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|Tuesday, March 26th, 2013|
|"It doesn't fit my plans but it's something I don't understand."
Lovely day yesterday with a visit to the Enrichment Centre to see friend_of_tofu
(briefly) and baby insert_name_here
who, unlike the two previous times I've visited, was mostly awake. I've decided that they may well grow up to be a goff as, rather than looking towards light, bright patterns they seemed to spend all their time when not feeding craning their head around to look at dark things and shadows.
Then in to Kensington for the memorial for Lucy Meadows
outside the Daily Mail
headquarters. Was it just the unseasonably cold weather we're having at the moment or does the Daily Mail deliberately have it's entrance in an Arctic windtunnel so as to try and put off anyone who is offended by the content's of their paper and wants to protest? Is this the reason for the Daily Mail's hatefulness, that it's always Winter but never Christmas?
The vigil was respectful, some words were spoken but didn't carry, someone who tried to start a round of 'Daily Mail shame on you!' was shushed, then after about forty minutes we had a two minutes silence for Lucy and then gratefully fled to places where there is warmth and light.
The Guardian reports around 300 people turning up
for the vigil which seems excessive but as we were all spread out behind an unnecessary barrier presumably to prevent us from rushing the Offices of evil I really couldn't tell. They also quote someone giving his name as 'Mudkipz
' so, take that as you will.This entry was originally posted at http://blahflowers.dreamwidth.org/640036.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Tuesday, March 5th, 2013|
'WHICH SEX WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO BE?
I once heard a Frenchman say, 'My wife could do without me, but I couldn't do without her;' but, as a rule, the Frenchman who has had the good fortune of marrying an intelligent wife becomes so dependent on her, so much under her influence, that no general rule should be drawn from the remark. When a man and wife have lived happily together, I find, from my personal observations, that when one has gone, it is generally the woman who can better do without the man than the reverse.
Of course, the question is very complex, and one which I would rather ask than answer. If sexes could do one without the other, and resolved to do it for fifty years, the world would put up its shutters. May not the question resolve itself into the following: Of old bachelors and old maids, which are the happier?
Even this question is not a fair one, because it must be admitted that society, which is very lenient over the peccadilloes of unmarried men, frowns unmercifully over those of unmarried women. Shall we then say, Of old bachelors and old maids, who have led monachal lives, which have been the happier, and would be the more ready to decline matrimony if the opportunity were again offered to them? Now, can you answer the question more easily? Well, if you can, I can't, and if you have anything to say on the subject I shall be glad to hear it.
Personally, I think the question practically amounts to this: Which would you rather be, a man or a woman?
Now, this is a question which my readers will find difficulty in answering, and even in speaking about, with authority, as each of them has only had the experiences of one sex.
Before answering it, we must indeed talk it over with some very intimate and trustworthy friends of the other sex, and compare their sentiments and sensations with our own. We must recall to our minds all the observations which we have made on the lives of men and women whom we have known. Let us not follow the example of the woman who would be a man 'because men are free,' and the man who would be a woman 'because women are admired,' for the reason that all men are not free, and women are far from being all admired.
I have interviewed on the subject many men and many women, and I have found an enormous majority of women who would elect to be men, and only a very small minority of men who would elect to be women. Conclusion: most people would elect to be men.
I am a man, and if I were to be born again and asked to make a choice, I would elect to be a man; but the reason may be that I possess many failings of which I am aware, and also a few qualities which the most imperfect of us must necessarily possess who are not absolute objects of perdition.
For let us say at once that sex suits character.
I love freedom and hate conventionalities; I am a man of action, and must always be up and doing. I do not believe that I am in any way tyrannical, yet I like to lead and have my own way. If the position of first fiddle is engaged, I decline to form part of the orchestra. Most of these characteristics are failings, perhaps even faults, but I possess them, and I cannot help possessing them, and they naturally induce me to prefer being a man.
