Wednesday, 30 December 2009

In a toy box far far away.....

Our W and I have been at again on a shared film this time (with some graphical help by A)  anyway enjoy!

Friday, 25 December 2009


Originally uploaded by bltphoto
by accident we seem to have made a snowman Alan Carr!

Thursday, 24 December 2009


I am blessed with many good friends some old some new. I hope you have a great time over the next few days what ever you get up to.  Thanks to all my pals on the web for their insight, jokes, pictures, entertainment and especially music. My store of mp3S has been boosted in quality this year by you all a great deal am genuinely very thankful cheers.
Here's a little thank you. I learnt how to record stuff of I player the other day using audacity so here's Richard Hawley from Lauren Laverne bbc 6 music show live session 16th dec 2009. Doing Silent Night and Blue Christmas. check out the guy playing the saw.



Wednesday, 23 December 2009

advent 23: the best dressed snow man in Saville row

James Harris shop window is Saville row loads of recycled council street decorations, it's a bit knowing but great to see them up close and personal.
Come back Tomorrow for some Christmas Pressies.

Advent 21: sushi night

Advent 21: sushi night
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
It's our little tradition. Yoshino just off regent st. was really good too and very friendly

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Advent 20: The Morning after.....

Advent 19: Golden treats

Advent 19: Golden treats
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
Went to A&R's excellent party has extensive debate about the Double issue Radio Times and it's place in Yuletide Tradtion and the socio-economic standing of Turkey crowns oh and some mulled wine perfect!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Advent 18: The Christmas Armistice on Hoth

Make Lego Not war.

Reports vary but it’s believed that early on 25th the laser cannons stopped firing and the Mighty AT-ATs ground to a halt and a strange quiet fell across the Ice plateaus of Hoth, a silence only broken by the distant cry of a Tauntaun.

And then after a few minutes lone figures started to move tentatively out into “no-man’s land” and walk slowly and careful across the snow. When they were a few yards apart they stopped seemingly stunned by what was happening and then one orange figure removed his glove and offered a hand to a white figure opposite him. Slowly they moved towards each other watched by a thousand cautious eyes and then their hands met and they shook hands and then embraced.

All along the front the same event was quickly repeated, soon former enemies where laughing and joking swapping holographs of sweet hearts and sharing flasks of synthi-mac and bites to eat. After a few minutes a game of football broke out played amongst the smoking wrecks of snow speeders and the helmets and worse of fallen comrades.

All the time no one believed it could happen and then regretfully as the sun slipped behind the peaks final hands where shaken and arms patted and perhaps one and last final swigs (from almost empty) flasks taken and slowly and regretfully (with the odd wistful backward glance) the former foes returned to their respective “sides” of that lonely desolate frozen plain.

This Christmas remember its good will to ALL men (even those cloned from Jango Fett!)
Let’s hope peace can break out everywhere both here and in a Galaxy far far away
And remember as always
Make Lego Not war.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Advent 17: Joyeux Noël

Advent 17: Joyeux Noël
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
Nice full on jolly nail shop window greeting

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Advent 16: Snowmen

Advent 16: Snowmen
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
The coolest break dance troop ever.....

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Art Yule either love or......

Christmas Art Review!!
Jonathan Jones is attempting to disappear up his fundament in this piece in the paper today .

here's him taking about a Christmas Tree by Tactita Dean.
Unpretentious, melancholy, exact, Dean's Christmas tree lightly brushes against themes of transience, reality and truth that are at the heart of her work
Ms Dean's artistic breakthrough is lighting it with candles, which sounds really nice but the likes of Jones do her no favours with nonsense like this. Surely you can say you just like a Christmas tree without too much guff.

Those pesky artists are at it re-imagining the nativity elsewhere in the paper (as they do) Mr Parr is back on form with his and there's some others including John Squire from T'Roses.

All well and good but if you want the Christmas story interpreted look no further than  Family BLTP's  latest Auteur Our W. The boy's really got something he just disappears to his room to make these film on his playstation (which is very cool). Look out for the tantrum from king Herod played of course by a robot!

Advent 15: Carousel

Originally uploaded by bltphoto
Of course fairs don't look like this, the camera has given us this other world that we can't see, it's a pretty one to my mind. There was the smell of chestnuts and candy floss blowing across Leicester square while I faffed around taking this shot (s) and all the time these two geezers put the world to rights in their big leather coats.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Hot New Steamy Video.....

If you're ever in Tottenham (yeah I know It's unlikely!) but the Markfield Beam Engine  is worth a trip, (you need to go on a steam day check the website) and you can have a wander down the  Lea and feed the ducks!

