it for special occasions.

Hackney Wicked 2013

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Hackney Wicked 2013, a set on Flickr.

It really is a worldwide fashion now, nearly every city has it going on. Hipsters, artist communities, reused industrial spaces, massive facial hair, old fashioned bicycles, street art, archaic time consuming hobbies, lovingly brewed craft beers, reclaimed building materials… Hackney Wick has one of the best examples and they throw a very eclectic yearly festival, of course.

Massive Panoramic Images of Fjords

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Massive Fjord Panoramic Images, a set on Flickr.

While travelling through Norway’s Fjords, on the Hurtigruten in 2011, I made massive panoramic images. Most were photographed using a Carl Zeiss wideangle lens and stitched using Hugin. I will be exhibiting wall size prints in London.These are all published at 25% of full resolution and are available for any purpose, contact me if you would like to license them.

Restaurant Review :: Bill’s (St. Martin’s Courtyard)

Bill's Covent Garden

 

Verdict: Mmmm, I do like Bill’s.

To first of all qualify my bias, I like Bill’s… when it comes to brunch in Central London I think we can all agree it goes, in order of greatness; Joe Allen’s, Kopapa then Bill’s. I have breakfast in Bill’s far too often really and the only thing that now lets Bill’s down is the brand expansion, there are now another four Bill’s within walking distance of the original St. Martin’s Courtyard location, each of them with the same rustic, farmhouse produce stacked, raffia & dried chilli draped, trendy shabby chic design that made London’s first Bill’s stand out.

I hadn’t tried the burger, or indeed the afternoon in Bill’s before and seeing as it is almost exactly halfway between Shake Shack and 5 Guys I decided to do a quick comparison. The burger is the same price as 5 Guys (except you don’t pay extra for the fries) and the quality is as you would expect a proper London gourmet burger, big, chunky, succulent and flavour full. The fries are a decent portion of standard skinny fries.

Once you pay extra for the fries in Shake Shack the cost is about the same for a burger and fries. The cost actually comes in less than 5 Guys once you add their extra cost of the fries. Given the queueing at these ‘American’ restaurants, sitting at a table with waiting service takes about the same time for the food to arrive and when it does the quality and portion size at Bill’s is far superior. If you are in the area and about to spend £10 on a burger and fries then definitely choose Bill’s. Or head there for weekend brunch, but expect to wait on a table if you haven’t booked.

Kayaköy (Livissi) 36.574, 29.0913

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Livissi, now known as Kayaköy, was an important Greek village in western Lycia, situated just a few miles south of Fethiye in Turkey. Shown on maps from the 17th & 18th Centuries, the village was eventually abandoned at the end of the 1919-1922 Greco -Turkish War as part of a population exchange agreement. The village was intended to be repopulated by Turkish citizens who would relocate from Greece, this didn’t happen and in 1957 an earthquake damaged most of the remaining buildings. Today Kayaköy is a tourist attraction and museum, signposted as a ghost village. It also is the unofficial start point of the Lycian Way, an ancient walkway along the coast of Turkey, the official start of the marked trail being a few miles further south in Ölüdeniz.