Tag Archives: London

Crime in London

Hatchard's - London's Oldest Bookshop Established 1797
Hatchard’s – London’s Oldest Bookshop Established 1797

An excellent evening organised by the Society of Authors on Crime Writing. Two authors – Catherine Aird and Alison Joseph and Callum Sutherland, ex-CSI investigator for the Serious Crime Directorate. We were told it’s essential to get our facts right but also to leave a few red herrings to misdirect the reader.

Forgotten how fabulous Hatchard’s is – bank in the middle of Piccadilly opposite the Royal Academy – flying the Union Jack flag and with complete with the Queen’s Royal Warrant over the front door (I wonder what kind of books the Queen likes to read.).

You could spend hours In Hatchard’s browsing amongst their vast collection of books.

Lacecap hydrangea in our courtyard


Hydrangea macrophylla normalis
Hydrangea macrophylla normalis

The hydrangeas are fantastic this year. When I stopped to admire a cluster of them nestling under a banana tree in San Sebastian last week, a little old man came up and explained to me at length, and in rapid Spanish I could just about understand, that he had made himself responsible for looking after them and that he dug in nails around the plants to provide the iron they need.

We have several varieties in our courtyard but these are the most delicate and prettiest.

My favourite London Library


Charing X Library
Charing X Library

Charing Cross library is my favourite London library. Set close to Chinatown, there is always a sprinkling of Chinese decorations as well as a considerable library of books in Chinese. The staff are friendly and helpful and. for someone with a painful hip. the fact that my bus stop is right outside is a big plus.

If I have enough time I can get off at a stop further on and shop for Chinese goodies in Chinatown.

It’s a Fake

Not what it seems
Not what it seems

It looks like a London telephone box but it’s a British Museum construct, full of biscuits and sweets. Quite the best museum shop with a wide variety of artefacts relating to their excellent exhibitions. The signage in their exhibitions is always clear and legible. You don’t have to get close and peer at the labels, which are always situated near the exhibit – unlike the museums where you have to search around to find them and then can’t decide which title belongs to which!!.

Jack the Ripper was here!!

The entrance to our flats has been blocked off now
Excerpt modified from my memoir Woman in a White Coat

I recently discovered it was in the doorway of No 119 Wentworth Dwellings, two floors above the cold water tenement where we lived from 1931-1942, that at 2.55am on Sunday September 30th 1888, PC Long found a blood-soaked piece of Catherine Eddowes’ apron. The murderer, Jack the Ripper, left her mutilated body some distance away, in Mitre Street. His reign of terror in the East End of London, killing and disembowelling local prostitutes, ended three years later with the murder of Mary Jane Kelly.Wentworth Dwellings has now been gentrified and renamed Arcadia Court. The dirty grey bricks have been scrubbed clean to a pale honey colour and the sash windows, which constantly required new sashes, have been replaced by double glazed PVC casements. Instead of a broken down wrought iron gate into the courtyard, that entrance is bricked up too. Access is by a dark brown, highly polished, security door with key code entry in Old Castle Street.