Elephant and Castle

We used to live just north of the Elephant and Castle. I can’t say that I feel particularly nostalgic for the shopping centre which had a certain dour grimness and at some point long after we left turned pink. Even so, I found it weird walking past it today: all gone. The neighbourhood all poshed up and surrounded by tower blocks, including the hideous Strata. I guess it’s an improvement:-


First Put on Your Apron

By chance, I was given a copy of Sally Clarke’s beautifully produced and wonderfully informative new cookery book the night before it was written about in today’s Financial Times (see below). It looks just about at my level: a beginner’s guide, made to seem easy, although I’m sure it’s not (there are asterisks to denote the complexity of the menus in the index). Even if it doesn’t improve my cooking, it’s a feast to the eye.



Interesting soup (2)

I continued my search for a copy of the TLS to the west end. The excellent newsagent in Beak Street has closed, presumably as a result of COVID. Waterstone’s in Piccadilly no longer stocks literary magazines, as it used to, in its basement. The London Library hasn’t yet got the latest issue. So, I thought I could rely on the two newsagents in St. James’s Park. W.H.Smith has closed and the other offered me a copy of today’s Times as if it was an adequate substitute. So, the circulation of newspapers and magazines may have suffered as a result of COVID. I can scarcely complain because I used to buy them, but now, like everyone else, have pretty much migrated online, although I still resist Murdoch’s paywall.


Interesting soup (1)

I happened to spot on twitter that John-Paul Stonard had reviewed my museums book in the current TLS. I am looking forward to reading it, but the question is, where in East London can one buy the TLS ? Nowhere in Stepney, that’s for sure. Queen Mary’s bookstore is closed for good. Liverpool Street station say they used to stock it, but not any more, even in spite of having Aesthetica and the New York Review of Books. Libreria doesn’t stock it, nor the Brick Lane Bookshop. The answer, of course, is to subscribe online, but I’m too mean.



Bevis Marks Synagogue (2)

I’m glad to see that there is publicity in the Guardian to the fate which has befallen the Bevis Marks Synagogue which is unlucky enough to be in the Square Mile which has been designated as appropriate for skyscrapers, which get taller and taller, crowding out the Synagogue and taking away its access to daylight in the most brutal and cavalier way, as if the historic environment and the places where the City worships are of no consequence in its pursuit of Mammon:-