June 7

About town in London

50  comments

london-street

I apologize for not being more attentive to this blog since leaving Hong Kong a week ago.  But my excuse is that we’ve  been in London.  I’ve always been on the same wave length as Samuel Johnson, who said “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.”  I have a great blog post in mind, but I just can’t bring myself to spend the three or four hours it will take me to put it up when London beckons outside my window.

There are so many things to like about London that I don’t know where to begin to describe them to those who haven’t had the opportunity to visit.  For one, it’s probably the only major city in the Western world in which the highest  building is only 46 stories.  Most of London looks much like the photo at the top of this post that I took while crossing the street yesterday – non-skyscraper skylines with old buildings with very old buildings interspersed.  One of the main things I really enjoy about London is the fact that being a pedestrian is almost a full-contact sport requiring full attention, especially for Americans who are used to looking the wrong way when crossing the street.

I loath the American way of being a pedestrian.  In the US pedestrians have the right of way and are usually pretty obnoxious about it.  I can’t stand it when I’m in a car and a pedestrian or a group of pedestrians slowly strolls across the crosswalk, taking their time in an almost passive-aggressive fashion.  The most annoying pedestrians are those who consider it a point of honor not to look at the cars coming to a stop as they saunter across in front of them, as if to look indicates a sign of weakness.  These people know that if the car hits them, it is the driver’s fault and not theirs.  But they don’t stop to consider that they, the pedestrians, will be the ones in the hospital or in the morgue.  They seem not to understand that accidents are called accidents for a reason.  Being kind of an  aggressive person myself, I love to close  on these saunterers at a rate that gets their attention.  I consider it a victory if I make them at least look at my oncoming car and perhaps start to consider if they need to jump or not.

In London there is no doubt.  The roads belong to the cars.  Pedestrians crossing where they shouldn’t be need to be quick on their feet, and even gray-headed duffers jump to when the cars come at them.  And the drivers simply lay on their horns and don’t slow down.  I love it even though I am a pedestrian.  But, I’m no doubt not normal.

We came to London as a part of the big project we’ve been working on.  We had arranged a meeting with Heston Blumenthal and a long lunch at his restaurant The Fat Duck.  Although Heston is probably the best known chef in Europe, he’s not as well known in the United States, but that will change as he has a cooking show that will be coming out there early in 2010.  He is completely self-trained, which is amazing in the world of celebrity chefs, and has only one restaurant, instead of a chain of dozens bearing his name.  But what a restaurant it is.  The Fat Duck has won the title of best restaurant in the world as judged by other chefs for two years running, and can’t run again.  To those of you in the US who want to learn more about Heston and his style of cooking, here is a link to a one hour video special about a Christmas meal he prepared.  Watch it, and you’ll learn why he has the reputation he does. Or Google Heston Blumenthal for many short videos, if you’re not up for watching the longer one.

We met with him for an hour and a half or so and found him to be charming and completely self-effacing.  He comes across in person exactly as he does on TV.  And his restaurant is beyond belief.  We’ve never had such a meal.  In fact, there has never been anything that has even come close.  I took a ton of photos and plan to post about the entire meal, but I haven’t wanted to deny myself London for the several hours it will take me to put up such a post.  We’ll be back in the US tomorrow, and as soon as I go through all the stuff that has stacked up in our absence, I’ll put up the post.  I may even start working on it on the plane.  You will be almost as amazed.  Try to give the video a look if you have the chance, so you can see what a different kind of chef Heston Blumenthal is.

I’ll leave you with a photograph of MD crossing the road on the famous crosswalk at Abbey Road shown on the album cover of the Beatles’ Abbey Road.  Abbey Road Studios where the group recorded for six or seven years is right behind her and to the left.  As many times as MD and I have been to London, we’ve never made the trek over to Abbey Road, but we did early in the evening a couple of days ago.  It was a long hoof, but we made it before dark, and MD, who is a huge Beatles fan, got to fulfill a childhood dream.  And I, of course, selflessly went along to document the occasion.

abbey-road


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  1. Hi Dr Mike, fyi, there’s no link to more info about Heston.. “To those of you in the US who want to learn more about Heston and his style of cooking, here is a link to”

    I’m looking forward to learning more. Thanks for showing me the world in which you travel! It’s very interesting.

