Merv: Call Dangermouse!

Mervyn King, top banana at the Bank of England, hit the headlines today because he dared to utter the ‘R’ word – recession.

I like Merv. His press appearances at the Bank of England’s Quarterly Cure For Insomnia have always been enlivened by his intellectual sophistication and sly sense of humour.

He seems like a really good bloke, King, which is why I’m almost reluctant to point out that as I was reading the news reports today I couldn’t help feeling he reminded me of someone.

But who? Later in the day a light bulb flashed in my noggin: Penfold! You know … from Dangermouse.

Ok, I’ll grant you: the resemblance is not as uncanny as Steve Martin and Alistair Darling … but still, it’s pretty darn* close…

Question is: who would be Dangermouse to Merv’s Penfold? Suggestions please…

*Howdedoodee Palin fans, apologies Obama supporters …

October 22, 2008 at 5:31 PM Leave a comment

Robotic Spider Plant Follows light to prevent Light Starvation.

My new favourite designers are the Play Coalition, who first came to my attention with their selfless light fitting, The Martyr; a neat little visual pun on the idea of energy-saving.

The Martyr

They’ve now come up with a crazy, Tim Burton-esque solution to light-starved houseplants, The Plantbot.

Slap in your favourite fern, yucca, whatever and say goodbye to wilted foliage as the Plantbot doggedly follows sunlight around your room.

Warning: if the Day Of The Triffids gave you nightmares when you were a kid, it’s probably not for you.


But if the idea of a perambulating plantpot shakes your branches, you can see more pics at the Play Coalition website.

If nothing else it’ll freak the hell out of the cat. No more peeing in the plantpot for you Mr Moggy!

(All pics: The Play Coalition)

October 21, 2008 at 2:36 PM 2 comments

Cold War Bunker for Sale in the Kingsway Exchange.

I’ve been looking at pictures of the Kingsway Exchange bunker complex … which has just come on the market … and I can’t shake off an overwhelming sense of dread and panic.

Maybe it’s because to my eyes those long yawning corridors look like something from the spaceship in Alien.

You just know that if you ever have to take refuge here you’re going to end up in a lung-bursting sprint down these corridors with lights flickering, klaxons blaring, pipes bursting and something big slithery and … Oh j j jesus… What’s that overhe… aggghhhhh!!!

That’s bad enough.

But then I looked at the living quarters and I started to pray that if ever there’s a nuclear strike on London I’ll be close to the bomb blast because I’m not sure I could endure the awful tedium of brown carpet tiles creeping up the cafeteria walls and … year after year of … snooker.

The complex was initially constructed as a communications and intelligence hub if the Germans invaded … and later it contained a ‘hot line’ connecting the White House directly to the Kremlin during the Cold War.

(It’s 1974. A red phone echoes shrilly down the corridors. A hand adorned with a sovereign picks it up: “Nikolai, mate, look, let’s knock this arms race on the ‘ed and settle this like men … best of 17 frames?)

No wonder Churchill was keen to fight ‘em on the beaches instead …

If you like this kind if thing, you’ll love Subterranea Britannica Ltd.

Full details of The Kingsway Exchange.

October 20, 2008 at 5:07 PM 1 comment

Glasgow Rocks

It’s official: Glasgow is great. The Dear Green Place has only gone and made it into the Lonely Planet‘s Top Ten list of best cities for visitors.

Not only that but it was the sole UK city to be included. Even better, it beat Edinburgh! Bring it on.

Of course, this news comes as no surprise to me – being a local lassie, I know how fantastic Glasgow is.

The city is blessed with stunning architecture, a surprising amount of greenery, first-class theatres, galleries and museums, an easy-peasy subway system, and absolutely fabulous shops, sweetie.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum

And, contrary to popular belief, the West Coast of Scotland diet doesn’t consist purely of deep-fried Mars bars.

Nope. You can actually have whichever type of chocolate you want fried in batter – although your more discerning diners will find plenty to scintillate their delicate taste buds, too.

The other wide-held notion of Scots enjoying a tipple or twenty is, however, almost universally true – my own favourite spot for this is the West End’s Ashton Lane, a wee piece of drinking and dining heaven that makes my heart sing…even when I’m sober.

Ashton Lane

But – and I reckon this is where Glasgow’s greatness really lies – local people  have such a deep-rooted sense of pride in their city that they’ll go out of their way to make sure visitors receive a warm welcome.

Glasgow: it’s pure dead brilliant, by the way.

Suggestions please on which cities you’d include in your Top Ten list for visitors…

October 17, 2008 at 11:25 AM 18 comments

Wise Old Bird

Not that I want to blow our own trumpet (toot-toot!) but it seems the good people (person?) over at the Property Owl Blog have some kind words to say about how engaging our humble blog is:

“ rightly identified this area recently and now produce a good and interesting blog, which is aimed more at the punter.”

Good, interesting and punter-friendly, that describes us very well. (We’ll let you off the fact that you forgot ‘devastatingly witty, supremely sexy, godlike genii’.)

Owl and Duck

Thank you Property Owl, you’re our new best friend.

October 15, 2008 at 12:19 PM 1 comment

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