Friday, 24 December 2010

Advent day 24: Happy Christmas!!

...and remember it's peace & goodwill to ALL mankind!!
happiness and joy to you and yours love C x

ps with apologises to that great modernist Dick Bruna!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Advent day 23: Frost & steam

maybe deluding myself but the light this morning had the feeling of Caspar David Friedrich probably could do with a raven on the stump for completeness sake

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Advent day 22: winter solitude

this wasa joint effort with my Brother, I'd seen this tree a few days ago and yesterday we went round with his ace camera and tripod. It was such a wonderful clear day we couldn't stop snapping.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Advent day 21: 3 angels

Advent day 21: 3 angels
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
we went looking for Billy Casper (more of which later)

Life in a Northern town: Le Vie en Roses

Advent 19: Golden treats
"Are them big tins of roses the same price as the others?"

"yes, love"

"Alright pu'rra us through a tin of these then, I never took to Quality street , they're just not right."

Life in a northern town: The Capucinno's Our Kid

cheHad a nice lunch in the pub yesterday, it was one of those chainy ones but very friendly and the food was good. On the table next to us was a burly couple, (arms full of tats looked like they had had a hard life etc) having lunch the odd thing was though instead of say having a pint and a half of lager with their lunch they were having cappuccinos.

Like I say it was a little odd this big fella with hands like shovels daintily sipping a frothy coffee with his “trio of spicy chicken medley”. Not saying real men don’t drink coffee or anything just well it looked odd.
Having said that the espresso I had after my pie was good.

Poetry of lists
local Night spot names:
The Office
The Outpost

House name of the week: “Helms Deep”

Monday, 20 December 2010

Advent day 20: Frosty the postman!

I hung around waiting for a robin in scarf to turn up but no luck!!!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Friday, 17 December 2010

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Advent day 13: Danger thin ice

no me me neither.... hoping he stayed near the edge......

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Advent Day 12: The day the fair came to town.

.. I left ! It did look pretty in the cold winter night offering views across SE8

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Advent day 9: Look, look it's santa's house

More delights from another seemingly perpetually closed dusty cake shop!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Advent Day 8: Astro Claus

Advent Day 8: Astro Claus
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
I do like the Carnaby St decorations they are done with a fair amount of fun and flair.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Advent day 7: With some inevitability

Meerkat Santa.
Have we all gone "simples" minded?
10 years ago NO ONE outside college zoology Dept.s had heard of Meerkats now they are up for the next Booker Prize and the manager's job at Newcastle!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Advent day 4: bucket 'o' reindeer

Tip top tasteful Tat 't the Tate!

Advent day 4: bucket 'o' reindeer

Tasteful tat 't Tate britain....
Have you put yours up yet?

Friday, 3 December 2010

Advent day 3: ring out those Christmas bells

Shop tills don't ring anymore much like TOTP it's all bleeps nowadays. Was wandering round Carnaby street on Tuesday somebody's going to be getting an awful lot of "ironic t-shirts" this Christmas. I do hope people have to sit there on 25th trying to explain the "joke" or "meme" to their Nans!

"so flower what does your tshirt mean again ?"
"Oh Nan it's about theIraq war and Star Wars and the bar in the Shining"
"the Shining is that the one with Pauline Quirke in it? And why is the deer on your other top wearing high heels?"
" Nan are you sure you don't want another Bailey's?"....

Queen diamonds...

queen diamonds
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

Nice run of Street cards recently , I find most of them after the flea market's shut up. It's odd how they are the only thing left after the street cleaners have swept up, often they are the only rubbish in the square. that being said I've found them in Holborn, The City, Crystal Palace and Covent garden.

Think I'm up to 35 only 17 more to go before we can have a game canasta!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Advent day 2: Frozen fish

Advent day 2: Frozen fish
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
I love a forlorn looking playground and yes that's a bit odd I know. Not totally xmasy but it's what been happening with me.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Advent day 1: frost leaves

Advent day 1: frost leaves
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

Some frosty leaves in Greenwich park on sunday happy Advent everyone.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Debtford update #345

I heard the news that Paddy Power is now worth more than the Irish banks just as I walked past this place. That one of the last two pubs on the high street is now a bookies isn’t news, most empty shopsround here seem to turn into bookies . It’s also barely worth remarking that bookmaker/stockbroker aren’t two sides of the same coin they just the same thing just one lot usually have smarter postcodes. I suppose my point such as it is that would be nice to stop turning the corner and finding the news looking me in the face.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Libraries gave us power

Libraries gave us power.