I have made my confession, let my readers make theirs instead of taking me to task. I hate to feel protected, to be petted, but I would love to protect and pet a beloved one, whom I would think weaker than myself. I am a born fighter, and I don't care for smooth paths, unless I can make them smooth myself for my own use and also for the use of those who walk through life by my side.
But, leaving aside personal characteristics which would lead me to elect to be a man, there are many reasons which would cause me to make that choice quite independent of my character. Nature has given women beauty of face and figure, but there she stopped, and to make her pay for that gift she has handicapped her in every possible way.
And when I consider that there are in this world more ugly women than beautiful ones, and that an ugly woman is the abomination of desolation, an anomaly, a freak, I altogether fail to see why ninety women out of a hundred should return thanks for being women. I have no hesitation in saying that the woman who is not beautiful has no raison d'etre, and that only a few beautiful women are happy to be alive after they are forty.
Women have terrible grievances, many of which society and legislation (that is to say, in the second case, man) ought to redress. But the greatest grievances of women are, to my mind, against nature. These grievances cannot and will never be redressed.
In love woman has an unfair position. She gets old when a man of the same age remains young. In every race she is handicapped out of any chance of winning or even getting a dead heat. For these reasons especially I should elect to be a man.
Ah, what a pity we cannot decide our fate in every phase of life! in which case I would elect to be a beautiful woman from twenty to thirty, a brilliant officer from thirty to forty, a celebrated painter from forty to fifty, a famous poet or novelist from fifty to sixty, Prime Minister of England or President of the United States from sixty to seventy, and a Cardinal for the rest of my life.'
O'Rell, Max 'Rambles in Womanland', Chatto & Windus, 1903.This entry was originally posted at http://blahflowers.dreamwidth.org/639782.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
'I have heard of women being so much in love as to declare to their husbands that they would not want a new hat for another month.'
O'Rell, Max 'Rambles in Womanland', Chatto & Windus, 1903.
'Who has not been able to translate a pressure from a woman's hand by 'stay' or 'go'? How a woman can say to you with her hand 'I love you' or 'I cannot love you'!'
Ibid.This entry was originally posted at http://blahflowers.dreamwidth.org/639581.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
'Never have anything to do with women in whose houses you never see a man. You may say what you like, but I have heard many women admit that the presence of a man adds a great deal of respectability to a house.'
O'Rell, Max 'Rambles in Womanland', Chatto & Windus, 1903.
'The good diplomatist is not the one who forces events, but the one who foresees them, and, when they come, knows how to make the best of them. The good diplomatist is not the one who successfully takes people in, but the one who, when he has discovered who are his true friends, sticks to them through thick and thin.'
'You can judge the social standing of a woman from the way she sits down.'
Ibid.This entry was originally posted at http://blahflowers.dreamwidth.org/639415.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Monday, February 11th, 2013|
|Good Comic Runs #1: Hickman's Fantastic Four and FF.
The Fantastic Four are much like DC's Wonder Woman; horribly dated, much better when they are guests in other people's titles than in their own, still being published due to the cloying conservative nostalgia of the comic genre and no-one can ever remember any of their stories. Except that time they fought Galactus. Every other issue, no-one can remember any of the stories. People claim they can remember stories but you'll find they are probably on drugs. Or having too much promiscuous sex. Mmmm, promiscuous sexy drugs....
Anyway, say you wake up one morning with an unaccountable desire to read some Fantastic Four comics and, what's worse, you want to read good
Fantastic Four comics. Where on earth would you go to find such things? Luckily, it does indeed exist. Jonathan Hickman's run on Fantastic Four finished last year and was extremely good. Luckily, most of the important issues are in trades. Hickman makes the sensible choice that the two things that are key to the Fantastic Four is that they are a family and there are never four of them. Oh, and huge space opera. OK, three things... The important storyline opens and closes on a scene between a father and a son. The first time it's the young Reed Richards with his father Nathaniel in the past, the second it's present day Reed and his son Franklin. And the lesson being taught? Well, that's what the story is all about.
