mcgillianaire: (Changing Guard London)
...I arrived in London to settle here permanently. The photos below were taken on the night and subsequent morning of that memorable journey. It was my first flight to Blighty in three years - and I only stayed a night on that occasion - so this was actually my first proper visit in nearly four years. I was over the moon, making childhood dreams come true and all that jazz.


With mum at check-in in Muscat (then Seeb) International Airport. Dad had a separate flight that night to attend a conference in Italy. I think my sis was still in India. You can see bits of my Liverpool jersey that I was wearing in honour of the Champions League Final that was taking place as we were flying towards the Continent. The Mighty Reds were taking on The Rossoneri (AC Milan) in Athens. The pilot was kind enough to give us two score updates along the way. Unfortunately, we lost 2-1.

Read more... )
mcgillianaire: (Geetopadesham)


The Highgatehill Murugan Temple was the first Hindu temple that dad visited in England more than thirty years ago. And therefore it has a very special place in his heart. Every time he passes through the city, he pays his respects and last weekend was no different. This is how it looks today after a front extension upgrade giving the appearance of a Tamil abode of worship. Dad (along with many other devotees) paid towards its construction. The two statues in gold colour are of Muruga and Ganesha (the elephant-headed God) who are the sons of Shiva and Parvati. Muruga is often referred to as the God of Tamils and wherever in the world you are, a Murugan temple is the best evidence of a Tamil community in the area. Mounted onto the inner-side of the window, halfway between the two gold statues is the Hindu symbol Om depicted in Tamil. And just above the main entrance are two sculptures of peacocks, the traditional vehicle of Muruga. If you're ever in the area, the temple serves a simple yet delicious free lunch consisting of just three Tamil dishes every day around noon. All are welcome. And here's a cheeky photo I took of the main Muruga idol inside the temple a couple years ago.
mcgillianaire: (Changing Guard London)


I travelled through this station for only the second time since its significant rebuild a few years ago, and it's got the best view from a railway station platform. The platform spans the length of the bridge. St Paul's Cathedral can also be seen from this spot, but just missed out to the left of this panorama. However I did manage to capture: Tower 42, the Cheesegrater, the Walkie Talkie, Cannon Street station, the Canary Wharf skyscrapers, Tower Bridge, the Millennium "Wobbly" Bridge, the Shard and the former Bankside power station that now houses the Tate Modern art gallery. The station itself is a block of concrete.
mcgillianaire: (Changing Guard London)

This is a map of all the London drinking and dance establishments that I've graced my presence with since moving here in the summer of 2007 (updated to yesterday's visit to The Gazebo in Kingston, bottom-left). 200+ places and counting!

You can see the map in detail here. The last time I posted a part of this map (in February 2010), I had visited just over 130+ establishments. Despite expanding my pint footprint at the rate of about 40 places a year, there are obvious gaps to fill.

UPDATE: Since making the original post, I've updated the pic above to include a club in Notting Hill, but annoyingly it seems to have reached some sort of limit on Google Maps, because it's created a second page of pins. This means not all the pins are on a single page any more. I'm tempted to fire off an email to the good people in Mountain View and demand an answer! Also, since adding the Notting Hill Arts Club I've also added another pub, one which I'd forgotten about in Sarf London's Forest Hill neighbourhood. With the disparity between establishments graced on either side of the river, I could do with remembering every one south of the Thames! Just another 4000+ pubs, bars and clubs to go in the rest of London. Time to up the ante!

KEY:
Green - Pubs & Bars
Light Blue - Pubs & Bars whose names I can't remember!
Purple - Pub where I used to go quizzing
Yellow - Ancient Pubs (usually 18th-c or older)
Red - Restaurant Pubs
Dark Blue - Clubs (includes Afterhour institutions like MoS, Egg etc)
mcgillianaire: (Changing Guard London)

That of course is Bill Nighy, eating dinner with his wife(?) at Charuwan, a Thai restaurant near Archway in North London. I was at a friend's birthday dinner and although we didn't bother him while he was eating, one of us did manage to secure a photo of him with our birthday buddy just before he left. I've read somewhere that he lives in the area and this photo sort-of confirms it. He's one of my favourite actors and he seemed a fairly decent chap in the four words that I heard him speak!
mcgillianaire: (Changing Guard London)
mcgillianaire: (Changing Guard London)
mcgillianaire: (Default)

Standing next to a picture of one of the most famous marketing slogans of all-time. This particular Guinness billboard was in Piccadilly Circus, complete with two West Indian gentlemen in the foreground leaning on the Statue of Anteros. Guinness began their forty-two year association with Piccadilly Circus in 1930 and I think this photo was taken between 1932 and 1953 (but not during WWII, perhaps just after the Windrush arrived in 1948). Guinness was told to stop using the slogan but in 2003, a group of researchers at the University of Wisconsin claimed that a pint of Ireland's greatest export may "work as well as a low dose aspirin to prevent heart clots that raise the risk of heart attacks" while drinking lager didn't yield the same results. Indeed the original campaign in the 1920s stemmed from market research when people told the company that they "felt good after their pint". England went one step further by giving post-operative patients as well as blood donors Guinness based on the belief that it was high in iron! Healthy or not, it is without doubt the world's best beer!
mcgillianaire: (Cricket Stumps)
I suppose when a cricket fan decides to make their Test debut as a spectator having followed the game with a religious passion for nearly twenty years, it seems only fitting to pick an occasion that turns out to be the biggest ever crowd for the last day's play of a Test at Lord's, the home of the world's greatest sport. And so it was for me last week Monday. The record books will show that England outplayed India comprehensively but as far as experiences go, few will match the pure joy that was 25 July 2011. It felt special from the moment the ticket prices were announced the evening before and the response online was immediate. I knew it was going to be a big crowd but I never imagined people would be turned away because it was full! It wasn't as bad as Old Trafford in 2005 but for the biggest ground in England, this was something new. At £20, boy was it worth it!