I have been using New Cross Library again recently and quite moved what a warm friendly humane place it is. It's simply and efficiently run by the staff full of good books and people using the web and reassuringly quite and calm like a good library should be.
I have been going to libraries since before I could remember and have talked before about the additional thrill of Hanley library because of the occasional chance to visit the real spitfire across the road. Of course books we also the attraction I don't ever been made to read by my parents it was something we did me and brothers would go down stairs to kids section while usually my Dad went up stairs to browse himself. We would race to oversize section to see if there were any Asterix books to take out and then move onto eh books on space and vikings (I was typical boy coming late to fiction (apart from comics) really only in my late teens).

As we got older we could browse upstairs and take out adult fiction or do your homework upstairs on the big tables.

New cross library is similar to our little village library, the children section was up stairs there and often for something to do I'd go down after school or on Saturday. Often I had the tiny room to myself to read the Hamlyn book of Horror or a book on war planes. I have close friend for whom this little library was much bigger life line his home bereft of books and taught to read via commando comics and pulp westerns he sucked up the knowledge and peace of this place (amongst others) and now makes his living as writer.

This all might seem trite and libaries have alwasy needed to evolve and adapt but well if lewisham council are froced to close places like New Cross library well the world will be a duller , dumber poorer place.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

“I’m a frightened as an Oyster”

Prompted partly by the Robert Plant documentary last night but also by Bryan Ferry’s new version I thought it might be time to settle once and for all which is the best version of “Song to the siren”. For many years I would have said “this Mortal Coil” version was the leading Lorelei amongst the (what is the collective noun for sirens, a snare? A glamour? ) sisterhood. The problem I had with Tim Buckley’s original was that he slips into full on pub singer mode and it can be almost comical but and here’s a revelations for me I’ve just heard the reissue version from a rarities album(last on play list) and well the calm beauty of the song is regained .

But I also love the Czars version and Plants take on it is lovely too. It may be that there are no truly bad versions.

A few more things sprung to mind: is the song more apt sung by a man or woman? Is being driven on to the rocks one of the times where histrionics are valid?

There’s only one way to decide........ erm vote (and lobby if you like in the comments)

Oh and isn’t technology great you can hear them here. There are more versions on spotify but I have cast many of them off the cliffs of overproduction into the sea of meh! (an awful lot seemed to be pleasant enough remakes of Liz Fraser’s classic but nothing special) I’ll publish the results in the week.

Click here to take survey

Friday, 5 November 2010

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Masterchef vs Master race

The beast of days
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
Don't say you've not been warned when it starts raining frogs and the seas boil.The end of time is near thankfully there's a hero to save us......It can now be told Gregg Wallace's impressive appetite fuelled by endless sticky sweet puddings devoured in with eye rolling spoon swallowing glee is used to sustain his demonic powers to aid him in his eternal battle against zombie Nazis!!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Next up on Five..How to be Martin Parr

lifeboat GPIC
Channel 5 is often derided (mainly based on it's output from 10 years ago) but while the BEEB is showing the woeful One show, BBC2 has an antiques quiz, ITV is in the back of a squad car AGAIN and Channel 4 has the dog end of the news Channel 5 had this programme telling you how to be Martin Parr (no not that one) the one who takes photos .

Anway there's some tips and insight into MP's work, In the end I think the answer in the end that you need to be born a near genius and take 30 years worth of photos but well it's a fun 25 mins. I think next week they are off to Iraq with Don MCullin

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

I am a One in Ten

Odd week all round really, in a world full of numbers they start to blur after a while. To misquote Stalin one man's firing is a tragedy the laying off of 500,000 plus in a couple of  days is a statistic. Today I've seen more chatter about the latest deluded ego maniac being "fired" on Apprentice than the laying off sorry decimation of public sector staff (in a rare occasion the classical roman meaning is both emotionally and factually correct).
Of course 33 miners being plucked from the  ground is heart warming and life affirming but the almost daily death of a sapper in Afghanistan goes unnoticed. Almost as unnoticed as the Tories & lib dems finally wiping out the Welfare state.

 Of course public sector workers outside the playmobile lego minifigure jobs of policeman, nurses and teachers are all pointless worthless skivers, malingererswho spend theirs days counting the "solid gold" pensions and severance packages. Barely better than in fact than welfare scroungers with their free 8 bedroom houses fillled with their jam faced feral kids named after fashion labels. Nobody values public sectors workers no one needs or cares about admin officers who organise the rotas for bin men, dog wardens,  surveyors for roads signs, council tax clerks, planners, museum curators, tax collectors, social services managers, parkies, town centres managers, ....