Hickman's run started with Fantastic Four: Dark Reign
. The series dips in and out of then current events in the Marvel universe. The variety and importance of these vary, but especially as events march towards the climax, keep your internet on standby to help explain things. Anyway, by the time of Dark Reign Reed has had something of a crisis of faith in his intelligence and the team's ability to stop bad things from happening in the Marvel Universe, such as the Green Goblin becoming the most powerful man in America because the public and President Obama are massive dicks. So he builds a universe-skipping machine to try and see how future actions he might or might not take will play out. It's a rather throwaway book that can be ignored but it does lead nicely into his run on the title, which starts properly with the issues contained in Fantastic Four Volume 1
. Reed is contacted by a Council comprising of Reed Richards from other universes who have banded together to do good for all creation. Problems with famine? One Reed Richards cultivates entire planets of all the food you could want? Galactus wanting to eat you? There's a Reed for that. And they want Reed, they want Reed as a new recruit. Unfortunately barely have they made the offer before everything starts going wrong.
The early volumes
do contain some weak stories, there are several issues to do with something called 'Nu-World' which some writer previous to Hickman was obviously very pleased with but which is such an incomprehensible mess that I couldn't even summon the enthusiasm to go look at the internet to try and make sense of it. Hickman is moving so many dominoes in to place that at one point he blatantly gives up all pretence of showing and just tells the reader important facts in the form of an essay that the Richards children, Franklin and Valeria, super-geniuses both, are writing. But Hickman never loses sight of characterisation, volume 4
contains issue #587, where one of the main cast dies and the Fantastic Four are changed FOREVERS!!1! Even though we know that the character would be back, even though we know that the title, about to become 'FF #1', would also return, Hickman manages to sell us on the 'death' as being a big thing, the final chapter, issue #588, being an issue of grief and mourning for this loss, comes off as exceptionally well-crafted even when we genre-savvy cynical readers know it'll all be undone in a year It's done entirely without dialogue and is one of the times the art, in this case by Nick Dragotta, rises above the average.
The Fantastic Four become the 'Future Foundation', not so much a superhero team as, um, a superhero team with a youth wing attached. Spider-man joins them, because heaven knows he's not over-exposed in the Marvel Universe already, and also lots of junior characters, both those created by Hickman in the course of his run and also existing MU beings like Dragon-Man and Alex Powers from Power Pack. The volumes of FF run on their own for volumes 1
before, in volume 3
, becoming a companion book to the returned Fantastic Four
as Hickman starts drawing threads together for the epic conclusion to his main story. FF volume 1 contains some of my favourite writing of Hickman's entire run. Two issues are devoted to a summit of villains that, through contrivances of plot, Doctor Doom gets to hold at the Four's HQ on the subject of how to defeat Reed Richards. He is forced to chair a meeting where a number of his foes bitch and argue with each other on how they would defeat him while Sue Richards and Spider-man wait outside. When Spidey asks her why she's not worried about this she coolly points out she has no reason to be afraid, she has personally defeated every villain in that room more times than she can count, she knows it and they know it.
So, we have a story of mad Gods, a pissed-off Galactus, the dangers of unchecked intellect and how to handle it if your brother might grow up to be the most powerful being in the universe. You do have to be patient as, like I said, there is often a lot of build-up and in places the ongoing story pauses for several issues to explain some other point of back-story, though this is less annoying if you're reading several collections than when you had to wait another thirty days for a comic only to find it was more stuff about Black Bolt and the history of the Kree Empire. The art ranges from workmanlike to decent, some of the other species of alien or mutant look unfortunately goofy but then I've been introduced today to the WTF, Evolution? tumblr
so I suppose real-life is sometimes no better. The sub-plot with the Future Foundation curing the Thing of his rocky ever-loving appearance adds some drama and the conclusion of the story is genuinely tense and full of 'fuck yeah!' air punching moments.
