diamond geezer

 Friday, December 18, 2009


» Whodunnit: Fancy a good murder mystery for Christmas? Hell, why not? One of my favourite London authors - Christopher Fowler - has written a festive short story entitled Bryant & May's Mystery Tour. Should you not have made their acquaintance, Mr Bryant and Mr May are well-past-retirement detectives who specialise in solving Peculiar Crimes, and they star in a series of novels which Mr Fowler churns out about once a year. This latest mini-whodunnit is freely available on Christopher's blog, and I suspect that many of you will rather enjoy it. [not least because it's set on a double decker bus, and I know what you lot are like]

» Music: Every year the BBC picks a list of fifteen artists to watch, then whittles it down in January to a top 5 and eventually a "Sound of 2010". My tip from the list is Hurts - a moody Mancunian duo of slick suited operators crooning in a late-80s style. Theo and Adam practise a style of music they call Disco Lento Doloroso, and they've endeared themselves to me via their first release - Wonderful Life. This isn't a cover version of Colin Vearncombe's very lovely Black record, but it is of a similar laid-back ilk. There'll be an official release of the Arthur Baker remix of Wonderful Life in January, which hopefully will gain mainstream attention. [anyone who loves the song as much as I do should investigate (cough) this blogpost] [ooh, they're playing Wilton's Music Hall in February] [via Popjustice]

» Mail: If you ever find yourself urgently needing to locate the nearest postbox (as I did with a big pile of Christmas cards yesterday afternoon), then there are two websites up and running to help you out. One is Postboxr, which knows precisely where nearly 5000 of Britain's pillar boxes are located (and even what type of postbox it is). But even better is Matthew Somerville's Locating Postboxes which places 30000 of the things on an OpenStreetMap. London's well covered (here's E3, for example), but certain other areas of the country aren't yet (don't bother looking, Dad, it's rubbish round your way). If you live or work in an existing gap, the site allows you to chip in with the precise location of any boxes that aren't yet pinpointed. Most impressively, the last collection times for each postbox are given, where known, which means that my Christmas cards plopped into the box with several minutes to spare. [first class!]

» E3: Calling all residents of Bow (hello, I know there are a few of you). There's a bit of a kerfuffle at the moment regarding Tesco's plans to redevelop the old Safeway supermarket off Roman Road. A ten storey residential tower is currently planned, with a less-than-super supermarket on the ground floor, and the disappearance of a significant amount of car parking spaces. Roman Road desperately needs a pick-me-up, but this may not be it. Concerned residents should address their concerns to the Bow Safeway Site Action Group. [via Alan]

» Snow: It's doesn't snow very often in the UK, but when it does you can keep an eye on general blizzardiness via Ben Marsh's #uksnow Map. It's sourced via the #uksnow hashtag on Twitter, with amateur meteorologists tweeting the first half of their postcode and the current snow intensity (as a mark out of 10). Bet the map crashes again through over-use this morning (if it does, there's a backup here). And, woo, yay, snow! [via loads of people]

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jack of diamonds
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