Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

London Travel Ideas (current as of 2014-08-25)   2 comments

An old acquaintance has secured Kate Bush tickets (first of 22 shows — which all sold out in 15 minutes — is tomorrow), one of the more heavily hyped items of late with several pages of bits in yesterday’s Observer and a documentary on BBC4 last Friday.  Since she and partner are travelling from Los Angeles, I feel compelled to give some wholly unsolicited tourism options for any down time they have on the trip.  Most of these are from the blog, so almost all of them require no extravagant expense (depending on what and how much you decide to eat and drink along the way).  Not at all comprehensive, please add your own suggestions for my next trip down the Big Smoke.

london pubs thru 2014-08-25

Pubs: The map above is my London pub tally through 24 August 2014 and if you click on the picture it should take you to the UK-wide map from which this was gleaned.  The pushpins are more accurately located than Google has them but some of the pubs are now gone.  If you see one you are likely to want to visit, I have an entry for it on this site now linked to the pushpin on the map but haven’t bothered to include links on the map (so you would have to come back here to search for them).  Some of my favourites are:

The Bree Louise: great selection of beer and cider near Euston Station

The Lyric is pleasant enough and you can peer out at the former Red Lion where the Communist Manifesto was mostly written.

I owe the Lord Nelson another visit after their hospitality during the London Marathon. Likewise the Rose of Denmark. The night before the race, we were also thoroughly entertained at the Flowers of the Forest.

Ladbroke Grove is the part of West Kensington where the Clash were holed up in the early years and you’ll find the Kensington Park a fabulous watering hole in the neighbourhood. Another pub with a bit of a punk history to it (and great Thai food on the menu) is the World’s End in Camden.

One of the most beautiful pubs I’ve seen in town is the Blackfriar. If you want to go to just one for atmosphere, this is it.

blackfriar london exterior 4

 

The East End has a few worthy boozers, too. I really like the White Hart with it’s Jack the Ripper connections and proximity to the London Hospital where John Merrick (the Elephant Man) lived out his days. Just up the road you’ll also find the Blind Beggar where Ronnie Kray shot George Cornell (Kray Brothers, Piranha Brothers, and Kemp Brothers fans should make time for a beverage here). Dinsdale.

 

highgate east me and marx SDC11340

Cemeteries: These are a particular favourite of mine and Jackie’s and we’ve done the Highgate tour several times.  London has a bunch of good ones sprinkled around, and you could do worse than to stumble upon the Bunhill Fields (wiki here) and leave a penny at Blake’s site for the ferryman.  Highgate East is free and very good, but Highgate West requires a tour guide although the hassle is well worth the cheap fee and the advanced planning.  Closer into town, Kensal Green is also truly awesome and a good way to kill a few hours.

Farther afield but still in the London confines, the Necropolis Station is worth trying to find.  Near the Waterloo Rail Station, this was a dedicated rail stop that shipped 10’s of thousands of small pox corpses out to the suburban cemeteries.  Also, if you find yourself at Chelsea Bridge (see the music entry, below), there is another Victorian cemetery nearby we haven’t visited yet but have shortlisted.

highgate west SDC11386

Food: Okay, you can probably find more palatable things to eat, but nothing will be more quintessentially London than a bowl of jellied eels soaked in as much chilli vinegar as you can stand…and it comes with a little plate on which to spit the wee bones.  Trust me on this one.  Go to the Borough Market because if you chicken out there is a ridiculous spread of other food to go for, as fresh as you might ever hope for and reasonably priced (considering the floor show that goes with it).

English food is generally dreadful although I am really fond of blood pudding and fish and chips.  If you are from the southeastern U.S., as the catalyst for this note is, you might find yourself more at home dining in the Brixton Market where people know what pimento cheese is and the greens and black-eyed peas are cooked in artery clogging levels of salt pork.  Just pick a street stand and start eating; don’t worry, the contact high you get from the pot smoke everywhere will keep you munchy enough to try everything (wear loose clothing for the trip).

Music sites: More than any music site in London I am ashamed of NOT going to is the house where Joe Meek had his weird studio and eventually killed his landlady before committing suicide.

