No, it’s not Lie-sester Square it’s Lester Square; and Marylebone always stumps non-Londoners. Apparently Rotherhithe too.
Personally, I don’t agree with Ommer-tun for Homerton, I’d pronounce the h. And I always say Aldwych as All-witch.
We shouldn’t make fun of non-locals. I don’t expect to know place names in countries where I don’t know the language, but there are some names in the US and Australia that I can see the word and it’s made up of letters but I cannot put the letters together to form coherent sounds.
2. map of walking times between tube stations
TFL published a map that shows the walking distance between tube stations. There’s also a map that shows the number of steps between stations, so they can put a spin on the “steps = exercise” trend.
Practially, this is a useful map for visitors and newcomers. Every Londoner knows it’s pointless to take the Piccadilly Line between Leicester Square and Covent Garden. Between waiting for the train, the actual journey, and the horrendous wait for the lift at Covent Garden, it may take 10-15mins. Walking is 4mins.
There’s another leaflet, journeys that could be quicker to walk [pdf] that is also very useful. For instance, the map would suggest it takes 18mins to walk between Queensway and Bayswater (via Notting Hill Gate) but the journey leaflet tells us it’s only 5mins. Google maps actually say 2mins, but that probably needs running at nighttime with no other pedestrians.
3. john snow’s cholera map
I saw this on a tv program about sewage and how the world’s cities made the jump from being disease infested to, well, less so. It’s all about clean water.
The story of how John Snow discovered that cholera spreads through water rather than through the air by plotting a map of outbreaks that showed occurrences near to a water pump in Soho is well known. His use of data mapping is as revolutionary as the discovery itself. The blob of black dots around the pump at Broad (now Broadwick) Street as pretty horrible. But the interesting thing is workers at the nearby brewery were not affected because: a) they drank mainly beer and b) the brewery had its own water supply. That would not have been the case if the disease spread in th air.
So many diseases from 100, 200 years ago are under control. Cholera, TB, measles. Have we reached peak discovery? There doesn’t seem to be huge discoveries like this anymore, more like small incremental ones. Then again, it could be that they were low key. HIV has been contained, and many cancers are less life-threatening now. We have so much to learn.
4. property prices
According to bloomberg, london house prices are coming down, with more sellers reducing their prices from originally marketed. A report published by Rightmove says on average the reduction is 6.7% due to:
initial over-optimism and a tougher market
That said, the average in november is still an eye-popping £628,219. I mean, that’s staggering compared with a national average of £311,043.
The article immediate below the one about housing talks about more bad news for the pound, with further drops possible. An uncertain brexit, Theresa May’s uncertain future, all lead to the market being bearish on the pound. This actually is good news for us, since it means we can buy more.
Around the table on tuesday’s lunch we were all talking about property, as a group of middle-aged professionals are wont to do. If only we’d all bought a place in London when we graduated, we’d be all sitting pretty now. Ah well, can’t turn back time. The consensus is, £ and house prices haven’t seen bottom, so it’s worth waiting a little while longer.
5. decadent hot chocolate
Have to end on a more cheerful note. How about the most decadent hot chocolate in the capital. Fortnum’s chocolate bar, Flotsam And Jetsam’s rainbow-coloured white unicorn chocolate, Fattie’s Bakery’s with a toasted marshmallow rim, and the best chocolate café name of all, Choccywoccydoodah. Some of them look like they have far too much whipped cream. My 2 favourites on this list:
The one from Dark Sugars that has a mountain of chocolate shards shaved on top. The way the shards melt into the chocolate…
And finally, the classic from Hotel Chocolat. Who needs fancy when you have classical elegance and top quality ingredients.