THE NEW LONDON DOUBLE-DECKERS ARE TOO EXPENSIVE EVEN FOR LONDON

londonbuses2No doubt about it. They are beauties. But the new Thomas Heatherwick-designed buses cost a fortune and will now be discontinued. The first 600 vehicles purchased in 2012 by (former mayor) Boris Johnson cost £354,000 each, while the next 200 in 2014 cost £325,000 each.  London’s new mayor Sadiq Khan first suggested his plan to discontinue the buses during his own election campaign, as a cost-saving measure to help pay for a four-year freeze on fares.

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PRIME MINISTER TRUDEAU MEETS QUEEN ELIZABETH II (AND HER BLACK PATENT PURSE) – NOV. 25/2015

QUEEN&TRUDEAU7      Her Majesty greeted Prime Minister Trudeau today by saying it’s “nice to see you again… but under different circumstances.” . . . . .  “I will say, you were much taller than me the last time we met,” Trudeau told the Queen, 40 years after being introduced by his father, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, as a 3 year-old.
“Well, this is extraordinary to think of, isn’t it,” the Queen replied with a laugh.

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QUEEN&TRUDEAU3In 1978, the Queen was leaving Canada and a military band was playing, so 3-year-old Sacha and 5-year-old Justin (on the right below) marched back and forth while their father, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, walked to his plane.  <PHOTO – Toronto Star>

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Today’s Prime Minister Trudeau, a former teacher, loving husband and father, international heart throb, is now on Vogue Magazine’s ‘2015 list of the Sexiest Men Alive’.

QUEEN&TRUDEAU1Says VOGUE – “sexy, feminist, and capable of balancing a baby on one hand: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gets our vote.” <PHOTO – Justin Trudeau in the Library of Parliament, Ottawa, Jonathan Becker/VOGUE Magazine>

Chevalier d’Éon (1728-1810) – first known painting of a transvestite

What better time – Gay Pride Weekend – to hang up a painting of Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d’Éon de Beaumont.  We can’t say whether or not he was gay, but the Chevalier d’Eon certainly enjoyed dressing up in women’s clothing.

The chevalier had quite a career – French diplomat, spy, soldier and Freemason.  His first 49 years were spent as a man, the last 33 years as a woman. Upon death, a council of physicians discovered that d’Éon’s body was anatomically male.

This 18th century painting was sold in New York to a British gallery as a “woman in a feathered hat”.  Not so.  It turned out to be our chevalier, the earliest known painting of a transvestite.

The portrait now hangs in the British National Portraits Gallery, just off Trafalgar Square.