Thursday, November 15, 2012

The blog is back!

Just testing whether this still works

Monday, January 04, 2010

My Last Blog Post

After 529 posts and 3 years 2 months, I've decided to stop making blog posts at Franco London. I first started it to capture my thoughts, especially when I was travelling and to learn about the world of blogging. Now it's becoming a bit of a duty and I want to focus instead on my work blog - click here.

However, I'll still read other people's blogs - particularly David Hepworth's as well as Silvana and Rob's. Keep up the good work!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I'm Going to Stop Reading Time Out Magazine

Not because the magazine is particularly bad, it's because I'm sick of seeing all the must-see movies that I've missed, feeling guilty about not going to all the fabulous exhibitions that are on and all the great bands that are performing that week.

On the other hand, maybe I should just get out a bit more.
Nice Pub in Tooting

Yes - it's true. I'm not a big pub goer so I can't definitively say whether or not there are any decent pubs in the area. However, when the Antelope appeared in Time Out and had a great review, I thought it was worth a visit. Anyway, it was really good - great food. It's the second new pub on the same road - the Tooting Tram and Social. It's owned by the same people and is also really nice. Just shows - there's more to Tooting than great curry houses.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Injured Footballers

Over the weekend there were a number of reports of how Dean Ashton, the West Ham striker was forced to retire from the game aged 26, after getting injured during an England training session. A story that was less widely publicised was the fact Derby had terminated the contract of Giles Barnes after several seasons of injury.

3 years ago, aged 18 Barnes was Derby's star performer and was tipped for great things. He was strong, had pace and scored lots of goals. However, since then he's never played regularly and it appears that the age of 21 his career might be over. I've always rated him and thought he had the potential to become a fantastic player. Last year he had a loan spell at Fulham but was never fit enough to play. You never know, he may well still make it, but the odds are against him.

Another famous footballer whose career was terminated by injury was, of course Brian Clough. And as we all know, the rest is history.
Derby On a Winning Streak

Well, not quite. We had our first away win of the season on Saturday and are unbeaten in 4 games. If this carries on for the next couple of weeks, we'll be certainties for the play-offs. If we lose, we'll be flirting with relegation. It's a thin line between success and failure in the Championship.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Wellcome Collection

Met up with a friend at The Wellcome Collection on Euston Road. It's a place dedicated to the history of medicine, and is full of interesting stuff.There's a really nice cafe space, bookshop, library and some great exhibitions. At the moment there's a fabulous exhibition called Identity which explores our sense of who we are. If you're looking for a place to meet up with someone, then give it a go.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

U2 At Glastonbury

Am really pleased that U2 are headlining the Friday night show at Glastonbury. Everyone I know who has seen them has raved about their show. However, the main reason I'd like to see them is that in 1981 I sold my ticket to see U2 to a mate of mine. They were unknown at the time and apparently they were amazing. Since then I've always wanted to see them. Now's my chance.
Great Book

Have just finished the second in the Stieg Larsson Millenium Trilogy. I found it just as gripping as the first one and am really looking forward to the third book which I've just ordered on Amazon.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Olive Picking Weekend

Had the most fantastic weekend picking olives in Italy with friends. We managed to pick 130 kg of olives from the 48 trees and in the end produced around 18 litres of the most delicious olive oil imaginable - thick, green and really, really fresh.

Made you feel glad to be alive.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Colours in the Garden Are Amazing At The Moment

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ordinary Thunderstorms

I'm a big William Boyd fan and was not disappointed by his latest book 'Ordinary Thunderstands'. It was a classic thriller / murder conspiracy novel where the central character gets caught up in stuff he doesn't understand. However, what I particularly liked was the London setting. Most of the action takes place in modern day Chelsea and Rotherhithe and other sections around the river.

It's certainly not his best book (Any Human Heart is my favourite), but still really good. Recommended.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Long Fu Girls Weekend

A couple of weekends ago we had our Long Fu girls reunion, where girls from the same orphanage all got togther. This time it was the 10th year and we held it in Liverpool, where one of the families lives. (Pam, Les, Olivia and Josie)

I've not been to Liverpool for many years and was really impressed with it. It has really smartened up, but still has a lot of character. As ever, it was great to see the girls again who are now in senior school. Can't believe how tall they are. Thanks to Pam and Les for organising it. I think we brought good luck to the city as against the odds, Liverpool beat Man U.

In Paris For Supper

Am making a quick visit to Paris for workshop today. Took the Eurostar yesterday - only 2 hours 15 min and arrived in time for supper. I've forgotten how great French food can be: soupe a l'oignon, magret de canard, tarte tatin. All classics. All fantastic. It's even OK to eat out on your own. Must get back into French cooking when I get home.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Olive Picking in November

Have just arranged time off to go olive picking in Italy at the end of the November. There's about 50 olive trees that need picking and I've enlisted the help of a few friends to help me out...with the promise of lots of trips to the local restaurants. I've also managed to get a couple of locals to help me out, who will have the experience and equipment to know what they're doing.

We'll then take then to the olive oil mill just outside the town. My very own olive oil! How exciting.
Campervan vs Tipi?

This is the big debate we're having re accommodation at Glastonbury. Tipi is more expensive, but closer to the action. Campervan is quieter but a bit of a trek. Need to decide soon.
Last Sunday's Sketchmob

On Sunday morning a crowd of us met in the Turbine Hall of Tate Modern with the sole intention of sketching. I found it quite a challenging brief. The space is huge, there are lots of long perspectives and it gets very busy. In the end I managed to sketch a view of St Paul's from the 4th floor.

What I really enjoyed was looking at other people's sketches at the end and getting inspiration from their amazing work

Next sketchmob is in November. Click here for details.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Another Sign That The Recession is Over

On Sunday, Glastonbury tickets sold out within 12 hours. Last year it took weeks. It may be because 2010 will be the 40th anniversary, but I also think its because people are feeling more upbeat about next year.

Thanks to help from our friends Pete and Teresa, I'm pretty sure we've got tickets. We've not received confirmation yet, but I think they're booked. No acts have been announced yet, but I'm sure it'll be fantastic.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Miserable Irish Taxi Drivers

I've been travelling to Dublin quite regularly over the past few weeks and everytime I get into a taxi I brace myself for the non-stop moaning of the taxi drivers. They usually complain about the number of other taxi drivers that are on the road nowadays, how long they have to wait and how little money they're making. And of course, they blame the foreigners. I used to look forward to chatting to the drivers in Dublin who used to be cheerful chaps. It's not the case any more.

Today one of the taxi driver unions was on strike, blocking the centre of Dublin. Can't imagine it would do their cause any good or that they'll get much sympathy.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Hamburgers in Hamburg

Am just back from some market research in Hamburg where we were exploring the world of hamburgers. Nobody mentioned the fact that the origin of hamburgers was the city of Hamburg. (ie the American immigrants who came from Hamburg).Maybe its because they're so ubiquitous that nobody made the connection.

Anyway....Hamburg is a really nice city. Definitely worth a visit

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Really Good Book
I really enjoyed Zoe Heller's 'The Believers' which I've almost finished. It's about a dysfunctional New York family. Not a lot happens, but the characters are very engaging. Her previous book was 'Notes On a Scandal' which was also fabulous and was made into an excellent film (Cate Blanchett and Judy Dench). I'm sure I remember Zoe Heller writing for the Sunday Times magazine? She's obviously a real talent.