Hickman did continue to write both Fantastic Four and FF for a year or so after the main story finished but, while some of them do address dangling plot threads, although they may well be collected they aren't vitally important, the key stuff is available now. Go get it!This entry was originally posted at http://blahflowers.dreamwidth.org/639107.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Saturday, January 19th, 2013|
I don't work for Westminster Council, nor do I know anyone who does, but this email came through on a professional list the other day and I thought it was worth signal boosting. If you, or anyone you know, lives in Westminster you might be interested in their shenanigans involving your library service. If the information in this email is correct, the service is getting hacked to pieces but not due to austerity, there's money a-plenty it would seem, just not trickling down.To the Councillors of Westminster,
Westminster Libraries currently uses less than 1% of the council’s overall budget. We have 11 libraries, an archives service, a reference library, a music library, a home library service and the largest online database for any public library service in the UK. We provide books, DVDs & CDs, Internet access, CV building workshops, Under 5s sessions, class visits, language and computer courses, community groups and workshops and engage teenagers through projects like Fast Forward which has taken over from the connexions career Services: We promote health, community and citizenship and provide a free space to work, socialise and study for residents and visitors.
We now have Parking, Council tax, Rescard, Housing and OneStop services incorporated into our day-to-day duties with no additional funding as a service or as employees; In fact we’ve provided all these services at this low cost whilst going through 5 years of cuts that has already closed libraries, reduced our budget and decimated our staff levels each and every year.
When employment goes down, our workload goes up, and as homelessness increases and incomes plummet, our footfall increases. Year-on-year we’ve risen to the challenge of providing all these services for that ever shrinking less than 1% of the council’s budget.
In 2011, Westminster Council hired two new department directors at the rate it cost to run St James’s library which they were closing at the same time.
In that same year, Westminster councillors refused a 5% reduction to wages above £100,000 to save £3.5Million because the saving would be too insignificant to justify; but library staff have been asked to bear double that cut for only 10% of that saving.
The solution to unemployment cannot be to fire people, and the solution to debt is not to cut income generating, job creating, and crime preventing services.
Not only is it a statutory requirement to provide this service, it is our moral obligation to do so. With new challenges, we need new ideas, not old mistakes and any further cuts to our library service budget would be a drop in the ocean compared to almost any other department in a council that has often stood in the spotlight on the international stage.
We ask that this race to the bottom is brought to an end; and that Westminster council commits to investment rather than cuts so we can continue the good work that we do for the small budget we have.
The Staff of Westminster Libraries
There are two reasons why I don't write much about what is going on in my own workplace. The first is that I'm generally not correctly informed enough to make much by way of commentary, the other is that anyone found talking will be subject to disciplinary, as the staff of Westminster Libraries may well now be. That's not so unusual, very few organisations, beyond the BBC it often seems, are happy to let their own employees slag them off.
So support your local library, because the staff often can't support themselves.This entry was originally posted at http://blahflowers.dreamwidth.org/638810.html
|Saturday, January 5th, 2013|
|Dear White Cube Bermondsey (But Really All Art Galleries)
. What was wrong with me taking this picture? This being 'Model', the largest piece of work at the White Cube Bermondsey which currently has a show of sculptures by Antony Gormley. As the White Cube favour a rather minimalist approach to showing it will probably be enjoyed by Gormley fans and/or those that are unsure. What I don't understand is why photography isn't allowed, both here and at other art galleries. Does excessive flash photography bleach steel? Is there a concern that through photography the soul of an artwork is lost?
I wouldn't mind so much if the galleries weren't such hypocrites over the whole issue. They are quite happy to let the press take photos of course
. They don't stop people taking photos of the Gormley piece outside in their courtyard but I stood and watched as someone who had taken photographs came inside, walked up to the first piece they saw, raised their camera and were told they weren't allowed to take photos. Why?
The funniest time I remember was years ago when I was told by a guard at Tate Britain that I couldn't take photographs of a piece of sculpture, the piece in question being a painstaking recreation of the anti-Government display by the peace campaigner Brian Haw, who was at that time camped about a quarter mile along the road.
