Will Take Photos for T-Shirts

A little while ago I came across a photo competition on ilovemypostcode.com. They do hoodies, t-shirts and the like with London post codes on ’em. Neat! Anyhoo, the competition was to submit a photo of a London street sign. Well! I just happen to rather enjoy taking angular photos of signage. I submitted this one…

I got word back tonight that it’s won me second place, huzah! For me that means a free t-shirt of my choice (colour and post code) and they’ll use my photo on their website. I pondered for a moment what post code to pick, but I think I’ll use EC1 as that is the one that got me the shirt in the first place. London is the city that just keeps giving.

Spontaneous Day in the Capital

So up until late Friday afternoon I hadn’t the foggiest idea what I was doing on Saturday. Until I saw a mention on Londonist of the London Maze that was happening at Guildhall in London on Saturday. As Londonist pointed out, Diamond Geezer has much more info on his site than the official Maze site has. It’s basically a history fair held in a rather historical building. And there was free access to the Guildhall Art Gallery. I was sold. I wanted to get to the gallery during Open House a few weeks ago but didn’t have time.

Took the coach from Cambridge in to Victoria and then grabbed the tube to Canon Street. Grabbed an early lunch and made my way to the Guildhall. The fair was fair enough. Saw some interesting looking books that I made note of and organizations to look up (like one that does specifically industrial archeology). I got a bag of City of London freebies. The bag has a big City of London emblem on it so even that made me a happy bunny. The exhibit in the gallery was about items from London’s past that were moved, and in some cases returned to their original locations.

Closer look at The MonumentWalked from Guildhall, across London Bridge to Borough Market. I hadn’t been there in ages and wanted to get myself a brownie. Nom nom. When I was around here earlier in the week I noticed that the scaffolding had been removed from the top of The Monument which has been having restoration work done to it for several months now. It’s looking quite nice.

As I didn’t have anything else planned, it was a good opportunity for a final push to get to the Jack the Ripper and the East End exhibition at the Museum in Docklands. It closes on November 2nd and I’ve been meaning to get to it for ages. Trouble is the DLR is in various stages of engineering work until sometime in the fantastic year 2080, so getting there was always a pain. Seeing as I didn’t have anything else pressing as I usually do, now was the time. I’m pretty sure it’s been a bit over two years since I’ve been to the Museum in Docklands. It’s a bit of an odd, but neat feeling to think that I have a history with London now. First though, I thought I’d take a stop into Greenwich as I was in the area.

Took the tube from London Bridge up to Bank and then grabbed the DLR as far as I could to Westferry. Got a rail replacement bus to Cutty Sark in Greenwich. Had a look around Greenwich Park, the Royal Observatory and the Royal Naval College. The weather was amazing and by this point I was just in my t-shirt. A refreshing change after the cold snap a week ago.

Greenwich and Isle of Dogs

Caught the rail replacement bus to Canary Wharf and the Museum in Docklands is a short walk from there. I’m getting a bit better at finding my way around that area. It’s a bit too modern perhaps for me to be able to navigate ;).

The exhibit was very good. It’s in two parts. First is about the conditions of the East End of the time and how that lended to a crime like the Ripper murders happening. Photos of people and places, artifacts from sweat houses and factories. One interesting item on display was the jaw of a woman who suffered from “phossy jaw”. This was the name given to the effects of working with phosphorus in match factories. The woman who worked at the Bryant & May match factory made history by going on strike to get their working conditions improved.

The second part was focused on the Ripper murders. There were copies of police reports, maps, supposed letters from the killer and letters sent from the public to the police and newspapers. There was a surgical knife that was supposed to be the murder weapon, or so was told the person who the knife was given to.

DLR SignageHopped back on the DLR at West India Quay to Bank. There was a bit of an Oyster card hiccup. Everyone who came off the DLR had problems with their cards working at the gates. Walked to Monument station (quicker than interchanging underground) and took the train to Embankment. I was originally going to head further west to the Science Museum for a bit of shopping, but at this point it was nearly 6 o’clock, so much too late for that. Instead I had a lovely chicken panini and a leisurely stroll along Victoria embankment, past Westminster Palace and Abbey and onto Victoria station to catch the coach home.

Photos, as always, are up on Flickr and here are my tracks for the day…

View Larger Map

iTunes iLive iLondon

Last Thursday I got an email saying that I won a spot at the iTunes Live London Festival to see Annie and Sam Sparro on the 21st of July. Woo! I didn’t even recall entering a contest, but apparently I did. The iTunes Live hoo-ha is a month long music festival of sorts put on by Apple. A different act (or acts) every night at KOKO in Camden which are all recorded and available on the iTunes Music Store at a later date. It’s a pretty neat idea. Plus, all the tickets are free… you just need to be picked.

I headed into Liverpool Street Station right after work last night and then high tailed it to Koko. The doors opened at 7:30pm and I got there just a few minutes after that. The queue wrapped around to the back of the building but it moved impressively fast.

Sam SparroOnce inside, ticket scanned, iTunes Live passcard/lanyard in hand er around neck, it was time to stake out a place on the floor. I had never been to KOKO before and it lives up to it’s reputations of being one of London’s nicest music venues.

The show was brilliant! It was great to hear some of Annie’s new tracks in full and Sam was so incredibly energetic and had a red key-tar which was used during mash up of Sick and Daft Punk’s Around The World. I was pretty close to the front, but as my luck always goes three tall chaps ended up in front of me for Annie’s set. Thankfully everyone moved around a bit during the intermission and I had a better view for Mr. Sparro. A highlight from the intermission – a big screeen appeared that was showing a promo clip for iTunes Live material on the iTunes Music Store. One of the clips showed Amy Winehouse from last year and someone tossed a drink at the screen. No love for the Winehouse in Camden Town. Sadly I had to leave during Sam’s encore which started off with a cover of Blackbox’s Ride on Time. Alas, I had a train to catch. Hey I can always download it using the voucher code that was on the back of the pass card. What an age to live in.

I had an enjoyable sit down outside Liverpool Street and munched on some chips. I took a few snaps of the street before getting the 23:28 train to Cambridge. Cracking good night all around. Some photos are up on Flickr and I have video clips to upload as well.