When my neighbour surrendered his cab licence, Transport for London wrote thanking him for his service to London and refunding any outstanding licence fee. Roll on post-Covid-19 and when I surrendered my licence some 3 months ago, I find myself still awaiting an acknowledgement. I rang our taxi association and mirth ensued that I should even expect TfL to be working.
🎧 What I’m Listening
Admire him, or despise the man, there’s no ignoring Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. This series by BBC Sounds tells the story, from boy to man to prime minister. In each episode guests who have watched, worked and dealt with him from his early school years at Eton, studying at Oxford University, and later as a journalist, through to his resignation, tell of their interaction with this divisive character.
📖 What I’m Reading
The Mercenary River: A History of London’s Water by Nick Higham is a fascinating account of how, despite incompetence, private-interest greed, double-dealing, political corruption and short-termism, London became the world’s first place in the world to turn reliable piped drinking water supply to the home into a profit-making business.
📺 What I’m watching
I’ve come to the time of my life when TV Drama Channel has an appeal. Spooks a spy drama series that originally aired on BBC One, has wonderfully bizarre visuals, 1970-style split screens and a host of now well-known aspiring actors. The title is a popular colloquialism for spies, and the series follows the work of a group of MI5 officers based at the service’s Thames House headquarters. With an absence of cycle lanes on London’s roads and an abundance of Fairway cabs, it’s pure nostalgia.
❓ What else
Who uses paper maps to get around anymore? And what has using sat-nav done to our brains? These were questions posed by Timandra Harkness who teamed up with cabby Robert Lorden in a BBC documentary to scrutinise a technology that we now take for granted. Are sat-navs changing our brains? Does it affect the way we think? And at what cost for our health and well-being, particularly in mental health and early dementia?