Advent 14: Old Gold

Advent 14: Old Gold
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

Had a lovely weekend, went for a pint with my godson, watched the sun go down, then went to an excellent party.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Is this what you're looking for..sir?

Lost & Found
Several months ago I went to put on a shirt for work and scrabbled around in my little bowl of change and cufflinks only to find one of the links was missing. I had a good search but to no avail.

Anyway I was laden down with shopping just now and dropped my keys while opening the downstairs door and there in the gravel was my cufflink! Hurrah!

Don't forget the Joker!

Don't forget the Joker!
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

Street cards!
Hurray out and about just now I found this beauty in the street! A slightly sozzled joker.

Advent 10: Last minute gift ideas?

Dear Santa,
I've been really good this Christmas I would like some Off road secure parking solutions and a Silver members unlimited multi user pass......

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Advent 9: It's that record again.

I saw this the other day in the Cancer research and couldn't leave it there, don't they look young and fresh faced!
The b-side "Don't blame me" is the loudest song ever recorded!

Here's Thea Gilmour's modern take on this theme That'll be Christmas as full of mdern yule as Noddy's was in it's time.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Advent 8: The Strangely Existential Bleakness of Supposedly Cheery Baked Goods

Those tiny eyes starring into you, frozen with terror at what fate may await them ..... oh happy christmas everyone......

Monday, 7 December 2009

Advent 7: Long Lights Carnaby St.

went a bit abstract for this one. Got a few looks from pressie shoppers, trying to snap these in puddles sadly my auto focus couldn't geta sharp shot.

Global Editorial :please read this

If you've not done already you should take the time to read this Global editorial. Climate change global warming call it what you will is serious problem perhaps the most serious, but the changes we all need to make need not be as terrible as people make out and unless we make a start they are only going to get worse.

Global Editorial
Today 56 newspapers in 45 countries take the unprecedented step of speaking with one voice through a common editorial. We do so because humanity faces a profound emergency.

Unless we combine to take decisive action, climate change will ravage our planet, and with it our prosperity and security. The dangers have been becoming apparent for a generation. Now the facts have started to speak: 11 of the past 14 years have been the warmest on record, the Arctic ice-cap is melting and last year's inflamed oil and food prices provide a foretaste of future havoc. In scientific journals the question is no longer whether humans are to blame, but how little time we have got left to limit the damage. Yet so far the world's response has been feeble and half-hearted .Read it in full here

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Shadows & Sunsets

Parklife :an ongoing series
(that builds into a handsome volume you’ll want to keep).

After a heavy downpour this morning the sky was the colour of Franny Lee’s home kit and the sun surprisingly warm just now. The rowans along with the other trees have now lost most of their leaves and even most of their berries have gone too.

 On the grass a Turkish family were playing a young girl (8?) and her older brother were kicking about a football. She was wearing a cycling helmet and inline skates (and dressed in the hues of bad pick ‘n’ mix: flump pink blending into fruit salad orange and then sourz apple green and back to pink). The girl’s skates were aiding her in the latest of clattering tackles, it was completely guileless and her brother (controversially in a Man U top and Arsenal tracky bottoms) was taking it in good heart, hopping around one-leggedly holding his bruised shin making mock howls and laughing his sister giggling away. When he had the ball, he could easily nutmeg or sell her a dummy but every so he would let her win the ball back. Eventually the ball spun my way and for a change I managed not to slice it into the hedge and it rolled back to them and they cheerily thanked me.

The sun was now barely over the top of the new flats and the kid’s mum rounded them up and they wandered off in the lengthening shadows. I hung around a little while longer before the heat of the weak sunlight on my face was defeated by the chill of the stone bench beneath me.

I’m fairly sure all the faff and expense of Christmas is worth it just to ensure the sun comes back every spring!!

Advent 6: The day Mary left Jesus on the bus....

Gold , frankincense and Tat

Organised religion responsible for the original and best tat for 2009 years!

Not making a Pigs Ear of it!

Hackney Beer festival
Well that was fun: on Friday we wandered along to Hackney mare St for the “Pigs Ear beer festival” all part of the celebrations of PB’s beer writer of the year award. The Pigs Ear bit is rhyming slang for erm beer (yeah me neither). It was being held at the Ocean (I’ve not been there since it first opened and we went to see Godspeed You Black Emperor) and it looks a bit tired and knackered after only a few years.  Oh and don't let the \m/  sub Motorhead Logo put you off it's not that way at all.

I am always slightly wary about beer festivals mainly because they are organised by Camra a worthy organisation in many ways but they do rate pubs mainly on the beer they sell which isn’t my main deciding factor by a long chalk. Also as our friend JP pointed out the festival bit tends to get a bit lost often. My other main gripe about Beer festivals is the lack of seats, I’ve always hated drinking standing up. Thankfully we got a seat fairly quickly and a near perfect time was had by all.

