Category Archives: Culture

Odeon Arcade Building Leicester

There have been number of cinemas in Leicester called Odeon, indeed there is still one. However the one I spotted has not played a movie in a very long while, and it has certainly seen better days. There have been various plans for this old cinema, which have not yet come to fruition. Here was one such plan from Studio Four Architects

It was very hard to get an angle to include the frontage. There is something I like about this old building. I don’t much like the plans Studio Four had for it. Maybe the rendering on their website is just a low-res model, but if losing the windows and surface textures of the building is what Studio Four really had in mind, then no. They do say “whilst preserving a traditional façade on one side of the development” so hard to tell really. I think the detail on that façade is all the building has left now. The interior at ground level is long gone. What is upstairs I could not get access to. Perhaps there are former glories still inside up there, perhaps not – I could not tell. An estate agent (realtor) website says “The property comprises a retail arcade with former Odeon cinema above set over basement and 5 floors.” On another site here 
there are clues that there perhaps is still a cinema upstairs.

This NOT the famous Leicester Athena, former 1930’s modernist Odeon building.

A cinema history website at says: “Odeon Cinema, Marketplace –  This started off life in 1924 as the City Cinema, with The Covered Wagon the first film to be screen there. It had 2,200 seats in stalls and circle, an Apollo organ and also a cafe. But it was closed in April 1964 and the auditorium was demolished. Six months later a new cinema was built behind the original facade. The ground floor was the shopping arcade that you can still visit today, and the cinema was the on the first floor. It was notable for its 70mm presentations on the curved screen which measured 45ft wide by 26ft high. It became a ‘roadshow’ cinema, a term used by the film industry for cinemas where films opened in a limited number of cities for a limited time before they went on national release. And the The Sound of Music had a two year run at the cinema. But on May 31, 1975, the cinema closed. It then briefly became an independent movie house called the Liberty Cinema which screened Bollywood films. Since then, it has been used as a bingo club, amusement arcade and a music venue.”

I like this old 1920’s building.



What a Gas

Hey ho, I took a visit to the National Gas Museum <– click for their website. Yeah, sounds crazy but it is a really interesting tiny museum in the UK city of Leicester (famous for red cheese). IMHO it’s actually one of the best museums in England. Size isn’t everything.

Now BE CAREFUL if you want to visit about whether they are REALLY open. The website might say they are, but the curator has been known to go away and close the museum and not update the website. Phone ahead and ask a human. I drove 100 miles to be there, having checked the website, to be told they were closed for that very reason! However a kind volunteer happened to be there and allowed me to have a private viewing. Wow. Megathanks.

I have only put a very few photos – you need to go see it. They have a Gas Powered radio. Yep there is such a thing (but no photo here – no spoilers).



Putting a different spin on it

Sometimes the spiritual radar just looks at something and instinctively knows it isn’t right in some way. Fidget spinners for instance. What is it about those eh?

Well they are infantile toys that don’t exactly encourage the adult in us for a start. The Bible says “When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” – 1 Corinthians 13:11 KJV.

They encourage a repetitive meaningless movement, a distraction and an addiction – a nasty habit like chewing gum or smoking. In Titus 2 throughout, we read about the need for self-control – the very antithesis of addictions and compulsions, which fidget toys serve only to develop. “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” – Titus 2:12 KJV.

There are also those little titanium spinning tops, another “executive” toy. Now really, and not that they are models we should look up to, but do you seriously think that “executives” spend their time fiddling in their offices with expensive silly toys? Stop and think about the language there too. “Executive” – what is an executive? An executive is the somewhat more junior director that has the job of telling even more junior people (managers) what to do. The non-execs, presidents and chairs get to do the thinking and are actually the more senior. None of them of course play with toys because they are adults, and the execs and managers are too busy for the playground anyway. The toys are for the really junior people, the working class proles that are sufficiently lacking in understanding to perceive that using the word “executive” is just a way of dressing up the toy so they can feel it is acceptable, perhaps even aspirational, to buy what is actually a time-wasting distracting habit. The devil just loves it when you get hooked on some time-wasting habitual pointless distraction.

Now here’s a thing. You will have heard of prayer wheels, the things that non-Christian religions like Buddhism spin round in a paganistic ritual to repetitively send their incantations to… well not the real God so it must be the other guy. Did you know that they put prayers on hard drives so they get “sent” as they spin? So, what about those fidget spinners and little metal spinning tops, do you suppose that some satanic folks might have attached their bad prayers to them, for hapless “kidults” to unwittingly propagate their incantations?

Oh of course I am talking nonsense right? Well check out what is behind the Driedel (Jewish top); the spinning top amongst the toys used by the Titans to allure and kill Dionysus (about as Orphically “underworld” as you could want); the shoji piece spinning top; the human danza de los volodores; the British Maypole dances, the use of a spinning top in the movie “Inception” has led to people experimenting with the highly dangerous practice of inducing lucid dreams to rely on spinning tops as a “reality check” (think Hatha/Raja yoga meditation’s chitta kaj). Now I could go on, but really, it isn’t just me, just Google “spinning top satanic” and you will get over 64,000 hits.



Catatonic Catalunya

I have visited Catalunya three times. Each time I stayed in a big hotel in Malgrat for two weeks. I am not a club or beach tourist. I saw some of the tourist sites of course, Barcelona, La Rambla, Picasso’s place, Sagrada Familia, the architecture of Gaudi. I got pickpocketed, probably by one of the many Somalian pickpockets in the area. I liked the people apart from the thieves.

