Monday, 31 August 2009

Bleak Kanga and other treats

bleak kanga
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
I may be getting too melancholy for my own good but I did enjoy wandering round a closed fair on Blackheath last week taking the odd snap. here's more of them.

Monday, 24 August 2009

The Treasure of the Ford Sierra

“Arrrgh me hearties tis said to lie just off New Cross”
A woman dressed as a pirate: skull bandana, black and white check shirt, knee length trousers and sandals walks out of her way to look at patch of newly disturbed earth in the communal gardens unimpressed she wanders off. The search for Captain Kidd’s lost treasure it seems continues.

Hell in a hand cart.
It might be because it’s the holiday season though not entirely but you do see an awful lot of people pulling around suitcases on wheels in London.
The addition of two tiny wheels has allowed cases to expand to massive sizes. This has ironically destroyed the convenience of wheels as everyone I pass pulling these little handcarts seems to be pained and struggling slowed down by the weight of just one more Primark* vest top or spare pair of trainers.

For instance outside just now a couple were stood 30 feet apart arguing, I think the basic thrust was why can’t he pull her cases as well as his that or “you said it was 5 minutes walk” all this is not helped by the woman’s case having a broken zip and is shedding clothes like the entrails of wounded nylon hippo**.

*Primark seems to be in my spell check how did that happen ?
** well a hippo who has recently feasted on cheap thongs in vivid neon colour ways that is.

Picture credit Neil Crosby check out his cool skul and cross bones rum!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Ashes to Ashes

Ashes Win.
Well blimey and no mistake England won the Ashes. Well done everyone. Bad luck Ozzies. there's always next time.

I wander through each chartered street,

In the Foot steps of Blake:
My bus got diverted yesterday and as it got further from where I wanted to be I happened to see some old grave stones. And so happily came across Bun Hill cemetary.

Which to my shame I've never visited, its full of dead famous people.

There's some nonsense about "bunhill" meaning "bone hill" but it's clearly where you go to feed the remains of your lunchtime bun to the pigeons!

It's a lovely space the sort of place that when travel shows presenters bang on about the rich history of some far flung place you want to drag them to and go "look William Blake is buried next to Daniel Defoe, stick that in your incense burner Angkor Wat"!

Any adding to history John Wesley use to live across the road and then there is all the unknown lifes and events round here which are sadly lost to us. Anyway I went on a little walk and took some pictures and if you'll excuse my indulgence licked them to some of William's words.

(Oh and sorry for the grumpy post yesterday I don't think in retrospect the wasp people were laughing at me not sure they even noticed me flailing about but well spilt beer is spilt beer they weren't as bad as the posh tossers in the pub who didn't like test match special.)

Saturday, 22 August 2009

older bud(no)weiser

Brick Lane:
Sat in the sun with my expensive (£3.50) but tiny (330ml) beer.
On the next table a middle age couple are rowing he's trapped a wasp in a pint glass and she wants to free it.
Eventually he cedes to her and frees the angry striped mite. If this were a story it would have stung one of them, most likely her. This being life it flies at me and almost into my ear. They leave laughing . I'm left listening to "Fools gold" mopping up £1.75 of czech lager.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009


I might just become a Spotify bore it spookily good. I'm not going to get too fervent though it seems too good to be true like that cash machine that was giving out 20's for 10's yesterday.
Free music and only a few inept ads to put up with it won't last.

Listening to Aaron Copland just now his Red pony suite it's like the best cowboy music you can almost smell the pines in th morning, saddle leather, fresh pasture, the clunk of pickup truck doors, tobacco smoke. Not bad for someone who's dad probably came from Gdansk! I like his tunefulness and rhythmic melodies.


Anyway anyone else found any gems (they don't have to be classical)?

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Comings & Goings

Well it's been a funny week:
It would be easy to wallow in self pity but thankfully I have many good friends and kin to divert my more mordant tendencies.

Also the world outside my hair line throws up reminders that I'm more than blessed even if I'm on a bumpy road for short while. While waiting for a tediously important meeting the other day in an icy etched glass and chrome atrium the silent pictures on BBC 24 were enough to silence any whingeing from me.

"So what's good " as the hopelessly optimistic American tourist once said in cafe Valencia.

#welovethenhs was cheering event it seemed to dumbfound misguided critics because for the most part it was normal people stating their straight forward opinions. There were several comments I saw that went "yeah but that's all well and good but it's still socialism....." the following comment from some ordinary UK resident further drawing out the nonsense would be some simple tale of palliative care that helped their parent die with dignity or the joy of child brought into the world etc. It was the sort of straight forward democracy and free speech the American right always bang on about and it was hard for them to counter not that they didn't try.

It was the simple reminder of the power of democracy and persuasion. Sure benighted Americans may s ill end up with bobbins health system but they can't say we didn't warn them. Oh and the man who wrote Father Ted liked my little picture !