    Sorry. The link is up now. I was walking down Piccadilly toward Hatchard’s Bookshop, one of my favorite bookstores in the world, when it dawned on me that I hadn’t put up the link. I cut my time short in the bookstore, especially since I have no more room for books in my luggage, and headed back to the hotel to put up the link. Enjoy.

  2. If you like skyscraper free skies then you need to come to DC. It makes London look like NY. The tallest building here is only 329 feet (not including the Washington Monument) while the tallest building in London is 771 feet.

    DC has far too many politicians and government workers for my liking. London has its share, too, but at this point they’re all resigning after they’ve all been caught with their hands in the till. But, I am glad you wrote, because I never realized that DC was skyscraper free. I hadn’t really thought about it.

  3. Dr. Mike…
    Can’t wait for the restaurant post. Allow me to be one of the first to complain that the link to the Christmas meal video isn’t in the article. Here’s what came up when I googled: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3946041067151475342.

    Thought it was great – watched it on my laptop this lazy Sunday morning in bed. Now how am I supposed to have cottage cheese and strawberries for breakfast?? And I love cottage cheese and strawberries!

    Enjoy London guilt-free…we’ll be here waiting when you get back.

    You’re actually the second to complain. I’ve now fixed the link, but you found the very one. Sorry for the mistake.

  4. Oh I love love LOVE London. spent 8 weeks there Summer of 98. I am planning to be there Feb 2010. How many billions of Pounds should I be saving up so I can feast at the Fat Duck?

    And should I make my reservations NOW?

    Yes, you should make your reservations now. At least 6 months in advance. And you should plan on anywhere from 100 to 320 Pounds per person depending upon menu choices and wine. When I put up my post I’ll include the tasting menu, which is the most expensive way to go, especially if you go for option of matching wines.

  5. Looking forward to your meal post!

    I agree about pedestrians around here. I went grocery shopping this morning and allowed a woman to cross from the sidewalk to the parking aisle in front of me. I wanted to drive down that same aisle to leave, and she was walking down the middle! I’m sorry, having the right of way has limits.

    You shouldn’t have gotten me started, lol.

  6. I know what you mean about being an American pedestrian dealing with foreign traffic. I learned the same lesson recently in Rio – one day I absent mindedly took one step onto the street at an intersection in Ipanema-a maneuver that would have been perfectly safe with almost any intersection in the states, even in New York city, but not here. I was electroshocked back into reality by a series of cars blasting by at 40 miles an hour within inches of my nose. The light had changed, the race was on, and you’d better get your ass outta the road fast if you want to live, gringo! From then on, I approached every street crossing there with much more care, hahaha.

  7. The Fat Duck has got to be the best named restaurant I’ve heard of in a long time!

    In addition to great restaurants, since you’re so close to The Source of the blessed black stuff, I hope you visited some pubs and sampled some Guinness.

    I did indeed. Spent a lot of time at the Fitzroy Tavern, which is right across the street from our hotel.

  8. Hi Dr Mike,

    I’m glad you enjoyed your stay in London ! If you enjoy being a pedestrian in London you should go there for a walk on Christmas Day – there is virtually no traffic and you can gaze up at the detail on the beautiful old buildings as you wander around….especially in that area near Hatchards, it’s very beautiful. I used to live in central London and now live on the outskirts near Hampton Court. I was hoping you’d post where you were so you could meet one of your fans…I’d have invited you to our house for a Paleo meal, perhaps not as good as your meal at the Fat Duck in Bray but nearly….I don’t do sauces anymore since going Paleo but dh says my cooking is up to Michelin star standard 🙂

    Anne

    Since we may be working with Heston, we should be back fairly frequently. When we return, we’ll try to meet up with those who would like to meet. We’ll take you up on the Paleo meal then.

