Goodnight 2006

The calendar year comes to an end. And with it, the last bus disappears into the night.

The number 79 bus fading away into the suburban London night.

And so for another year my beloved bus takes me home. For another year, with my cameraphone in my pocket, the stairs to the top deck take me upwards. And mobile. Upwards with my mobile; Upwardly mobile.

I’m sure I’ve said before that the best views in the world are to be had from the upper deck of a London bus, and I really do believe that. But there are too many views in 2006 that are best forgotten, with frighteningly few that are best remembered. Most of these were had in the minds eye, with my eyes physically closed. Why is that I wonder? But more frightening is the fact that we are over halfway through this first decade of the new “millennium” when it seems like only just last year when we were celebrating the start of a new one. A new millennium that is.

Hey ho. Here’s hoping for all the best for everyone in 2007.


That’s what you are. A very big thank you to all that voted for these pages in the 2006 Weblog Awards. We didn’t come first, but fifth overall in the Best UK blog category, which I would say is a pretty good acheivement. And just fine by me. Hopefully fine by you too.

You're a star!

Star decoration feature at Brent Cross Shopping Centre, North West London
(Taken with my cameraphone whilst not really shopping for Christmas presents.)

I have to admit I was rather puzzled by the nomination of this journal to the Best UK Blog category. I scratched my head at first. Wondering what to do. But then I figured out it could be a bit of fun. And a lot of fun it was too. All nine other blogs in the finalist lineup are fine ones indeed, and I’m sure that at least a couple of orders of magnitude of equally good sites can be discovered by clicking through the blogrolls of those. Runner-up JohnnyB has an excellent reflection on the contest that sums it up quite nicely.

A big up to the person (or persons) who nominated this site; you know who you are. And a big up to those of you who know me personally, whom I emailed in a targeted attempt to “get out the vote”, as well as those that voted simply because they like what they saw here. We did well considering we didn’t get any endorsements from other high-traffic websites. Not that I know of anyway. In fact if I stretch it a bit; we came second overall in terms of non-team blogs in the finalist lineup, and of those we were the highest voted “Londoner” blog. (Yes, I know I’m stretching it a bit 🙂 ) But congratulations to all the finalists, and I hope we all had some fun and discovered something new along the way. I certainly have. For example, I learned that Google ranks my recipe/method for Prawn Jambalaya as more relevant than Delia Smith’s. Now that leaves me extremely satisfied. I think I’ll tell my Mum about that.

How bizarre

Someone left a comment on the previous post that this blog has been nominated as a finalist in some blog award competition in the “best UK blog” category. Now, considering that there are many far better “UK blogs” out there that could have been nominated leads to me conclude that some mistake has been made. Anyway, if you feel like voting for this blog (and for some reason you can vote once a day) then click here.

Otherwise here are just a few, much better UK blogs that I really recommend you take a look at. OK – some of them are really London-biased, but they’re ace:

Diamond Geezer, Going Underground, BowBlog, Pewari’s Prattle, Londonist, In the Fray The Fly and in fact any of the many links under “Others from London/UK” in my right hand side-bar.

Killing Time

On weekend shopping trips when I was a kid, I used to love to while away time reading magazines for free in WHSmith whilst my Mum and Dad did the town-centre shopping chores. I could have stood there for hours, reading magazines that I couldn’t afford to buy, just like a lot of other people: standing there facing the magazine shelves with magazine in hands. Completely and utterly absorbed. To me, it was state-of-the-art, real-world, knowledge fix. The best you could get at the time.

Kiling time in the magazine section at WHSmith..
(Taken with a cameraphone at Edgware shopping mall in North London.)

Of course, now we have the Internet. And Google. So not as many people can be observed standing reading magazines at WHSmith these days – well, not as many as I seem to recall when I was a kid. Which brings me onto the “mobile Internet”. In my view, just one of potentially many tests of the mobile Internet becoming an essential utility will be when many people start to get their arbritrary knowledge-fix using their mobile phones, as opposed to standing at the magazine shelf in WHSmith, or browsing from Google-searches on their PCs during workday lunchbreaks. Sure, I see a lot of people fiddling with their mobiles in shopping malls, seemingly killing time. But I doubt that many of them are immersing themselves in online magazines, browsing websites or clicking through Google results on their mobiles. Not yet anyway. There are many reasons why, but unfortunately the margin of this page is too small for me able to write all the reasons down …