Wetting the babies head: Well it's all a bit pagan but I think AD was sufficient dowsed in Duke yesterday (is it always sunny in Doughty Muse?)

Natures Bounty: the blossomy cherries in the park have borne fruit and today I sat and ate the sun warmed gems. That end of the park was heavy with the thick scent of their fruit and the tiny orbs seemed to essence of cherry/plumminess the red ones the best but the yellow surprisingly good. I ate them while the old guy in mobilityscooter dozed in the sun (we'd high fived on my way to the shops)and a Vietnamese guy read his paper while he waited for his girl, when she turned up they kissed in the most sweet way and wandered off with her teasing him with some ancient joke or whatever. Just then a friend of the old guy came and a gently woke him and eased his bike into the shade and sat with him for a while. It was hot in sun and couldn't shake any more fruit from the tree so I left the wasp and the hover flies to their perfumed treat and headed in side to read and listen to some tunes.

Other Good news: Ivor Cutler is on Spotify

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

We Love the NHS!

We love the NHS:

The day after my birthday one of my oldest and best friends fell really ill, not mild swine flu ill or spend the day watching old films ill but really terribly ill. We were all very, very worried for him it was touch and go for several days/weeks. But touch wood, praise be (thank science) he’s still around and is making a gradual but steady recovery. He’s thankfully well enough now to start taking the piss out of us all and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Needless to say he’s here today down to the skill, patience and professionalism of the NHS staff that treated him.

My friend has the sort of job that in the US would attract private medical insurance but when he was desperately ill on the first night his other half didn’t have to worry about any of that nor has she since. He would have got the same treatment regardless of his job, background or indeed age. I’m not sure what other treatment he would have got in the US or anywhere for that matter not much I imagine and his care is continuing now that he’s back at home.

I could go on to talk about the NHS assisted births of my 11 nieces and nephews or the excellent care the rest of my family have received when they’ve needed it. Not always perfect or 100% but certainly not the Stalinist nightmare vested interests, rent a quote knee jerk never really believed in anything US TV hosts, general liars and misanthropes across the ocean think of it.Oh and let’s not get started on the time effort and care, diligence, dedication intelligence, creativity, duty and honour my mum and her 2 sisters put into NHS for over 50 years.

But things like the NHS don’t stem from small minded mean spirited, exploitive people that would seek to deprive others what they themselves feel entitled to and would use something as life affirming as the dear old NHS to make cheap political points.
Honestly bless America but sometimes, just sometimes.


Dressed for success:

A Study In Scarlet: 3 excellent examples of people going their own way and winning. This morning striding through the grey of the City was a youngish guy dressed in matching red jumper and cords in a sort of autumny red; he was striding along with a long umbrella and patchwork bag.
It might have been willful on other people but this just liked “I look good so s*d you sort of thing”. It was worth it for the disdainful look the snidey looking cycle courier gave him you know the type smug smile, smoking joint while eating huge sandwich.

Get Your Cape on: Next up was a homeless guy looking like a sort of Holborn Gandalf with a flowing grey hair and beard and a huge black cape tied at the neck. Around his neck on a boot lace was a Yale key almost like an amulet that or maybe he does have a “lofty twisted tower” to return to after all.

Go Girl!: Lastly and also in black the cool black girl in our office (blue hair, excellent clothes and equally engaging attitude) seems to be wearing a large cloche hat at her desk (we are really not that sort of office) she looks like she might be going to Michael Jackson’s funeral or something .
As for myself the usual really : the shako of a Major in The 1st footguards, the high cut blouson of a Polish lancer and pair of East German postman’s trousers……

Saturday, 8 August 2009

The most dangerous substance known to man

This came with my lunch yesterday, the funny thing is I know someone who reacts to tomatos (or did they've grown out it I think).

Friday, 7 August 2009

lunchtime news

French food giant Bel have denied that they are changing the name of their cheese triangles to "L.O.L Cow".....

Do these shoes go with my mask?

Fashion friday
I know I’m the wrong audience for all this but I’m intrigued by the fashion industry partly because the language they use is so baroque Balconette bra, kitten heel, d├ęcolletage but also how they march on seemingly oblivious to outside world.

I’m not sure I could ever get used to living two seasons ahead of your know the real season the one’s dictated by I don’t know... the sun. Today for example the paper is taking about autumn there’s no over arching trend but if you go out in a acid bright big shouldered leather bomber jacket with big shoes and a hint of tweedy Bridesheadism (think Bros crossed with Bertie Wooster) you’ll be “rocking” a very “on Trend” look. Oh and go for “smoky eyes” (Not sure if this as in Kipper, B&H or in deed “America’s greatest living poet”) and you’ll be fine.

In an astonishing move the G2 topshopatistas take a pop at Penelope Cruz as if it would possible for her to ever look grim.

