Every country but his own
I have been vaguely meaning to post about the Mon Oncle magazine Liveable Cities Index 2011. http://www.monocle.com/QoL-2011/ On one level I feel I am giving them the oxygen of publicity, on the other, what the hell. As I may have said before I feel that the most appropriate thing to do would be to combine the editors to their chosen number one city for a year by some sort of electronic tag backed up with heavily armed thugs and hit-men with sniper rifles. This year's winner is Helsinki, which at least seems more plausible than some of their other winners. Tokyo often figures in their list but it seems essentially incomparable with smaller cities such as Helsinki - almost a category error.
And liveable for who? The editors of a strange lifestyle magazine which seems sometimes to be a parody of something that doesn't exist? Wherever you go, there you are.
Certainly, Mon Oncle rarely talks about London, despite being based there. London, I sense, is not cool this year. Wasn't even before the riots.
However, we went to London for the weekend, mainly to see the athletics at Crystal Palace. The thing about London is that there can be 3 large sporting events on (athletics, triathlon, Community Shield) and the first of the riots (Tottenham) without any of it being particularly noticeable unless you know where to look. We also saw R WINOLJ and went for an Ethiopian meal with him in beautiful North London (only 5 miles from Tottenham, gasp horror), and went out to lunch with senior nephew and niece at the previously mentioned vegan place near Old Street.
We also went for a few runs. Hyde Park is certainly more interesting to run round than the Abingdon ring-road.
Bizarrely, seeing one of the side streets reminded me I had been to see a software company there about 18 or so years ago, long before the area became Silicon Roundabout or whatever it is. A rather strange company that was the UK reseller of a Virtual Reality library, back when such things were expensive. Like many software companies it was a spin off of something else that made money, though I suspect it itself didn't. Even more bizarre, I first came across the library via an ad in Mondo 2000 (the magazine that was so obviously the inspiration for Wired, but which no-one ever mentions for some reason).