Archive for the ‘Fun stuff’ Category

The Exception to Every Rule…

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

…is, apparently, this:

Photo Paul T

Paul said ‘no one is too busy to ignore a giant wooden hippo floating down the Thames’ and he was right.

And with that, I’m disappearing off the radar again.

Where in Greenwich 4

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Okay, you’ll either know this one or you won’t. If you do, you’ll say ‘Gah - everyone knows that,’ if you don’t, frankly it could be anywhere in Greenwich – most of it is/was part of some estate or other at some point…

I actually didn’t know; when Mike sent it to me even though he told me where it was I had to go and find it for myself to be sure. It’s certainly an oddity, and it doesn’t help that you can’t read all of it. It looks as though it was covered up for some time, but that it’s been revealed for interest, though that could just be years of ‘framing’ render round it.


Give up – well, here is is in situ, in Ashburnham Place:

and again, taken from the kiddie-playground road:

Cool, huh. Thanks Mike!

Plant Movements

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Jeremy’s been sniggering at this sign in the park where they’re taking down the Olympic geegaws. I always used to love ‘heavy plant crossing’ signs, but I guess this does have a certain scatological charms to it…

Where in Greenwich

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Okay – how well do you know your stone carvery in Greenwich? Where is this badge?

I’m away at the moment, so, the answer will miraculously appear in a few hours time courtesy of WordPress…

Through the Arched Window

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Okay – another little puzzle today, courtesy of Stephen. It took me a little while to work out where it is – and I confess the acorns and portcullis don’t help too much…

If no one gets it, I’ll post another clue at lunchtime…

Okay – see if you can tell which one of you’s right from this:

Festival Oasts

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

This made Sarah (and me) giggle. It’s the view of the Greenwich Comedy Festival marquee from the Observatory – the trees in front of it make it look like oast houses – rather fitting for an old brewery, n’est ce pas?

Ham Auction

Friday, December 17th, 2010

You know something’s definitely in the air. Most of it’s snow, of course, but there’s something else too. There’s a certain festivity abroad. Twinkly Christmas trees in people’s houses, sparkly lights in shops – hell – Darryl over at 853 even just found a purple sequinned heart on his doorstep, which is clearly A Sign. Romance is just around the corner. I’ve told him to get the mistletoe ready and pucker up whenever anyone comes to the door, which may give the Red Cross chugger who’s just knocked on my door a bit of a thrill later on…

And to add to the fun, there’s a Ham Auction on. No, I don’t really know what one of those is either, but I’m sure it’s just about to become a Grand Greenwich Christmas Tradition.

The good burghers (or should I say ‘burgers’) over at the Friends of East Greenwich Pleasaunce have been given an oak smoked Christmas gammon  from Clarksons of Devon with a RRP of £80 (sell-by date 3rd Jan) which they’re going to be auctioning off to the highest email bidder by 10am Monday morning.

Apparently he’s quite a splendid fellow, weighing in at a mighty 10kg, so you’ll need one hell of a pot to boil it in but it would make a lovely addition to  a Christmas spread – plenty for Darryl and his romantic Red Cross Chugger to get their teeth into…

Darryl was moaning that he was the Grinch Who Stole the Christmas Heart (aww) so I thought the pic at the top of this post was about the best  I could get to illustrate this. I don’t believe the ham on offer is actually green. 

Offers of bids to

Offers of snogs should be directed to Darryl


This is the actual heart Darryl found. I think he needs to go from door to door to find the one soul it fits...

Don’t Put Your Foot In It

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Dear oh dear. That’s what comes of not reading my lovely News Shopper the second it comes out. I’ve missed this marvellous extravaganza.  Frankly I’m disappointed that the usually-vigillant IanVisits failed to spot it was happening – ideal First Date Fodder if ever I saw it. Roll up, roll up! Break out the bunting folks, for….the Lewisham Dog Mess Event!

Can anyone tell me – was this really called a ”Dog Mess Event?” Who went? I mean – I know it’s an issue that can be a real problem and I shouldn’t giggle but…

Go on – do spill, I’m dying to know. What actually goes on at a Dog Mess Event? What kind of stalls are there? Dodgems? Pin the Turd on the Doggy? The Plastic Sack Race? And… I hardly dare ask – what was in the goodie-bags?

Rock Lobster

Thursday, July 8th, 2010


I mean – I know it’s been hot recently but someone really needs to have a quiet chat with Peter Andre about Factor 50 (they might want to mention his washing powder’s a bit strong for delicate white fabrics  too…)

He’s surely not really this colour is he?

