Sunday, May 08, 2011

Find that campsite!

I’ve been very busy lately. Busy making it easier for YOU – yes YOU! – to find the perfect campsite in the UK.

As of a few days ago, my campsite listing website has some new features. And not just any new features – these are (to the best of my knowledge) unique new features. The already pretty handy map of campsites now lets you…

  • Filter campsites based on what facilities they have – you can either specify that your ideal campsite must have a certain feature, or definitely must not have it. Ideal for finding a campsite that allows campfires but no pesky caravans.
  • View only those campsites that are open during the month you’re planning on holidaying.

There are one or two additional features hopefully to go live later this month, but for now please take a look and let me knnow if you have any feedback.

Thursday, March 05, 2009


So much has gone on in my life in recent months: Went to Amsterdam, fell in love, didn't go to India (yes, that is, believe it or not, something to note), broke up a fight, got a new dream job, formed a band that properly gets paid, went to France (twice), went to Finland, survived the economic crisis (so far)...

... as has at least one of the London new builds by the looks of this photo. Which I can non-exclusively reveal is.... The Heron Tower. Also, Broadgate Tower looks well and truly occupied (though not featured in this photograph). God knows what's happening to the Cheesegrate or the Bishopsgate Tower though. The demolition of the Cheesgrater site started well before the Heron Tower one, so it's all a bit arse abourt face if you ask me.

I'm retired from skyscraper hunting officially, but couldn't resist posting this photo, together with a link to skyscrapernews to read more about it.

By the way - and I hate to go on about it - but my new blog is starting to pick up in frequency of posts, and it is more fun writing when you have more readers, so please do take a look.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

A new home

I'm back from the dead, briefly, to say I have a new blog over at

As my day job is web related it will evolve into a showcase for what I can do. So there will be a few boring web technology related articles, but I intend to also use it as a rant-board, for occassional skyscraper highlights, and also to host a new artform I've invented: The Phoku.

So if you've enjoyed reading this blog regardless of/despite the skyscraper interest then you may want to subscribe to the new one too.

Saturday, March 22, 2008


A number of factors have combined to quieten this blog of late:

  1. Very unreliable internet service at home
  2. Being quite busy with life ingeneral
  3. I'm moving to Amsterdam soon, and have been debating whether to continue with the blog at all.
#1 is now resolved, but #2 and #3 still loom large on the horizon. Delving in in more depth:

I started the blog when my houseshare was less than ideal and spent a lot of time in my room hiding/plotting. Nowadays I don't have the same incentive to remain ensconced with my laptop, and writing the blog on a regular basis feels a bit like a chore.

Well, it's pretty flat really, isn't it. I'll probably get bullied for not being horizontal enough in my enthusiasms if I continue with the blog. I won't be able to take any photos of the works in progress, so will be reduced to scouring the new websites for updates. This is something I haven't been doing too much of lately either as does a far beter job in all honesty.

So I am retiring the blog for the time being. I don't expect the move to Amsterdam will be permanent (probably about 6 months), so I may return one day to continue the tall building commentary. It all depends on how big a public outcry there is.

I'll leave you with two things:
  1. There is one hoarding in the city which is not, surprisingly, around a construction site: it's around an archaeological dig at a buried section of the Old London Wall near Leadenhall Market.
  2. One last poor photo of the Broadgate Tower:

broadgate tower

Friday, February 29, 2008


Someone has outdone me on the building site sign front:

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The fog

Palace of WestminsterNothing much to say, other than that one side effect of falling off my bike on Saturday is that I'm getting the tube to work. Which means I have been walking from Westminster tube... through the fog.. and past Westminster Abbey and the Houses of Parliament.

Westminster abbey

And below is another foggy photo, of Millbank Tower, but taken by Jane, not I. And looking, as is the wont of London artifacts these days, like something from the Mysterious Cities of Gold.
millbank tower

Music to watch fog by, by fog

Monday, February 11, 2008

A Condor in the City

condorLooks a bit like the big golden bird in Mysterious Cities of Gold, does it not?

And it is to be found on Cornhill. Or possibly Cheapside. One or the other.

While I'm putting up photos of small things in the city, here also is a shop on Threadneedle Street. There's something very anachronistic about such a quaint little olde English tobacconists using fluorescent pieces of card for its pricing labels. I didn't go and have a closer look, but I dread to think they may have been written in permanent marker rather than copperplate printed.

You will also notice that though the awning proclaims "J. Bedford and Co", the plaque beneath the window says "H. Botterill & Sons, estd 1841". A cunning ruse to tempt in passing footfall who, too close to be able to see the awning, purchase their Havana cigars unaware that the claims to have been established in 1841 are of dubious provenence.
Havana Cigars at pleasing prices

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A waterfront is as good as a skyline

the answer to london's problemsIsn't the weather just great at the moment! (Apologies for any insensitivity towards any readers from Bismarck, North Dakota). So great that I spent most of yesterday's daylight hours out of bed and out of doors, and intend on a repeat performance today, once the blog's finished.

The morning involved seeing one of these, hearing one of these singing (always a good sign of spring) and nearly falling in the canal. In the afternoon I cycled along the canal to Limehouse with Tom for a couple of drinks on the waterfront, and where Beard also joined us later. Various sights along the canal:
swedish building
I like this building, but I don't think it fits in London at all. Modern looking, interestingly shaped and textured apartment buildings can work in London, but this clean, pine boarded and pastel panelled construction looks awkward in grimy Poplar. Charles keeps going on about traditional styles, and building modern structures in appropriate settings and, it turns out, I agree. I just think people focus too much on the size of buildings, and assume big ones are going to be eyesores.
Phoenix business centre
The Phoenix Business Centre, which is struggling - to say the least - to rise from its East London ashes.
bridge crosscanal shadows
Some interesting shadow effects on the water.
flats in Bow/Stratford
New flats going up in Bow/Stratford, near the olympic park.

Now - on to the main point if this post. There is much talk about preserving London's historic skyline. These energies would, I feel, be much better spent campaigning for the reinstatement of a public Thames waterfront.

The Morpeth, near where I work, has numerous prints of old London scenes. One that caught my eye the other day was of Somerset House before Victoria embankment was built (similar to the picture to the right). It shows a public courtyard with steps leading down to the river.

As this article explains:

"London's roads were becoming increasingly congested and its sewers unable to cope ... The Embankment was intended to carry a new road along the edge of the Thames from Westminster to the City of London and, below ground, to accommodate large sewers and a line for the Metropolitan and District Railway.

The introduction of the Embankment had the effect of distancing the river from the buildings along its north bank, particularly significant for Somerset House, which had been designed to rise directly from the water ... The dramatic waterfront design of Sir William Chambers' Somerset House had effectively been destroyed a little more than a decade since the building of the New Wing had seen its completion."
luxurious looking flatsSomerset House is a particularly striking example of how there are very few places away from the South Bank where one can sit by the river. Limehouse is one of the very few. Unfortunately the view from there is blighted by the many cod-luxury low rise apartments opposite.

London surely deserves a more accessible and better, architecturally speaking, waterfront.

Speaking of Limehouse, it has a surprising sign telling boats arriving in the marina not to disembark any animals due to rabies, which reminds you that London is still technically a port.

Finally, a nuclear bomb went off in London yesterday. I have photographic proof:
nuclear explosion in London

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