Kew and Camden

These are not ordinary times. I was glad, however, to have a weekend that was mostly normal. I was in Kew Gardens and Camden Market. Nowadays, even members can’t rock up to Kew Gardens and waltz in. You must book a slot in advance. Our plan was to go to Kew on Sunday but everybody … Continue reading / view photos Kew and Camden

Steve Jobs, Pixar and Disney

I’ve just finished reading The Ride of a Lifetime by Bob Iger, the recently retired CEO of Disney. Part of his story with Disney is his relationship with Steve Jobs. Today, nine years ago in 2011, Steve Jobs passed away. Probably the most well-known book on Steve Jobs, with its white cover, is Steve Jobs … Continue reading Steve Jobs, Pixar and Disney

The Rosie novels

I was a bit sad last night to finish The Rosie Result, the final book in the Don Tillman trilogy. I slowed down as much as I could. Bill Gates recommended the first in the series – not personally but on his website. He normally recommends non-fiction. So I thought I’d give it a go. … Continue reading The Rosie novels

Lockdown in Birmingham

For an unrelated reason, on 23 March, I went to Birmingham. I’d planned to stay a week. Later that day, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced that the UK would be going into lockdown! I could have got the train back. I think it was permissible to return home but I wasn’t sure. However, … Continue reading / view photos Lockdown in Birmingham

Walking in Birmingham

In the 1980s, someone I worked with, Ken, often spoke about Birmingham in the office. Most of us had never been there but had heard the cliches about its dreariness and joked about it with him. Ken stayed in London during weekdays but went back to Birmingham over the weekend. Eventually, he invited a few … Continue reading / view photos Walking in Birmingham

Cannock Chase and Stafford

Cannock Chase in Staffordshire is an area of outstanding beauty. The dense woods are a wonderful place to walk and relax. We did a short walk there in the limited time we had on Saturday before going to Stafford. I noticed how much more friendly people were in Cannock Chase than on the Gorring walk … Continue reading / view photos Cannock Chase and Stafford

Pigs in Notting Hill

This Sunday, in trying to avoid coronavirus-drenched crowds but still wanting to make the most of the British summer, we turned to Stephen Millar’s book, London’s Hidden Walks. We went to Notting Hill. It was an illuminating day. The origins of the name Notting Hill are uncertain. An early version, Knottynghull, was recorded in 1356. … Continue reading / view photos Pigs in Notting Hill

Freedom Tower

Apparently, those who were around when President John F Kennedy was assassinated remember where they were and how they heard of his death. I wasn’t alive to have a JFK moment. I did, however, have an Elvis Presley moment: I was playing football on the street and a friend shouted to me from an overlooking … Continue reading / view photos Freedom Tower

Camp rock guitars

When I first went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (“the Met”) in 1988, two things struck me. The first was how well the collection was curated: everything from the selection to the colour of the galleries was well coordinated. The second was Jackson Pollack. I’d never heard of him at the time but I … Continue reading / view photos Camp rock guitars

Vessel

After the morning bagel breakfast in Brooklyn and the walk along the scenic High Line, we went to see Vessel. When we went, it was free to enter but you had to pre-book, which my generous Airbnb hosts, Max and Alia, had done. I loved The Vessel. There was something different yet familiar about it. … Continue reading / view photos Vessel