Oh of course then there's the poor and the peopls who's jobs depend on the public sector.
Anyway I've off to work for Alan Sugar making cup cakes.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Record Labels anyone?

Record Labels?
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
Thinking of starting my own label... thought I'd start with arguably the best instrumental ever!
In honour of Booker T's sweet tune I've made a sweet pickle this year and I've got STAX!
I fear this this may get out hand..
Here's Mrs Booker, Dunn, Cropper, Dunn and Potts live in Norway(?) one of my fave concert clips.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

National Poguetry Day

Love a poem me read some Larkin just last night to cheer myself up. But  I was joking about about Poguetry and then read the lyric "Rainy Night in Soho". And it's one of the few pop songs that poetic on the page (pop's poetic don't get me wrong but most of the time it needs the music)

Now the song is nearly over
We may never find out what it means
Still there's a light I hold before me
You're the measure of my dreams
The measure of my dreams

spooky ring cake anyone?

spooky ring cake
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
Keeping up their solemn duty of marking the season in butter cream and lurid icing everyone's favourite baker's spoooooky Halloween cakes are out!!! And no they didn't have parkin :(

Monday, 4 October 2010

pictures of matchstick men

after lowry
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
changed trains in Manchester t'other day and took some pics.. it was raining obv but interesting none the less. Well if your a fan of emoty carparks and dodgy but heroic 60's tower blocks

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Cheers! Beer drinking it'll never catch on you know

In the spirit of punk when Pete Brown couldn't get on the tv to tell us all that drinking beer is a good idea  he and some mates went out and made their own. Have a look it's not too bad for their first go.

Pete Brown's British Beer Blog from Ian Hudson Films on Vimeo.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Home-made Crumpets!

Home-made Crumpets!

Making your own crumpets is one of those seemingly pointless Foodie things to do which usually produces the question “what’s the point when you can buy eight of them for a quid etc”. Well much like Everest because they are there! And well they taste much lighter and have moist airy bready texture and flavour.

I didn’t have any “crumpet rings” so made some out of greased tin foil folded into a strip and then into a circle; they worked well in a one off way.

And see I got all the way through without making any “Carry on” style jokes!

Adapted from Jo' Pratt recipes
Preparation time: 1-2 hours
Cooking time: 10 to 30 mins
Makes 18 crumpets (I made half these amounts and made 8½ ish with one for the pan!)

•450g/1lb plain flour, sifted
•½ tsp salt
•1 tsp sugar
•2 tsp/1x7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
•300ml/½ pint warm milk
•300ml /½ pint warm water
•vegetable oil
•4 crumpet rings or 7.5cm/3in plain pastry cutters, greased

Preparation method
1. Place the flour and salt into a large bowl and stir in the sugar and yeast making a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and water and mix to give quite a thick batter. Beat well until completely combined and cover with a tea towel or cling film.
2. Leave in a warm place to rise for about an hour until it's a light, spongy texture. Stir well to knock out any air and pour into a large jug. ( I put the bowl over another bowl of warm water)
3. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a very low heat (I had to turn up 2 to 3 on my electric hob) with a drop of oil. Wipe the pan with kitchen paper to remove excess oil. Sit the greased crumpet rings in the pan and leave to heat up for a couple of minutes.
4. Pour in enough mixture to fill the rings just over halfway up the sides. Leave to cook until plenty of small holes appear on the surface and the batter has just dried out. This will take about 8-10 minutes. I would make one first to get the heat right slightly hotter temp made them cook properly.
5. Remove the rings and turn over the crumpets to cook for a further minute or two on the other side. Sit the first batch of crumpets on a wire rack while continuing to cook the remaining mixture.
6. A light toasting brings out the flavour perfectly and cooks them through totally.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Model prisoners: family history

Been looking at our family history lately and found this wonderful postcard from a "Concentration camp" (now called to avoid confusion and grim associations an Internment camp) which presumably features my Great Uncle or Grandad and of course a small model harbour. This maritime model village was made presumably by the inmates to fill the endless hours of captivity in rural Northants!
I find the whole thing fascinating and way more valuable than more normal heirlooms. Click on the pic for more details.