Look out, kid, there are sites I have been to that are pretty good such as Savoy Street in front of the Savoy Chapel where Dylan dropped cards while Subterranean Homesick Blues played in the background.  You might also want to pop by number 3 Savile Road, the Apple offices where the last Beatles performance occurred, but under no circumstances should you do the Abbey Road walk of shame (better to just leave some graffiti on the walls outside the studios where, keeping with the Kate Bush theme, Man With the Child in His Eyes was recorded).  Also, here’s a Werewolves of London location near the Kensal Green cemetery and not far from Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten’s squat.

At my peak weight...for the ladies!

Not London, just my Christmas card pic a couple of years ago, but musical

Clapham is an easy tube stop and the Clapham Common is a great and very large park to kill an afternoon around.  Squeeze fans might go to the Clapham Junction station and get Up the Junction stuck in their heads.  It’s not a long hike from there to Chelsea Bridge where you can look out over the Thames toward Battersea Power Station (The Pink Floyd’s Animals should come to mind) and settle into a brilliant Waterloo Sunset.  Classical music fans can find Jimi Hendrix’s place (which had previously been Handel’s place) at 23 Brook Street while you can find the scene of one of the more annoying brain worms, Come On Eileen, at Brook Drive on the opposite side of the Thames.

Here are two websites that give pretty good music tour ideas.  First, Music Like Dirt has a map if you just want to find something near you.  The Shady Old Lady has a much more comprehensive site and a lot of other categories to choose from but you are on your own for mapping.

Dr. Who just started again, and I do try to hit Who sites out here in the provinces.  Below, you’ll find a screen shot of the Google Earth map of Dr. Who scene sites in central London taken from http://www.doctorwholocations.net/  (download the file DrWhoLocations.kml to load into G-Earth and maybe a more useful map overlay — I’m using OpenStreetMap for mine).

DrWhoLondon

For movie sites in London, try the map at https://moviemaps.org/cities/4 which, though far from comprehensive it does give you some touristy ideas, and a map.

 

Other recreation:  I do not recommend Boris Bikes except maybe in the Square Mile on the weekends (the City is abandoned by 6pm Friday).  They are cheap, sturdy, and fun but you can get yourself killed on them as well.

Depending on your interests overlapping a bit, I would highly recommend hashing in the city.  London hashers are a friendly lot, take you to the most interesting pubs around, and if you aren’t careful you might even get a little exercise while trotting around the back alleys and through tunnels and up and down streets you might never otherwise venture.  They have a centralised calendar of events here but sometimes it is irregularly updated; I have never been disappointed by a London based hash…here are some of the individual kennels’ pages:

London HHH

 City HHH

West London HHH

South London HHH (SLASH) … say, ‘hi,’ to Testiculator if you go here or, for that matter, any of the others as he seems to hash a lot.

Presidential Betting Odds Update 26 October 2012   Leave a comment

I really don’t have a clue what’s going on with those monkeys Americans:

 

Previous post (and links to the ones before that) here:

Presidential Betting Odds Update 19 October 2012

Posted 2012/10/27 by Drunken Bunny in Uncategorized

Shameless   2 comments

That’s right, I’ve set up a PayPal account with blind optimism that one or two of the 10,000 monthly drunks that click on this blog will be dumb enough to part with £3 for a round.  If they do, I’ll report it on the pub write-up where I spend the bounty, and send them a soiled beer mat or some other nicked property from that trip.  Be the first: https://1pumplane.wordpress.com/buy-me-a-beer/

Posted 2012/08/09 by Drunken Bunny in Uncategorized

2011 in blog review (blew?)   Leave a comment

WordPress.com sent this stats report for 2011 for this blog.  Odd.

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 62,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted 2012/01/01 by Drunken Bunny in Uncategorized

Massive car wreck   19 comments

1 day into convalescence

———————-another update—————-

Update 25 January 2011:  Follow-up x-rays last Monday then off to try my first day back at work.  Really short of breath, I had just made the necessary rounds to show I am still alive and then headed toward the lab but the receptionist stopped me to say I had an emergency call from my GP.  Upon contacting her, I found that I had a collapsed lung and it was imperative to get to the hospital NOW.  One of the ambulance attendants was still in training after several tours in Afghanistan and the trainer asked if it was okay for him to have a good listen since they usually don’t get a full pneumothorax in someone who is calm and otherwise fit;  sure, what-the-hell, right?  At A&E they stuck a hose into my chest cavity and put the other end into, essentially, a bong so that as I breathed in the air trapped between my ribs and the flattened lung bubbled gently into some salted water.  Treated very well in the Cardio-Pulmonary Unit (I was the only non-bypass patient and a novelty as such), I was released at the end of the week. 

