The Worldwide Weblog of Donald Pincher

by Joshua Gaskell

Tag: London

Saturday, 29th July 2017

London weighting, n.

Pronunciation: /ˈlʌndən ˈweɪtɪŋ/
Etymology: < London n. + weighting n.

1. An amount added to a salary to compensate for the higher cost of living in the London area.
2. What remainers wish their votes had.


Saturday, 10th September 2016

I took this photo of a ticket machine screen at Ealing Broadway station on 28th August. The first off-peak day return that’s displayed costs £16.85. So some people looking for a same-day return, especially if they’re in a rush, will buy that ticket. It’s only when you look in the second column that you see another off-peak day return that costs £11.90. The difference with this ticket is that it’s ‘Not valid for travel via…’ (presumably) central London. But, given that there’s a regular and direct service from Ealing Broadway to Cholsey (which doesn’t go via London), for ninety per cent of passengers, routes and changes are irrelevant. And yet the more expensive ticket is the more prominently displayed, almost as if FirstGroup wants passengers inadvertently to waste their money. Shurely shome mishtake.


Friday, 19th August 2016

Rule 159 of the Highway Code tells drivers that

Before moving off you should

  • use all mirrors to check the road is clear
  • look round to check the blind spots (the areas you are unable to see in the mirrors)
  • signal if necessary before moving out
  • look round for a final check.

Move off only when it is safe to do so.

Like Eric Morecambe, many drivers in London do all the right things, but not necessarily in the right order.

Wednesday, 9th December 2015

Two teenage boys, overheard in a stationary carriage at Brockley:

BOY 1: My mum has started writing a gardening blog. But she says no one reads it.
BOY 2: Hmm. I wonder if she accidentally put it on the dark Web.

Saturday, 26th September 2015

The OED’s earliest attestation of the word unelectable is a 1932 biography of the socialist George Bernard Shaw. The passage in question is about left-wing Shaw’s election as Vestryman and Borough Councillor of St Pancras:

In 1897, his friends Robert and “Lion” (Mrs.) Phillimore, then members of the St. Pancras Vestry administering the local government of quarter of a million Londoners, made a deal with their anti-Progressive opponents whereby certain nominees of theirs were elected without protest, the number of candidates being by agreement no greater than the number of vacant seats. In no other way could Shaw have secured election; for he boasts with truth that he is a hopelessly unelectable person under any existing democratic franchise.

This is succour for all of us who voted for the new Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Vest(ry)man and MP for neighbouring Islington North. All that needs to happen for him to become prime minister in 2020 is for there to be no other candidates.

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