  9. I was just in London a couple weeks ago, it was my first time and I absolutely loved it. I thought NYC was awesome, but London really trumps it. Being a college student in the Midwest, if it wasn’t for the whole British Pound conversion deal, I’d be trying to go as often as possible.

    Low-carb, high protein options were limited though! With our budget, we had to compromise between that…or drinking!

  10. Agree about London. I lived and worked in London for three years when I was younger and I loved the place – so interesting, always something exciting around every corner. And oh the galleries and museums!! Foot friendly (if you keep off the road!) lots of footpaths and alleys for the pedestrian. I walked and walked for miles. Best way to explore when you’re young(ish) and fit. I would love to return but it’s a long way from NZ. Blumenthal is great, love his approach to cooking. His series has just finished on the Food Channell here. I’m looking forward to your post about The Fat Duck. Post lots of pics!

    I’ll post all the pics I have, which is a lot.

  11. If you haven’t ever dined there, next time you are in London try St. John Restaurant on St. John Street (Angel Tube station, I think). It’s near the old meat market part of town. Home to Chef-Owner Fergus Henderson’s traditional British Nose-to-Tail eating and a low carb carnivore’s dream meal. If it weren’t so expensive, I’d go every time I am in London.

    Really great martinis, by the way, if you like martinis, at the Dukes Hotel bar near St. James Park, 35 St. James’s Place (though we had to sit in the lounge instead of the bar as our 10 yo was with us). It was also the most expensive martini I’ve ever had, so one was enough. Dukes is a great place to go after touring the Houses of Parliament with my husband’s graduate school chum, now an MP (more than likely about to be voted out of office).

    Thanks for the tip on the St. John Restaurant. I wish I had known about it this trip. I would have gone.

  12. I only had a few meals in London, one was at Le Relais du Venice, all they have is Steak, Salad and Fries. I tried not to eat the fries, but I did enjoy the steak and they kept it coming, it’s sit down all you can eat. All they ask is how you like your meat done and whether you want drinks. Then out it comes.

    I’d like to know if the creperie stand in Hampstead is as awesome as all that, but not only am I low carb and gluten intolerant, I’m not there… Ah, mysteries!

    Have fun and don’t leave out the British Museum!

    I never leave out the British Museum.

  13. Dr. Mike:

    I am about to make my 26th annual trip to London and the main thing I look forward to is the gastronomical delights and great restaurants. Quite funny when I recall my first trip over in 1984 and having steak and kidney pie in a pub on sloane Street. I was convinced I was going to starve to death.

    Now, I have many “favorite” restaurants, the food is absolutely the best I have each year and it is a wonderful place to visit.

    Arriving this Saturday for another week. So, do you have any other restaurants to recommend, given it takes 6 months for a reservation at The Fat Duck.

    Dale

    We didn’t eat anywhere spectacular this trip other than TFD. Actually, we did eat at an Italian restaurant called Lucio’s that was pretty good, but the rest of the time we ate at one of the many restaurants around our hotel, the Charlotte Street Hotel. We did make a pilgrimage to Samual Johnson’s house and had steak and kidney pudding at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, which was Dr. Johnson’s favorite pub (and our favorite place for steak and kidney pudding).

  14. I think I’ve posted this before, but here is a photo from the Abbey Road Studios web site of the openning, when Sir Edward Elgar conducted Pomp and Circumstance No 1.
    http://www.abbeyroad.co.uk/news/story/?newsid=35
    And yes, that is Elgar’s friend George Bernard Shaw sitting on the stairs. Such history! And besides the Beatles, some of the other recordings made there which no doubt figure in your collection are:
    Elgar’s Cello Concerto with Barbarolli and Jacqueline Du Pre,
    Giulini’s recording of Don Giovanni with Sutherland and Schwartzkopf,
    All of Beacham’s recordings of the works of Frederick Delius,
    and oodles more.
    Now that EMI is now owned by a bunch of financial types, the studio’s very existence is now threatened.