Now here’s a thing.

The Catalan people seem to want to be separate from Spain but Spain apparently does not want to let them go.

Last year poor young Catalans were demonstrating about not having jobs, and were blaming the Spanish government.

Now poor young Catalans are demonstrating against tourists because they say they don’t get the money but it goes to AirBnB owners, pushing up housing costs and all the jobs go to East Europeans.

The poor young Catalans have had no luck with protests against their government, so they are now scapegoating the tourists.

So here’s what I think. I am sad that I am no longer welcome in Spain/Catalunya, but I saw Spain/Catalunya before it became an unfriendly country. As usual, once again (as per history – civil wars, Basques etc etc) Spain is tearing itself apart. Fortunately I don’t need to go back there – I’m looking outside the EU for my holidays – maybe South Africa, China, Canada, Japan.

I think the people demonstrating in Spain are wrong, because the money the AirBnB owners get is spent mostly in the Spanish economy and pays Spanish taxes. I also think Spain is wrong because it lets Europe allow cheap labour to flood its market unlike Britain, that has said it will leave Europe so it can stop that problem and control the labour supply to the UK.

British tourists react very quickly – think of Tunisia. The IS attack in La Rambla has frightened some away. Spain’s attitude to the EU negotiations and Gibraltar is making more Brits think of boycotting Spain. The anti-tourist protests and attacks on tourists that are spoiling British, German and Dutch people’s holidays really are the last straw.

I think that maybe many British tourists, and maybe German and Dutch ones as well, might teach the foolish anti-tourists a deep hard lesson and very few at all will go to Spain as a tourist for many years. Then I think the East European cheap labour would go away from Spain as there would be no jobs in the empty hotels, bars and restaurants. There would be no income to all the AirBnB properties to be spent in Spain. There would be no taxes from the hotels, bars and restaurants and tourist shops. There would also be no subsidy from the EU to support Spain any more as the EU would be supporting all the extra jobless East Europeans that Spain would have created, and would be doing that without a third of the EU income – only Britain, Germany and France have any money, and Britain is taking it’s money away.

Perhaps the Spanish anti-tourist protesters would be left dirt-poor with no jobs to even compete for against the East Europeans, their rich class having no income from the AirBnB to pay tax for their welfare system, so their government would have no income to help the poor, the EU would not be able to help them and there would be not even jobs in fishing (because Britain is taking back its waters). These protesters would be left to share their country with their unwanted guests, the Somalian pick-pocket gangs. Maybe Germany could lend them some money then become hated as has happened in dirt-poor Greece. Meanwhile the drug dealers who lost their most valuable asset, lots of tourist customers for the clubs and bars, would probably be looking for the heads of whoever drove their customers away. Britain won’t even buy salad from Spain if the EU exit is not favorable. Britons can buy some nice salad from Africa and help to develop some nice new tourist places there, in the Commonwealth.

Catalunya could become a broken torn-apart land populated by poverty-stricken people, angry drug dealers and Somali pickpockets. Tourists would not want to visit, anti-tourist protesters would have got their wish.

So then it would be Hasta la vista Catalunya – oops I mean – a reveure Catalunya.

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Scotland trip 2017

The world may be your oyster, but Scotland is a pearl.

Inveraray, Oban, The Trossachs, Speyside, Loch Fyne, Loch Awe, Lock Tay, The Spey, The Tay, Loch Long, Dunbar…

Scotland is awesome.

All pictures in this blog article are Copyright 2017 by me, except two, which are Copyright 2017 by my Wife, which said exceptional photographs I use here with her permission. None of the images in this article/webpage/blog post may be used without our respective permissions. All Rights Reserved.

One picture is from Yorkshire, England (The 1930’s “No Parking” sign).



Looking outwards, forward, up.

Imagine a group of nations working together for the institution of world peace; promotion of representative democracy and individual liberty; the pursuit of equality and opposition to racism; the fight against poverty, ignorance, and disease; free speech; free trade; opposition to discrimination on the basis of gender; environmental sustainability; and freedom of movement between citizens of their countries.

Sounds familiar?

No, it is not the European Union.

Imagine something bigger than that, more diverse, bigger, more energetic and free of big brother technocracy. Firmly established for many decades, with 52 nations as members. With a flag and a real person with no power other than purely symbolic at it’s head. A group of nations that could have four times more trade with Britain than the European Union. A group covering 20 percent of the Earth’s surface, spanning all six inhabited continents with 2.3 billion citizens. With GDP of over 10 trillion USD accounting for 17 percent of the world’s economy.

You can stop imagining.

It exists.

Britain is a member.

Britain founded it.

The British Queen is its figurehead.

It is called the Commonwealth of Nations.

This is the flag. If you are a Brit like me it is your flag.

Embrace your citizenship and your bright future and rediscover the world full of friends you had almost forgotten you already have.


Flag image fair use from Wikipedia see
This blog article is a potted summary of some the most important facts about the Commonwealth, garnered from Wikipedia, which I consider to be a fairly authoritative source. No plagiarism is intended – fair use only (about 3 paragraphs of basic facts from about 50 paragraphs of detailed information in this case).

Here is a lovely radio station to listen to from one of our fellow commonwealth nations – Kaya FM from Gauteng, South Africa – website listen live at