Thursday, 2 September 2010


More of my nephews are going to "big school" this week the eldest is off to what we use to call "sixth form" college. It's all a bit wistful (for  me and my bros mainly) but exciting (if trepidations) for them. I'm sure they will thrive and it's all part of the big adventure. They will soon be old enough to write this (only 22!)

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Never a bad day if it's street card day!

4 diamonds
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
a loaf of seedy bread, some fizzy vimto, a jammy ring and the four diamonds!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Tracking down Billy Casper.

Originally uploaded by bltphoto
Wonderful few days up Yorkshire seeing the folks . Me and A&;B went for a wander and found out that basically their house is surrounded by the filming locations for Kes. I'd seen the ruin where Billy takes kes its nest many times from the M1 but it was good to see it up close.
One thing that was pleasing is that the film locations are virtually all in the same small area and Billy's walks can almost be done in real time and almost in order.

Some things have changed almost all the pits and factories seen in the film have gone. In fact its salutatory that if Billy did follow the lumpen Jed down the pit. He and his brother would ten years later be out on strike facing more time above ground looking for work.

Watching the film again that evening we decide to find some of the other sites and with the help of this site  we found the field where billy flew Kes (which you can see from A back window). Sadly the council/school in their wisdom has put up a huge fence round the site to curtail modern day Billy gaining access (although some kids seem to have snuck on). Pleasingly we aslo saw a pair of Kestrels on the power lines on the field rest ready to go hawking for for their dinner over the grassland and surrounding recently planted scrub.

Thwarted in photo op we were heading home when we bumped into a living breathing Billy Casper; well his 50 year old self. A fascinating guy who filled us in with all the local walks and history. Apparently and I'm choosing to believe this story as a  kid he actually showed Barry Hines (a teacher at his school at the time) the nest site used in the film!
So a wonderful day with excellent weather, we are hoping to get some pics of Billy's school which is being closed this term to move to another site, so we we will  hopefuly be able to snap the famous showers and footy pitch as well!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Dick's dish isn't going down well

"when we said keep it simple, we were thinking scallops and pea puree!!"

Not really sure why the BBC was cooking Lunch (or dinner as its called) for the pupils and staff of Harrow school tonight the headmaster was apiece fo work.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

These foolish things....

Well, a successful day all round got plenty done in spite of the drizzle. Out dodging puddles at lunchtime and tying a damp shoe lace I found 20p, 50 yards further down the high street I went into a charity initially to check out a lightweight tripod they had in the window.

As always it had the "headbit" missing (as they always do!the volunteer didn't seem too concerned about this as they always are) and then with some inevitability I started to flick through the vinyl. A few lps in I found this gem. Mr Ferry apart from being a depressingly stylish cove is the king of a good cover and so with wonderful synchronicity I took him for a spin for the princely sum of...... 20p.
Here's Bryan looking bored and wonderful

As to what other "foolish things" will remind me of the rest of August 10th:

  • well some damp podgy pigeons pecking at a puddle
  • my first blackberry: surprisingly sweet
  • a stern woman in a meeting with "jo,jo,jo" tattooed vertically inside her left wrist
  • & my shopping list of "Milk & Bleach" which must be a great lost pub rock song.

Anyone else got any other "Foolish Things" ?

Thursday, 5 August 2010

a flat white Midnight Kiss from a troll: the week so far in pictures

In Search of a Midnight Kiss
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
Thanks to a tip of from E &R watched "insearch of a Midnight Kiss" 2007 by Alex Holdridge. It's really good don't be put of by the "indie-schmidie" start as it's got a lot of heart and shabby hipster setting rings truer than many films. It's a romance but not a too saccharine  one.

The slow drip (or should that be high pressure steamy blast) of fancy coffee is dribbling our way as New Cross has got a new cafe "the London Particular" . So taking the plunge I had my first "flat white" one of the many nuanced coffee and milk cocktails on the spectrum from Mellow birds through to well chewing raw beans!

Now the cheery woman he served me may have been antipodean so it may have been authentic but I couldn't say for sure but anyway it was a very good cup. But if you were to hold the proverbial gun to my head I would have been hard to pushed to separate it from a good cappuccino ie still strong but not awash with milk like your average "neropretbucks" fare and yes the feather leaf pattern makes it taste better!

and I found another street card, sadly not one for my playing card pack but a marvelous railway repairshop snap shot. I've said before about the particular charm of this sort of thing.
Oh and look who was stopping you get through the bent railings into the park...

