diamond geezer

 Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bits and pieces (and stuff)

• The Croydon Canal was 200 years old last week. It's nigh impossible to spot this waterway today, because most of it was buried beneath the New Cross to West Croydon railway in the 1830s. I would have blogged about it, except I suspect you're heartily sick of me exploring southeast London this month. So here's a very brief history. And here's a very detailed map. And here's what you'll find along its route today (click the links at the foot of the page).

• 2009 is already a record-breaking year for singles sales, almost all of them downloaded.
Retail sales of singles by format, UK
Year Physical Digital Total Sales
200330.8m-30.8m
200613.9m53.0m66.9m
2009 (so far)1.6m116.0m117.6m
Which explains why it's so bloody difficult to buy a CD single any more.
One of those 1.6 million is mine. And none of the 116 million. I'm so behind the times.

• I know how interested all sorts of people are in the River Fleet. Now Camden Council has its own webpage on the borough's very own lost waterway, complete with recently surveyed map. Enjoy the photographs.

• Ooh, now this is interesting. Comparemyradio.com. A new website which compares all the songs and artists played by different radio stations over the last 30 days. Capital Radio is obsessed by JLS and the Black Eyed Peas, playing each more than 10 times a day. Heart love Robbie Williams more than any other station. Radio 1 and Smooth Radio have very little in common. Radio 2 has greater music variety than any other station surveyed. Absolute Radio (whose website this is) are still playing Journey's Don't Stop Believin' several times a month. I could play with this tool for longer than I could listen to most of the radio stations under scrutiny.

(sssh, it's the Meridian again) One of the buildings the Greenwich Meridian passes through is Meridian Primary School in Greenwich. And one of the schools' parents is the cartoonist Banx, who's designed some very-Greenwich Christmas cards (available now via a special blog). Yes, obviously there's a meridian-themed card. Set of six, three quid, all proceeds to the school.

• Watching the C4 Heston Blumenthal / Little Chef programme last night, I had an irrational urge (along with half the viewing audience) to go and visit his Popham restaurant. Except it's in the middle of nowhere unless you have a car, and I don't. Ditto the new Kettering revamp. So I wondered where the nearest (bog-standard) Little Chef to London actually is. Alas, the company's website collapses every time I try to do any kind of geographical search.

Mid-80s popstars on Twitter: Nik Kershaw, Howard Jones, Stephen 'Tin Tin' Duffy, Bananarama, Annie Lennox, Pet Shop Boys, Holly Johnson, Boy George, Nick Heyward, Nick Beggs (er, enough)


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