Saturday, 14 March 2015

Londobservations

Things seen while waiting & wandering around.

The Saatchi gallery: not as rubbish as you might have been led to believe...
   

Paul's handedness changes twice as time goes by:

Well, this is not a bad idea, as such, but doctors, teachers, social workers, decent living conditions and a much-improved system of moving millions of people around this town are important too. Jus' sayin', y'know...
   

"INTERACTIVE DIGITAL DINOSAURS"... not according to this sign:
 
 http://plesiosauria.com/
 

On the other hand, this sign DOES feature a dinosaur, and was quite possibly cunningly damaged by them so as not to interrupt their feeding:
 
Advertising sticker bowlderised: the company specialises in "limited run" clothing, which is precisely the sort of pretentious prickery that really poaches my plasma

The only orange thing on Orange Street:
 

This is what the 'Panoramic' mode on the phone's camera was made for:

Wetherspoons, Elephant & Castle:
 

This is the sort of shizzle that's avoided on a week off from work:
 
Photo of a detail of http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/bacon-study-for-a-portrait-t12616

I'll end this discordant collection of images there, with that reminder to work less, but smarter & happier. Don't overthink things.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

(Noli Timere) Messorem

Ye gods, the hat full of sky visible from my window was the colour of magic this morning...
An inspirational view, I'm sure you'd agree.

RIP, Sir Terry; you shaped my view of the (disc) world.

Friday, 24 October 2014

A Tuneful 2014

It is a truly fine time to be alive and enjoying music: Judas Priest had a new album in July, and AC/DC have a new album next month. Rock 'n' roll & heavy metal all the way.
Today is the halfway point between the two, for me, most significant releases of the year: Weezer a couple of weeks ago and Pink Floyd in a couple of week's time. Hmm, yes, it does feel weird to write about a new Pink Floyd album; after having obsessed about their majesty for so long, to have them release an album in my memory is quite magical. 'They' say it'll just be unreleased & rehashed stuff from The Division Bell, but I love that album and am quite enamoured with David Gilmour, so I'm completely fine with that.
Interestingly, on the subject of The Division Bell, that album - Pink Floyd's last - came out twenty years ago, in the same year as Weezer's first album (Weezer). If that wasn't coincidental enough, Weezer's latest album (Everything Will be Alright in the End) mentions Professor Stephen Hawking in a song, twenty years after Stephen Hawking soundbites were used on The Division Bell.
Further factoid! Having listened to EWBAITE (I believe that's the accepted abbreviation technique, though it's rather rendered useless by this long-winded parenthesis) everyday since its release, one song that seemed a little incongruous is I've Had it Up to Here; everytime it played I've had a little voice in my head telling me that it sounds a little like The Darkness. Then, idly browsing the track listing, I was astonished to see that it was co-written by Justin Hawkings. That would explain it.
Talking of Justin Hawkings, whenever people are talking of close-encounteres with celebrities, I am forced to admit that the only time I have ever soared to the dizzy heights of mingling with the stars was when I serviced Justin Hawkings' Chopper, all those years ago. I should probably clarify that it was a Raleigh Chopper and not anything else any possible readers' mucky minds might have  thought up.
Ah, actually, I did have one more encounter with the famous: years ago, before I could reach the pull-flush in the outhouse, I got a "G'day!" from Rolf Harris at the Cheltenham Literary Festival. Made my day. How the mighty have fallen...

Monday, 20 October 2014

Choo Choo

"This journey may be delayed."

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Having a Giraffe

"You must think I’m some kind of fucking arsehole.”


I've no doubt that, in years which have yet to pass, others & I will look back with longing at having paid more than half-an-hour's pay for a pint o' piss. Perhaps, one day, I'll look back with longing at a time when I was paid a pittance for a job with only an average amount of stress attached.

Halcyon days.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Sitting in an English Garden

Other than waiting for the inevitable rain to come, the cat & I are watching parrots eat cherries. It's a funny old world.

Well, I say the cat & I are birdwatching, but this scarface here is really only watching his catty dreams go by:


Saturday, 11 October 2014

More Journeying

Morning
Today started, as many, happily, do, with a feline rendezvous outside the back door. There is a great deal to commend such time as is spent watching the clouds scud past whilst stroking a small, fluffy, mammal. The mutual benefit is undeniable, and, though I can't communicate exactly what the cat was cognating, I, for one, am spiritually & mentally enriched by the times we spend together. He hangs around waiting for me, so I think I'm doing something correctly.
As all things must pass, it was too soon time to frappé la rue. The day's first misfortune, other than the alarm clock sounding, was the impressive, unseen &  really rather rapid change in weather between one side of the house & the other: partial cloud to pissing down in just a few short strides. Bollocks.
So on with the oilskins and just get on with it.
Predictably, within five kilometres the rain had stopped, the clouds were thinning and I was sweating like a hippo at noon. A quick nip into Dulwich Park brought relief in the form of stripping off the (allegedly) breathable waterproofs. What a swizz Gore-Tex is. Something of a chilly ride after that, but that's always preferable to boil-in-the-bag.

