East from Shooter's Hill: The Urals?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Shooter's Hill in Greenwich is among one of the highest points in London.

Someone once told me that if you go due east from Shooters Hill, the next highest land is the Urals in Russia.

This didn't seen right to me. Shooter's Hill is only 133m high.

So I went to the Royal Geographical Society's library to find out more. We dug out maps of Germany to trace the line of 51 degress, 28' latitude east. (I presumed the Netherlands wouldn't have any higher land).

And I was right - there are a whole host of places in Germany higher than 133m. Forst Gahrenberg and Arenborn, below, are just two.

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

Fodbold! Football with London's Danish fans.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Danish football fans, London

I went last night to Zoo Bar, venue of the Scandinavian Party, to watch two matches: Denmark -v- Hungary & Sweden -v- Albania.

Sweden & Denmark - how would I tell them apart?! It turned out to be easy. The Danes stood, while the Swedes sat. I'm not sure this is any great socio-geographical finding, but that's what happened. So I decided to stand amongst the Danish fans.

Nobody had any flags, which is always a shame. Some Danish men wore the football strip, whilst others had red t-shirts. One man had a red suit jacket. Hurrah for him.

Denmark have already qualified for the World Cup, so when Denmark had lost the lead, the fans looked more bored than bothered.

I got the impression the bar was made for more exciting encounters. A Danish man sullenly leaned on a pole atop a podium.

As the game went on, things were getting more important. The Danes didn't want to be beaten, after all. There was cheering, there was some shouting. A big cheer went up when the Danish number 10 came off. I couldn't tell if they liked him or not.

In the end, Denmark lost and the Danish fans shuffled away. But I'll be back to watch more with them next year.

Sam Taylor

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Last night, I went to see Sam Taylor sing at blog-club night EQ. Sam sings melodic, emotional pop songs, with a beautiful voice.

Although last night he did some poppy covers (Billie Jean, Mama Do), he also sang the gorgeous acoustic ballads Sometimes I Need You and Talk Me Down.

Sam has a expressive heartfelt truthful innocence when he sings, and it's rather charming. He's also very a good looking chap. I'm hoping he'll be one to watch in future.

Watch him perform the two ballads below (with apols for the sound quality on the video).

I'm hoping he'll be one to watch in future.

Check out > Sam Taylor on myspace - especially his cover of The Cardigans' Communication, which I think is amazing.

Jalkapallo! Football with London's Finnish fans

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Russian football fans, Famous 3 Kings, London

I went yesterday to watch football with Finnish fans. I returned to the Famous 3 Kings where the fans were gathering to watch their match against Wales.
The bar has several screens, all showing different matches, so it's always pot-luck to find fans.

Happily, when I arrived, I spied a Finnish flag draped across a fireplace. Hurrah! It turned out that 5 Finns were there.

They were surrounded by Welsh fans though. They sat quietly, one brandishing a scarf. During half-time, they took down the flag.

And then the Russians started arriving, as the kick-off to Russia -v- Germany approached. Lots of them. They were in high style, in the best-that-money-can-buy labels. Even the Russian football strip looked like D&G. My picture above just shows the Russians.

It was a veritable Russian invasion.

The Finns, in altogether more sombre and modest outfits, sat their ground, and watched their match.

When Finland scored a goal to take the lead, one man stood up and did a small dance. His friend took the flag and wore it as a bandana.

The Welsh fans started singing and chanting. The Finns stayed sitting, probably thinking "we're actually winning". I hoped they'd respond with a few bars of Hard Rock Hallelujah, but alas no.

In the end, the Finns' quiet resolution paid off. Finland beating Wales 2-1. And for all the Russian cheering, they lost out to Germany.

Flags, made of paper

Friday, October 09, 2009

My newest fun thing to do is to make collage flags from bits of scrap paper. I recently changed jobs, and made these flags for colleagues to say farewell.
UK flag
UK flag #3
USA flag

US flag
Australia flag

Australian flag

Kent flag
Flag of Kent

Sicily flag

Sicilian flag

Wales flag
Welsh flag

India flag

Indian flag

Nepal flag
Nepal flag

Berlin flag
Berlin flag

Cuba flag
Cuban flag

Ukraine flag
Ukrainian flag

Ethiopia flag
Ethiopian flag

Madagascar flag
Madagascar flag

Philippines flag
Philippines flag

Ireland flag
Ireland flag

France flag
France flag

Ibiza flag
Ibiza flag

The Golden Filters, live in London

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Last night, I went to Cargo to see a band called The Golden Filter.

The Golden Filter, live in London

Although, variously through the evening, I called them:
  • The Golden Glitters
  • The Golden Flippers
  • The Golden Floaters
  • The Golden Fluffers
  • The Golden Frapp
  • The Golden Lamé

 I don't know why.

The Golden Filter are an electro-duo made up of Australian Penelope and Ohio-born Stephen.

Stephen looks like an archetypal Noo Yawk gay (think Anthony in Sex & the City in a offbeat quirky phase) and Penelope has an amazing name.

She spent most of her time on stage stridently marching on the spot, while swoop-turning her head from side to side. At one point, she was splashing in small puddles on the stage.

Their songs are wailing & whisper vocals over electro with heavy percussion. On stage, this meant tambourines, castanets and many many drum banging sequences. It was all quite Eurovisiony, although they probably wouldn't like that.

Their final, mammoth drum-a-thon needed a golden glitter machine to explode over the crowd.

And so, an equation:

 ((Human League x Goldfrapp) + (Kate Bush wailing - eccentricity)) x (electro-nihilism + eurovision drumming) = The Golden Filter