diamond geezer

 Wednesday, December 30, 2009

dg 2009 index

Ten memorable London jaunts in 2009
Gold State Coach1) A-Z of London Museums: Two London museums a month, none of which I'd ever visited before, that was the plan. A ridiculous thing to attempt, but it turned into a fascinating cultural odyssey. All 24 museum reviews now appear on their own page, here.
2) The Greenway: I spent a lot of time watching the Olympics take shape this year. But getting interviewed by Matt Baker for Radio 4 (blimey, me, after the shipping forecast) was the most memorable.
3) Oxo Tower: I got treated to a bloody expensive (but rather special) meal atop the crumbly-stock-cube, yum.
4) Citizenship Ceremony: It's not every day you get invited along to witness folk becoming officially British.
5) Open House: The annual architecturefest, this year spent in Haringey and Southwark.
6) Marking the Meridian: I celebrated the meridian's 125th anniversary by walking south from Greenwich [photos]
7) Chord: Mechanical threaded artwork in the Kingsway Tramway Tunnel (mmm, special).
8) 52 Festive Road: Ooh, it's Mr Benn's house. And it's been in Putney all this time.
9) Victoria line: To celebrate the light blue line's 40th anniversary, I visited every station and snapped photos of the lovely tiling patterns. [photos]
10) Olympic bus tour: These days the only way to revisit the inner park is by minibus.
Runners up) Avro centenary, Big Ben, Boris Airport, debendification 507, debendification 38, Edgware Road, Euston Arch, Golf Sale, Imperial Wharf, Little Green Street, Little Wormwood Scrubs, London Loop 3, Northala Fields, number 44 bus, One and Other, Science Museum, Selfridges, Soho cholera, Stratford International, Street Pianos, Thames-free tube map, tube week, Valentine's Mansion, View Tube, West London, Whitechapel Gallery, Woolwich, Woolworths.
Random boroughs: Croydon, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth, Greenwich.

Ten favourite Out-of-London destinations
Seven Sisters1) Seven Sisters: A lengthy undulating yomp along the chalk clifftops from Seaford to Eastbourne, via Beachy Head. I'll be back. [photos]
2) Lea Valley Walk: I walked all 40-something miles down the river Lea, from the outskirts of Luton to the Thames at North Greenwich. It took a while, but not quite the whole of August. [photos]
3) Canvey Island: Yes, that grim floodable island in the Thames estuary, I rather enjoyed my winter visit. And I must go back to the Labworth for lunch. [photos]
4) Winchester: A day out in the ancient capital of Wessex, including a walk out to the evil motorway scything through Twyford Down [photos]
5) Portsmouth: The Historic Dockyard, the Mary Rose, and (woo) the 170m-high Spinnaker Tower [photos]
6) Blackpool: The sunniest weekend of the year along the Golden Mile and beyond - what's not to love? But just the once. [photos]
7) Sevenoaks: Scenic historic loveliness on the outskirts of commuterville.
8) Walton-on-the-Naze: The fossil-rich headland north of stuffy Frinton.
9) Nonsuch Palace: Henry VIII's enormous Tudor mansion (or at least what's left of it) (which is nothing) (in a park just outside Cheam) [part of my H8 500th anniversary week]
10) Epping Forest: Why had I never been for a wander round before?
Runners up: Croxley Revels, M1 (Garston).

Ten other favourite posts from 2009: crime maps, Tramlink celebrates, 21 years of Comic Relief, my inbox festers, Protest for London, MP lynching, Harrington Hill, farewell thelondonpaper, National London Museum, Advent Circle.

Half of my ten favourite photos of the year:
(or all ten here)


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