I can see how there is an issue that excessive flash photography may bleach old paintings but we live in a world now where we don't have to use our flashes for every photograph we take indoors, indeed the flash on my camera doesn't seem to be a very good one so frequently photos in poor light manage to come out better than those with the flash.
As it was, I was disappointed by 'Model', it wasn't interesting to the touch, like a Richard Serra
or Anthony Caro
. Clambering about inside it was also rather dull, there was the brief excitement of whether your head might meet an excitingly sharp corner and start bleeding, but other than a few little cubbyholes to crawl around in it was a bit meh. The rest of the models, all variations on figures standing, sitting or lying down and doing yoga poses, were a lot more interesting, right up to the one item which was a copy of another, simply inverted in the vertical.
This entry was originally posted at http://blahflowers.dreamwidth.org/638497.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Tuesday, January 1st, 2013|
|Twelve Months Twenty-Four Photos. Numbers Twenty-Three and Twenty-Four - December
Walking around the Heygate was an odd experience, a Brutalist ghost-town , now empty except for the occasional film-crew ('Attack the Block' was apparently filmed here) and the Fire Brigade checking for squatters. I do wonder where everyone that lived here was moved to. There did seem to be some hold-outs in the middle of the estate and a community garden
but a winter garden doesn't look that disimilar from a deserted garden. I remembered a visit to another deserted estate building years ago and wondered what Roger Hiorns could do
with the Heygate, enough chemicals and time.
Went down to Brighton to see friends before heading on to my own family for Christmas. Had the misfortune of travelling down on the day of the big fire at Preston Park
or maybe it was fortune as I did manage to make it from Haywards Heath in to Brighton, though far worse than passing through Preston Park was waiting outside Brighton stages for ages for a platform to become available. The next day my route was not towards London but across country towards Ashford International, so getting away from Brighton was much easier.
Oh well, see you next December!
This entry was originally posted at http://blahflowers.dreamwidth.org/638363.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Twelve Months Twenty-Four Photos. Numbers Twenty-One and Twenty-Two - November
Another quiet month in November. Loretto is someone who's work I've kept coming across, I assume they are based locally, but I've come across them in Nunhead
and Peckham Rye
as well as Commercial Way
and The Aylesbury
and I know there's more. I do like people who are trying to say something other than just their name.
While walking around Holborn I came across a big film production crew settling down to lunch in the area around John Carpenter Street. No famous (to me) faces, just loads of extras grabbing the food and then dashing back on to their coaches to eat. Later on that afternoon I passed a passel of them being marched up to Fleet Street and a Boots that appeared to have been commandeered for them all to film in for something or other.
This entry was originally posted at http://blahflowers.dreamwidth.org/638046.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Twelve Months Twenty-Four Photos. Numbers Nineteen and Twenty - October
I remember it took a while to get this photo, not just because the guy doing the bubbles would sometimes not get interesting shapes as he was making the bubbles but because there were children running around trying to pop the bubbles as soon as he made them.Positioning myself so the bubble would be generated between him and me, and taking the snap before the kids ruined it took several tries. I was down in Brighton several weekends around this time, helping a friend empty out their flat in preparation for the move. This is possibly the weekend where, when I turned up the weather was almost Summery and we sat on the front step of my friends house for a while appreciating the sun then, as I walked around Brighton it gradually got colder and more and more overcast until there were wintry showers and then a hail storm. And then on the SUnday it was sunny again.
I'm still really pleased with how that Shepherd's Pie turned out. If I bothered to have resolutions I really want to do more cooking of new recipes in 2013, especially as I've borrowed a food processor to experiment with. I fancy the idea of making my own steak and kidney pie.
