Tim Bryan

Electric taxis prove a turn-off for most London cabbies living on the edge


Wednesday, 30 April, 2008, 12:00am

Exodus for festive season leaves the City post-apocalyptic


Not surprisingly, my parents have not seen 28 Days Later, the London-based film in which the hero wakes from a coma to find zombies running about the West End.

If they had, they perhaps would have likened the eerie silence that greeted them in central London on Christmas Day to the post-apocalyptic world.

2 Jan 2008 - 12:00am

'Carma' makes road rage a thing of the past


There she was, stuck in a jam, behind the wheel of her Mini-Cooper, oblivious to the pain of sitting still for three minutes. She was gently rolling her head back and forwards, waving her hands as if conducting an orchestra; a mood hardly synonymous with driving in congested London.

18 Jul 2007 - 12:00am

Guerilla tactics

First came guerilla gardening, the act of turning up at night and planting vegetables and flower gardens in rundown public green spaces. Then came 'guerilla knitting', where young women took over trendy bars and posh hotel tearooms for knitting sessions. This Christmas has seen two rather odd developments - guerilla dining and guerilla retailing.

25 Dec 2006 - 12:00am

Foreign fillings

It dawned on me as I opened wide and said 'aaagggghhhh'. My dentist was Swedish. From Malmo, more precisely. Her assistant, according to her badge, was Svetlana. Hardly an East End name. Russian? 'No, Ukrainian.' Svetlana was a temp. Filling in for Agnieska, a Lithuanian.

11 Dec 2006 - 12:00am

Some like it hot

'I'm not getting on there, it's roasting. Can't you do something about it?' 'Sorry love, at the next stop I'll peel back the roof and serve chilled lemonade. How's that?' Such wit went unrewarded. The woman refused to get on.

24 Jul 2006 - 12:00am

Reading matter

The hallowed institution that is the British Library has been getting a little crowded of late. Despite our information technology age, with Google solving all our scholarly conundrums in 0.7 seconds, more and more people are venturing inside.

10 Jul 2006 - 12:00am

Blade runners

He looks more than a little shifty. Unshaven, he is wearing a red hooded top, with the hood pulled over his head despite the heatwave outside, dirty faded jeans and gleaming white trainers. He is also glancing about suspiciously, reeks of alcohol and is clearly having trouble standing up.

19 Jun 2006 - 12:00am

Caught short

Just like the Inuit supposedly have 200-odd words for snow, Londoners have innumerable expressions for everyday functions, such as going to the toilet. A few variations include: when nature calls; studying some porcelain; splashing your boots; and visiting the little boy's (or girl's) room.

15 May 2006 - 12:00am

Invisible to society

If it wasn't so tragic, it could almost be farcical. A woman dies alone in her north London flat and lies undiscovered for more than two years. Her body is so decomposed that police have to use dental records to identify her, and her time of death is estimated using the sell-by date of food left in the fridge.

1 May 2006 - 12:00am

Bitter pill to swallow

It was no ordinary trip to the doctor's surgery. As well as getting some pills for my gout, I hoped to discover whether British Prime Minister Tony Blair's much-vaunted government health reforms really mean that our London GPs are earning more than stockbrokers, barristers and Cabinet ministers.

24 Apr 2006 - 12:00am

Blood & tears

asia specific

23 Apr 2006 - 12:00am

Going off piste

Ski holidays are expensive, especially during half term and the Winter Olympics, when everyone pretends to be Franz Klammer or snowboarder Hannah Teter and heads for the Alps. For those left back in London, there's the next best thing: the do-it-yourself ski lodge.

20 Feb 2006 - 12:00am

Hackney recycles

Monday mornings are unpleasant. They jar the still-sleeping senses, arriving far too abruptly after a lazy weekend, and remind our resting souls that the train to reality is nearing our station - so we had better skip the toast and get ready for work.

19 Sep 2005 - 12:00am

Under a cloud

If there is one constant about life in London, it is the endlessly variable weather. The elements change so often that it is not uncommon to experience three seasons in a week. One day last week demanded a gym vest, the next a fisherman's jumper, then a sou'wester. It explains why the British are as preoccupied with weather as they are with criticising the neighbouring French.

12 Sep 2005 - 12:00am