Amongst the many good things were as follows: my jolly & funny friends, PB and JP wandering off and coming back with excellent beers and the friendly atmosphere. Curiously because we were sat near the “foreign”* beer bar we had a lot of lagers etc from German, Danish which were all in good condition and nicely chilled. Fraid I can’t remember their names I’m not that bothered about that sort of thing also many of them you are unlikely to see again in a hurry. We did have some nice British stouts and milds too. The odd thing about beer festivals is that unless you really want to its quite easy not to drink too much if like us you stick to tasty halves.

Another good thing was the mix of people there, they weren’t a complete mix of Hackney types but it was one of the more diverse beer festivals I’ve been to. There was an inclusive mix of young and old, black and Asian people etc and most surprisingly lots of women of all kinds! The air was filled with the hubbub of people chatting and laughing and apart from the odd ticker** most were probably talking about their works Xmas do, X-factor you know anything but beer. Anyway if you in the area next year at this time I would wander along to Pig ear it’s a very jolly and tasty night out.

* Camra attitude towards lager is a bit tedious and technical and lost on the lay person they claim to want to attract. They are not keen on fizzy beers basically and can’t see the difference between a fine Bavarian craft lager and Hoffmeister.

**”Tickers” are beer obsessive similar to train spotters and twitchers who have lists of beer they taste and tick off, there is general feeling that their hobby may get in the way of them just enjoying you know drinking beer!

Sorry for any inconvenience

Had to put word verification doo dah on as was getting spam almost hourly. Think it's because I'm the last blog not to bother. Sorry if it's a pain.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Advent 5 Bright lights of Hackney

Advent 5 Xmas trees (?)
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

Year round festive fun
These trees look very christmassy  my friend tells me they are always like that but any how.

They remind of the scene in "Dirty Pretty Things" where Audrey TauTou's character wants to move to NY because they have trees covered in light bulbs erm Senay Gelik (I looked it up)  like the one's on Euston road, or outside the Dorchester next to the Hotel you clean or Hackney where you live tee hee Posh Hamptsead writer FAILL....

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Fantastic Breaking News:

Pete Brown Beer Writer of Year

Top news just winged it's way via twitter the writer formerly know as Britain's Leading Beer Writer is now officially the Best Beer writer in Britain (which Belgium Czech and Germany aside ) is really in the world! He won the Guild of beer writers award , To say it;s well deserved is on understatement!
Anyway Pete bloody well done.
Oh and if you want to know what the fuss is about you can buy one of his books.
a Man walks in to a Pub (history of British pubs)
or 3 sheets to the wind (exotic booze) and his magnum opus (so far) Hops and Glory the lunatic tale of taking a barrel of beer to India by sea.
Oh and here's his beer blog.

Advent 3: It's that boy again!

Little Drummer Boy Year 3!!
A timely reminder of the world's most popular indie rock clockwork toy Christmas film.  It's continued popularity is a source of much pleasure (a nice chap from Germany took the time to say hello last night  much better than the stream of spam I've been getting from Russian round here lately).  Enjoy!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Low light

Late winter sun greenwich park
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

Advent 2:
The ghostly winter sun
washes empty trees
giving them shape

NB: the picture is much better than it looks here click on it for best results!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Have you got Marc mania?

Have you got Marc mania?
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

I was slightly distractedly going through some crates of singles yesterday. They seemed to belong to the dullest former wedding dj going (loads of 80’s tat, bad disco). Anyway towards the back of one the boxes was a few inches of early 70’s stuff (most of which I’d already got) and then I saw a brown cardboard cover with magically Marc Bolan framed in middle behind the wrinkled cellophane.

Now I always like any record cover with personal adornments on them even just to read for a moments and put back in the crate. But slipping the disc out of the musty envelope it turned out to “solid gold easy action” b/w “born to boogie”* so how could I put it leave it there.

Getting home (20 whole p the poorer) I noticed the Bolan pictures had writing on the back. So carefully taking them off you can see that one was the “letters” page above probably from “Marc Magic Monthly” or similar.
And then strangely across the years some universal truths where born out**.
Anne from Birmingham is right everyone should have a Marc wig. Carol from Hull is right too. Marcia from London maybe made up but Ms Brand of Nottingham is of course more than right and Jane Dee final line is as ever very true “Marc you were wonderful”.

Oh and for those of you for whom these things matter. The run out groove messages are “Bobil’s last” “wobily nib” and “ray’s first”
*they packed the value into singles in the olden days.
**Even if they are made up by some hard pressed sub!

