Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Alight At Fulham Broadway …

Femme Fatale at Viscount Ranelagh's house in olde Fullanham
“Do you know anything about that building?” I asked the lady conveniently sitting, looking towards the Empress State Building. We are in the Prince of Wales pub, at 14 Lillie Road, Fulham.

“Why, Yes I do. Sit down!  Don’t tell me you want to buy it?

“Good Lord, No”! I said. “I couldn’t afford one of the doors, never mind that ginormous thing”.  It has 31 floors and rises 385 feet.

“Just curious, are you?”

“I guess you can say that”. I answered.

“Well it’s been there since the 1960’s.  GCHQ once occupied it, you know.  At the time it was the tallest building in Britain.”

“Interesting”!  I said.

I had earlier made my journey from the Kings Road, Chelsea, towards the New Kings Road.  Then I had crossed unto Fulham Road, via Hortensia Road, directly in front of Brompton Cemetery. 

Up Fulham road, I passed Chelsea football stadium and Fulham Broadway Station, before turning right for North End Road; and then right again, on Lillie Road.
Had I turned left, instead, I could have gone to Fulham Palace, the historic home of the Bishops of London.  There I could have strolled the palace gardens; visit the museum free of charge, then sit down to a cup of coffee and sandwich, from its now famous Drawing Room CafĂ©. 
So, contrary to popular belief, although both Chelsea and Fulham have their pitches here, Fulham is not just about football.  In fact, it is no less appealing than its property- rich neighbours: Chelsea and Kensington.  It is only six short stops from Victoria, on the District line; and two from Earls Court.

During the 18th century, rich London gents frequented Fulham, for gambling and prostitution. 

The L Shaped Room’, a novel by Lynne Reid Banks, depicts the life of an unmarried pregnant woman, living in 1950’s Fulham.  Later turned into a film, the bug-ridden Fulham boarding house and its prostitutes living in the basement, moved to Notting Hill.

Today, Fulham is an abundantly rich looking and interesting neighbourhood. Its heart beats undoubtedly, from the Fulham Broadway shopping centre; where in 2003, the underground station closed its doors, and moved some fifty metres down the Fulham Road, nestling itself inside the bosom of the new Broadway shopping centre.

Out Of Fulham Broadway -- Into Fulham's rich history
Therein, is also a wide variety of shops and restaurants; a cinema, gymnasium and basement car park.

On North End Road, is one of the oldest street markets in London, existing since the 1880’s. Walking along it, you can hear the friendly enticement of traders, wooing you to buy their wares. They speak in a dialect all of their own. Perhaps it’s as Barrow boys once did. The Barrow Boy pub at 308-310 North End Road, reminds one of that era.
Lillie Langtry -- The Jersey Lily.
 From the Prince of Wales pub where we are, it’s easy to be captivated by scenic history. Directly on the other side of the road, is the Lillie Langtry Pub. With wine and company, you are reminded of the scandalous affair between the Prince of Wales and her -- the ‘Jersey Lily’; during the 19th Century.  
Beyond the Lillie Langtry, is the 150 year old London Oratory School.
To the right, further up Lillie Road, is the Lily hotel. Then, it is the 504 rooms Ibis Hotel.  It has its own London Taxi Rank, 24 hour car park, and conference suite attached.
No more than 100 metres to the left of us, is the main entrance to Earls Court Exhibition Centre.  And directly in its sights on the other side of the road, is West Brompton Over ground, and Underground station.

Joined to it, and stretching far away to its right, is Brompton cemetery.  Established in 1836, it was completed in 1840.  Nowadays, trees grow wide and high above it.
Entering its gates via Lillie Road, you cut through this 165,000 square feet burial ground, sheltering some famous --and not so famous occupants.  You’ll exit on Fulham Road.
It seems fair to conclude then, that Fulham cannot match Chelsea and Kensington in the property stakes.  However, it engages you with history, sports, famous hotels and pubs; as well as good ole tittle tattle.   Now what more can you ask of Fulham?

