Sunday, 31 January 2010

Rambling weekend: walking here and there with William Bragg

Which side are you on?
First things for first went to speakers corner hear Billy official refuse to pay his tax until RBS agree to curtail all bonuses over £25K. I do think that's the killer we are not even asking for no bonus those over 25K anyway as ever Bill was very fair even to majority of bankers. I tried to film it for you but this being free speech corner some tedious Spanish students came along and shouted very near to me. God love free speech but sometimes!
Anyway it did the trick and the press were there to interview Billy (and me!) so maybe the pressure will increase we can but hope.

In other news:

The things people say and do: out and about special.
At the Imperial War Museum yesterday (part of my walk to interesting places campaign)
Heard in the lift "I don't care what Josh did we are not going to "crimes against humanity"
"Well its hummus and carrot sticks or a muesli bar or nothing" This was next to an 88 mm German anti aircraft gun a sort of final victory for banal democracy over hideous Totalitarism.

Young woman to harassed boyfriend on Oxford Street:
"you never pay any attention to me,"
Him "oh come off it I do"
Her “like what was that last dress I tried on like then"
Him " well sort of Roman crossed with 1920's flapper"
Her "Don't get clever"
To get to the Hyde Park I walked through Mayfair, it's an odd place virtually empty at the weekend apart from stumpy walnut looking old blokes in long coats with their tall blond "daughters" clumping next to them. One of the women even gave me a laughy smile that seemed to say "yeah we know it's ridiculous but what can you do".

Along the way and up through Bond street the place was heaving with haggard looking rich people in bad fur coats. Now we know fur looks better on animals but one woman had one of those patchworky affairs that looked like someone had put an grenade into a guinea pig hutch and them stuck the remains onto a market traders puffa jacket with a dried up pritt stick . God it looked terrible but she wasn't alone there was parade of them all with their Yoko Ono safety goggles sunglasses, looking in the empty windows of closed jeweller’s shops. I tried to take a snap of them outside Bulgari to contrast their appearance against the huge picture of Juliane Moore's translucent beauty but could not get a good shot. Poor old Suzanne was being forced to look alluring covered in gaudy rubies pestering a cockatoo (she was almost pulling it off, the look that is...)

Elsewhere the world went on as usual Primark was inexplicably packed, as was Subway, an elderly black guy in huge furry hat was walking about outside Selfridges wearing a floral pattern skirt, the tourist tat shops were still displaying grim looking off white thongs with “mind the gap” on them prominently in their windows, bored looking blokes were putting those caramel nuts into little paper bags, people bump into me and didn't apologise. Later I got offered a flier for an evangelical slimming club by an insistent Spanish speaking woman this was we went past a church called the "house of Bread". It was all very odd even down to tiniest tot of a little black girl who when I picked up her glove for her insisted on calling me Mr Mr Man for the rest of the journey.
So the usual really.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Saddest pizza flier ever....

Saddest pizza flier ever....
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

Oh please I mean there's no mention if they are eating the "super chicken" or the "hot eater". Is this the greatest distance ever between the actuality of a product and the advert used to promote it? Dough Balls indeed.

Living on the edge with my phone..

Online survey page presumably aimed at those edgy risk takers you know people who text about x-factor and what we are having for our tea FFS.!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Australia Day (local chapter)

R. Fiddes
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

Went to Nunhead cemetery on Sunday, shamed by not having been before it's wonderfully atmospheric, peaceful and wild. There's a wonderful view down to St Paul's from the top of the hill and myriad of rambling toppling graves and old trees.

There's a number of military graves/memorials in Nunhead  I chose R. Fiddes as he was sadly the youngest of the Anzacs in this group and with it being a gloomy day this young lad having traveled across the world to die (of his wounds?) barely out of school seemed extra poignant. You can imagine him not being that dissimilar to the people from down under etc we see/work with everyday. Not that dieing at age 34 like his neighbour is any good either. They are surround by the mass of everyday London folk so they are in good company.

Oddly near the entrance the entrance is another link to Oz with the Scottish martyrs monument who in 1790's got sent down under simply for campaigning for the vote! If you not been to Nunhead have a wander over. Oh and then there's the view from Telegraph Hill I should really get out more.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

I'm a Photographer not terrorist

Originally uploaded by bltphoto

Here's some snaps from the mass snap in trafalgar square it was really quite jolly and friendly. Although with so many snappers none of us were used to having our picture taken!!
here's some more pics
here's the campaign site!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Another Helping of Robinson:

This is either a genius idea or oddly pointless this chap is intending to re-shoot shot for shot Patrick Keiller pioneering pyscho-geographic mock-documentary "London".  Every sane person will have seen Keiller's original and the idea this time is to shoot new scenes in the same places around London to seem how the old place has changed in last 19 (count 'em 19 years). To help with the project the director has put stills up on flickr of places and scenes he doesn't know. Like I say sounds a bit odd but well good luck to all concerned.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Seeing the Bigger picture: Tate Britain

Off to the tate with A, R, E & A yesterday mainly to see the  Turner expo but also to drink tea and have natter. It's a really fascinating collection showing how he fits in with past masters and the talent of his own age. Oddly this was my favourite pictures in the show and it's by Thomas Girtin.