Advent day1: What I really don't want for Christmas

It's that time again.
The return of the "well it keeps me off the streets exctiing photo series".
So what would you have on your cushion?

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Tempus Fugit

Curious life moments #3847
Just got a text from my eldest nephew who somehow is  now old enough to come to London on his own (with 9 mates!).
Not sure why I'm more concerned for him (though very, very, very mildly) today rather than the rest of the year. I Didn't offer any advice of where to go etc, you have to make those mistakes for yourself. Doubt he'll mope around record shops (they've all closed and kids don't buy music)  or try to eat (by mistake) a hot towel in a Chinese restaurant like I did on my first time in the smoke.
But coo that we should have lived so long!

Friday, 27 November 2009

A Spooky kinda love.

Harry's Game
All sane people love Spooks it's mad ,barking and wonderfully filmed in my backyard; I've yet to see Ros getting a cheese and onion pasty in Percy Ingles but it must be only a matter of time.

Anyway tonight we had some running around in the estuary hurrah!A bomb with a big timer hurrah! the aforementioned Ross (the must uptight middleclass  English woman ever) casually walking into a east end squat. Of course she walked past the usual dancing ravers, scary black guys and people snogging (last time I went to a squat I had some under seasoned raw ratatouille drank sloe gin and played (and won) a game of Risk!)  Hurrah!

But best of all this brilliantly daft piece of dialogue that name checks the "Whitecube Gallery"what next
"Harry they've got a bomb it's in the Chelsea Art Club, it's strapped to Lucian Freud!"

I love the theme tune but come on fellas how about this on the Christmas special.

PS: This was going to be a quick mention of Trebor Double Agents sweets (the badge shown above) until I was just checking my memory and found this entire site devoted to the double flavoured treats I love the internet I really do.

Oh so that's what they do there!

I always thought it looked slightly nefarious ! Dodgy goings on in NOHO (no change there then!)Vice. For those who don't wander down sunny goodge st it was one of London's mysterious doorways dodgier than I first thought.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Define Naive.....

Lord Myners reported in the Guardian  with respect to persuading the bankers to change their ways:  Actually on second thoughts it's just depressing. The full article by Dan Roberts
"I am disappointed at the extent to which we are meeting opposition to change from those who have been rewarded so generously in the past"

Monday, 23 November 2009

David Sedaris: I like his funnier later show

The Hottest ticket around
To Broadcasting House with the wonderful A&E (we meet  at last) to see a recording for Radio 4 of David Sedaris reading from various of his books including his diary.  Not sure the security measures were entirely necessary, taking your belt off  and having your stuff X-rayed just to see a small Greek bloke reading pithy heart warming stories is over the top.

Not sure I have much more to say about Sedaris other than if you get the chance go and see him you won't regret!
Couple of points about broadcasting house we know it looks great (sorry my pic of the church next door came out better) but considering how much they pay the senior staff could we not spend some of money ripping out the bland 1990's interior and taking the theatre back to it's art deco glory.
Oh and one minor gripe why does the BRITISH Broadcasting Company only sell  beer from Canada or hell (and curiously unlitmately Canada!)  ie. Coors and Carling, get a grip and get some Pride fellas as well.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Great Escape who's with me...

Anyone got any idea how i can avoid X-factor etc?

It's a serious question, it's started to get me really down every where I go they seem to pop up. The deeply repellent jungle thing is back with it's tedious tawdry carnival of media coverage. For example I turned on Radio 5 for some news etc. just now and they have an entire section discussing IACGMOH in length including a lengthy clip and interview with the creepy David Vanday from Dollar (I turned off quickly). But it goes on I was listening to Radcliffe and Macorni and even they end up playing the Susan Boyle version of "wild horses" does this record need any more airtime when you think of all the other music that's never been played even once.
But there's no escape I was on a job website the other day and there a horribly badly written advert with "do you have the X-factor" in the title this was for a job as finance officer with a council.

I was at social gathering the other day and basically most of the conversation I was on the edge of was based around this sort tv (that and teenage TV vampires) and in fairly intense way almost spoddy way.

Don't get me wrong I'm not expecting everyone to have the same interests as me far from  it and I'm more than happy for people to like whatever they like but why does everyone have to go on on on on about all the time oh FFS adam and joe have just started to discuss Cheryl Cole.gggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

meat balls like ma... well actually

We use have them out of a tin!
I was inspired by the recipe in the paper today.  I have made meatballs before and  I had most of the ingredients in so it seemed a nice idea . I didn't soak the bread just loosed the mixture with some of the pasta sauce (a tip I read about in a Scorsese's interview!) oh and I included some smoked bacon in the meatball mix which I cooked with the onions. It's a good   little recipe.
ps. Didn't have any Parmesan and I rather like cheddar.