    Thanks for the photo. The Du Pre recording of Elgar’s Cello Concerto does indeed figure in my collection. A wonderful, haunting piece.

  15. Great video. How can you not love a guy who stocks his kitchen with lab equipment and industrial strength power tools? I second Anna’s recommendation for St. John restaurant. My top tip for Vinny V. or anyone else looking to get cheap low-carb eats in London is to try the no-frills pub underneath (literally) smithfield market. A stroll through the market in full swing (before 6am) is a treat in and of itself for the carnivore. At the pub you can get a nice fry-up — e.g. eggs, black pudding, steak, liver, kidney — cheap. Go there for breakfast and you’ll likely be sharing space with market workers eating lunch or dinner or unwinding with a few pints.

  16. I Live in London, theres alot of good places to eat here but im afraid youll find UK mainstream and media is as much anti lowcarb as you will find anywhere in the world.

    I work in london docklands just over from Canary Wharf and finding a low-carb lunch is impossible. I could get a salad from pret-a-manger but the emphasis here is more that the salad is ‘low-fat’.

    Dr Eades, if you have the time try to go to the major city working areas like Moorgate tube station area and find a low-carb joint, everything is high carb or ‘low-fat’.

  17. hi
    given your article is about London, your readers might think the Fat Duck is in London.

    being English and familiar with Heston Blumenthal, i think your readers schould know that the Fat Duck restaurant is in a little village west of the UK capital..

    The Village is called Bray and is between Maidenhead and Slough, two conurbations just to the west of London.

  18. Oooooh, I adore London and Samuel Johnson. I’ve eaten the steak & kidney pud at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, too, and bumped my head on the winding staircase too many times.

    Have you gone to the cheese shop in Neal’s Yard (near Covent Garden). Tiny little place jam-packed with artisinal farmhouse cheeses from all over Europe. Not to be missed – you can smell it about 50 feet away.

    You’re right about the pedestrian issues… until you come to a zebra crossing and the cars all screech to a halt. Ah, there the pedestrian can feel powerful.

    Laurel

  19. A few years ago I had the privilege of living in England for a year. I remember the first time I ate some ordinary Cheddar cheese I’d bought at a local grocery store – it had wonderful flavor! And it was just ordinary cheese for them! We don’t have Cheddar cheese like that here.

    I also miss Indian food, the glorious English summer, and emerald green lawns even in the middle of winter. I don’t miss the winter, though – It was dark when I left for work, and dark when I got home! That’s when I rediscovered that I still had issues with seasonal affective disorder (after 10 SAD free years in Hawaii).

    On a sort of related note, I was happily surprised by an article published in my *local* paper by a *local* immunologist recommending that everyone get one hour of sun exposure a day! He wrote the article in response to a previous article that had all the standard warnings about avoiding sun exposure like the plague. He claimed that those recommendations were heavily influenced by industry and that in truth, regular sun exposure actually reduced the possibility of cancer. No new information for me, but a great sign of progress here in the rural Midwest.

  20. Don’t you get points for hitting pedestrians? I heard its double if they’re young or real old.

    Beware – I swear some want you to hit them so they take away all your money. 🙂

  21. I loathe car drivers who run red lights and who get impatient when I’m crossing the street with a small child. It works both ways. Also, I believe in your case the proper term is “jaywalker.” They don’t comprise the entire population of walkers.

    It would help immensely if American cities were more walker-friendly. I don’t mean the right-of-way thing, I mean not putting workplaces on one end of town and houses on the other. I mean businesses being located right up on the sidewalk so you don’t have to cross a parking lot to get to them. I mean better public transit. Stuff like that. Shoot, in some areas they don’t even bother with sidewalks, even though they have a significant population of people who would walk on them if they could.

