diamond geezer

 Sunday, January 09, 2011


• Bored on Saturdays? You could always join the London Cultureseekers Group, a bunch of friendly folk who visit somewhere interesting most weekends. Yesterday they were at the St John's Ambulance Museum, and next weekend 150 of them are going on a treasure hunt round Clerkenwell. It's £10 to join for a year (sample visits free), and they always end up at a pub or cafe afterwards. [No, I've never been, it sounds far too sociable for me, but my goodness do they sound well organised]

• The Royal Mail has a set of six stamps out on Tuesday to celebrate The Genius of Gerry Anderson. That's six stamps featuring Thunderbirds, Supercar, Stingray, Joe 90, Fireball XL5 and Captain Scarlet. They're available in such a wide variety of formats (miniature sheet, pin badges, postcards, first day covers, etc) that serious collectors are going to have to spend a fortune to keep up. Gerry's due to appear on The One Show tomorrow, and doing a signing in the Strand on Tuesday. [Hmm, I wonder if I should buy a sheet of 80 and use them for the rest of the decade]

• Do you do cryptic crosswords (or attempt to)? Then the Fifteensquared blog will either enhance your experience or provide a dead easy way to cheat. Every day one of their bloggers solves the crosswords in the Independent, FT and Guardian (usually damned fast), then posts the solution and (this is the useful bit) the explanation behind each clue. The Observer, Sunday Telegraph and Private Eye get a weekly look in too. [There's a separate blog for the Times crossword, for those of you behind the paywall]

• Brian McClosky has a set of Smash Hits magazines from 30 years ago, and every fortnight he uploads another one to Flickr. That's every single page scanned, so you can zoom in and flick through all the reviews, song lyrics, interviews and scary adverts. The latest copy's from January 8th 1981, which means 2 Tone, Chas & Dave, the Freshies and Eddy Grant. A regular retrospective treat, if you're 'of an age'. [but sorry, he's already filled in the crossword]

• The Evening Standard are running their Dine at 20 top London restaurants from only £10 special offer again, between now and 13th February. Maybe you could persuade your loved one to do Valentine's Day early to save some cash. No newspaper is required, you can book up without registration via the website. [I enjoyed a (relatively) cheap dinner at the Butler's Wharf Chop House last year, and I (hopefully) have somewhere else lined up this week for lunch]

• Mike Skinner has a new album out in a month, reputedly the last he'll ever make. As part of the pre-launch marketing buzz he's been blogging at the-streets.co.uk, and in a typically creative way. Mostly video snippets (like this 2½ minute summary of a trip to San Francisco), often with original musical backing, but also weekly podcasts and some earnest off-the-wall writing. [If you're not a fan he probably won't win you over, but I was won years ago]

• I've started a Tumblr called We Simply Can't Afford It. I'm trying to record, daily-ish, something that the Coalition government's doing to reshape society or save money. It'll either have you nodding saying "yes, damned sensible too" or you'll be screaming "whatever will the cretins cut next?" [It's only been going a week so far, but I'm assuming the good/bad news will continue]

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