Lisa Hannigan

Quick on the Draw.
I've been listening to Lisa Hannigan Cd a  lot after seeing her gamely playing in a downpour at lattitude and she's playing Hebden down the road from our S this week and someone they know drew this lovely poster. I thought the little film was a gem of an idea and theres some tidy drawing too. Kate Clarke obviously a top drawer!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Turning rebellion into money (Ikea sleeves)

Make me a pallet
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

Ooops I did it again.
After a busy day sorting stuff out, I settled down in front of a hot internet and did some more surfing for sleeves.
I think they need to be lifestyly for best results. So many soul sleeves look too funky for the swede dime bar peddlers brochure. Also too crowded or too rocking out shots don't work to my mind. I also chose albums I have some affection for so as to gently "mock" them rather than be overly harsh.

Sadly "by all means necessary by Boogie down productions" is in B/W so can't be used to sell blinds!

 I couldn't find a good scan of More Specials and have relented on Oasis. I think Liam and Noel are so closely linked to the "Ikea generation " their  1st appearance being around the time the stores started to spread across the land . And what did many people play in their stripped down front rooms, their cd players nestling on their Billy book cases but "Definitely Maybe". There's a couple more here including Davy H's suggestion.

I do think I need to blag a copy of photoshop as my method is as a bit clunky (paint to clean up the image, word to do the paste up, snipping tool to take a screen grab and then picture viewer to crop the final pic) it's like the old days of collage making with scissors, pritt stick and piles of magazines! Anyway I'm off to listen to music rather than stare at the covers ENJOY!

Monday, 16 November 2009

Carole King sells out (sort of)

Life's rich tapestry
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

Our Favourite Shop?
In the process of tiding up recently, I was as is usual sidetracked and ended up re-reading back issues of The Word. One piece I hit upon was a Paul Du Noyer review of a re-release of “Tapestry” by Carole King.

Having myself only recently bought a vinyl copy of King’s masterpiece I was pleased to see Du Noyer and I had both come to a similar conclusion. This idea being that the great music aside Tapestry’s appeal partly lies in the cover picture showing its audience a lifestyle they either already enjoyed or more importantly aspired to.

The whole Bo-ho, natural woman, cats and cushions vibe (none of which are inherently bad things); you can almost smell the camomile tea brewing! With the passage of 40 years however sadly this lifestyle has largely become diluted and appropriated by everybody’s favourite meatball selling Allen key losing comedy sketch show staple big blue and yellow sofa shed dwellers.

During these musings a potentially amusing visual collision sprung to mind and I got busy with the verdana and the umlauts (with apologies to any Scandinavian readers) and produced a catalogue of “rock star Lifestyle ideas™ you too can buy into!” There are a few more on my flickr stream.

All this clipart and modern day Letraset fun does raise two questions:
Firstly are there any more suitable lifestyle candidates to include in the next edition of the catalogue?
And more broadly which LP sleeve have you ever wished you could step into and walk around in?

Sunday, 15 November 2009

We are a Godfather....

he gave me grin I couldn't refuse....

I'm the proud uncle to a small sports team of exciting, funny, daft and delightful children (some increasingly not so small) and I am also godfather to a few of them. This being said I was very proud and touched to be asked by R & E to be godfather to little A (he has a marvelously Victorian name). To this end I wandered along to Stokey for the Baptism today. It was gloriously sunny watching the personal trainers drag their reluctant wards round Clissold park amongst the damp leaves. Along Church st worshippers were scurrying under the blue sky blown clean by yesterday's winds.

The service was good too we not only saw the handmaids of god but also the hand towel and the hand gel too! After that it was tea in the park followed by pizza and photos.

Anyway not sure I have much advice for A other than general notes about  the consumption of yellow snow, and to try to avoid owning a tray purse.

But I went past Bunhill on the way to the church this morning so here's what our William (Blake that is) has to say on the subject .

And flowers and trees and beasts and men receive
Comfort in morning, joy in the noonday.
And we are put on earth a little space,
That we may learn to bear the beams of love .

Lastly it's a new week so everyone take care so we can all meet up again this time next Sunday and  why not keep a special eye on any little one's you know like A even the if they don't have as wonderful cheeky grins and smiling eyes!

Friday, 13 November 2009

In a Pickle

In a Pickle
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

Here's my first go at pickling my own. I salted them first to crisp them up, made sure to use cool liquid through out (keeps the crunch better)I did try boiling my own vinegar but it fills the flat with the worst fumes!
So use the ready made sarsons stuff. Oh and get a good film to watch while you peel the tiny onions.

