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.

londonbuses1London’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.