Friends know that I love me a whole bunch of facts and figures. Especially about my adopted home city. The quirkier the better.Which is why I was delighted recently to be given a copy of Bizarre London by David Long. Divided into twenty two chapters, it’s perfect for dipping into … opening at random and then saying to anyone in the vicinity, “Did you know that …?”
I also now know that author Alexander McCall Smith wasn’t that complimentary about London’s suburbs …“Do you realise that people die of boredom in London’s suburbs? It’s the second biggest cause of death amongst the English in general. Sheer boredom …” As McCall Smith is a Scot, I suspect a certain amount of bias against any part of the UK that isn’t Scotland.
But what of my new favourite London fact? Male employees of London Underground refer to all female announcements on the public address system as Sonia, because “her voice gets Sonia nerves.”
Bizarre London is a welcome addition to my London collection.