Now I only need to make a loaf churn some butter and curdle some cheddar and I'll have urban(e) ploughmans (i've got some decent apples)


Can't remember if I mentioned this before but when the chuff did BUNS become CUPCAKES? I like a cake but all this twee cupcake B*llocks is getting out of hand. I'm not a total red meat eating boorish git but CUPCAKES for a stag do!!! 

A decent baker is a thing of joy but all this aspirational bijou bakers cack is getting out of hand it mimics (mocks) the best french food shops but is oddly not about food it's about as usual being seen, doing the trendy thing, spending money.

The campaign for real buns starts B.O.B.B BRING OUR BUNS BACK !!!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

In the Kingdom of the twee

Chasing the White  Rabbit

Call off the search this must be the tweeist piece of kit to come on the market this year a Dick Bruna Miffy Mp3 player with dock.

Bruna is one of the unsung masters of pared down modernist design and this takes his ideas to the next level.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Extreme Pop

Mauby Fizzz:
Saw this nestling on the shelf in my regular grocer yesterday there was not  great deal on the  label other than  "Aniseed" in the ingredient list to let on about it's flavour.
So after a good chilling I had sip and ewww I think we'll file this under "acquired taste". It's very medicinal more so than say Pernod or even Doctor Pepper. The difference with Pernod is there's not even the promise of alcohol to make the bitterness acceptable. It's somewhat like neat Campari but with perhaps more sweetness. It's from a group of drinks from the Caribbean and seems to be from root beer fermented Ginger ale school of pop, but I'm not sure I'd try it again. First time imbibers are warned of its laxative properties according to wiki (thankfully I only managed a few sips!)

More outre pop here

A corner of a foreign field..

Acts of remembrance
I found this a while ago (which may be appropriate for today), while going through some crates of vinyl. It’s from a BBC lp from the early 70’s, at first I thought it was one of those endless military brass band lp’s but it seems to be something a bit more complex. It is a sort of sound picture of various naval activities.

 Most of the tracks are existing bits of popular music with recordings of Royal Navy personnel going through their day to day operations such as firing missiles and launching aircraft all with the tunes over the top. By today’s standards it's a little unsubtle but a nice idea, if under produced. One track is quite odd if has a choir of monks singing plain chant while we hear a missile being guided onto a drone aircraft as part of practice exercise.

Anyway the best track not unsurprisingly is by the Radiophonic workshops which mixes the account of the funeral of the Poet Rupert Brook.  It’s of its time (and seems to be narrated by Brian Sewell’s cousin) but the sound effects and music work well together. If you listen right to the end there is a final twist which adds to the complex nature of remembering  the dead of all wars.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

An even bigger bang!

An even bigger bang!
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

Went to some great fireworks with SA on thursday at Crystal Palace. The fair was fun too, spent our time taking snaps and soaking up the atmosphere.
Would have been perfect if they'd have had a bonfire but  London events seldom do, it's a shame as well it is bonfire night...

Monday, 2 November 2009

It was BLTP that won it!!!!

The power of the internet is rising day by day and look 6 comments on this blog and the PO tower is to re-open!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

A Bit Parky!

Winter draws on
The wind seems to be determined to blow the all the leaves off in one go today and stick them with the greasy rain to the fogged up living room window, it's 10.30 in the morning and I've got the light to write this :(

Some ways to fend off winter
: well I made some Parkin the other day, our S sent us this recipe from the WI baking book. I basiclly doubled up the recipe and it made 2 loaf tins worth (it's handier as this way as you just add a small tin off golden syrup and one of black treacle and don't have to weigh them out etc so everything doesn't get covered in syrup).

I used these oats because I couldn't get fine oatmeal also I like the pop art box!. Also one critism of Parkin can be that it's a mouthful of faintly gingery dry crumbs to combat this I added extra ginger and also add a splash more milk (basically if the batter not runny before it goes into teh oven it's not going to get any moister).

Also I tried to undercook it and also took it out of the tins quickly to stop it over cooking. Then all you have to do is wait at least a week for the spicey treat in it's silver foil shroud to mature and serve with some strong tea.

and because puns cheer me up he's Parky to with your Parkin.

Delayed posting this as I managed to "kill" my phone in the middle of getting the pictures off it :(  Thankfully while I was stomping round the flat looking for my old phone my new had a rest and decided to talk to me again!!! So :)

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Trafalgar Square Vigil

Vigil for Victims of Hate Crimes 
Trafalgar Square 30th Oct 2009.
More pictures here
Here's my views from the other day.

And some Johnny C because the version last night was lost into the night air.

