Friday, 26 February 2010

last night a cowboy saved* my life:

I had some good news today so I'm not sure why I've worked myself into a funk. Even the heavy rain this afternoon wasn't the problem, as the lady in greengrocers said "it's good to have proper rain every now again". Nor do I think it was entirely the nonsense on the news about our inept government and all the RBS cr*p . I'm not sure maybe it's just February. It's odd  though what can cheer you up even an advert for a  WEAPON SYSTEM ARCHITECT  that's keen to promise a health plan and child care scheme  can do the trick.

 Then I started to listen to some music and fell on Johnny Cash. I tried to avoid to pressing repeat on "I see a darkness" too many times (I can't decide if this film is the saddest or funniest version I think  anyone in the depths of existential angst who washes up in Marigolds isn't that far gone!) and then I stumbled on this which I'd forgotten about and which swung me around and then my book turned good and and and.

* I know I know a bit ott but well C&W encourages big gestures at the best of times.

Monday, 22 February 2010

The sound of the Progeometric Age and other London tales

" Progeometric is not a commonly used term...."
so says
Katja Strunz at Camden Arts Centre art and whom am I to doubt her. Ms Strunz's work was part of arty trawl through town these last few days.

It was a cheery piece whereby a forest (well a copse) of old brass instruments are fitted with speakers and eerie postrock ambient sounds played through them, it was really intriguing. Never been to CAC before and even  a dreadful tube journey didn't spoil this work.

After that it was off to Old street with S &R to see William Egglestone show , which was good. I do fear his work has been absorbed by every one myself included trying to take shots like his although this expo is worth a look .

The day before  we had a lovely time wandering round the Courtauld institute with K & L (let's not leave so long next time) which was a real joy as usual. They have the best works and the lack of crowds make looking at them a real pleasure (it's only £4 quid for concessions) and the cafe is good too.

To round off my arty nosiness I had a poke around the London fashion week tent in Courtauld courtyard. I took a punt on door  to sneak in and almost wandered into the dressing rooms! So I scurried out and just watched the fashiony types trying to hide their excitement at being stopped by various journos/camera crews and asked what they were wearing "what this well it's vintage I got it in Oakland ..."

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Paper review: The New Observer: Bad photoshop & Zorro's Beard

Went out for paper this morning which is increasingly rare thing I often seem to read it on line if at all. But out of curiosity I stumped up my 2 quid. The same amount paid for a BLT sarnie, small bottlette of orange juice and a packet of low fat Walker’s ready salted the other day let's see which is the best deal....

Update a few minutes later:

Well I wrote that intro before opening the paper, and I've been sidetracked by an apparent dodgy bit of photoshopping see above (click on th pciture for more detail). In the magazine half way through there seems to a model (or “super model” as people say except, don't most people have to have heard of you in order to get super powers?). Natalia (funny how Natalie sounds sexier in Russia than Walford) Vodianova.

It's a puff piece about her charity work and general gorgeousness on the right-hand side Nat is pictured wrestling with a towel (as only models do) she’s in eyes closed ecstasy or maybe has indigestion. The odd thing though is the towel/shroud seems to have been photoshopped on later. The line along the her chest seems oddly defined and one dimensional and the whole thing looks oddly monochrome (it may just be bad reproduction) or that they simply cutting further corners and knocking out sexy pics of babes but being shy of showing too much skin. This looks like the original shoot by Heidi Slimane where Nat seems at home waving her bits around.

After that I spent some time wondering whether in the next remake of Zorro, Jay Rayner is going to star as. My moneys on him playing Zorro's old school friend who's now a successful but corrupt lawyer and who ends up with lots of z's in his overstuffed upholstery.

As for the rest of it:

Be still my beating heart 8 pages of spoffle from Andrew Rawnsley about Gordon Brown. The shocking news is that a middle aged Scots man is occasionally bad tempered. Rawnsley must the dullest insider politico going, one of those breathless writers who are never far away from writing "it's been a torrid 48 hours for Darling..."

They seem to have culled the Travel section, no loss to me as I could never afford the sort of aspirational Maldives holidays they usually covered. The business and money section seem to have gone to.

We still have the dull New York Times supplement sadly. Not sure how supposedly one of the most exciting cities in the world produces such a dull worthy newspaper. Hold the front page there's a review of Jeff “high ho silver lining “Beck.

Sports pages: like all newspapers (but not all sports fans) the Guardian group is obsessed with Fergy’s every gruff utterance yawn. The winter Olympics meanwhile gets 3/4 page on page 15 and Barnsley’s extensive coverage seems to have fallen out of my copy.
Speaking of things falling out thankfully only a flier of amnesty international in my copy.

Elsewhere Nigel Slater is cooking chicken I know I was shocked too.

Tried to read “the New Review” section but it opened at a picture of Rufus "foghorn Leghorn" Wainwright dressed as a Pierrot clown which is for me is a near perfect depiction of the seventh level of Hell, so much so that I had quickly close it again and make some more tea. The only good thing about RW being in the paper is he isn’t singing.

The rest of “the New Schmoo review” seems like they saved up pieces on the bloke from "the Wire" and that Swedish thriller writer people go on about to tempt us in . So once I've shredded foghorn’s picture I may return. It’s on thicker paper which will make soaking up spilt olive oil much better.

So would I have been better off with a value basic lunch and a sit on bench sadly probably.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Amy Williams gold medal skeleton bob 2010

Well that was exciting!
Sport is sometimes just amazing

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Words only used by the media part 345: "Braced"

"Shivering Britain braced for more snow"

Dear v’media things that need  to be "braced":
the roofs of coal seams,
the bulging bulkheads of stricken minesweepers
The squares of Highland infantry regiments against the on coming spear points of the Polish Lancers at Waterloo...
and at a push teeth and perhaps grouse!
A bit of snow demands at most topping up the anti freeze in the car washer bottle, finding your gloves and perhaps soaking the odd pan of lentils!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Disease of the heart or heart disease

Valentine ring buns
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
Yes, it's that day again the annual roll out of Gregg's Valentine day sickly baked treat! This years is a doozy!