    I’ve caught a glimpse of what’s possible while living in Columbus, Ohio. It hadn’t even *occurred* to me that businesses could butt up on the sidewalk; I grew up down South where asphalt is a cash crop.

    I want to visit London but it’s getting scary. Cameras everywhere and basic freedoms in question. Now the BNP’s gained power too. I have a LiveJournal friend over there and he gives practically a blow-by-blow reporting of same. But I suppose it’s not too bad if they want your tourist money.

  22. An old lass of mines folks lived literally round the corner from Abbey Road and being young and fruity these femmes knew the doorman whom i think was called Archie (it was 25 yrs ago) and so we used to go to the bar in the basement for cheap drinks.
    Being young and stupid and usually pissed-up(we were 19) we never basked in the history of said famed recording studios.

    Small world geometry..do you know Toby Young the food writer/professional bafoon ?
    He’s at least an acq.of HB’s
    I used to know his sister, Sophie, very well..when we living in a Buddhist monastery.
    There Dad was Lord Young of Dartington.

    Death in family so am winging it to Blightly next week for a month.
    Disagree about London..i love visiting it but living there….

    I read Toby Young every week in The Spectator. Wish I did know him personally. Maybe you can arrange an introduction next time I’m in London.

  23. I arrived in London one summer in the 1960s sick as a dog after two weeks in Paris. I exchanged my money at a machine, called a hotel and made reservations, and hailed one of those wonderful old black cabs. This is back when there were 13 shillings to a pound, etc., etc. When we arrived at the hotel, the driver quoted my fare. I was too far gone to figure it out, so I put a wad of bills in his hand and said, “Here, take it out and take your tip.” He handed me the change and I tucked it back into my wallet. When I later was able to do a bit of accounting, I learned that he had done EXACTLY that. He hadn’t helped himself to a penny more.

  24. Next time you plan a trip, let your readers know ahead of your trip. It seems that those who have traveled have great restaurant tips for you! You might just find a new favorite from one of those tips.

    Sure do enjoy reading about your adventures.

  25. Looking forward to the post about the Fat Duck – and also very curious about what you will be working with Heston Blumenthal on!

    Glad you enjoyed your visit to my hometown!

  26. Gunning the engine towards a pedestrian is somewhat pathetic since you’re in what’s basically a large weapon and the pedestrian is ‘unarmed.’ To me this is one of the worst passsive aggressive ‘bullying’ type behaviors. Believe it or not, people had the right to walk before they had the right to drive. You may want to take a look at your arrogant attitude regarding this matter, and by the way, slow down tough guy.

  27. Totally agree with you on pedestrian arrogance. My grandmother always warned, “The street is for cars!” Seems like that would be obvious, but apparently not to the many street cattle who think they’re out on the range. On our first trip to London, my friend and I experienced both the terror of being a pedestrian and the exhilaration of riding in a cab, terrorizing those about to step off the curb. In the first instance, I literally had to grasp my friend by her lapel and yank her from the path of an oncoming vehicle, which did brush her backside; in the second, upon hearing that our destination was the theater, the driver checked his watch and rocketed into traffic, giving us the most memorable ride of our lives. People were either jumping back or running to get across the street to safety. He screeched to a halt in front of the theater and after we hurriedly paid him, shouted, “Run! Go!” What a blast!

  28. Haven’t been to London yet, but at some point I will visit not only London but other parts of England as well.

    Thanks for the photos, I can’t wait to see the others. I, too, am a huge Beatles fan.

    You’ve really got my attention. I’m so curious about the Big Project. It almost sounds like a movie, you know The Big Clock, etc. Willing to give any hints? I take it, it must have to do with nutrition, cooking, low carb, etc.

    Happy Landings, keep on posting.

  29. assume you saw the film of his book that came out with Simon Pegg as he ?