Still, at least they’ve propped him up – a few days ago his poster had collapsed from exhaustion inside its little glass case at North Greenwich Tube. It’s a tough life being a pop star.

Has anyone been to any gigs at the O2 recently? I haven’t been for aaaages – there’s just not been anything I’ve fancied on. Not even at Indigo 2. But you only have to see the hoards of people coming out of the Tube to realise it’s a complete goldmine (anyone else play the game of working out what the show is from the fans?)

I guess the Phantom pocket is kind of glad that stadium rockers don’t generally appeal  – though I did apply for – and get (in theory) a couple of those Greenwich Card Holder free tickets to see Bon Jovi (I’m not really a fan, but any band that’s been around that long and can not-quite-sell-out out a week of shows at the O2 must be worth seeing for the spectacle alone), but when I turned up the box office was shut (despite the guy on the phone telling me it was open) and I was told that I could join a queue for it opening in an hour and a half – in the sun. Sadly I just wasn’t that keen. Okay. So I’m shallow.

And just one final idle thought on a Thursday morning. AEG are after the Olympic Stadium in 2013, right? Am I alone in wondering how they’ll fill TWO giant East London stadiums with massive worldwide acts? Could we possibly find ourselves Cinderellas again when the shiny new arena opens?

Just pondering.

Bishop Odo And The Phantom’s Idle Fantasies

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

It’s the only date any English person knows, 1066.

Okay, you might count those other two clickety-clicks’s, 1666, if you’re a Londoner and 1966 if you are one of those people actually enjoying the current weeks of international festival, but essentially there’s just the one date in English history. The date our national ass was whooped by the French.

Of course, William the Conqueror didn’t do it alone. He had one hell of an army, not least of which consisted of his three brothers (or half-brothers – famously a bastard, William’s dad was different) Odo, Robert and Richard.

It’s always good to keep power in the family when you’re a edge-of-the-dark-ages king, so William made sure of the Church’s loyalty by appointing Odo as the Bishop of Bayeux, and put him in charge of rebuilding the Cathedral there. It’s worth remembering that it takes a loooong time to build cathedrals today and took no less time in the Eleventh Century.

Odo was pretty chuffed with his new position, so when he was invited to join in with William’s latest wheeze, an invasion of England, the least he could do was send a few ships. A hundred seemed like a  nice, round figure.

It’s weird to think of bishops waging war, but apparently Odo himself rolled up his chainmail sleeves and waded in to the Battle of Hastings wielding his bow, pike, spear or whatever other weapon of choice men of the cloth used in those days.

Afterwards, the victorious William congratulated Odo and gave him Kent. It seems that William soon rather regretted that and grabbed back all the lands he’d given to his mates, keeping most for himself, and redistributing the rest.

Odo still came off pretty well. He got £3,000 a year and manors in thirteen counties. Greenwich was one of them.

Now, I bet you’ve probably already seen where this is going. You probably got it when you saw the city Odo was made bishop of. It’s a long shot, I freely admit, but it’s a Wednesday morning and I’m in a good mood.

There are many theories about who commissioned the Bayeux Tapestry, even more about who made it and where. But Bishop Odo is one of the front-runners in the commissioning stakes. The embroidery features several of Odo’s cronies and it’s possible the work was commissioned for the dedication of the new cathedral in 1077.

If the Odo theory is correct, then it was probably made by Anglo Saxon artists in England (the country had a reputation for fine embroidery, known as Opus Anglicanum) and since Kent was Odo’s main stamping ground, the vegetable dyes were made from plants found in the area and there are, apparently, hints of Anglo Saxon in the Latin text, that’s good enough for a Phantom.

So this morning, I’m fantasising that the Bayeux Tapestry was actually sewn in Greenwich. There wouldn’t have been much of a town there then, and certainly no castle, but nowhere was much cop at that time – Rochester was only just being built; Dover had been grabbed back by William.

Okay – so it’s a flimsy theory and it won’t stand up to the merest puff of evidence, (apparently Canterbury is the real front-runner) but isn’t mad theories what the internet is for?

By the way, Odo had a bit of a wild life after Greenwich. He was made William’s regent for a while until he overstepped the mark. William heard complaints of misgovernment and oppression. I can’t even begin to think of how bad the oppression must have been to make it unpleasant by early medieval standards. Odo was thrown into jail until William’s death, when he was let out and promptly led a rebellion against William’s successor. It failed, of course, and Odo had to flee to Normandy, where he joined up for the First Crusade. He was killed in Palermo in 1097 and is buried there.

To see a story-telling embroidery that really was created in Greenwich, see the amazing Greenwich Millennium Embroideries