 Johnny Cash - Danny Boy

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

5am eternal

Not sure if it was the sound of the fridge going off (it's a small flat)or the mess of the clocks going back that means i'm a wake. After the usual sleepless stuff pillows,cold feet or cold shoulders i end up wondering if john humphries is awake yet . In his car being driven through the finally empty streets of west london.
Then the first plane goes over full of weary travellers ready for 24 hour croissants ,bad coffee and the chug of taxis at Heathrow.
Then the woman that shouts in our block wakes up and starts shouting.
Just then the fridge comes back on and the next plane full of bad pastry eating cab riding hopefuls comes over and i reach for my phone to write this.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Parklife episode 234!

Yesterday I sat out in the surprisingly warm wind in my back garden (or as the council insist on calling it the park) it was quite lovely. Across the fence from me a family were playing mostly happily. The mother was telling her partner/ brother/ son to pull his trousers up, the family’s caramel covered bull terrier complete with harness was happily pulling a toddler’s trike across the grass by the wheel (what is it with dogs and tyres?). All the while the toddler was happily chasing leaves and whacking the ground with a stick the way the children do.

In the hedge between us was to my mind one of the most elegant trees, a willowy (?) Rowan. Not the proudest specimen but elegant in a scrubby twisted way, it’s precise fractal canopy tricking your eyes as the tiny pinnate leaves make moiré patterns against the blue and cotton bud cloudy sky.

Even to my dodgy colour blind eyes the rowan leaves where fading through beautiful colours from dusty faded green to sour yellow at the tips. The trees branches are laden with clusters of berries, no longer the acid harsh almost fluorescent red of a few weeks ago but a hotch potch of dark reds, browns and mellow oranges; full of ripeness. The ripeness of the fruit attracting in the few minutes I was there several male & female black birds, great and blue tits, also a wren and Jay flew through too. The day must be lucky because even the pigeons are the sleek beautiful type with the glossy plumage of prized racing birds rather than the battered greasy KFC fed examples you often get in town.

It’s a cliché that local wildlife is as good as TV nature programmes but I’m not sure HD TV shots of hungry sharks mauling sea lions quite beat the rustling of the wind in hedge filled with so much colour and movement.

Across the grass a grey squirrel is hoping along , his (he just look a bit more butch ok) perfectly bushy tail doing that wonderful thing where one twitch sends a quiver of motion down its length as every hair reacts in perfect wave.

I know brer grey is much maligned but I doubt his cuter red cousin ever did that well in Deptford and it would hard heart in deed who could take against such poised creature. If only we could hang from our feet head down the trunk and effortlessly look around seemingly without effort or pop up in the grass head twitching like the much more cherished meerkats. This one just now was a beautiful russet browny red as if blushing from forcing out their more loved red story book cousins. And then to further endear itself it acts out more “Autumnwatch” fare by carefully bearing berries in the grass. Looking up as it digs in case anyone spots where here’s hiding his winter snacks.

I do like my garden.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Only the Lonely

Alone again naturally
I was sorting through my photos and remembered I had this shot of some wall writing in Covent Garden. In my less than consistent way this is the sort of graffiti is the sort I approve off someones intense daubings on walls random slogans or even love tokens. Seeing the shot spark another memory of obscure seven inch I found.
The title the Loneliness of London intrigue (I buy most things unknown to me with London in title)

It's a weird late sixties sub JacqueBrel/scott walker not so swinging London pop tune.It starts of bleakly but I think the ending is a bit of cop out but well have listen. It may sound slightly weird as the anti-crackle software can be harsh.I can find nothing out about Peter Reeves so if you know anything please share.

Peter Reeves: the Loneliness of London

Friday, 23 October 2009

More questions than answers

Troubling times
Not sure what to make of the whole Question Time thing, it had far too much of X-factor hype about it for my liking. I'm all for challenging and defeating racist bullies but the "hoo ha" sidesteps many of the real issues that are leading to the BNP's rise. Oh and not many of the BNP's supporters watch QT.

In fact the fight against intolerance is a dual strand (at least) firstly the ongoing fight against deep seated prejudice that still sees people kicked to death in our towns for being perceived as different in some way. Be they a Goth couple on their way home from the pub, Gay men out celebrating or a black lad in the "wrong" place. This and all the humdrum prejudice of those we meet day to day (which can be hard to confront when it comes from people  that in other ways we like or even respect).

Then there's the support for BNP some of it from racists and bigots but other support is from the benighted and confused; the "what about me" vote.  A weird mixture of people's natural parochialism, small town isolation and misdirected socio/economic grievances. When governments have been doling help to all sorts of vested interest (the banks,the hedge funds,those in high tax bands) this group  has looked around and thinks they've lost their place in the queue and their bitterness can lead them to BNP.  Of course there are people in this situation who don't turn to fascists but who give of themselves to others in their communities in all sorts of ways and maybe it's these people our senior politician should be working with instead of hanging out with billionaires on their yachts all summer.

