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Arthur's All-seeing Architectural Almanac

Who's the Arthur in the Black?

Star Trek - Enterprise
Star Trek - Enterprise - 2004

  • 6th Apr 2004 - See me. Feel me. Touch me. Hit me.

    Yawn. It's a new day in the life of Arthur and his London Town. But what's this? It's bloody early. Usually i'm woken by those pesky pigeons or drilling, but today it's a stupid car alarm. Why does this always happen. The horn was blazing away, and there was no escape. Great. Thanks a lot. Normally these horn sounds are provided by neighbour's friends, who, at 4am, announce their arrival, sound their horn very illegally, and then wait for friend to come out of abode to be driven off. That's the kind of selfish behaviour that's the norm in London, dear diary readers, but today the horn is of a never ending alarm. So I got up and left, not even a cuppa, I was so fed up. And I was out, only to see the calamity of the situation. There was a host of new type traffic wardens, grappling with some sad BMW - it's horns blaring - trying to shunt the poor car onto the back of a truck. Hydraulic pincers had the car grabbed and taken to the air, whilst very inept wardens tried to push it on the truck. Evidently this auto had it's permit fall from the windscreen and onto the floor, rendering it subject to these evil acts of wardenry. London wardens are on a mission to earn mass commission, and therefore revenue for their company. So any poor car is game, never mind the noise, and they drove away with their bounty, horns still pounding away. Personally, I wanted out of this hell, and down into the tube station at daylight, hoping that I would not be exploded by these bombers. I took my chances, and took to the platforms, rather uncrowded today, must be the Easter blues. Even so, I could not get past these tourists who were stolling down this tunnel, four astride, chatting, and uncaring that there might be people behind trying to get past. This is a frequent occurance on the tube. Such dumb actions like this happen every day, where there should be a slow lane for dawdling idiots and fast one for normalites. I had to pass these idiots and my "Excuse me" was looked upon with horror. They didnt like being told what to do. Thankfully I had the support of fellow travellers who tutted and pushed by the dawdlers, flattening them into submission. Great. Onto the Tube I got, doors shut, announcement from the driver. It was that comedy driver on the Victoria Line, with a silly comedy voice. Every passenger was smiling - it's an impressive performance every time. I wonder what his name is? Never mind. It was time to relax, and ride the day away. Looked around me, and decided to play 'Spot the silliest spectacles'. The winner today was a lady opposite, probably Italian, with square shaped black framed glasses that were too small for her, and the arms were bent outwards. Or are they supposed to do that? Might even be the latest fashion. I wouldnt know, would I? London. You cant beat it for the zany. I rode on. It was a depressing day. I hope and pray that my London doesnt get bombed. I pray for your safety too, dear diary reader, wherever you are.

London Metro - 5 April 2004
London Metro - 5 April 2004

Tube Indicator Sign
Northern Line - March 2004

  • 5th Apr 2004 - Life is like a Pavement Pizza

    Greetings, nausea lovers. Shall I compare thee to a spring day? Very well then, for it was time that winter chill set in, and I had a rotten nights sleep with this stinking cold. So everythings on hold with a cold. Can't even think any more. At least Jaws the goldfish was still alive, and not floating on top of his unclean water, and gone to a better place. So all was wrong with the world, and I decided to get out into dear old London, find the freshest air I could, and hope it brought some refief to this stinking dilemna. Trouble was on my doorstep, however, because the postman, a heavy smoker, was there, with my mail, and blowing smoke at me, not a care in the world for my well being, and isnt that always the case with smelly smokers? What a stupid pastime, only one better than picking your nose in public. And the whole area stunk of mister smelly. Yuk! I felt worse already. And so to F. Had to find somewhere nice to relax, a non smoking pub area maybe, where I could enjoy re runs of yesterdays football. But no, there were stinking smokers in there too, even though it was crowded. Idiot smokers burning holes in each others clothes, and nearly burning the eyes of passerbys, stinking the place out in arrogant disregard for the health of all. And the way they stamp fags out on the nice pub carpets. Whats all that about? Amazing dumb behaviour. I felt even more ill at seeing this, and the flu really dug in. I had used all my tissues and went to the bar to sneak at some napkins to sneeze into. Or maybe I should take the smokers lead and sneeze all over them. Or even, next time a bad beer makes me throw up I should 'Do A Smoker' and vomit into the nearest person's pocket. Yes, and then check them out with that smoker's "You got a problem with my habit?" type stance. Yes, there's none so dumb as a smoking chum. And I didnt sink to their collective levels. I just sneezed politely into the serviette and make an exit. Down by the Thames, I found some sea air. It was relaxing, looking at London's dear old river, and I felt reborn. A couple suddenly came into view, walking along the sewage on this very private beach, and to cheers from the peoples, they broke open the shampoo, and toasted their future. Isnt that nice! How romantic, albeit a bit smelly.