As usual us blokes get very little to work with, I’ve lived in London for most of my adult life I have opinions on olives, the colour of walls and the best qualities a half brogue should posses and I also have friends, colleagues and acquaintances from all creeds, backgrounds and who they like to curlupwithisms but I’m not sure I know single chap (or indeed woman) who’d spend 30 quid on a grey checked eye mask. But good luck to those who do, it is all a bit confusing how would you know if anyone was seeing you “rocking” such a great look on the red eye to where ever when a) you’re asleep and B) you wearing a mas….

Anyway off to sort out my autumn wardrobe *digs out overcoat off the rack knocks of the dust decides it probably do for another year and anyway I won’t need it until November*

JH the music

Please, please, please, let me get what I want.
A quick update to say the one place you could hear good music at the cinema in 80's especially the likes of The Smiths and New Order was ironically in the American films of John Hughes.

Doubly ironically that Mozza nest egg is made up in part from the sort of teenagers he's always claimed to detest...
Anwyay here's those nice national boys doing Pretty in Pink of the hair jell and cheek bones it's rather good.

Lastly here is Johnny & The Hurricanes with Red River Rocks with some big dumb cheery saxophone nonsense on my crackly vinyl, it must be the best way to drive across the USA with John Candy in a burnt out car .

Pretty in Pink By The National

Red Rivers Rocks by Johnny & The Hurricanes

Thursday, 6 August 2009

John Hughes 1950-2009

Even though I am closer to Uncle Buck now than Ferris Beuller (scarily so in many respects) I still love John Hughes films the clip below is wonderfuly done and shows something that is often over looked in John Hughes' films that they looked great. As well as being funny, soppy and a bit sexy.
I never had a life like his teenagers but well that didn't matter then or now.

I went out drinking with Thomas Paine.....

To Earl’s court for the Great British Beer Festival with with some inevitability BLBW and delightfully SA.It’s a funny old thing the GBBF a small miracle in some ways as it’s run by volunteers and a testament to Camra’s long term (if idiosyncratic) campaign to save tasty beer from extinction.

Beer Fact: The number of breweries UK is incredible about 700 and there’s only 200 boroughs that means that you live near at least 3 breweries (oh and 2 cheese makers (blessed are the cheese makers).
Beers we liked: Odell’s Ipa (USA), Barnsley Gold from Acorn (God’s own country) (I know I’m biased but it was nice) oh and lager called Bernard from (Czech).

Beer of the Night: must be Tom Paine by Harvey’s mainly because it tasted good but also because Thomas Paine was a top bloke and also there’s the Billy song

Look Tom even had an aphorism about makings sure you look after your casks!

“Character is much easier kept than recovered.”

What else was good: Well apart from the company, the pies weren’t bad either!Only downside as ever is Earl’s court: there must some better place to open Britain’s biggest pub somewhere that doesn’t look like the basement car park of a derelict Polish nuclear power station (but not in good way) and also some better seating areas would be good. If you are not some sad “ticker” who “baggsies” a table as the doors open you have to sit on the floor.However it’s on for few more days and is very jolly indeed.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

life drawing

there's a gaggle of art students hanging around leatherlane sketching (in a strangely timeless way) market scenes. There was one lass in the cafe just now drawing us diners as we tucked in. When she went to pay i sneaked a look at her work it was really good, lots of detailed drawings of people's food so detailed it felt like the pies followed you round the room.

Monday, 3 August 2009

The Card Sharp

Holborn Hold'em: The guy opposite is reading a Poker magazine,eating a burger meal. When his phone rings he is so startled he knocks most of his chips on the floor,.....he must be a beginner!

New starts, New week

Red Geranium
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
Excellent afternoon chilling (in most senses of the word ,curse this bobbins weather) in S & R new garden/flat.
Thankfully, the welcome was as warm as usual, best of luck kids.

Oh, and to everyone else have a good week and play nice!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Bobby Robson 1933-2009

Just a few quick thoughts on Bobby Robson: It’s never easy being an England fan we expect so much (we invented the thing after all etc…) and yet our form is patchy so when we do well it’s incredible.

It seemed so perfect that sunny summer of 1990, we drunkenly sang “world in motion” on the dewy grass as dawn broke and college wound down, and even working in a jigsaw factory didn’t knock the edge of the excitement. Football was still “grim” in those days fans died at matches, the media didn’t “love” football like they do, and politicians weren’t “life long fans” . But just a few humid flood lit evening matches in Italy(some of them close run games), a bit of opera and every one was a fan (even Germaine Greer!).

This was still, remember when Bamber was the most famous Gascoigne in the land. I mean I at least watched the shoot out through my fingers I think our A watched it from behind the garden shed! It wasn’t to be but well maybe that doesn’t matter as much as the drama of it all, football is an entertainment in the end.

So here’s the best football song ever. No doubt Bobby as we speak will be talking with Jackie Milburn about the state of his knees and handing out the bibs and putting the cones out for a knock about.