NPR Health brought glad tidings of great joy, such a sunny was to start the day and the sun is actually shining in Vancouver. Here is the news, good for me but bad for guys. “Females had a younger brain age relative to males,” says Dr. Manu Goyal, an assistant professor of radiology and neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. And that may mean women are better equipped to learn and be creative in later life, he says.” The study is not huge, only 205 subjects. according to the report. So there! So there! So there! I do think I am entitled to gloat use my creative abilities in my later life. They do not know why, by the way so it ends up being another one of the great mysteries of life.
But then some woman brought in bad news, “The finding is “great news for many women,” says Roberta Diaz Brinton, who wasn’t connected with the study and directs the Center for Innovation in Brain Science at the University of Arizona Health Sciences. But she cautions that even though women’s brain metabolism is higher overall, some women’s brains experience a dramatic metabolic decline around menopause, leaving them vulnerable to Alzheimer’s.” But I fooled her menopause was ages ago and no Alzheimer’s for me, thank you very much. My parents, for all their faults, gave me great genes, a little bit of old age dementia for my alientatef father but he is 97(I think) and had every bad habit known to man (smoking, drinking, obesity when younger, baldness, not well-read nor educated, a gambler and to top it all off, abusiveness). I figure even if I get old age dementia I still have about twenty years left to bother the world. So there! In case any of you are worried about my mother, she died at 94 with her thought processes intact – a bit warped, but intact. Three years ago a taxi driver in Guildford in the UK opined that I should have had children because of my great genes, I told him politely that it was too late and that it was not really any of his business. I am not sure why the driver and I were talking about my DNA , I guess just to fill the time.
So this is admittedly a strange lead in to the promised blog featuring the woes of Dolphin Square in the Pimlico District of London. (England, not Ontario). A little bit of background about my involvement, I began tenancy in September of 2016 and it seemed idyllic. A man recommended it – he stayed in the hotel when he came to London on business, so it was most convenient and it was an oasis with the trees, singing birds, pool for water aerobics, market, travel agent, green grocer all within the complex. But disillusionment set in – the guy got fired from the job that brought him to London, it was populated by a bund of old boring and contemptible people who wielded a great deal of power and it was totally inefficiently run by a man with a hyphenated name that I could never get straight. But I adapted,only to have my lease terminated for no knows reason There were totally ineffective legal remedies, my student visa expired meaning that I was no longer legally in the country and could not, therefore, qualify for any long term lease. So after consulting with several attorneys I decided to split and ended up living in Canada, the land of my birth. Needless to say I was not happy with Dolphin Square and subsequent insults added fuel to the fire.
But first you may want to hear about this colorful place. A BBC article, written in August 2016 begins: . “Two Union Jacks guard the entrance to a vast block of flats in central London. At the front, the giant 10-storey block looks out over the River Thames.At the back, the redbrick flats overlook some artificial football pitches. This is Dolphin Square in Pimlico, south-west London, one of Britain’s most extraordinary addresses for nearly 80 years.” The author goes on to dump spill the dirt and it is most filthy. “In July, the bright interior of a Dolphin Square flat was the setting for leaked tapes that appeared to show Lord Sewel snorting cocaine with two prostitutes. “ Then she adds fuel to the flames by recounting some of the past history. “Dolphin Square has had an unusually colourful history. During World War Two, “blackshirt” leader Oswald Mosley was arrested in his Dolphin Square flat and driven to prison. MI5’s Maxwell Knight recruited Ian Fleming to the Secret Service from a flat a few doors down.
Charles de Gaulle based his Free France government in the square during the war. Two decades later the Soviet spy John Vassall was living in the square when he was arrested for treason. But wait, wait there is more! At one point more than 100 MPs and Lords rented flats in the square and boy, did they EVER get in trouble. In comparison my stay there was ABSOLUTELY tame. Pedophilia reigned supreme (not mentioned in the article, interestingly) as did homosexuality (before it became stylish) and prostitution – then remember Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies?( residents there during the scandal that rocked Soviet-Uk relations). “it was becoming a bit of a louche place,” Dorrill explains. It has elsewhere been stated that it was viewed by the media as a den of inequity.
Another article found “ It is a world of its own, with an atmosphere that lies somewhere between menacing and melancholy—a place as distinct, in its own way, as the Overlook Hotel in The Shining or the Bramford Building in Rosemary’s Baby. Dolphin Square is such an attractive name, yet the vibes are anything but. The place lends itself to infidelity and experiment, as more scandals emerged in 1971.
A slightly different view point was found elsewhere. In 1937 when the square opened, the waiting list prioritised professionals based in the borough. But the residents included taxi drivers, junior clerks, West End performers, household-name comedians, military personnel, and those working anti-social hours.At one point more than 100 MPs and Lords rented flats in the square, with William Hague, Sir Menzies Campbell, former Liberal leader David Steel and Prime Minister Harold Wilson just some of the politicians who have used the square as their London base.This very British address was the dream of American investors pioneering a new, socially inclusive style of living. The company behind the block insisted that it was enabling “waterside residence at Westminster for persons of very moderate income”.
But here is the REAL scandal. Chris Hemmett reported, ”The price of the flats in these blocks has soared astronomically. Many of the flats in Kensington are now commanding prices of £2m, £3m, even £4m. ” The “service flats” designed for the professional middle-class are now occupied by the rich. At Dolphin Square, successive owners have sought to subsidise rents using money brought in from the Square’s hotel and spa, and there are rumours that MPs pay a reduced rate.”
So the place has somewhat toned down, scandalwise. The battle now is all about a new development plan for the place. Everyone can jump on board and object to the high density desecration of a once proud place that was the highest density unit in all of Europe when it was first built.
But there is a fascinating omission, an unreported crime, that is not found in the web site that requests people to sign a petition, nor in anything written about Dolphin Square, the I have found. There was a covenant recorded with the Council of Westminster that prevented the sale of the property; it was to remain in public hands and be used for low income housing. But that caveat went missing from the Westminster files and it was sold to an American company for an enormous profit. The woman responsible for pilfering the document is known, she apparently fled to Barbados. The development plans are stalled as the Mayor in July 2018 found the plans did not comply with the London Plan. However, and to be noted is that a necessary element of an development plan (in the USA) is a title search. A diligent search would reveal that there was a severe cloud on the tale, actually a hurricane. Hahahaha
The web site for petition signature is found at “Save Dolphin Square” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The photograph is the view from my window in Drake House, Dolphin Square. More later on Dolphin Square.