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Park life: Boney’s tuna on brown and the shoeless Eusebios

The park's incredibly dry at moment, the main “lawn” is burnt brown to the colour of sand and has number of patches of bare earth. On it 2 tiny black lads are playing football with a knackered casey, they are bare foot. The sparseness of the grass and their evident joyfulness makes it almost like a scene from a cloyingly aspirational fifa endorsing credit card ad. Thankful they are just playing footy in the sun.

Around me on the new benches a quirk of fate means everyone (5 others) but me has a medical crutch for some leg problem or other, it feels like I’m eating my tuna sandwich during Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow.

Even in this mini drought the council are thankfully maintaining the new planting and a kindly looking middle-aged bloke in shorts is watering the ornamental grasses and shrubs. The bare foot footballers run up to him ostensibly to collect their errant ball but also to run through his hosepipe jet. He jokingly rebukes them and then pretends to accidental splash their feet. They squeal with delight, thankful for his schedule their dad soon comes over to pull them away as that’s the sort of game to which there’s no end.

My sandwich is almost gone, it’s not bright sun but still hot enough, I’m regretting my black trousers and also getting the last bench, the one without any shade. But it’s not unpleasant for a while and my books distracting me. While I munch one of the regular pigeon ladies wanders past and a little way off starts throwing out huge handfuls of bread and cooked rice. Her mottled grey flock is almost immediately dispersed however by another young lad this time on a bike; her rebukes are sapped of their usual anger by the heat.

The walking wounded have now been joined by a guy with impressively huge head bandage, fearing I too might  fall victim to some of the Tsars’ grape shot as I beat my own retreat.

Have you got your summer special yet?

Everyone seems to be off on their hols. Fill your retro boots with this bumper Look in compilation.
Yes I do want an ABBA pull out poster and some action transfers !

Here comes the summer By the Undertones (Peel sessions)

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Solipsism 101

Solipsism 101
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
Please forgive me a few moments of me time those lovely types at the Londonist have chosen my pictures for their "behind the lens" feature. I v. honoured .
here's the link to the feature

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Lost in the streets

Wes Brown
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
Found another street card the other day. Part of the detritus of the world cup .
Loved the story on the radio this morning that having waited until after they assumed a glorious world cup to re-new their sponsorship deals the FA is having problems finding any mugs wanting to chip in to top up the trough to feed the bloated mediocre football set up in this country.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


Well returned in the early hours yeatserday (thanks A) for the lift! Had wonderrful time largely down to tip top friends and good weather. The music etc was good obv. Loved  The National and Mr Hawley even though he was full of cold, and loads of other treats including Jonsi.

Lovely also to finaly catch "first aid kit" playing in one fo thewoodland venues wonderfully pure beautiful signing with a lot of humour and warmth.

oh and managed to drop a stone on the "Master" foot when jungling and he didn't send me into a time vortex or anything.

more pics here.

Monday, 19 July 2010

I am Peter Saville!!

Nice Monday bonus the Lauren Laverne show used one of my pics for their weekly mp3 download package. Which cheered me up no end . Won't quibble too much about the typography! Am thinking of a special version made for silver the manufactoring costs of which will cripple the BBC and will be delivered 3 months late in true Factory style.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Getting it together in the Country

Off to Latitude courtesty of my lovely chums, am really looking forward to it, hope to see Richard hawley, The National , school of seven bells amongst loads of other acts. really looking forward to seeing Tom Jones tonight!!
Anway have a good st swithins day Take Care, Take Courage, Take Hart!!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Oh just shut up!

The Daily Express has found a new way of  being vile with a  headline today about how we'll be awash with "Ethnics" any day now. Which as well as geing vile is nonsensical as we all know. It reminds me of my late granny who in a her declining years remarked to my dad that she had a"native doctor now". My Dad to tease he replied "oh you mean he's from Hull!" which bemused Gran as she clearly meant he was from India or similar. My Gran was a product her of time and maybe could be excused having not thought through her views (even though her husband was at least half german) national newspapers however that print such vile nonsense should be shamed to their graves

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Ikea covers slight return:

No promises
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
The lp lifestyle mashups are proving popular on Flickr which is pleasing. This one of the fragrant Ms Bruni (from her not too bad lp of English poetry covers) proved popular mainly because she's famously easy on the eye but also rather pleasingly someone (in Brazil I do love the interweb) has "favourited" it in the middle of a number of other pictures, all of tasteful interiors and design ideas thus proving one of my ideas for doing them all in the first place. Anyway I'm off to drink beer and burn food in various gardens stay cool, stay safe, stay pres.....