Sunday, 2 August 2009

The Weekly Gallimaufry 02:08:09

Seven days in the Life of London Walks

I Read the News Today Oh Boy

If you’ve been following the LW Blog of late then you can’t have escaped Richard P’s 40th Anniversary Extravaganza to celebrate The Beatles last recorded album Abbey Road.

We’re not the only ones who have been raving about the tour and the anniversary. Check out the story in the London Evening Standard, the Daily Mail, The Independent, the Daily Star and the New Zealand Herald.

Richard P’s Abbey Road 40th Anniversary Walk meets next Saturday 8th August, 9.20 a.m at Marylebone Station

Monkeys & Ponies

In our post earlier this week on the anniversary of the founding of the Bank of England (read it HERE if you missed it) we posed a question: What is the origin of the words “monkey” and “pony” as slang terms for money in London? When and how did “monkey” become £500 and “pony” £25. Well, here’s one theory, supplied by LW Blog follower John M:

"There are a few explanations. The most plausible, I think, is that soldiers in British India were paid in rupees, the 25 denomination of which carried an image of a pony. On returning to Blighty the lovable Empire-builders transferred the locution to British money. Same for 500 (although I can't think that many of Her Majesty's boys in crimson would have seen 500 quid in their lifetimes)."

Ta, John. Any other suggestions, folks? As ever, feel free to email us.

The London Walks Reading List

(The list so far…)

Our eclectic London Walks Reading List comes of age this week when the 10th title joins the list in the shape of the first memoir. The Orton Diaries, edited by John Lahr gives a view of a very different Swinging London via the pen of the late playwright Joe Orton. Orton was murdered 42 years ago next Sunday (9th August) and our review (to be posted later this week) marks that macabre event.

The list has been as egalitarian as it has been varied. We’ve had thrillers, a recipe book, a collection of short stories as well as literary heavyweights past and present. Richard III recommended a slice of modern literary fiction (see entry No.4, below) and Richard IV, our resident Sherlock Holmes expert selected his top five Holmes stories (a “Three Pipe Problem” if there ever was one, taking just five from 56!). We’ve even included our own book in there (cheeky of us, we know!). If you’ve any suggestions of your own, then drop us a line.

In the meantime, here’s where we’ve been already:

1. Moonraker by Ian Fleming
The Bond novel with most London locations.

2. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
The Great English Novel? Discuss.

3. The Savoy Cocktail Book by Harry Craddock
Nearly 300 cocktails from the man who popularised the Dry Martini in London.

4. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michael Faber
Modern literary fiction.

5. The Five Best Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – as selected by London WalksSherlock Holmes expert.

6. SS-GB by Len Deighton
A chilling alternative London.

7. London Walks, London Stories – by The London Walks Guides

8. Lonesome Traveller by Jack Kerouac
Kerouac haunts Fleet Street in the smog.

9. Soho in the Fifties by Daniel Farson
Does exactly what it says on the dust jacket.

10. The Orton Diaries (Edited by John Lahr)
(To be posted later this week…)

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