The Anonymous Widower

Hackney Is London’s Cycling Capital

That is the strapline on this report in today’s Standard. Here’s the first few paragraphs.

Hackney has been declared the cycling capital of London after research showed that more residents commute to work by bike than by car.

The figures, drawn from the 2011 Census by the Office of National Statistics, reveal that 14.6 per cent – or one in seven – of Hackney residents use a bike as their main method of getting to work.

This is the highest bike ridership in London – neighbouring Islington is second on 9.6 per cent – and is three-and-a-half times higher than the city-wide average of four per cent.

Obviously, Hackney is near to the City and it’s an easy cycle to work. But perhaps a bigger factor, is that Hackney must be one of the flattest boroughs in London.

January 31, 2013 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Food Wars In Israel

Most stories to come out of Israel are not about how well Orthodox Jews and Muslims get on, but this one  from The Australian is.  Here’s the introduction.

IT was meant to be a battle for supremacy in the kitchen and, perhaps, for the right to claim ownership of the cuisine.

But Israel’s most popular cooking contest has achieved what decades of peace talks have failed to do after turning an orthodox Jew and a Muslim Palestinian into firm friends.

As Jackie Azoulay and Salma Fiyumi completed their dishes in the Masterchef final on Wednesday, they cheerfully embraced on national television.

It’s just a pity that the leaders of both sides can’t sit down with these two women and have a really good meal.

My next door neighbour years ago, had been a Colonel in the British Army.  At one time, he had been enforcing the British mandate in Palestine, so he knew the area well.

He said that the only way to tell if the various people in the area, were Jew or Arab, was from their surname.  It would appear, these two women have performed that wonderful feat of turning the clock back constructively.


January 31, 2013 Posted by | Food, World | , , , | Leave a comment

Are Wind Farms A Good Idea?

A wind turbine in Devon has collapsed in high winds according to this article on the BBC.

I suspect engineers and investigators will find the cause of the collapse, but it illustrates one of the problems with turbines.

Failures like these stiffen the resolve of people, who don’t want them nearby, making the costs of the installation even more uneconomic.

If we need to develop renewable power sources, there are better systems available, than putting multiple blots on the landscape.

January 31, 2013 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

Marks And Spencer Make Allergies Clearer

One of my problems with supermarkets and ready meals, is that you often have to turn them upside down to read the allergy information, as with Waitrose’s fish pies. Today though, I bought a newly-introduced meal of slow cooked venison in a red wine and onion sauce from Marks and Spencer.

Marks And Spencer Make Allergies Clearer

Marks And Spencer Make Allergies Clearer

Note the blue patch on the packaging showing the allergies. It’s getting there, but the allergies could be better shown still. For this product, they are cow’s milk. I’m not sure, but I think in the past it was just milk.

Someone at Marks and Spencer, has been thinking.

I’d also see a universal word or symbol for no allergies. Or perhaps for none of the common allergies, like fish, shellfish, gluten, celery, milk, mustard, buts and wheat. But then I’ve come across or heard of people allergic to rice, soya, chickpeas and potatoes.

January 31, 2013 Posted by | Food | , | 2 Comments

Joining The Zoo For A Year

I quite like the London Zoo as a place to go for a walk.  But then I do like to walk in places, where the views are good.

So today, I joined the Zoo as a member which gives me as much repeat access as I want and a few other benefits for £68/year.

January 31, 2013 Posted by | World | | 2 Comments

Gorillas In London Zoo

I remember the famous gorilla,Guy, who came to the Zoo in the year of my birth, although he was probably born a few months before I was.

In those days his cage wasn’t as spacious as the modern gorilla enclosure, where about four gorillas live happily together.

These pictures show them inside, as it wasn’t very tropical today.

C used to tell a story about one her clients. He was an habitual criminal and every time he came out of jail, one of the first things he used to do was visit Guy in the London Zoo.

He’d tell the gorilla, that he was now out of jail, but he could see that Guy was still incarcerated.

Guy’s reply was not recorded.

January 31, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

What Do You Do With Old Listed Buildings?

The old penguin pool at London Zoo is still there.

It illustrates the conundrum about what you do with old historic buildings, which have outlived their purpose, so well.

In my view it should be taken down, moved somewhere else and used for another purpose.  It is totally unsuitable for its designed purpose and it takes up valuable space on a constricted site.

January 31, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Not Too Cold For The Penguins

I had gone to the London Zoo to see their penguins.

Surely, the Penguin Beach must be one of the best wild animal displays in the United Kingdom. The heron in one picture is a wild cheeky visitor according to this article in the Mail.

Although, I’m generally against a lot of wild animal displays, this one is rather different, in that a good proportion of the penguins were actually bred in the Zoo.

I’ve actually seen penguins in the wild twice; in the Galapagos Islands and South Africa. It has always surprised me that so many people go to Cape Town on holiday and never check out the penguins, that live all over that coast.

January 31, 2013 Posted by | World | , , , | 1 Comment

Is This The Best Way To Get To London Zoo?

I went to the London Zoo today, and noticed they have a Boris bike station, by the main entrance.

Is This The Best Way To Get To London Zoo?

Is This The Best Way To Get To London Zoo?

Surely this must be one of the best ways to get to the Zoo from Marylebone Road or the area just north of the West End.  It will be a nice cycle through and around Regent’s Park.

Note that if you type “Boris bikes” into Google, you get the official site at Transport for london.

January 31, 2013 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

A Korean Police Car

There was a time, when the Police always had British made vehicles.

A Korean Police Car

A Korean Police Car

Not any more! But then a trip to Seoul is much more interesting than one to Ellesmere Port to see them being made.

January 31, 2013 Posted by | Transport, World | , | 2 Comments