Fulham in an emergency:
Fulham Police Station, Heckford Place, Off Fulham Rd: Emergency - always dial 999 textphone 18000.
Non-emergency - dial 101 textphone 18001 101.
Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, 369 Fulham Road: 020 8746 8000                    http://www.chelwest.nhs.uk/your-visit/.
Royal Marsden Cancer Hospital, 197 Fulham Road: 020 7352 8171                
St. John’s Church, On North End Road, opened since 1828:  020 7385 7634 http://www.stjohnsfulham.org/. 


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Thursday, 19 July 2012


BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 16:  German Chancellor A...
BERLIN, GERMANY - MAY 16: German Chancellor Angela Merkel sits in front of a flag of the European Union while visiting students at the Sophie Scholl school on the fifth European Union school project day on May 16, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. According to media reports Germany, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund are prepared to reschedule Greece's national debt in an effort to help the country stabilize its precarious financial situation. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
So tell me:  If Greece is so poor and owes all those billions of Euros to the European Union,  then why does she keep travelling?  I thought travelling was a luxury only for the rich.  Could it be that Greece is a 'Budget Traveller', then?  And another thing, if she has moved out of Europe (or was never here in the first place) then how come she still owes all that money (as aforementioned) to the German Chancellor Angela Merkel -- who is, in a manner of speaking, the European Bank? Ahhhh, that's her there on the right.  Do you think that's why she looks so stern?

Well, if you ask me, she has every right to be -- what with Greece just upping and offing whenever and to wherever she wants.  It's true you know. I saw it with my very own eyes.

Writing an article on Greece, I set off yesterday to do my research.  Along the way, I bought this book entitled Europe, written by good egg and brilliant Monty Pythonite, Michael Palin.  A peach of a bargain too, I tell you. A whole 4 quid off this hardback, from Borders.  Brilliant,  I says to me self, paid me dosh and took me book away.  But when I got home and started reading, there was not a Greece in sight.

According to Mr Palin, Europe included Turkey, Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria, all of which, if my memory serves me well, are touchingly close to Greece.  Yet Greece herself, is totally omitted from this colourful  book.  So, I looked at the book jacket again, and there it was written in red, 'New Europe'.  Not just any old Europe you hear, but 'New Europe'.

So, I ask you -- is that suppose to make me happy, giggly and all forgiving of Mr Palin and the BBC; which must have at some time or other made a TV programme of this book? It must have done, because right down on the bottom on the right, is a tiny note on the jacket, proclaiming,"As seen on BBC".

Now they tell me!  Do they think that I would buy a book which was once a programme on telly?  Well come on, it's not as it it's some kinda 'Brideshead Revisited' or 'To Kill a Mocking Bird', now; is it?  There has to be exceptions to any rule.

Which reminds me; just where that note on the jacket of this book is, about it being a TV programme an all, is exactly where Greece would have been on a map, had she not just up and set off to somewheres else.  Rules, exceptions, ancient, old or New Europe;  I don't care what Mr Palin, the BBC or anyone else has to say, Greece is always in it. In Europe.  Innit? Either that, or my teachers and everyone else have been spinning me a yarn all these years.

I am a good sport, though.  I can take a laugh.  Therefore, even though  this book is supposed to be about Europe -- Er, New Europe, and Greece is nowhere about it, I shan't take it back and ask for a refund. Well, not just yet, anyway.

So, have pity on me, y'all, and do me a favour: If ever you happen to come across Greece somewhere  on your travels, pin her down for me. Whatever you do,  don't let her move one iota. Keep her in your sights. Chain her down if you have to; then give me a shout.

For one thing, wherever you happen to find Greece, it is going to be somewhere in Europe.  For another thing, she owes you, Chancellor Merkel and me, a whole heap a dough; which we lent her when she became stony broke.  Twice we lent her money!  Probably it is from all this moving about and not being able to decide if she is part of Asia, the Balkans, Europe, Africa, etc., why she became so skint in the first place. You know, hard up; brasick, flat broke, penurious,  stony broke, and on queer street; leaving the rest of Europe to bail her out.