Also went to see "our David's" (Hockney that is)big picture of Trees near Warter. It's really impressive and has strong feeling of the rural parts of God's own county you can really feel the misty grey space and smell of  the musty leaves you find in copses like this. Worth popping in to see in it's tryptic glory.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

NO Bonus 4 RBS Campaign: time to act up.

Fairness for All
As often before Billy Bragg has stood up and said something pithy but incisive. Outraged by the excessive state funded bonuses banks such as RBS are handing out he's decided not to pay his tax bill.

The failure of banks such as RBS and the subsequent tax funded bail out mean in the next 2-5 years massive cuts to all Government services (regardless of what colour the government is next summer) . Billy has suggested a campaign to limit these bonuses (sadly the law prevents us from paying no bonuses) to £25,000 (more than the average salary in the UK). Now you may like me be unable to withhold your taxes easily but you can still complain and show that BB and other refuseniks aren't alone and that this is a widespread grievance and injustice.

You can join the face book group (I know these things are two  a penny but it does mean a bit more than who get's to number one).

There's a letter you can down oad to send to the Chancellor, you may need to edit like I have with mine.

You should also write to your MP make it clear that how they act now will affect where your cross goes in a few months time.

Why I am supporting this campaign.
Personally I think this boils to fairness in the end  and also hard market economics. Fairness because the effects of the recession aren't being shared evenly, poor areas and people are being hit harder than the people who caused the recession in the first place.

Hard economics because all my adult life we have had the free market thrust at us but we see with the banks that we have Communism for the rich and Capitalism for the poor. For years we have been told by bankers etc that the big risks they take should be matched with big rewards ,the rarely mentioned the reverse of this that they would presumably take a big fall if they messed up this isn't the case. The other fundamental madness is that if you are investing other people's money you  aren't risking  anything if you mess up you're not skint and if the country bails you out you don't even lose your bonus/job.

So have a read of the information if you not a member of facebook down load the letter and send it off ( physically ideally as this makes more impact) please repost anything you wish from here, tell your friends talk about it in the pub etc.


Down Load here Billy's letter

Link to face book group

Happy Birthday Buzz:

It's Cmdr Aldrin's 80th birthday tomorrow and even though he's been to moon (which is birthday and Christmas presents for life for any boy) you can send him your wishes here (get in quick and it will be on card disc thingy)

Monday, 18 January 2010

tower bridge sunset I'm in paradise

just thought you might like to see this picture. I love it when a sunset comes together. The sun will probably never shine through this arch in quite this way ever again.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Today's news: Good and evil

It's good every now again to see the vile , stupid and evil slapped down even for a few seconds. (thanks to the Urban woo for this one)

If you're not an empty hollow, shallow, vain fuckwit I suspect you've already done this but have  a look at this film from Oxfam and make a gift aid donation so the govt. chips in too.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Ivor Cutler Day: How to avoid fishfright

Have you had a Pie n chips?

Not that you need a special day to celebrate such as rare talent but someone declared one so let's join in. IC here's a weird "mash-up" ( a term that would have annoyed Ivor I'm sure) of him and some children's tv. More gruts anyone?

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Vaulting ambition

Vaulting ambition
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

Went to Southwark Cathedral today. Been past hundreds of times on the way to work so it only seemed right. It's nice and peacefully inside and the vaultingand columns is incredible. I think it's been heavy restored but it's of a piece. Here's 4 things I found out.

Local boy Tommy Steele is on the audio guide.
They have the tomb of "Englands first poet" ( John Gower died 1408)
And the chapel dedicated to the healthcare workers was paid for by a seller of quack medicine. (Lionel Lockyer) who's pills included "sunbeams"!!
Wencelas Hollar drew this map from the tower

It's a good little Cathedral perhaps not as grand as St Paul's or ridiculously historical like Westminster Abbey but it had a suitbly spiritual calm atmosphere and the people were very friendly.

Not a bad hand for brag....

5 diamonds
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

Hurrah after apointment meeting thing today was wandering towards the Thames and found a little hand of streets cards. As well as this one I got these soggy pair the 8 of diamonds and the 4 spades! A ropey hand but only another 35 to go!!

Monday, 11 January 2010

My first 3D film: Avatar

My first 3D film: Avatar
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

Blue Movie:
As a spectacle it was brilliant, I didn't fully settle into the 3D, think the realisation of the world would have been great in 2D especially with the sound at Odeon Leicester square. The story is a bit ropey and the jarring bits did spoil the immersive nature of the thing. So really worth seeing but would like to see a grown up less CGI film in 3D to see how it works in the none video gaming end of things.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

King Smooth: Cameron botox selecta'

Smoothie Camus
Originally uploaded by bltphoto

Sorry another meme from the house of BLTP. This time not Ikea/lp mash ups but summat more insidious the normalisation of such bland vacuous entity as David Cameron.