(If you missed the panoramic views of my day out at Lord's that I posted about a week ago, you can view them here).


By the time I arrived at St John's Wood tube station around eight, the queue had already snaked itself in an orderly fashion half a mile from the ground and onto Circus Road (as pictured above). Ticket sales were to begin at half-eight, gates to open at nine and play to start at eleven. And as the rate of people joining the queue behind us increased after my arrival, I'm fairly sure it eventually ended up close to a mile long.


The queues were so long because the MCC wanted to negate the effect of touts buying tickets in bulk. I'm led to believe the MCC normally sells a maximum of four tickets per person on Day Five at Lord's but for today they sold a maximum of one per person. And with free entry for Under-16s who had just embarked on their summer vacation, a lot of young fans could be seen waiting patiently with the rest of us. Stood in front of me was an Indian gentleman who was also attending his first Test at Lord's but he had arrived in London just for the match alone from Dubai. The lucky bugger didn't have any tickets until ten days before the first day's play but his English manager at work (he was employed with Willis Group Holdings) suggested writing to the MCC. He did and they got him tickets for the first four days and then he queued for the fifth!

23 More Pics From A Great Day Out ... with Commentary! )
mcgillianaire: (Cricket Stumps)
You can imagine what a happy bunny I must've been when I realised not only would I be attending my first-ever Test match, and at Lord's no less, but I'd also have a camera with which to capture the special occasion!


Click image(s) to enlarge. This is probably my fave panorama to date. It was taken at 11:41am, forty minutes into the day's play from the Lower Mound Stand, described by Blowers on TMS as "like a province in India".


The problem with the cleaned and cropped up version of the picture above is that it cut off too much at the bottom for my liking, so you've got both to make your own mind up with.


This panorama was taken at 4:28pm, not long before the game ended. And as you can tell, there was a fair amount of cloud cover by this point but it was still quite warm.



And just for the sake of completion, here's the clean and cropped up version of the same panorama.
mcgillianaire: (Changing Guard London)

Who knew? My old digicam still works. This is great news, London photo/walking tours beckon again! But for now the view outside my bedroom window will suffice. [Taken 23 Jul 2011]
mcgillianaire: (Cricket Stumps)
As the first test between England and India at Lord's gets underway tomorrow morning, here are four photostitches taken at the home of cricket on 15 April 2008 during my first-ever visit there, along with [livejournal.com profile] pappubahry.


Click image to enlarge. This is my favourite of the four panoramas. It's taken from the Compton Stand, where incidentally I sat during my first-ever Lord's cricket match in June 2009.


Click image to enlarge. This was taken in front of the award-winning media centre which you can see in the first panorama.


Click image to enlarge. This was taken from the Grand Stand and it hasn't turned out as well as I would've hoped. But I did manage to cram in [livejournal.com profile] pappubahry on the far right!


Click image to enlarge. Similar to the third panorama but not as wide. You can get a good view of the (Old) Pavilion on the right built in 1890 and the Media Centre on the left built in 1999.
mcgillianaire: (Default)

The building that houses the High Commission of India in Aldwych, Central London was completed in 1930 and opened by King George V. It was designed by Sir Herbert Baker.
(The fort symbol on the top-left of the picture represents the British Indian province of Madras).



The main entrance.


The swastika is obviously a Dharmic religious symbol. However what I found ironic was that in the Waldorf-Hilton Hotel lobby directly opposite this controversial symbol lay several copies of the Jewish Chronicle.

Just four more pics )
mcgillianaire: (Default)

Click image to enlarge. If you zoom in you can see a blurry London skyline to the left and Canary Wharf to the right side of it. The match on the screen is between Rafael Nadal and Andreas Beck, a first round clash.

I started using Autostitch a couple days ago and it's absolutely amazing!!! It's a small download, free, so easy-to-use and stitches images like these in just a matter of seconds. I can't believe I didn't discover it earlier. But I suppose better late than never. Not surprisingly I've since gone nuts with it and am working my way through all my photos dating back to 2005, searching for potential panoramic material. This one's from June 2008.
mcgillianaire: (Changing Guard London)

View of Canary Wharf (incl One Canada Square - Britain's tallest completed building) from a street with one of the best views in North London. All of these houses were built in 1900. I apologise for the poor quality but that's what you get with an iPhone 3GS in overcast conditions. [Taken 13 March 2011]


The same view taken a couple hours earlier. Again the quality's not great but I just love the juxtaposition between Mussy Hill's chimney tops and the Canary Wharf skyscrapers.


Same street. I'm only posting this because the big white structure to the left in the background is the new Olympic Stadium/Park, hence the adjoining cranes.
mcgillianaire: (Default)

To the left you can see The Shard - the EU's upcoming tallest skyscraper. At 310m it will not even rank amongst the world's top 40.
mcgillianaire: (LFC Liverbird)

My first appearance at Ruse Bar in Borough (near London Bridge) - a Liverpool supporters boozer thanks to the landlord who's a fan.

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