Sunday, 26 April 2009

Coughs and Sneezes

....spread diseases.

A swine flu crisis seems to be emerging this evening. 81 dead in Mexico and US is calling a State of Emergency over the scare. People have been admitted to hospital in Scotland and Spain. The press will be lapping it up tomorrow - you can see the headlines now "Just wen you thought it could get now worse......" etc. etc.

Of course a flu pandemic could have scary implications not just for everyone's health, but an already precarious global economy in terms of loss of output.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Recessionary Walk (No.1)

Last week's talk of green shoots appears nipped in the bud by a late Spring frost.

Yesterday's sharp fall, for the second quarter in a row, of GDP (which was worse than expected at -1.9% against predications of -1.5/1.6%) was as though to chuck oil on a raging fire set - in this instance set alight by the most gloom laiden budget for years.

A walk through SE1 this afternoon to catch some warm Spring sun illustrates how the figures are baring out on the streets.

The trendy wine shop on the corner of Tower Bridge Road and Southwark Park Road lasted a little over 6 months, replaced with a cheap end of lines clothing store. Truth be told, only so much expensive Cabernet Sauvignon was ever going to grace the glasses of the beer drinking folk of Bermondsey.

Coffee shops - Sobo and Coffee@BermondseyStreet are empty; the pubs on Tower Bridge Road quiet.

The boutiques on Bermondsey Street look decidedly starved of custom; this despite the new boutique hotel just opened on the Square sprinkled with Europeans spending weakened pounds with their strong Euro.

As though to compound a feeling of general malaise, Thames Water continue to dig in on their battle to replace 1000 miles of watermain by 2010 everywhere one walks. But then we are all in one big hole, aren't we?

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Green Shoots in SE1

Mint Street Park

Mint Street Park

Trinity Church Square

Red Cross Street Garden

Mint Street Park

Mint Street Park

An Iris struts its stuff off Borough High Street

Red Cross Street Garden

Mint Street Park

Mint Street Garden

Mint Street Garden

Merrick Square

Mint Street Park

Well, it is a month since the last post. April has thus far been an interesting month. Obama, Brown, the G20 and all that - perhaps contrary to hope, it does indeed appear to have marked a turning point in our economic woes.

The newspapers finally seem more interested in finding those elusive "green shoots" than shooting down our economic prospects. Peston appears to be on holiday. The month seems to mark a subtle but important turning point.

Sentiment seems to have improved - people are now resigned to things being tough, but perhaps no tougher than at present.

And of course sentiment is everything - where optimism dawns, confidence may just follow soon enough.

With this in mind, on a beautiful sunny day in London, I went in search of some of my own green shoots. SE1's parks and gardens are in full Springtime flow, and I have snapped then in all their glory.

From Mint Street Park, to the Redcross Garden to Trinity Church Square the message is simple - This is Spring, This is London, so forget the recession and enjoy!