———————-an update—————-

Update 15 Jan 2011:  Saturday and some of the swelling has turned into bruises.  I am tapering off the pain medication and will have another set of x-rays Monday morning then try to get to work to reschedule things with people who will have to do more of the physical part of the work scheduled.

I had a couple of funny thoughts in A&E (that’s the ER for you Americans), usually along the lines of how I know being strapped to a table and having English women in nurse uniforms cut my clothing away and give me drugs isn’t doing it for me the way I thought it should.

Remembered this…One old woman on the other side of the curtain was getting the standard stroke battery of questions..like, do you know what year it is, etc. They asked her if she knew who the monarch was and she paused a long time and said meekly, “Elizabeth.” It was quiet a while and someone said,” good Nana, but which Elizabeth?” She snapped back, “Elizabeth the bloody Second, how bleeding old do you think I am?” I really didn’t need to be laughing as hard as that in the state I was in.

———————-original post—————-

Jackie and I were in a head on collision with a van both vehicles traveling about 50 miles per hour for 100 mph net (around 10G stopping deceleration).  We are very lucky to be alive.  The van driver was on our side of the road and, o course, escaped with minor injuries.  After striking us, the van spun into another vehicle causing more injuries.

I have nothing but good things to say about the NHS hospital we were transported to, the ambulance staff, the fire brigade that cut my side of the car off, and I am especially grateful for the two off duty nurses that witnessed the wreck and attended us until and beyond the arrival of emergency crews.

Posted 2011/01/10 by Drunken Bunny in automotive, commentary, Made me laugh, Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

WordPress says this is “2010 in review”   Leave a comment

The following is generated by WordPress robots…I’ll have my own year in review on 19th January, our 2nd full year in the UK:

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 39,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 5 days for that many people to see it.

 

In 2010, there were 311 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 735 posts. There were 940 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 280mb. That’s about 3 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was August 29th with 435 views. The most popular post that day was Eddie Izzard puts us all to shame.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, rwdaily.runnersworld.com, pittbrownie.blogspot.com, mail.live.com, and mail.yahoo.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for eddie izzard, transvestite, chain gang, george thorogood, and queen vic.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Eddie Izzard puts us all to shame September 2009
1 comment

2

One year in Britain January 2010
1 comment

3

30 Pack Marathon info April 2010
12 comments

4

Fen News 20 April 2009 April 2009

5

St John’s Bar, Corn Exchange, Cambridge May 2009

Posted 2011/01/02 by Drunken Bunny in Uncategorized

The Bull and Butcher, Ludgershall, Buckinghamshire   Leave a comment

As different as night is to day, the Bull and Butcher was a welcome change from the wholly unpleasant Pheasant Inn.  Arriving at the front door drenched with sweat and breathing hard, I found the small bar area packed with a couple of families either already imbibing or putting in an order.  A moment of indecision on the part of one of them and the bartendress was right over to me and in seconds I had been served a sparkiling pint of Wychert Ale.

The bar conversation was centered around the young lad’s future, specifically which football team he should support.  He wanted to support a winner, but his dad and grandad were stressing the importance of sticking with your team even when they are rubbish, even in the face of relegation to a lower league.  I pointed out that as a lifelong Cubs supporter (I had to explain that this was baseball), I had experience with this as they have gone over a hundred years without a championship.  The dad suggested that the boy might do what the typical southern man (southern England, mind you) does and pick a good northern team to support.  Just then a guy walks in and before he can grab a barstool the grampa asks him who HE supports; not even a second passed and he said matter-of-factly, “Man United.”  We all nodded and had sips of our beverages. Then, laughed.

Posted 2010/07/20 by Drunken Bunny in Uncategorized

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