This entry was originally posted at http://blahflowers.dreamwidth.org/637806.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Sunday, December 30th, 2012|
|Twelve Months Twenty-Four Photos. Numbers Seventeen and Eighteen - September
Another holiday I'm afraid, North Devon this time. The weather was extremely changeable from what I remember, if you drove out sunny then it may well be sunny when you arrived at wherever you were going but you'd probably gone through rain to get there. We visited a stately home who's only claim to fame was being used for a BBC costume drama some ten years previously. What I didn't realise before we went, and didn't really appreciate at the time, was that this was in some ways a trip down memory lane for my Dad, who had visited parts of the area as a child with his mother, my grandma, now deceased about ten years. She made several journeys to Lee Abbey
, which was apparently what you might decide to do if you were religious in the 1950s like she was, doing whatever she was doing while Dad would play sports outside with the various visiting backpacking students. He described walking back after dark from nearby Lynmouth along the cliff path of The Valley of the Rocks and, though he couldn't be sure, probably at the age of twelve or thirteen. And you try and tell the young people of today that, with their hippity-hop and their Nintendo gamecubes and they won't believe you.
The Tony Cragg was taken while I waiting to meet friends to go to the Thomas Heatherwick exhibition at the V&A. There exists footage, sadly not saved forever on the intertubes of me in one of the Spun Chairs which spin round but don't tip. It was the best part of the exhibition which had sadly been jammed into a side room so it was difficult to get close to the various models with all the other people getting in the way. And that was all it was, models and proof of concepts, with often no clear idea whether the people who commissioned the work ever decided to go all the way with it or not. Very disappointing really.
This entry was originally posted at http://blahflowers.dreamwidth.org/637673.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Twelve Months Twenty-Four Photos. Numbers Fifteen and Sixteen - August
Another month where I didn't take a whole huge number of photos. Still, it's not every day you walk down the road to find a bouncy Stonehenge has been set up for area kids. In fact, it's only happened once that I can remember. At least the rule board had a sense of humour
I went on Boris' silly cable car extravagance on the afternoon of a day where a sudden and heavy shower had come out of seemingly nowhere while a friend and I had dinner in a pub before he headed off to see some people about a house he was considering moving in to. I made the journey unnecessarily long, I now realise, by doing it by bus, which meant going through Greenwich and almost to Charlton, before switching to a bus to the 02 arena. I probably should have just got myself on the Jubilee Line and gone out that way, but what can I say, us South Londoners just don't think about that Tube malarky as a way of getting around.
There was a very large queue outside the cable car hall. But it turned out that this wasn't a queue of people waiting to go through the gates but to buy tickets. If you're a Londoner with an Oyster card, getting in is quick and easy. However, why would Londoners, unless they are curious weirdos like me, bother with the cable car? It's going from the 02 arena, not exactly a centre of activity during the day, to an undistinguished area of what could be called 'the north bank of the Thames' where you will need to catch a DLR train to go anywhere of any note. So the bulk of the people going on it will be tourists who have to buy cumbersome paper tickets. I must admit I don't know if this is genius or stupidity on the part of Boris. Still, Diamond Geezer
is keeping an eye on it
. And, as wastes of money go, it was fun to ride on
This entry was originally posted at http://blahflowers.dreamwidth.org/637328.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Twelve Months Twenty-Four Photos. Numbers Thirteen and Fourteen - July
The redevelopment of Burgess Park had been a local bone of contention long before I moved in to the area. I used to walk across it every day going to and from work and they closed it off not long before my job moved elsewhere making it no longer such a part of my everyday life. I'd still walk around it going to the shops every week and see the diggers standing on top of the earth mound in the middle of the park but it was actually difficult to see for sure what was happening. And then they finally reopened the park last July. Despite all the whining from local 'friends' groups (who, according to gossip, decided in 'Life of Brian' style that the enemy wasn't the Romans (the council) but the Judean People's Front (each other)) a really nice job had been done. More space had been opened up for public use and there was a healthy planting of new shrubs and trees. Some problems have become apparent since, however, not all the grass sown has taken, so that some areas of the park have been cordoned off for the winter and spring to address this. More of an issue, I think, is the drainage, so the heavy rain we've had recently sits on the field and goes nowhere. But, otherwise, it looks good and will hopefully stay that way for some time to come.
