Occasional Sights


An attempt to operate as a curious tourist in your own backyard. The book guides the reader to sites in London where fleeting and memorable things have been noticed but are no longer there. It is an anti-guidebook in the sense of memorials and palaces. Its footnotes guide the reader around the bibliography, which has been walked as meanderingly as the streets.



I find the long history of wandering and observing a rather male-dominated affair, and there is that disconnected way of viewing public space, not to mention the photographic stance of capturing the world through the lens. How to expand on this practice? To involve and talk with people I met, sometimes to initiate impossible projects with strangers, to ask them to send me pictures . Over the period of a year, I took time every time I went out to approach people in the street for stories of things they might have seen that aren’t always there, things that are transient or that happen only now and again e.g.. It might be a puddle that only appears when there is so much rain, a homemade raft under Blackfriars Bridge, or a dropped ice cream on the pavement. I gathered anecdotes, images, drawings and some interesting encounters and made a book , like a guidebook that works alphabetically by area, but almost an anti-guidebook in that many other things wouldn’t be there if you went back to find them. I also didn’t want the book to be seen as the end of the project, something too final, but a tool to use to explore London, or anywhere in fact, in a different way. We organised some walking tours over the weekend of the book’s launch. They were given by contributors to the book, and in a way attempted to continue the live process I had been through to accumulate the contents of the book.



Anna Best
Neil Chapman

Project Organiser

Janice McLaren

Design Concept

Anna Best




Editorale Bortolazzi-Stei Verona


Adam Coffman
Albertine Lucas
Ana Laura Lopez de la Torre
Andre Klauser
Andrea Crociani
Andrea Davidson
Andreas Lang
Ann-Marie LeQuesne
Barby Asante
Bev Chipp (Angeltoad)
Bridget Hugo
Chris Jones
Clair Montier
Cleo Broda
Colette Meacher
David Agar
David da Silva
David Jennings
Deborah Asante
Deborah O’Hara
Dimitri Launder
Ellie Reid
Irene Ward
Jacky Spears
Janice McLaren
John and Anne-Marie Larman
John Curtis
John Parry
John Wigley
Jonathan Goldberg
Jonathan Greenbank
Justine Graham
Karin Baez
Lenny Borg
Maria Moreira
Marianne Hartley
Martin Garside
Mauro Cocilio
Mr Cornwell
Myles Stawman
Nick Turpin
Patrick Smart
Peter Boag
Rachel McCowat-Taylor
Richard Bram
Richard Chipperfield
Roxy Walsh
Simon and Lars
Simon Faithfull
Sissu Tarka
Stefan Szczelkun
Steve Ball
Susan Eskdale
Sylvia de Swaan
Tessa Bradley
Tessa Gleeson
Tim Noakes
Vaidas Daugele

The Publishers and Anna Best would like to thank all of the contributors for conversations, photographs, writing and directions: Andrea Davidson for administrative work; B+B for including the work in ‘Talk Show’ at ‘Critical Mass’, Chigago 2002; Myles Stawmand for website; Nic Hughes for design collaboration; Eileen Daly for final proof work; Andrea Crociani for press pass advice. Special thanks to Neil Chapman for conversations and questions; David Lillington for help with writing and corrections; Janice McLaren for organisation, proofing and support; Katie Murphy for personal assistance.


  • Book as pdf, 222 pages
  • Working notes (scans)
  • Audio – evaluative chat with Katie Murphy
  • Miscellaneous paraphernalia
  • Business card
  • Audio – radio Robert Elmes show
  • Audio – evaluative chat – Janice Mclaren
  • Audio – conversations with Neil Chapman re. editing process
  • Audio – launch panel discussion
  • A1 working drawings
  • Large green book