London è la Primavera

No, not a type of pizza, but Italian for Spring. You wouldn’t believe it from the crazy weather we’ve been having lately, but Spring has arrived. (Of course, the further-out suburbs of London that occupy the southern hemisphere will be experiencing quite the opposite.) And so with it an exceptionally early Easter Bank Holiday weekend here in UK meant that my lunch on Friday 21st March (yes I know that Spring officially started on the 20th this year) was not spent having the usual Friday fish’n’chips in the office canteen. Instead, the Route 79 posse took advantage of the day off to trip it into town to visit our all-time favourite “chippy”: Mr Fish in Bayswater. And since Friday was the 21st of the month, I selected 21 of my favourite cameraphone snaps of that day and assembled them into a simple musical montage to record the sights and sounds from our quest for quality fish’n’chips – London-style. Click on the green button to get loading, turn up the volume as loud as you can and then use the green button to step through the pics with an imaginary fork in your hand waving it about like an virtuoso conductor and enjoy the trip.

Music is Op. 8/1, RV 269, “Spring” – 3. Danza Pastorale from Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” performed by Venice Baroque Orchestra lead by virtuoso violinist Giuliano Carmignola in what has to be my favourite interpretation of this all-time classic set of violin concertos.

Pad Thai Noodles

Just about everybody who goes to a Thai restaurant at some point in their Thai-food-eating life orders a dish called Pad Thai. It’s Thai street food that’s made it to the tables of the foodies all over the world, and like most noodle dishes is very quick and easy to cook.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that if it’s too complicated to cook, then it’s probably not how Pad Thai was meant to be. This stuff is made in minutes from food stalls in marketplaces all over Thailand, and in some cases even by vendors in tiny little boats on canals! So it’s got to be easy.

Pad Thai Noodles! No excuse not to make it yourself now.
(Taken with my cameraphone as I served it out ready to eat)

The complexity is in the flavour and texture of the end-product, not in the cooking. So try it OK?
Click here to learn how to make this really tasty dish.


Someone left a message in these pages the other day requesting that I say seven things about myself. It’s a “meme” you know. A viral “I’ll answer some questions, and then pass it on” sort of thing. Now, the brief is a bit open-ended, but I kind of like that. So, here are seven things about me, some of which some of you will already know, and some which you might not.

1. I live in suburban London. A neighbourhood called Kingsbury. London NW9. And, naturally, my ‘hood, and lots about it, feature in these pages from time to time.

Kingsbury Road, London NW9. My local High Street.
(Taken with cameraphone.)

2. I work in the telecommunications industry. Mobile communications mostly. Wireless. I’ve had loads of mobile phones over the years. Click here for an article I wrote last year which features a musical photo montage of the last ten year’s worth of my mobile phones. Mobile phones are everywhere you know.

3. I love cooking. And I love to share my cooking. Over the years, hundreds of people have written to me thanking me for sharing my recipes. How I have saved their marriages, or how I’ve made their student lives more bearable etc. I have to thank my Mum. Google search index ranks some my recipes very highly as a result. I’m proud of my Mum for that. Thanks Mum!

4. I travel a lot on the buses in North West London. I love London buses. So much so that I name these pages after my local bus route. I have a lot of respect for buses and those who travel on them. Except those disrespectful people who put their dirty feet up on the seats. Sometimes I feel that it is my personal duty and mission to expose this selfish, disgusting habit. Click here to see what I mean.

5. It once took me 9 hours to get home. I used to work in Hammersmith in West London. And one January about five years ago it snowed in London. Only a few centimetres fell, but it brought the country to a standstiil. Anyway, to cut a long story short I ended up going round and round in circles on the Underground trying to find a suitable way out of town so I could get home. I wrote about my story on a website (that no longer exists) and it got spotted by a documentary researcher for Channel 4 TV here in the UK. A year or so later I was asked to take part in a film reconstruction for the documentary, and this was aired on UK national TV in 2005. One of the tube stations I ended up at time and time again after a wild goose chase trying to find any way in which I could get home was Edgware Road, and this formed the basis of my story in the TV documentary. It was screened on 6th of July 2005. The very next morning a Circle Line train at Edgware Road was blown up by a man detonating a ruck-sack full of high-explosives. Travelling the London transport system would never be the same again for quite some time.

6. I love experimenting with words, pictures, movies and sounds on these pages. I’ve produced loads of multimedia, pretend-arty stuff over the years. Here is an example: The other day I had to travel to a borough in the outer suburbs of London called “Prague”. And I had a particular tune in my head whilst doing so. All day; there and back, I could not get that music out of my head. Click on the green button below to experience a musical slideshow that summarises my daytrip to the outskirts of London:

To the outer suburbs and back again
(All pictures taken with my cameraphone.)

(Musical intro from Blue Monday by New Order, 1983.)

7. And finally: I love Fish’n’chips! Every Friday I make a point of eating this traditional lunch in my office canteen. And every Friday I take a picture and upload it my Flickr photostream. It’s kind of become my way of saying “Have a great weekend” to all my Flickr friends.

That’s it. Hope you had a great weekend, and (for those in the UK) have a safe week, what with the predicted storms and so on. Cheers!