Pint of London Pride
My Proud Pint of Pride - Apr 2004

Canary Wharf Tube Station
Canary Wharf Tube - March 2004
  • 4th Apr 2004 - All You Need Islam

    Well, that's what Lennon would have said, if he'd been around. Or maybe not, as I venture out into London Town, keeping a look out for suicide bombers and the like, just in case it might be London's turn, and whilst the IRA have taken the year off, now those naughty muslims have taken to blowing everyone up, including themselves. I just hope I can go out and do my rounds without getting blown up, and surviving in time to get home and feed the goldfish. Dicing with death, I hit the tube and savoured the stinking air of the underground and it's weekend vomit. As usual, there were some papers for me to read, which is super, except for the header that told me that men would die off in 50 years, they being useless and redundant to the very superior female of the species. Here's another sect who would like to destroy me, those once fine loving ladies now fed up and wanting to wipe out all the men. Blimey, what happened? I know that the media have belittled men for years, but this is a new twist. It couldnt get any worse, or so I thought, when Boomph! I was nearly knocked for six by this massive backpack, it's owner, as usual, oblivious to what this massive bag was knocking into. This backpacker sat down next to me, her bag making her balance to the edge of the seat. She looked at me defiantly, and unapologetic, chewing gum and sighing loudly, sweating. Oh dear, I give way to the dominant gender, but hey - why do they hate men, and yet act and dress like them? It seemed an rotten paradox to me. I looked around, at ghastly sight of all these trouser wearing, tough and violently arupt witches, who might some day want to kill me and then be me. That's London in 2004 i'm afraid, and I agree that the only resolution to this position would be to kill off the men. I do miss the old days though, of loving beautiful ladies. So much for that. Not long for this world. I survived the day, and didnt fall asleep till Cockfosters. Home ways was best ways, to have tea and toast, and watch that all seeing oracle, the television. Here, I watched a few repeats, like EastEnders. That Dirty Den is back, looking a bit weatherbeaten. Also, that movie, about Hidden Dragons - a fiendish chinese film fest.

EastEnders Credits
EastEnders on the BBC 2004
  • 1st Apr 2004 - The Return of the Accordion

    Dear everyone. It was about time that I broadcast another little diariable skit to the world, and this time, it was under doctors orders. He recommended that I devote pensionable funds towards fixing this stupid computer, therefor putting me back in contact with the earth. So indeed, hello world. Yes, i'm still here, still amongst my animals and relative dirt. I do indeedy hope that one day I can devote more time to my dear on line diaries, but time is short. Even in retirement there is not enough time in the day for everything, which I suppose isnt such a bad thing, but one day I would at last like to think I can at least move on to something more interesting, but still, nothing is done, have to stay in. I just dont know what to cut down on. I've tried cutting down on chores, but now the house is even more of a cess pit. And then there's the TV. Hundreds of hours spent, on my own, just looking at the screen. I really enjoy it though, and thought I would now devote the website to delightful TV art, rather than crap drawings of me. I, like many others, mourn the loss of Sex & the City, and the temporary loss of Enterprise. Also, have enjoyed the recent run of Hustle on the BBC. Unfortunately, one adds up the minutes and finds that an entire lifetime is lost just watching. So I go out, find some newspapers, and ride on the London Jubilee Tube line, one of my favourites. Things were going spiffingly until that horrid moment when the doors closed at Canary Wharf, and we were all horrified on hearing the horrible and obnoxious tuning of accordions by those new londoneers, the Asylum Seeker Quartet. I'm sorry folks, but I hate being a captive audience for anyone. Just as I thought it was safe to look up again, the inevitable tag team appeared, of the mothers with their bandaged and mummified babies, bearing little handwritten notes asking for cash. Damn. Is it that time of year again? I flew, and took refuge in the City Pubs in time for the wonderful 5pm fallout, where, in the sawdust of the Hung Drawn and Quartered, I downed a loverly Pint of London Pride Real Ale. Make the world go away!