Do you suppose that Greece might really just be in hiding, after all?

And one final thing, once we find her, I want to wave this book at Michael Palin and say to him: "Oi mush -- I want a refund for this. Here is Greece. She's hot. I mean, GREECE is DA word. She's cool, man. No. A mean hot. Well -- whatever. You know what a mean.

Anyway, she has always been right here in bleedin Europe.  For all I know, it might well have been you Monty Python lot who started a rumour about Greece not being in Europe an all that malarkey.  Then when you wrote this book -- this THING about Europe [I'll be really angry you see, and I'll be shaking with rage; Emoji!] you decided to leave poor Greece completely out of the picture. Off the map. Out on a limb.  Now tell me Mr Palin (I shall continue), what has Greece ever done to you?  Gimme back me money for your misappropriation of Greece, in this book of yours.

Ah say, gimme back  me mon...

You what?

#**# ...

Now listen here Mr Python ... I couldn't give a Flying Circus, about your ...

 Er, -- I meant fig, Mr Palin.

I'll start again, shall I?   Well as I was saying, I couldn't give a flying fig about anything you have to say, Mr Palin.

 [ He'll be running away by now.  I know the type.]  Come back here you so-an-so, (I shall challenge).

 OK then! (Told you I knew his type).

 Keep running then, you ruddy Tyke.  Typical bleedin Monty Python behaviour! What else can you expect, eh!" Emoji!!

ALL JOKING ASIDE, THOUGH, Greece or not -- Mr Palin's 'New Europe' is typically BRILLIANT.  Very well greased, I'd say! Emoji!!

And, if like Mr Palin and me, you happen to be a dromomaniac, you must not forget -- to remember, to reread his: 'Around The World In 80 Days'; before you dromomania off on your next voyage.  Emoji!!!
Cover of "New Europe"
Cover of New Europe

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Sunday, 3 June 2012



Several smaller regional organizations with no...
Several smaller regional organizations with non-overlapping memberships. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Are you a budding Travel journalist? Chances are, if you think you are, then you probably are. Trouble is, not everyone will agree.  And, before you can convince the editor of a travel magazine or a quality newspaper, s/he will want to see that you have experience.  But where will you get experience, if you are so inexperienced, that no one will hire you? Ah -- Catch-22; you say.

Well no more. If you have what it takes, Unite Society will publish you, then the entire world can read and comment on your work; via the World Wide Web.

Importantly, you will be building your travel writing CV, which Unite Society's editor in chief, Alex MacDonald, shall fully endorse.  Now then, are you ready to write excellent travel articles on Budget travel and Gap year adventures for 'US'?

Unite Society prides itself on promoting fair and qualitative journalism.  Our Travel Section started on 14th July, 2012.: www.unitesociety.com/travel/cat-11.html.  So, why are you waiting? You want to be a part of this travel adventure don't you?  Well,  carry on reading, then.
UNITE SOCIETY TRAVEL -- Writing Guidelines:

O. K., you are the writer/journalist, so we won't tell you how to write.  We expect however, that once writ, your articles will inform with the minimum of fuss.  Well actually, to be fair, if you have never written anything before and you don't feel very confident, please don't let that put you off. We may make a travel writer of you yet; with the right guidance. :)!!   

UNITE SOCIETY TRAVEL -- Articles Specialty:
  • Budget Travel
  • Gap Year Adventures
  • Travel Experiences You Have Had
  • Dreams You Have For Future Travel
  • Ideas For Future  Travel Articles
  • Ideas You Consider Travel-Writing-Worthy

UNITE SOCIETY TRAVEL -- Articles Specification:
  • Font Style = Arial
  • Font Size = 12"
  • Double Spaced
  • Factual
  • Simple
  • Clear
  • Concise
  • No Spelling Mistakes
  • No Grammatical Errors
  • Articles Length:  Short = 750 words maximum & Long = 1,000 words maximum
  • NB: Articles will mainly be short, unless you can convince us why it MUST be long; or unless we decide that it ought to be long.
Up to the task? Then, please send me a sample essay/article/blog-post of yours, 500 words long, here:  travel.editor@uniutesociety.com

Better still, if you already have a travel article getting dust on it, or if you want to write one just to tempt me -- go ahead. I'm all eyes. :)! 