Somehow Olympic and Paralympic fever just never took hold of me. I did discover that the centre of London was emptier than we had been warned it would be, now I regret not going in and doing more while everyone was watching Stratford. I don't remember seeing any of the positive emotion that it supposedly generated permeating Peckham but things did seem lighter, maybe that was just a mix of the good weather and something different being on all the newscasts rather than the latest way the Government have decided upon to be utter bags of scummage.
This entry was originally posted at http://blahflowers.dreamwidth.org/637139.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Twelve Months Twenty-Four Photos. Numbers Eleven and Twelve - June
It would be a lie to claim that the Queen's Jubilee celebrations inconvenienced me, I was working for the bits that weren't an actual public holiday and, at the time, had a meeting with someone from Trading Standards about a company that had fraudulently invoiced for work they had never done, then a friend was holding a 'let's avoid the Jubilee' party. The photograph of the Queen dolls was taken in South Kensington about a week after the Jubilee weekend.
The odd thing about this year is that I don't really remember bad weather being much of a factor. By which I mean that I don't remember it stopping me getting out and doing things much, and I'm someone who prefers not to go out in the rain unless it's something I absolutely have to do. That day sticks in my mind as a bright and sunny day when I had a particularly bad hayfever attack while walking and so was weaving along the street sneezing in to an already sodden handkerchief.
The other picture is from Abbotsbury Swannery, visited during a family holiday in South Devon. During the days the weather behaved itself until the Thursday when I was coming back from Exeter by train, when the rain poured down and didn't stop, following me all the way back to London and then Peckham, while staying with my family for the rest of the week. At the Swannery we arrived just before one of the big feedings of the day, which are the things that draw the biggest crowds. In separate pens the breeding pairs would be with their chicks, which are obviously full of cute.
This entry was originally posted at http://blahflowers.dreamwidth.org/636761.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Thursday, December 27th, 2012|
|Twelve Months Twenty-Four Photos. Numbers Nine and Ten - May
I never did find out what the 'Night of a Thousand Queens' was all about, by which I mean thirty seconds on Google when I got home didn't illuminate me. I also seem to remember the bulk of Yayoi Kusama's exhibition at Tate Modern left me cold but the Infinity Mirror Room was amazing and not a little difficult to get through without losing one's bearings.
This entry was originally posted at http://blahflowers.dreamwidth.org/636443.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Twelve Months Twenty-Four Photos. Numbers Seven and Eight - April
Didn't take a lot of photos in April. No surprise really, my photographs are mainly what I see when I am out and about and, if I don't go to many new places then the chances of finding stuff to take photos of is lower. The Cross Bones Graveyard was quite a strange find, starting as a cemetery for prostitutes and having it's remit expanded to pretty much anyone, there was a ribbon for Ken Campbell I found in there.
This entry was originally posted at http://blahflowers.dreamwidth.org/636243.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Friday, December 21st, 2012|
|Twelve Months Twenty-Four Photos. Numbers Five and Six - March
(reposting from Dreamwidth seems to be a bit flakey at the moment.)
The month was mainly taken up with Egg Hunting
but I did manage to do a few other things as well. The new Fourth Plinth installation
was up. Not one of
but, such is life. I find the artistic justification for the sculpture unconvincing but it is a temporary piece and will be going soon so never mind. Egg Hunting showed up art I probably wouldn't have found, the somewhat awkwardly posed Yuri Gagarin statue
on The Mall at the British Council building and Anthony Caro
in the Jubilee Park at Canary Wharf.
