Saturday, November 28, 2009

loosestrife, grandad, papers

Posted by PicasaPurple loosestrife after summer's strife becomes a grey tangle, hard and dry.
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On the train to London two little girls run between the seats towards a grey head facing away from them. "We thought you were our grandad, " says one, as she comes level with him. "He's some body's grandad," says the girls' mother apologetically, and one presumes speculatively.
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A Londoner by birth and proximity, even if I haven't always read them, I have always been aware of the City's evening papers. Once there were three, and I can still hear the news vendors shout from street corners: "News, Star and Standard...". The Star was the first to fold. Then it was The Evening News. The Evening Standard still survives, but since my last visit to London, it has become a free paper, having shed its price of 50p in an attempt paradoxically to become solvent. The new owner, a former Russian diplomat, bought the loss-making tabloid for £1.00. The principle is that if you increase the circulation and cut some overheads, greater advertising revenue, will compensate for the loss of revenue from sales, and be enough to begin to make a profit. As a purveyor of information on culture, restaurants and entertainment in London, and helped by its website, perhaps it will now win through. Meanwhile it is good this evening to hear the news vendor outside Charing Cross still calling although his cry has changed to "Free newspaper...Free newspaper."

2 comments:

Barrett Bonden said...

Did you notice your transition to grandfatherdom? Some men find it traumatic but I can't say I did and it happened over twenty years ago. My only objection is that grandfather (grandad, in my case) is a cumbersome verbal label, particularly when referring to Mrs BB as grandmother/grandma, and sometimes I simply give up and use her first name.

Your attachment to The Evening Standard was almost as strong as that to "The Archers". I felt honour-bound to avoid it for political reasons but as it began to decay I felt sorry for it, as with all decaying publications. In London one felt pursued by the posters carrying the main headline, especially when they were replaced by more up-to-date pronouncements. A flavour of the city rather like the dusty smell of the tube.

Plutarch said...

I don't think I did notice it. Because Toby believes in addressing me by my first name, for reasons I have not sought to question, all the grandchildren now address me as grandpa Joe, which at the end of letters and cards,I abreviate to GP Joe.