                  UNITE SOCIETY! EMBRACED BY ALL!!!

Warmest regards
Gus Johnson
Travel Editor
Incidentally: You are free to FOLLOW Right, on this site
          and, or, on   TWITTER   @guswrite for my own views
Follow UNITE SOCIETY @UniteSociety
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Monday, 14 May 2012


edit on the go
edit on the go (Photo credit: fensterbme)
By: Gus Johnson
Twitter: @guswrite

If you make your living as a writer, you are going to object to writers not being paid for their articles.  Luiza Sauma, deputy editor of 'Ideas Tap' highlighted the practice recently in an article. It is also very refreshing to see that 'Ideas Tap' always pay writers for their work. For once people involved in a project, practising what they preach -- and, for the noble cause of writing, too.

ALL other publications should jump on their band waggon. Pay your writers for the hard work they do; and their expenses caused in doing it.

This writer also believes that writers of all ilk should be paid in some form for their work. For one thing, it is their living; and for another, without their contribution, the publications they give work freely to, would not exist.  Editors must therefore be more understanding.

Rather than not getting paid at all, it is reasonable to think that writers new to the business would accept a very minimum of even £30 by way of remuneration.  Perhaps vouchers of sorts, even. You know, clothing vouchers, tickets to shows, or meals at restaurants. That sort of thing. But being paid nothing at all? Surely that cannot be right.

Of course, articles submitted for student magazines, charitable publications and the like may be excluded from mandatory monetary payments, vouchers and the like; so long as it is agreeable with the writer. It is reasonable to think however, that this is as far as that non-payment for writing malarkey goes.

Presently there is a well known games company advertising for writers. It prides itself that it pays writers, 'dependent on writing quality and editing needs, £3.50 for writing 250 to 500 word articles' describing their games. Yes, three and a half quid! For this £3.50 they send you instructions to, 'please read the attached editorial guidelines before replying.' Disgraceful, wouldn't you say? Of course it is; as well as morally wrong.  Furthermore, one is required to take a writing test in order to qualify for that derisory sum of money.

After you have familiarised yourself with the games in question, draft and redrafted to your final cut, even the fastest writers stand to earn less than Less than a £00.01per hour.  Yes. Less than a penny, for a whole hour of work. Does this mean that there is a new law precluding adult writers from earning the minimum wage industry rate, of £6.08 per hour?  Now there's a thought! Especially, when  it takes writers to write this figure on the Direct Gov website -- albeit, technical writers, perhaps. Journalists, they are, nonetheless.

Successful businesses will always depend on advertising to sell their wares. New businesses must advertise in order to become known, as well as to sell.  What this means is that businesses need to advertise in publications, just as editors need writers, in order to shift said publications.  This has always been the case.  It is trite law therefore,  that new, old, or any publication, does not have money in its pot to pay for their soup; so to speak -- their writers.

If that is the case, then a publication should not exist, because the editor is not worth a pickle.  And, if s/he is not worth their salt, then writers are in the stew. The writing game is a melting pot of businesses inside of business -- companies large and small, new and old, selling advertising spaces to editors; allowing writers to tell stories around and about them.

If the editor has a mind to, and the readers are up for it, a fixed price is also charged for the publication.  It stands to reason then, that there is enough money in each publication pot -- else, should be, for all concerned.  If that is not the case, then the writer is being let down.  And, just as it is wrong for a writer to let an editor down over word count and publication date(s) -- it is wrong for an editor to take a writer's work without paying for it.