Evening
Work done (W), and another bike ride awaited. This one was uncomfortable from the start; downing a couple of small beers before heading out is not a terribly clever idea.
Immediate indigestion gradually subsided into increasingly urgently needing to empty the soluble waste tank. Suburban London, particularly the South Circular, affords few opportunities for a sly slash, so it was not until the journey was well over half-done that the chance presented itself. A quick nip into Dulwich Park brought relief in the form of watering a shrubbery.
I've piddled in a few picturesque places, and while Dulwich Park in the dark is certainly atmospheric, it doesn't have much of a view.
...unless you happen to pissing toward the South at just the right time:



By complete chance, the highly distinctive, steadily shining, deceptively slow-moving star that is the International Space Station happened to be visible exactly where I looked up in relief. I would urge everyone to follow the link below to see when you might be able to catch a glimpse of a permanently crewed base in outer space travelling at more than 27500km/h. It could do my journey to work in about 4 seconds.
There's nothing quite like experiencing one of the Wonders of the Modern World (along with such things as vaccines, efficient mass crop production, increasingly efficient air travel & GPS) to buoy one's motivation on an arduous journey. And to arrive home to find the cat being extra fluffy & friendly, well, that just made the day for a wannabe crazy cat lady like me.

FAQ
"But how do you know it's the ISS?"
Admittedly, until I arrived home and looked it up on spotthestation, I didn't know it for sure. Having seen it many times before, it does become quite distinctive: it's too slow to be a meteor, not flashy enough to be an aircraft, too bright to be (almost) any other satellite, visible for too long to be an Iridium flare; though it could have been aliens. Take 5 minutes out of a night when it'll be visible where you are and get acquainted with the glow.

"ZOMG, how do I know where & when I can see this miracle of engineering!?"
http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/sightings/index.cfm

Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Law of the Sod

Walking.
Shoes too small.
Wishing I'd come by bike.
Cannon Street closed (as I bloody-well should o' known it would be at this bloody time).
Walking.
Shoes still too small.
Signal fault at London Bridge (as I bloody-well should have pessimistically predicted on such an evening as bloody this).
Really wishing I'd come by bike.
Running.
Terrible idea at any time (except, of course, unless velociraptors are involved).
Additionally, shoes still to small.
Bus late.
Bus slow.
Scheduled bus times appear to be based on noöne ever joining or alighting.
Passengers are an inconvenience, evidently.
Really, really wishing I'd come by bike.
Happily though, I have drunk too much coffee & tea for this time of night, so I shalln't be waking up in Bellingham.
Bus stops at Lewisham Shopping Centre rather than Lewisham Police Station, i.e. it deposits us in a wretched hive of scum & villainy.
By my various gods, I cannot begin to describe how much I am wishing I'd come by bike.
Walking.
On another bus.
Walking.
Attempting to enter house silently.
Oh what's that? I made plum crumble earlier in the day? It's matured beautifully? Plumble™, get thee down my oesophagus.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

How I Wish You Were Here on an Island in the Sun

I don't play guitar, but if I did, I'd struggle to choose between the accessorising of...

Gilmour or...

...Cuomo.

I don't imagine this will ever actually be an issue, but it's rather pleasant to dream of these two lovely chaps and their skillz. Innit.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Unique

Everyone's always harping on about how each & every snowflake is utterly singular with not a match for it in the world.

I've never heard anyone say the same, though it is true, about popcorn.

Lyrics: Travis - Luv

Grrrr.... can't stand badly transcribed lyrics, especially to heartwrenchingly heartwarming songs. Let's make a dent in the mess.

What's so wrong, why the face so long?
Is it over?
And where you going that you no longer belong here?

And distance tells you that distance must come between love,
Where have you been, Luv?
When the mistake we made,
Was in never having planned to fall in love, Luv.

Singing this song, singing along,
Makes it easier for me to see you go,
But in doing so, in letting you go,
It only serves to show me that I'm still in love with you...

Singing this song, singing along,
Makes it easier for me to see you go,
But in doing so, in letting you go,
It only serves to show me that I'm still in love with you...

So what's so wrong, why the face so long?
Are you changing?
And where you been to that you no longer remember?