    No, I did not. But I did read his account about his being banned from the set for alienating one of the lead actresses. Would love to meet him.

  30. I think it’s some sort of unspoken law that when visiting London you have to get your picture taken on the Abbey Road crosswalk. I’ve only been there once but it’s always stayed with me and I WILL get back there. Looking forward to the restaurant report.

    We’ve been to London many, many times, but this was the first time MD was able to talk me into the Abbey Road experience.

  31. When you get back home (or on your iPhone), check out a wonderful book called The Taste of Britain, by Mason and Brown. It’s Britain’s submission to a special project to document regional foods and provide recipes; you can use it to plan our next trip to London or further afield. I saw it in the window of the Kensington High Street Whole Foods store but didn’t get a chance to even look inside it, but the book haunted me.

    The reason I say to get it at home (via Amazon or another “remainder” vendor) is that it’s a big thick book that costs £25 in Britain. And turns out you can get it in the US (& without lugging it home in your suitcase) for a pittance and shipping, as a remainder (unless bargain books are against the authors’ code ;-). The book’s a real treasure at any price, though.

    Thanks for the recommendation. I just ordered a copy for four bucks plus change and shipping. And, no, buying remainders isn’t against the authors’ code, at least not this author’s code.

  32. Yay, London! I did an internship at Kew Gardens and would love to go back one of these years. London is so wonderful!

    I have to completely agree with your statement about peds. Go Doc!! I live in Boulder, and I know you have lived there, too, so you know the pedestrian entitlement problem is terrible in Boulder. People just step out into the street and feel the world revolves around them. Of course, it does revolve around them because there are a gazillion pedestrian crosswalks for them and all they have to do is hit a button and immediately, traffic is supposed to come to a standstill for them. The bikers are pretty bad, too. They’re just as bad if not worse than peds, IMO, because they *don’t follow traffic rules*. They do whatever is convenient at any given time: weaving in and out of traffic lanes, driving down the middle of any given lane, going down the wrong side of the road, or crossing on sidewalks against traffic lights so that every driver has to have eyes in the back of their head. You can’t turn on right here with a green without checking if there is a bike behind you first. It’s very dangerous. And, consequently, bikers get killed in Boulder pretty routinely.

    I’m not against peds or bikes. The rational approach to this is well-defined rules, which are prevalent so many other places in the world and seemingly lacking here in the States. I found out the hard way on 6 months in New Zealand that Kiwis are almost more aggressive drivers than the British. I stepped out to cross a street and thought I had a “green” but I really didn’t. I’ll never forget it! Everyone was laying on their horn. They are seemingly aggressive toward drivers who don’t follow rules as well. But this attitude on the part of Brits and Kiwis is *not really aggression.* It’s an expectation that *everyone* knows the rules and *follows* them. Period. 🙂

  33. Dr. Mike,
    Thank-you for sharing your London adventure with us especially those of us who haven’t been there. Did you know that when streets are friendlier for pedestrians that more people will want to walk and less people will want to drive and when less people drive it could cut down on congestion? Too bad that the British don’t see it that way. Josephine (Hawaii)

  34. A college girl was killed in a crosswalk here recently. She assumed, I think, that cars would stop since they’re supposed to, but reality is some do and some don’t.

  35. LOL@Dana

    “I want to visit London but it’s getting scary. Cameras everywhere and basic freedoms in question. Now the BNP’s gained power too. I have a LiveJournal friend over there and he gives practically a blow-by-blow reporting of same.”

    Sorry Dana, as a Londoner, I had no idea there were cameras everywhere and that my basic freedoms were in question. I’d love to know just where these cameras are and exactly what basic freedoms you mean. Thanks so much for enlightening me. Oh, and when did the BNP come to power? I seem to have missed that one as well! They might well have won a couple of seats in the European Parliament, but that’s a different thing entirely!

  36. Love the contrast between UK and American pedestrians. Last year several people walked against the red hand preventing me from turning right and opposing traffic from turning left. Then they stopped in the middle of the crosswalk to make a cellphone call. When I honked, they gave me dirty looks. Idiots.