Fast moving tube train
Speeding London Tube - April 2004

  • 9th Jul 2003 - My Kingdom for a Hearse

    Dear Diarylanders, and so it came to pass that I hit the trail to the Globe Theatre, that stands on high near Southwark Bridge. And all at once it came upon me, that I was here, looking down onto this arena, wooden beams, wooden seats, and so very very quiet, as though we were not central to London Town at all, but instead back in the Elizabethan times, horse dung aplenty. No sound from the outside world, that is, until the silence was disturbed by the raucous rotation of a chinook chopper. Oh dear, this was certainly modern times, but we were all living out an ancient dream. I then spotted a proud dove pigeon, attempting to nest upon the thatched roof. He looked down upon the good citizens and players who were by then in full flow into a spot of Shake and peasant participation. What did our pea brained pigeon make of it all? He looked on, confused. As for me, I began to fall asleep, tired of all this babble in tudor tongue. It's just no good, expecting to survive three hours on a hard bench, sun beating down, overwhelmed by the crushing intellectualism of it all. Fortunately, more pigeons appeared, on a conquest to disrupt the proceedings, landing on the stage roof. They obviously found the events below quite unusual, and peered over the edge, wondering whether to swoop down to Richard III's feet and forage for food. It never happened, however, because seconds later, needs overtook their interest, and they fluttered loudly in high powered flapping fornication, and then were gone. As for me, I was awakened further by the brilliant dance jig that the players performed in encore. Bravo! I report that, on the day, no cabbages were thrown in anger.

Sex and the City
Sex & the City - March 2004

  • 7th Aug 2003 - Step inside the eye of your mind

    We're having a heatwave in London Town, and I prefer extreme heat to freezing cold. I never really compain about the heat. And dammit all, that, in this fine old heatwave, that many London buildings are turning to USA style full-on OTT air conditioning that is FREEEEEZING! I was so cold in this cafe, I only had a summer shirt on, and the cold gust came down from the ceiling and destroyed me!. Hell, I was so uncomfortable within seconds. Why do they do that? Anyway, today I was en route, without animals, to see the old sixties speakeasys. Are there any left? The 100 club? Ronnie Scotts? I thought i'd hit the Whisky first, but it was turned into yet another Irish Theme Bar. Oh no. What about all that Beatles history? I looked inside, it's all gone, with a big hole in upstairs dance floor. I thought I may as well wobble inside, past the bouncers, into this louder than loud hangout for the culturally disturbed young at heart. All on offer was some cute fizzy beer electic pump offering, which I bought for a mighty sum, in spite of the nightmares it would certainly induce, and the chemical changes to my poor feeble body it would undoubtedly produce. I stood, around where 40 years ago one would talk fun with polite ladies and gents in a smokey delicate atmosphere. But now, little kids dressed in 'Nike' clothes pointed and stared at this old unlovable creep, me. Time for the bogs, I thought, and hoped that this door, 'Fir', was for the gents. Inside the Firs, I froze, as I laid eyes upon... 'GRATUITY MAN'! Now, for those of you maybe out of town, you might not be aware of Gratuity Man. He's a person installed in many London pub toilets, hovering around the sink units, bearing an array of useless and cheap toiletries and deodorants. When you try and wash your hands, gratuity man attempts to assist you with simple actions in order to force some cash out of you. This might be by: Turning the tap on for you, or, Handing you a paper towel that was six inches from your hand in the first place, or, Offering you some smelly handwash soap. The embarassment incurred by this display is excruciating, and my attempts to politely avoid Gratuity's advances even more so. What next? I suppose next time, old Gratuity will be crouched down in the cubicle, offering to wipe my backside for me. And like this time, I will evade his redundant services, and leave the premises. I'm never going there again. Give me a nice old London Pub anytime (without the Toilet Hog).

Hung Drawn and Quartered Pub
Hung Drawn & Quartered pub - London 2004

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