The Singing Cabbie

I am still keeping an eye open for interestingly decorated taxis. I’m looking through the archives to see when I first started noticing such taxis, when they started getting to be interestingly decorated, that kind of thing. In 2008, it would seem I wasn’t noticing such things at all. But today, out in Victoria Street, I hit the taxi advertising jackpot:

It’s not that good a photo, but it’s a great taxi-with-advert.

I was mystified at the time, but knew that, since I was photoing a website address as well as a taxi, that the mystery would be cleared up as soon as I got back home.

Long story short, he really is a singing cabbie. Let me spell this out. He drives a taxi. And, he sings. And, he sometimes does both at the same time. And as is appropriate for a songster, he is also on Twitter.

I love London.

Signs of our time

Regulars here will know that I love to photo signs and notices. So evocative. So precise for defining a time, a place, a mood, or an official attitude. And never more so than right now:

Those are some signs I photoed yesterday, inside the entrance to Oval tube, and on the side of a bus. Right now, such verbals are commonplace. Soon, we must all hope, they’ll become an impossibly weird reminder of an impossibly weird time.

Here are three more that I photoed in April, of signs in shops windows:

On the left, the bog standard sign that happened in nearly every shop. We’re shut for the duration. Sorry. In the middle, the regular signage at the front of my local chemist, and on the door, a scrimmage of irregular signage, concerning this and that. And on the right, one of the signs saying: We’re still open. Come in. Buy stuff.

Finally, one of my favourites, from way back in March at the Wigmore Hall, at one of the last public events I attended, a performance of all the Beethoven String Trios, as I recall. Superb. We were up in the socially distanced seats at the top and back of the hall. Normally the Wigmore would have been packed out for a show like this, but this time, there were empty seats. If we’d known then blah blah, we’d surely not have gone.

They don’t allow photoing of performances, but at the beginning and at the end, you can photo away, so I photoed this, at the beginning:

And we obeyed. My impression, as I recall it, was that there was actually less coughing than usual.

A great souvenir sign, from pretty much the exact moment when it all suddenly kicked off and got serious.

Quota photo of the BT Tower advertising Follicular Lymphoma

Haven’t had many quota photos here lately, have I? But I am now about to go on what could be a long photo-walk, and don’t want to be worrying about not yet having stuck anything up here.


Photoed from the top of my block of flats, last November. Ah, those were the days, when people worried about lots of diseases instead of just the one.

What is Follicular Lymphoma?

Follicular lymphoma (FL) is a slow-growing type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It develops when B-cells (also called B-lymphocytes) become abnormal. B-cells are white blood cells that fight infection.

The abnormal B-cells (lymphoma cells) usually build up in lymph nodes, but they can affect other parts of the body.

Have a nice day. I intend to.

This taxi-with-advert couldn’t be cropped down to 1000×500

1000×500 is usually the size I crop taxis-with-adverts down to, for display here. Or to put it another way, first I chop them down into a big 2×1-shaped horizontal rectangle, and then reduce that down from whatever it was to 1000×500.

But I couldn’t do that to this taxi-with-advert, now could I?:

I may do so eventually, if and when this taxi-with-advert takes its place with another big gallery of taxis-with-adverts. But in the meantime …

This photo was photoed in January of 2014, hence the absence of 22 Bishopsgate, the Biggest Thing in the City of London Big Thing Cluster, yet despite that, so boring that it is still seems to be known, if known at all, as “22 Bishopsgate”.

The far less boring Scalpel was also yet to be built.

Strange creatures in Exhibition Road

Just over a year ago, in May of 2019, I was making my way from South Kensington Tube, up Exhibition Road past Imperial College, to the Royal College of Music, there to witness a performance which involved GodDaughter2. While making this journey, I encountered this strange creature:

I wonder what that was, I thought to myself from that moment on. Then, while rootling through the photo-archives, as I do, I encountered this taxi-with-advert photo, which seemed to feature the above creature:

Now I had some words to work with, so googling went from difficult to easy, and I began to learn about the One-Eyed Creature. He is one of the stars of a juvenile movie franchise, involving such things as One-Eyed Creatures, but also similar but Two-Eyed Creatures. Despicable Me. Also Despicable Me 2. At around that time, Despicable Me 3 was being plugged. Also there is a Bean Boozled connection, involving some sort of toy. Now that I know I could understand all this, I no longer feel any need actually to do this. How do I feel about having once cared? Despicable Me, that’s how.

I think a symptom of getting old is that you see more and more things that baffle you, and you don’t like the feeling. It’s not that we Oldies really do care about knowing trivia like this. What we care about is not knowing.

Soon after photoing this One-Eyed Creature, I photoed this couple:

I don’t feel quite so Despicable for being entertained by these two, but I still do somewhat. I found a few mentions of them on The Internet, in connection with Halloween. But this was May, so, no reason for them to be out and about in South Kensington. But then again, no reason for them not to be.

Feline Twitter dump

I earlier promised a creature-related Twitter dump. It turns out it’s pretty much all cats:

Another optical illusion that works on a nonhuman animal.

