April 2004 Archives
A few brief additions to my prior column on the UK's drinking culture:
Lauren and I went to a concert recently at the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields. (As a side note, I was always under the impression that it was St. Martin who was in the fields, not the Academy. In my original version of this entry, I stated that as a fact, only to be corrected by alert reader James Maysonett. It turns out that St. Martin lived on an island, not amongst the fields, whereas the church in his honor was erected in the midst of fields in 1222. I blame my mistake on the unclear way the Academy has chosen to hyphenate its name. It ought to be the Academy-of-St-Martin In The Fields.)
In any case, the concert was good, but what impressed me most was something I saw, not something I heard.
Today's something interesting is a new website I've put together: Londonfilter. It's still in Beta, meaning I'm still looking for bugs. It should be pretty
self-explanatory; it's a place where people can post and discuss links to
interesting London-related links and articles. Take a look at it--or, even
better, sign in and start posting:
Imagine for a moment that you got the following e-mail:
"Gallop has just released a poll showing that 10% of Americans have anti-Semitic feelings. This is horrible news, but if we can get 50,000 signatures on a petition, I bet Gallop will revise the number down to 5%. Please sign my web petition!"
Today, Lauren and I are driving from London to Cambridge. This will be our first time driving on the left side of the road, but how hard can it be? In fact, as a southpaw, I might even find it more natural than driving on the right. We've spoken to some American friends of ours who have driven in the UK before, and they advise that, whenever we make a right turn, we should both loudly say "Wide right turns," to make sure we don't end up driving into oncoming traffic. Other than that, they are sure we'll find it easy.
I'm experimenting with a few updates to the site--things like using a different hit counter, and so forth. Please forgive any strangeness while I sort it out.
In addition to the famous column featuring Admiral Nelson, there are four plinths in Trafalgar Square. One bears a sculpture of King George the IV. Two others bear sculptures of military men who distinguished themselves through service to the British crown in India--or who embarrassed themselves through service to the British crown in India, depending on which side of history you come down on.
But the fourth plinth... well, that's where things get complicated. When it was built in 1841, there wasn't enough money to commission the statue that was supposed to top it off. And so it stood empty for years.