One interesting point which may point to wild times round Mr Gregg's pampas grass fringed bungalow, why would you need 6 valentines buns!?

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Breakfast #3 with toast and a tea (no egg can I have some extra tomatoes instead please)

I am oddly slightly annoyed my N95 often takes better snaps than my more expensive panasonic or maybe I'm pleased.. Anyway the breakfast was good  and I had fun getting all black and white with the sharp winter light while I waited (which was not that long in the end).

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Hummus the long way round via the river plate and the monochrome set

Winter Saturday before the Rugby SE8.
I went to get supplies and get some air, I would have gone and sat and read in the park but it’s being landscraped by the council. They promise it will be improved when they done but we’ll have to see how many sparrows there are left come spring.

Anyway options for au plein air literary pursuits stifled I decide to go for a longer walk. The skies was sharp blue with the low light glowing pale yellow in the misty corners of New Cross. A street drinker shouted something at me on the main road it sounded something “Ormanroyd” it was so odd I unusually stopped and made a face which I hoped meant come again, he repeated his bark “Ormanroyd” which still none the wiser I took to be “gotta fag” (a. no) “got any spare change” ( failing to be able to help him further we parted. A few steps further I was almost forced onto a bus as I walked past a stop, as one pulled in and a surge of big black women with cases swept across the pavement taking me with them. They apologised as people generally do at London bus stops as in not at all. Getting this hummus was proving harder than it should.

Anyway thankfully my usual shop was a sanctuary of calm, so supplies bought I took the longer way home. Down between the battle of the river plate (Achilles and Exeter streets) and round the emptier park, past the last of football matches and the eternal battle between of a screaming toddler and tired mum.

The sun light was lovely now with our shadows stretching way across the grass, it was shame it was passing so quickly. A lap of the park and a wander round a few streets and then past the growling idling v8 of the scrap guy with old American cars, then through subway and into our estate. Which is where I found the “monochrome set “sitting on the curb just short of our block. There rapt in conversation was a 20 something guy and girl. They could have been Turkish or similar he with flat toppy black hair and stubble, black jeans and black check shirt, she a Warhol factory girl dark long hair, gloomy black jumper and black goggle shades. They we sat in an odd place in the street a sort of none space not on the corner or in front of a block not on a step or a wall, not even in the sun which was a few feet away, just an odd none place to sit. Presumably a smoke had turned into one “conversations” as they sat within a few inches of each other’s faces and were animatedly talking. They were maybe siblings or perhaps lovers; they had that sort of intermit intensity. But why there on the cold concrete slab their breath hanging in the cooling evening air .I had to walk past I tried not to pry (well anymore than I have) but didn’t hear what they saying and went inside with my food. When just now when I went back out briefly with some rubbish (yes I forgot the first time) they were still there the sun’s gone now but they talk on

Harold & Maude: only 39 years late "it's quite good"

Went to Harold and Maude last night at Gypsy Hill. I obviously had heard about before now but never got round to seeing, it’s not one of the 10 films channel 4 show on repeat!

Anyway it’s really really good, funny, snappy and moving in equal measure. It’s also thankfully weathered the years well and the odd bit’s that haven’t (the occasional slips into overly wacky humour) have a great deal period charm.

I won’t go over the plot in great detail suffice to say it’s a May to December relationship between a 79 woman and young man/lad. Having said that it’s snappy the writers etc manage to build engaging rounded characters but not have them hang around. In fact the slight untidiness of the plot is part of its charm, particularly in a world were even “indie” films have scripts poured over so every narrative cog works perfectly.

One other thing to point out is that Wes Anderson wouldn’t have career without this film most of “The Royal Tenebaums” is a direct rip off of Harold and Maude in feel if not content. Oh and Jarvis stole his whole “look” from Harold’s wardrobe.

Obviously the film wouldn’t work without Bob Cort and Ruth Gordon who seem to have secured there fame with these roles alone even though both enjoyed eventful and in Ruth case long careers. Their interaction is so believable from the start it’s difficult to imagine many other actors carrying it off.

So if you haven’t seen it don’t wait as long as I did!

Anyway it Friday so how about tune well the OST for Harold and Maude is largely by Cat Stevens as he was known then. He’s an odd figure nowadays after having a pop star moment and supporting the fatwa against Salman Rushdie he seems to have been welcomed back into the media fold. His crimes aren’t nearly as bad as Phil Spector etc who still get played like I say not straight forward and sometimes it pays to trust the song not the singer.

If you want to sing out (alternate version) by Cat Stevens

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

IKEA LP sleeve slight return: She Took a Long Cold Look

She Took a Long Cold Look
Originally uploaded by bltphoto
This is a triple mash up Ikea record sleeve for Barrett Homes!! A little gloomy perhaps but well it is winter and well the minimal look is still with us speaking of which have you been to

Full set of sleeves here

Monday, 1 February 2010

NOBonus4RBS update: FEB 1st

Here's the film of BB's speech yesterday

Today's greatest book ever: and its full of rusty soviet junk!

Nostalgia for the Future: Ever right thinking person has a bit of love in their heart for things that are rusting or falling apart usually somewhere near the compartment marked "russian technology is way cool". We know day to day life was ropey  over there (and this is coming from someone  raised in a mining village in 80's) and we'd all get locked up. But much like dear old NASA there a was underlying hope to it all. Anyway it's all falling to bits and this lucky cove went and took photos!