New Labour has failed most of us especially those who founded the Labour party but The Tories have always only ever looked after a very small elite group in this country (it's not news it's what they've always done) their trick has always been to co-opt other groups who feel they will benefit (although they seldom do) from the crumbs from the table.

I'm not sure who you should vote for the Lib Dems probably but certainly not Cameron and his Eton chums (yeah yeah class doesn't mean anything any more well why do people send their kids to Eton if it doesn't?)
There's a blank version at my flickrspace if you feel inspired.

Anyway the less band airbrushing we have the politics the better.
This lot thought it up

Friday, 8 January 2010

Indie archeology: lost tunes

Lifelong learning :
Kill Devil Hills

I was listening to the radio just now and they were talking about moments of genius and Eoin Colfer was talking about the Wright Brothers and how their break through was basically based on lots of testing and also by using bicycle technology instead of boat based designs like everyone else was. Now that piece of info may stay with you, it may not. What made we sit up though was the mention of “Kill Devil hills”  now I had always thought they tested their planes at Kitty Hawk and so had never heard of this more specific place.

“So what” you say, well Kill Devil Hills is the name of super obscure c86 indie band the lone 12 inch single of which I own.

They were mates of mates who we went to see at some obscure north London poly students’ union one rainy Sunday night. I didn’t ask where they got their name at the time I think I was too impressed by meeting someone who was actually in a band that had a record out to say much at all. Also the Comperé was Eddie Tenpole Tudor which was also oddly impressive at the time. Don't they look great in the picture!

Anyway like most of my records in those years I played this single to death for a few months and then have carried it around from flat to flat ever since until that is about ten minutes ago when I played it again (it’s clicking away in the run out groove as I type I must get up and turn it over).

I see as ever that Ally (Ms Dusty 7) has been there already leaving a comment 4 years ago on an Italian indiepop site about the KDH! The facts about the band on that site fit the bill from what I remember; sadly the mp3 files seem to have gone over there. So here’s mine for posterity. It sounds better recorded than your average c86 fare. It the one thing I’d change about those anorak clad Xeroxed flier filled days is some remastering of all those fey superstars with a bit more bass and tad less treble!

Anyway anyone else learnt anything this week?

What comes after : Kil Devil Hills mp3

Poison : Kill Devil Hills mp3

Rolling: Kill Devil Hills mp3

The New Order of New Order

CeremonyReview of new Delphic lp (which is winging it's way to BLTP towers as we speak) in the Guardian only a year late and yet it comes to the same conclusions as me Hurrah!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The snow is bucking up it's ideas a bit

been a bit neither nowt nor nothin' all day but it's coming down in huge downy flakes now the parking places have been covered and the roof opposite are being covered

Monday, 4 January 2010

Burj Dubai: world's biggest metaphor opens.

an Oasis of entertainmentLoving the fawning coverage on most channels/ news reports of this new cock  skyscraper that's been built in Dubai. I'm sure most Parish Councils could knock up a similar pile of un-substainable pointless probably empty for years feudal tat if they paid the people who built it £2.84 a day! But as long as western designers swish in for the opening and make sure the cheques don't bounce, I'm sure it's a masterpiece.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Woman bathing with a red plastic spade in the golden light of the lagoon SE8 (after Rembrandt)

The other day it was Pissaro today Rembrant, I am only going walking in Old Master from now on.
Suggestions for other painting to walk in gratefully recieved anyone who says a Walter Sickert murder picture get a hard stare!

New year new week

Don't really do resolutions as I know mine rarely get passed putting the marge back in the fridge and finding the lid for the marmite pot.
Anyway you are probably sleighbelled out by now so some new tunes may be in order. I heard this lot literally just now and particuallry like this song by Wild Beasts. How can you not love a song that sounds bit like Billy Mackenzie but also mentions girls from Shipley and Whitby!!

I've also been enjoying this lot of Swedish types "Sally Shapiro" who are very good in a St Etienne New Order  b-side italo disco sort of way. Also the singers not called Sally Shapiro nor is anyone else in the band it's conceptual but not enough to be daft and put you off the music.

Also you can't go far wrong with this at anytime of year.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Happy New Year

Had a lovely NYE round at S&R's for which many thanks. New Years day in the bright blue sky sunshine we went hunting for an Impressionist painting. In 1870's Camille Pissaro moved to London and famously lived in Norwood area and made some pictures.
Anyway we wanted to see if anything was still there If you click through to the flickr page you can see the original. A surprisingly number of buildings homes were still there. My pic is slightly further down the road, the trees on the right were similar to old Camille's.