    Now is a great time to be buying remainders. Library use is up as people are too broke to buy books, and the market on Amazon is saturated with remainder dealers repricing every half hour and driving prices down.

    Joanne, ex-remainder dealer

  37. I’d like to make a clarification for Americans: the British don’t drive on the ‘wrong’ side, they drive on the ‘other’ side. Many former British colonies (USA is one exception) drive on the left, as does Japan. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-_and_left-hand_traffic for much more detail.

    Since there are so many tourists in central London, who come from countries where they drive on the right, they cleverly paint on the road at crossings the direction you’re supposed to look: https://www.twu.ca/academics/faculty/blogs/robynne-healey/look-right-look-left.jpg. These simple signs have probably saved many lives.

    I live in California, but I was born in England. Every few years we take a family trip back to Blighty. To prepare for this, ever since they were little, I have taught my children to look left-right-left-right before crossing the street, USA or UK.

    Probably a very good idea.

  38. OT: there’s a new article in the NY Times at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/09/health/09diet.html?hpw that claims that a 4 week study showed that a high-protein, low-carbohydrate and entirely vegan diet is healthier because it lowers LDL cholesterol by 20% versus the high-carbohydrate, low-fat vegetarian dairy diet which did so by 12 percent. Of course, it assumes that cholesterol is bad for you as evidenced by this quote: “The idea preyed on me for a long time: Heavens, if the Atkins Diet looks good, and it’s got so much saturated fat and cholesterol in it, suppose we took that out and put vegetarian protein sources in, which themselves may lower cholesterol,” Dr. Jenkins said.

    This study was done by people who have accepted the lipid hypothesis as fact and are hyperworried about the slight increase in LDL levels that some experience on low-carb diets.

  39. Just to clarify to those that have misunderstood, crosswalks are indeed sancrosanct for pedestrians in London, if you cross a road without the crosswalk then yes, cars do have right of way and you must be careful, but on a crosswalk one step on the lines and a car is supposed to stop (and in my experience usually does) it is also the done thing here to wave thank you when the car does stop. I was amused at Josephine’s comment, I lived in the USA for 3 years and in my experience there are far more people walking in the UK than the USA at any given time, masses more, despite the so-called pedestrian unfriendliness.

    As I said, and perhaps you will confirm Dr Mike, I believe you were talking about non-crosswalk and non traffic-light road crossing which to my mind is a different thing altogether when talking about pedestrian unfriendly.

    Like Ann Dr Mike, I would love the opportunity to meet or hear you talk on one of your future visits to London. I’m an australian and lucky enough to be living in the UK very close to what I consider the very best city in the world.

    Glenice

    You are indeed correct. I meant non-zebra-crosswalking pedestrians. Even people in the protected crosswalks seem to pick it up a little as they cross so as not to slow down traffic, whereas here, pedestrians often slow down, almost in an act of defiance.

  40. hi Dr. Eades, I just got hold of the book protein power in my school’s library. I have read it from cover to cover. My colleague and i need to lose weight and we have decided to follow the program together. I googled your names and found this blog and it gives me confidence to start. I have been looking for any information you may have on PCOS. I was diagnosed with the syndrome seven years ago. My doctor tells me “lose the weight” but I need more that just a statement of the obvious i need help. My husband and i want to have a child but things seem dim. Any advice will be appreciated.

    Based on a fair amount of experience, I believe that the low-carb diet is the best for those with PCOS because it improves insulin sensitivity so quickly. I’ve had many patients improve their symptoms and lose large amounts of excess fat by following a good quality, whole-food, low-carb diet. Give it a whirl.

  41. Best City in the World…then i presume you’ve never been nor spent time in Cape Town ?

    To be dwarfed constantly by Table Mountain gives Cape Town (despite its increased crime;be curious to see how it compares to the UK)..well diff. to describe.