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Tuesday, 17 April 2012


John Keats' tombstone. He died on 23 February ...
John Keats' tombstone. He died on 23 February 1821 and was buried in the Protestant cemetery, Rome, Italy. His last request was to be buried under a tombstone, without his name. On his grave is written: This Grave contains all that was Mortal, of a Young English Poet, Who, on his Death Bed, in the Bitterness of his Heart, at the Malicious Power of his Enemies, Desired these Words to be engraven on his Tomb Stone: Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water. ~ 24 February 1821 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Greensburg Volunteer Reception Center
Greensburg Volunteer Reception Center (Photo credit: Jon Person)
"Without seeking, truth cannot be known at all. It cannot be declared from pulpits, nor set down in articles, nor in any wise prepared and so ready for use. Truth must be ground for every man by itself out of such, with such help as he can get, indeed, but not without stern labour of his own." ~ Justin Ruskin

It is an admirable truth that there are unpaid volunteers in many a workplace. Additionally on many a Sunday in a park near you, there may be a 8K charity run.  You may well work at one, and run for the other.

Our third category of volunteer work is that of non-paid journalism. Before we explore it, however, let us examine your volunteering in the workplace and that sponsored 5miles jog, for Heart Foundation or Cancer Research.  Simply put, your sponsored run will stimulate you, make you fitter and gladden your heart; knowing that it is always better to give than to receive.

Then, after putting in a month or two of volunteer work, depending on your work ethics -- timing, dressing, people skills and so on, rest assured if a job become vacant you are best placed and suited get it.  Indeed, if not at that location, perhaps a solid recommendation elsewhere.

There seems however an unwritten law for neophyte journalists not getting paid these days for their demanding research and excellent written stories.  Clearly, it is reasonable for students-run-papers and magazines, including digital ones, not to pay.  The case may also stem to writing the odd article here or there for charitable organisations publications. The thought behind those two exceptions speaks for itself.  So, it must be appreciated and indeed cherished. Non-payment of journalists must end there, however, for the good of this brilliantly essential industry.

Young writers leaving writing courses, and of course, mature ones too, who have switched to that field, should be paid.  Naturally, their first payment  might not be huge.  Arguably, however, the writer would understand that.  Even a small remuneration, voucher or some form of benefit should befall new journalists, young and older, alike.  Call it expenses, call it a 'neophyte fee'.  But pay it.

You must remember that publishers and new writers are on the same field of play, so to speak; although the latter on a  much lower scale, since s/he is already further down the pecking order than experienced journalists. A remuneration of some form, rather nothing at all, seems a healthy way to start building bridges now, whilst simultaneously create respect in the world of journalism.

As John Keats put it: 'All writing is a form of prayer." By his analogy all writers should be paid a collection/fee -- however small; to start with. This would indeed satisfy Ruskin's labour of truth  theory above, also.

Hey, Let's discuss below. Why not? :)!!

NB:- FOR A SELECTION OF MY WRITING,  PLEASE SEE : www.unitesociety.com   (SEARCH Gus Johnson)
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Thursday, 12 April 2012


gus napping under the chair
gus napping under the chair (Photo credit: Keithius)
Friday 13th April, 2012:-

So. Gus writes at 'Gus Write'! I hope you'll be amazed.

And, now you know what I look like (tha's me on the right, napping) and what I get up to, you know me a little. As the years go by, I trust we shall get to know each other very well.

I have a lot to do in terms of bringing my blog up to speed with all necessary pages, the latest gadgets, and so on, so please be patient with me.

Yes. I know that I am asking a lot of you, but hey, am new at this Google, Internet and Website lark.  We don't have them in the Animal world as yet. However, we are working on it.  Y'all just never know, one day we animals may get as good at this Internet lark as you. I'll tell you one thing though: in Animal world we write nearly as good as you.  And yes, we are working on this as well.

This morning at 08:00am, the Met commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, will be speaking with the brilliant Nick Ferrari, on LBC Radio 97.3; about the recent spate of racism in the Met.

You shall find my views and my solution to 'Institutional Racism' in the Metropolitian Police here: http://www.unitesociety.com    See: UK AFFAIRS --  21st Century Policing --  Gus Johnson.

Another thing, if you can spare a moment, please share your views with  feed backs, under the article, on the Unite Society Website, and here, also, if you like.  Police racism is dangerous to society and it is only right that we discuss it.Thank you!
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