Can cats pass the mirror self-recognition test? This one did.

Why does this advert make it look like cats created a centre left political party in the early 2000s?

Screw your traffic, humans.

These next two tweets are also feline, because they’re Schrödinger’s Cat jokes:

Schrödinger’s Dumpster.

Schrödinger’s Plates.

Fed up with all the cattery? Then maybe you’ll approve of this:

A bit barbaric but my dog approves.

Still wanting something not cat related. Well, there’s always the Babylon Bee.

Ever Better Dressed?

Recent taxi with advert sighting:

I think it refers to this enterprise, but in my photo I see no N at the start. Also, I see no graphics at that site that resemble what I see on the taxi. I hope that all will become clearer, in due course.

Now, The Internet is going to bombard me with adverts for women’s clothes, and oh dear I just made it worse.

This morning I did a long-winded posting about something or other, and I ended with a reference to my rule that blog postings should keep it simple and short. I think you get my point.

Book Warehouse bag lady photoer

When I photoed this photo on Westminster Bridge, way back in 2007, well, you know what I was interested in:

But now, it’s the bag that gets my attention.

Oh, I was interested in a general way in the phenomenon of photoers photoing while carrying shopping bags, often in way that hid their faces, which I was already watching out for. But particular bags were of less concern.

But look at the list of addresses on this bag, of Book Warehouse branches in London:

Now, only one remains.

I loved those places. There was one that was only a walk away from me, the one in Strutton Ground. There’s nothing like a remainder bookshop to find unexpectedly interesting titles, old and new, at prices that make them worth it the way full prince never would be. Best of all, if you like the look of a book, you can have a leaf through it, and can soon find if you’d really like it, the way you can’t on the internet without relying on other people’s opinions. In Book Warehouse you could suck it, so to speak, and see.

When Gramex was in its final address in Lower Marsh before closing, that was in a basement right underneath the Waterloo version of Book Warehouse, which itself had had to move. But as Lower Marsh went up market (they should now start calling it Upper Marsh), it went beyond the reach of such places.

Memo to self: When all this Coronavirus nonsense is over, make a pilgrimage to Golders Green to check out the last resting place of Book Warehouse. If it is even still there. According to Google Maps it is, but that can often be out of date.

More and more, I now suspect, my prodigious archive of photoer photos will be of use at least as much for what else is in the photos, besides photoers.

Alex Singleton’s website

Yes, incoming from Alex Singleton:

Hi Brian,

Hope you are keeping well.

I thought you might find this amusing – a full and frank confession of my time as a teenager:

Best wishes,

The link above took me to a website entry adorned with this photo of the architectural splendidness that is Dulwich College:

Alex Singleton is a PR person. Not just any PR person, the PR person who wrote The PR Masterclass, which I possess and recommend, and about which, google reminds me, I wrote about the launch of in this rather ancient blog post.

Blog post summary:

If you hold a book launch for a book called “PR Masterclass”, that launch had better be packed out, or you look like a prune.

It was. He didn’t.

I get emails similar to the email Alex just sent me on a daily basis. However, they are usually much longer and duller and they usually refer to my Old Blog, which hardly inspires confidence. They just got my email from some random list. It tells you something about Alex Singleton’s skills as a PR person that I have reproduced his email in full. I assume Alex wants his website, which I’ve not seen before (certainly not this Dulwich piece), to be noticed. Hence this posting.

Alex is the kind of person who has lots of friends. But speaking as one of them, I never feel he is exploiting me when I get an email like the one above. There’s no pressure, not least because it reads like it took him only about fifteen seconds to write, and like he was sending out lots of other personalised emails to other friends at the same time. Maybe this was a mass mailing, with identical wording to all of us, but it doesn’t feel like that to me.

I had a rootle around in the website. Politically, Alex is a Free Marketeer. He doesn’t bang on about this at excessive length, but nor does he hide this fact, which I like. But mostly, it’s about how he does PR and about how he learned this.

He is upfront also in saying that the point of the website is to develop his personal brand. So many people in advertising and marketing forget to do this. They advertise everything, and do marketing for everyone, except for themselves. But if you can’t even drum up business for yourself, why would anyone else trust you to do the same for them? Being a PR person and being a bit pushy about it makes perfect sense.

Taxis with adverts – July to December 2019

I know I know. There’s only one person in the whole world who likes clicking through huge collections of photos of London taxis with adverts on them. Me. But such galleries of persuasive transport are now easy for me to put up here, and have always been easy for you to ignore, so here’s another, consisting of fifty-four taxis-with-adverts photoed by me in the latter half of last year:

Photo 49, bottom row, number four, features Ms Calzedonia, a shapely lady with writing on her legs. But even my original 4000×3000 photo did not enable me to discern what this writing says and my googling also proved insufficient. Anyone?

Also puzzling, merely from my photo number 40, is “Duolingo”, but this was easy to learn about, and pretty easy to guess. It’s for learning a new language.