    Incredible

    Never been to Cape Town, but would love to go. Have several friends from there, all of whom describe it in glowing terms. Maybe someday.

  42. Understatement of the year:

    “But, I’m no doubt not normal.”

    Ah, how sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is
    To have a thankless child…

  43. I lived in Cape Town for three years and London for several, and there is no comparison. Cape Town has a spectacular natural setting, to be sure, and I missed that desperately after I left (to live in London). But London is a big, cosmopolitan city of endless variety. It’s slow compared to New York, but still has a buzz, and you can do anything you want there. I always walk everywhere in London because that’s the best way to see it.

    I’m fascinated to read that Dr Mike likes the way British drivers (I among them) expect pedestrians to get out of the way. I always stop for pedestrians teetering on the edge of zebra crossings, but I hate those who cross wherever they please and don’t bother to look before sauntering across the road right in front of me. When I use pedestrian crossings myself I give cars plenty of time to stop and I cross briskly (but of course it’s much more exciting to jay walk).

    I’ve noticed that the inhabitants of big cities seem to be thinner on average than those in smaller towns, both in the UK and in America. I used to think it was because city dwellers had to walk a lot more, but that was before reading GCBC and hearing that increased exercise did help with weight loss, so now I don’t have a theory.

  44. Very cool to know that you could eat at The Fat Duck – I’m saving up to take my hubby there for his 50th next year, the tasting menu really doesn’t look low carb, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to eat most of it – and at those prices, it would hurt!

  45. We used to live near the Fat Duck and never ventured there alas! However, Heston Blumenthal does have a pub nearby called the Hinds Head. The food is really lovely and a LOT cheaper than the Fat Duck. It’s all Traditional English and Historical English food – lots of which is suitable for a low carb-er! So if you want a taste of his food without breaking the bank (and the diet) I’d recommend it. I now live in Australia so won’t be going back any time soon, sigh.

    We had our meeting with Heston in a room upstairs in the Hinds Head, then sashayed over to The Fat Duck for our four hour lunch.

  46. I need your help Doctor, on this medical anomaly. Having consumed NO alcohol on any day around noontime or afternoon, my wife will test false positive on a breathalyzer [legally drunk.] I’ve been testing her with a DOT/NHTSA approved breathalyzers, Alcohaw Slim and PT500. She was fired because of this anomaly. It started when she was smelled. No other intoxicated attributes. Her protesting that she’d not drank anything did no good as administrations will believe machine over man [woman] every time. She even asked for a polygraph and they refused even that civility for the truth. Although a near pauper I’ll remit what I can for any information that will legally support my wife in her claim. Please help me? I’m desperate to find out why she tests false positive. This has been a tragedy for us. Below are the test results to date:

    Result Date Noontime
    0.10 06-03-09 12:30 p.m. courtesy
    0.16 06-05 11:30 a.m.
    0.09 06-07 12:40 p.m.
    0.13 06-08 12:20 p.m.
    0.14 06-15 12:35 p.m.
    0.12 06-17 11.05 a.m.
    0.13 06-17 11:10 a.m.
    0.15 06-25 01:05 p.m.
    0.15 06-25 01:05 p.m.
    Afternoon
    0.07 06-12-09 04.40 p.m.
    0.12 06-13 05:00 p.m.
    0.05 06-23 04:30 p.m.
    0.04 06-23 04:35 p.m.

    Your wife needs to be checked for diabetes ASAP.

  47. I assume you never watched a person violently run over and killed by a car. Slow down. Think twice, Make nice.

    I’ve never watched it, but I have taken care of many accident victims in emergency rooms. My point is that pedestrians should be more courteous to drivers than they typically are and should always be aware that in an automobile-pedestrian accident the pedestrian is going to get the worst of it. And because pedestrians will get the worst of it, they shouldn’t adopt the attitude that their invincible and refuse to look at oncoming cars as if it’s a matter of principle.

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