And distance tells you that distance must come between love,
Where have you been, Luv?
When the mistake we made,
Was in never having planned to fall in love, Luv.

It's just the chance we took,
Having never ever planned to fall in love, Luv.
It's just the chance we took,
Having never ever planned to fall in love, Luv.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

During reading of Frank Herbert's 'Dune'

I defy anyone, anyone at all, to not suffer unquenchable thirst.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

5 As, 3 Bs, a C & a D

Cycling home today..
Stand By Me comes on.
Ponder Be Here Now.
The year it was released.
That was 15 years ago.
The day it was released...
Woah, that was the twenty-something of August.
So...
The 15th anniversary is approaching.
Wait, Be Here Now was released on the 21st of August (a Thursday).
(Checks watch) - It's the 21st.
Jesus, today is the 15th anniversary of the release of Be Here Now. And GCSE results.
A significant day, mainly for the music...
(Went to school. got results, delivered results to dad [who was so shocked that he would have to pay out the cash promised for decent results that he backed into and cracked a mirror], went to Magpie Records, bought Be Here Now, headed to Wooly's, put it on and simultaneously made a copy on tape, lost in the music, magic day...)
They say Be Here Now was Oasis's worst album, mainly as it had a lot to live up to.
Don't tell anyone, but Be here Now is my favourite Oasis album. All the songs are wonderful and fits together beautifully.

This seems appropriate:
Bit of a tear-jerker actually.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Sampling

In the summer of 1989, Alice Cooper released a single of some musical significance. The song was 'Poison', and it's full impact & influence would not be felt for 22 years...

The single sold well around the world, apparently even attaining the #1 position in the Yugoslav charts, but it was held from that coveted place in the UK by... Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers. As an adult, and ardent admirer of Alice's art, to look back at my childhood and ownership of at least two Jive Bunny albums during the late eighties is... embarrassing. Did I really once prefer remixed golden swing and rock 'n' roll to the blinding bastion of brilliance that is hard rock? I blame the parents.

Moving on, and having already brought shame upon my name once, it seems but a small step to admitting to rather liking this piece of cheese:

(And for the bike geeks, look out for the left-hand-drive blooper at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRfuAukYTKg&t=1m47s...)

Good riff, huh? Catchy, no? Played a little air guitar there did we? It certainly sticks in my head for hours and days afterwards. Long enough, in fact, so that the next time 'Poison' was played, 47 seconds in, I had a bit of a revelation:


So dance music trumps rock in the charts, initially, but then, if not actually sampled, relies upon it for a hook 22 years on. I guess one could say...


So endeth the lesson.

Oh, go on then...

Friday, 30 March 2012

Interminable Transit

Truly perfect spring weather
+
Potential "fuel shortage"
=
Less people using private motorised transport

One would think. Why the opposite appears true is something of a conundrum.

Relatedly: this.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

BST

Seven Months Of Summer start here & now!

If only this fact could have been recalled last night I perhaps would be a little less late for work...

Actually, it has been a rather trying week what with earlier being egged by a gang of, it turned out, wholly unrepentant underclass subhumans and then riding my bike into the back of a car yesterday.

Still, Seven Months Of Summer!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Rebranding

When one wakes to to a window containing an unexpected vision of a realised utopian future, a view that frames no less than thirty-six cranes and a constant flow of widebody jetliners, one wonders what wonders the future has left to reveal.

But, wonderous bollocks aside, I would like to rename Europe's tallest building: after, and in honour of, the Swiss Re Cucumis sativus I bestow the title of 'Swiss Chard' upon this spire.

Mmmm... gherkins & beet tops; I wonder what delicious vegetable will be the next to grace the London skyline's garden of Earthly delights.


Saturday, 17 March 2012

Worth The Effort

To sprint yer arse off for a train and make it with seconds to spare: is there anything more gladdening?

Also, the imaginary band's new name is now 'Ply Faced Chip'.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Treating myself

Today, I fed some pigeons.


Wednesday, 29 February 2012

An Apology

Those who have engaged in any sort of moderately strenuous aerobic physical activity, particularly in the colder months, will perhaps be familiar with the need to expel, on occasion, a snot rocket. Unfortunately it is necessary, but not pleasant, hence why I always try to be away from pedestrians' sight & hearing when launching.

Just two days ago, riding home in the dark, I committed such a rocket to the ground. It was not the first or last that was launched that day, but it was the first to be witnessed: at T+1 second I noticed a person in the vicinity, just across the road.

A cheery wave in their direction.
A call of "Sorry!".
A cheeky & embarrassed grin.
A quick wipe of the nostrils.
A glance back in their direction.
A gap in the fog.

I had apologised to a parking meter.