Amazing Anniversary

16 September, 2011

In 1666, a dreadful fire ripped through the heart of London burning houses, churches and other buildings. Sir Christopher Wren was given the job of re-developing many churches. One of them, St Paul’s Cathedral is celebrating its 300th anniversary. I am often asked what I regard as amazing. One of the factors is that a beautiful creation like St Paul’s can survive for such a long period. It is a…

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Amazing London

16 August, 2011

The London Eye On my recent visit to London, I went to the big wheel that overlooks the River Thames. The queue for the London Eye, as it is called, was so long that I continued walking. In the bright sunshine of that afternoon who could have predicted the recent riots. But, with about 8 million people all living with 20 square miles there is always the potential for conflict….

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London and the Olympics

14 August, 2011

The race is already on. London has Olympics Fever. While I was there, many thousands of people were hoping they would win the race for Olympic Games tickets in the lottery. I was in London recently on business, as I am writing a book called Amazing Olympians. It tells the personal stories of 12 people who won medals at the Olympics from 1896 onwards, when the modern version of the games…

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Big Ben

2 August, 2011

On my recent travels, I went to London and sailed up the River Thames to the Houses of Parliament. The great building was designed by Charles Barry…… but how many people would recognize his name? He won the competition  to rebuild Parliament from 96 other  applicants. The previous building was destroyed by a fire during 1834. After considerable work, most of the new building was completed in 1852 and contains over…

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Amazing People and Places

17 March, 2011

  As I travel around, I search for places where people have done amazing things. In Paris, I went to Montmartre where Edith Piaf amazed people, as her emotional voice resonated through the streets. I then went to the Eiffel Tower, developed by Gustave Eiffel, and looked down on the Arc de Triomphe commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte. On a visit to New York, I went to the Hudson River, named after…

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Coffee Shop Stories

1 March, 2011

Walk through any shopping centre or city street and you will see people in coffee shops. They have become the great meeting places of our age. But, who started the craze? Edward Lloyd was the man who got things going in London. An immigrant from Turkey told him about the coffee habit in his country. Lloyd, therefore, opened a cafe in Tower Street and later opened another in Lombard Street. Merchants…

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