There was also the last demonstration against the selling off of the NHS before it was sold off by the Government that promised not to cut it or sell it off. It was a small affair that started off more like we were sitting shiva. Things were even winding down when suddenly some Subgenius/Anonymous types showed up and encouraged us all in to the road which, to everyone's surprise we did. After a bit of traffic blocking we started marching up the road towards Trafalgar Square. it was there I left the party and, having no leaders it was easy for the group to allow itself to be kettled somewhere around Charing Cross for a few hours. The National Health Service deserved better than some fifty or sixty people asking the Government if they would mind, terribly, not
being pillaging scum.
|Thursday, December 20th, 2012|
|Twelve Months Twenty-Four Photos. Numbers Kappa and Lambda - The Big Egg Hunt
Wow, it really is tough to go through all those photographs I took to try and find my two favourites. Ask me again this evening and I'll change my mind. You can see all my photographs here
. I'm very pleased that I managed to find every egg, except for the Chapman egg which I don't think was ever released into the wild. It was difficult, the brave volunteers running the event had produced maps that were works of conceptual art rather than in any way accurate to the geography of the city but the community that congregated on places like Facebook had each others backs, helping people find eggs they just couldn't spot, alerting people when eggs either went missing or were returned and enjoying the experience. When eggs were inside shops and institutions they seemed to be accepting or, at the least, resigned to the fact that all these people coming through the door were doing so only to take photographs and then leave, rather than spend money. The one exception to this was a Mayfair bank who refused to let people come in to take photographs of the egg in their window and insisted everyone had to take their pictures through the highly reflective glass instead. They really didn't seem to understand the point at all.
I suppose my favourites of the lot were those that played with, or I suppose the preferred Late Review term would be 'interrogated', the shape of the egg itself. Lattice eggs, eggs transformed into pillboxes or lodged in concrete blocks, there was a lot more play on display here than with the simple decorating of the elephants that was done several years ago. Was that just the people that they approached this time? Did the egg shape offer more opportunities than the elephant? And will we get something similar in 2014?
Finally, congratulations to Jane Morgan, proving that while 'talent borrows and genius steals' then an artist on a deadline recycles
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|Monday, December 17th, 2012|
|Twelve Months Twenty-Four Photos. Numbers Three and Four - February
Joseph Grimaldi is credited with the creation of the character of the clown as we know him today, so if you are freaked out by It
or The Greatest Show in the Galaxy
he's to blame.
It was great to finally see Simon Munnery in the flesh again. As with Mark Thomas I had seen him previously, albeit in High Barnet in a venue the name of which escapes me and since which I believe has closed down. Then he performed as both 'Alan Parker: Urban Warrior' and 'The League Against Tedium', who's television series Attention Scum
you really should watch if you haven't watched it already, or haven't watched it already today. He seems to have mellowed somewhat, now performing stand-up 'as himself', though his Sherlock Holmes monologue was great. You can toss money at Go Faster Stripe
for DVDs of Munnery and also other performers that don't get to go on BBC2 any more, like Richard Herring, Norman Lovett and Tony Law.This entry was originally posted at http://blahflowers.dreamwidth.org/635558.html. Please comment there using OpenID.
|Twelve Months Twenty-Four Photos. Numbers One and Two - January
I have been to Kilburn precisely twice in my life. Both times to go to the Tricycle Theatre. Both times to see Mark Thomas. Both times I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Westminster Cathedral, on the other hand, was something of a disappointment. Not only does Rome hold on to all it's wealth for itself, rather than putting it to use to help raise the poor and destitute out of their misery, it doesn't even spread it around it's own churches, so that Westminster has a 'work-in-process' look almost a hundred and twenty years after the ground was broken. It's also has the problem that it's one selling point to tourists, it's tall tower, is distinctly behind the times. It's becoming increasingly crowded around by tall buildings that are for nothing more than places for people to smoke on
and so the only decent views left are southwards towards Vauxhall and the river. Still, Joseph and Cynthia liked it
, so that is something I suppose.
Hopefully, one year on from when I took this picture, I will be up the top of another tall London building, The Shard. Limited numbers of tickets are being given away to Southwark residents via their local libraries, starting Wednesday. Take something official and current that proves you live in Southwark to any of the libraries when they open, and you may be fortunate to get one of a small number of free tickets for the last week in January 2013.
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