The problems we face are serious but not insurmountable we do  live in a more tolerant country, for instance my friends who teach tell of openly gay schools kids who even though it's not completely problem free feel able to come out at school. This would have been unthinkable when I went to school.

It's not all perfect and we take steps backward as well as forward all the time. We all just have to find the little ways to make a difference, like I say no massive answers from me but if you hear of ways to help let me know.
La Lucha Continua!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Sad News : Liam Maher (Flowered UP)

Oh, these things are never easy particularly when people are caught in your memory in their and your youth . But for a steamy mad evening  the cover of NME had come to visit  Leeds and we Bezed away to "it's On" (twice because they ddin't have many songs) with Liam's distorted vowels and the bands lazy lope it was the place to be. Oh and "weekender" played out for the following years distiling the thrill of going out better than most other things. So here's a some joyful nonsense from ITV oh and aren't kids always cooler in pop videos than popstars.

Space Shuttle External Tank Above Earth (NASA, File Photo)

We heart Nasa:
Another great image from flickr of the space station project. Go to flickr and see the next one of the new rocket taking off in long exposure.

Four of hearts

four of hearts
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

Every Cloud:
Found another street cards. This one with a slight twist, I had to go to a Careers fair yesterday for boringly obvious reasons and as I was leaving on the stairs of Earl's Court I found a pack of cards (a promtional hand out) that someone had dropped. So I have taken one at random to include in my pack. The're my rules I'll break 'em if I choose!

Down the Vic

Eagle Brand brand
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

One of London's many pubs that are slipping away it does seem sad. More pics here

Friday, 16 October 2009

The Third Man still quite good shock!!!

How much did Orson Welles pay the cinematographer on theThird Man?

Went with S and W to Crystal Palace to the increasingly excellent Crystal Palace Pictures Film Club to see TTM and even though I've seen it before was blown away again. It's audacious, famously Orson doesn't turn up for a hour and Joseph Cotton and Alida Valli have to hold the film. The fact that Vienna looks great in all it's crumbling shiny cobbled wonderfulness helps. But it's the fact that every shot Orson Welles is in looks fantastic that makes the film so great the last 20 minutes are startling. Oh and last scene is great too.
The only stumble in the whole film is the scene when Cotton and the British Officers enter the sewers and they are surrounded by rushing water and well you know what and there are rats running in the distance and Cotton turns and asks "What is this place?" sorry I had to laugh. That quibblette aside it's a joy from end to end.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Off with 'er head!

Little Princess
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

AKA: Temple Of Diana.
Here's a photo project I've been working on everytime I'm in the centre of town. I was struck at how you always saw Lady Di in the postcard racks but then agian she always did get around abit.
Anyway here's the collection so far.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Down and out in North London

I got to Angel a little early yesterday and so walked up to Highbury Corner via the delights of Upper Street or “Didn’t that use to be” Avenue as only I call it. I’m sure some of the shops have revolving signs to keep up with the trends. I imagine the restaurant owners do what we all do, get up and think what shall we have for dinner tonight “shall we do Thai” “ no we had that last week... how about fusion Greek....”

When did buns start being called “cupcakes”?

I thought everyone in North London was gluten intolerant so how come Upper Street has marginally more fancy dan bakers than it does aspirational toy shops 5 to 3. All along the road people in big scarves where chasing olives round plates and talking loudly. Including one stunningly done up girl (high pony tail, aviator classes lilac coat and fuck off boots “) exclaiming loudly into her mobile“ya, yah I want to go to Primrose Hill to that Cupcake shop to get some things “(presumably cakes?).

She wasn’t the only dressed up person, I obviously spend too much time Deptford (where people only seem to dress up on Sunday mornings) but the parade of done up couples and families was impressive I’m fairly sure I saw some 5-6 year old bridesmaids with fake tans.

Further up a vuitton of yummy mummies had taken over a bar to run their own craft bazaar selling knitting and carefully chosen tat (ladybird books for a tiny burst of nostalgia). This place was sandwiched between the other things that are in excessive high end cook wear shops. Cook wear being what people who don’t like music spend their spare cash on. I like a decent pan but one suspects most of this foodiealia is to be looked at rather than used. Oh and spare us from postmodern kitchen tat a “picnic table ketchup and mustard stand” anyone at least the toy shop is honest about selling toys.

I must admit I was glad to get up to Union Chapel as I had started to notice that even the kids were better dressed than I was and it was too nice a day to be grumpy.

It might be a while before I’m back (unless there’s another good gig) can someone let me know if they change the names of buns again I like to keep up.