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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Category archive: London

Tuesday April 30 2019

In that chat that me and Patrick had yesterday, about Christianity and its influence, I mentioned, for some reason, how part of the reason the Shard is shaped like the Shard is that it is also shaped like the steeple of a typical sort of London church.

The church in these photos, that I photoed the same day I photoed these photos of the Optic Cloak, is Christ Church Isle of Dogs:

imageimageimageimageimage

The little game I played there with the two spires, as I walked back towards the middle of London from the Greenwich Peninsula, is exactly the sort of thing Renzo Piano had in mind when he designed his spire.

This is not the first time I’ve played now you see it now you don’t with a church and the Shard, aligned.

The trick is for the church to be very near, compared to the Shard.

Saturday April 27 2019

Yes, I like to photo signposts.  You know where you are, with signposts.  Because they pretty much tell you where you are.

Here’s a signpost photo I photoed in March 2012:

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But there’s more to it than just having a note of where I was, useful though that is.  There’s something about actually seeing those particular names of particular places which makes the fact that this is where I really am – and then later: was - come particularly alive.

As you can tell from the previous paragraph, I don’t really know how to explain this fascination of mine.  And just now, I am too knackered, having spent the day recovering from a Last Friday of the Month meeting that happened last night.  Dominique Lazanski: very good.  My front room: very full.  Aftermath: lots of crap to tidy up.

Yesterday was a day when I had to be very energetic and alive, to get ready for that meeting.  So, I was.  (Hence those four blog postings yesterday.) Today, I could be knackered.  So, I was.

Friday April 26 2019

In March 2005 there was scaffolding at the Albert Memorial, and I photoed it, along with several of its subsidiary sculptures, sculptures of which I am very fond:

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There is an elephant there, centre stage, which is why this has to go up here on a Friday.  Also, note the lady with with her (right) boob job.  I’ve always liked that.

Here is Albert himself, same day, same time:

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My camera then was this one.

There will come a time, not so far in the future now, when the only photos of my own that I blog about will be photos I photoed earlier, often, as in this case, a lot earlier.

Wednesday April 24 2019

Fifteen years ago today, on April 24th 2004, at the Parliament end of Westminster Bridge, I took a clutch of photos of a guy who was photoing the London Eye from that spot:

imageimageimageimageimage

So far so ordinary.  Not so ordinary, however, is that he was using a mobile phone.  This is one of the earliest sightings I have found in the archives of mobile phone photoing, a trend only resisted now by freaks like me who care lots about photoing, but almost nothing about instantly communicating, of photos or of anything much else.

My camera was a Canon A70.

Thursday April 18 2019

More sport.  This time in the form of a striking (literally) little passage from the preface of a book by Richard Tomlinson about the famed Victorian era cricketer W.G. Grace:

By the time he was twenty-seven, Grace had scored fifty first-class centuries.  He performed this feat at a time when pitches were so poor, and cricket gear so flimsy, that batsmen risked their lives whenever they took guard.  In one match at Lord’s – a ground where he would pick stones out of the rutted pitch – W.G. scored a hundred and then saw another batsman killed by a ball that smashed his head.

Despite the gear having got a lot less flimsy, cricket deaths, even now, occasionally happen.

Wednesday April 17 2019

Last night, United crushed in the Champions League by Barca, in Barca.  And tonight – glory be – City knocked out by Spurs in a mad scramble of a game in Manchester.  So, Spurs win without Kane.  They’ve been doing a lot of that lately.

Did you see that result coming?  I didn’t, and especially not after City scored after about one minute.  And then, after about three more minutes it was 2-2.  Bonkers.

Are there any Mancunians who support both United and City against all comers?  The way I support all the London teams?  If so, such persons had a bad two nights.

Meanwhile, what’s happening at the top of the Premier League means that I am having to set aside my London-wide support for the duration.  Man City or Liverpool are going to win it.  But Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea are now competing for two Champions League spots next season.  So, when Liverpool recently played Chelsea, I found myself, albeit with a heavy heart, supporting Liverpool.  Chelsea lost, which meant Spurs stayed ahead of them.  Hoo.  Ray.

THE FOLLOWING EVENING: Well, I’m back to supporting Chelsea and Arsenal, against Slavia Prague and Napoli respectively, in the Europa League.  Both are strolling it.  Go, London!  Asks the BBC footy feed:

Are we heading for an all-English Champions League final AND an all-English Europa League final?

Despite Brexit.  It would be a lovely thing to see, but there’s a bit to do for that to happen.  Like Spurs and Liverpool beating Ajax and Barca.

Monday April 15 2019

An airplane approaches London City Airport.  There are cranes, leaning away from each other, ...

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... which was all I thought I was photoing.  Until I looked at it at home on a much bigger thing; and saw a Much Bigger Thing:

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Yes, the Big Olympic Thing.

Another photo of somewhere, turned into somewhere by the same Big Thing.

Saturday April 13 2019

After I photoed those metal men beside the river; outside the old Woolwich Arsenal, I then walked up river towards the Dome, photoing photos like this:

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However, just before photoing that photo; I photoed this next photo, of a painter, hard at work:

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And here is the photo I photoed of how he was making this scene look:

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The painting above had yet to say this, but that is the Tate & Lyle factory just south of London City Airport.

I asked this artist’s permission to photo his painting, which he graciously gave, but I did not ask him who he was.  The polite way of asking that would have been to say: Do you have a website?  But, alas, I forgot to ask this:  So, no link to any website, Apologies to him if he does have a website, and apologies to you.

Thursday April 11 2019

As earlier threatened.

Here is a tree, photoed by me in Onslow Square, just off the Fulham Road, early last week:

image

It’s the way they prune it.

Wednesday April 10 2019

For a posting I did here last Saturday, I went looking for an example of Mick Hartley sneering at an idiot artist (it didn’t matter which one) for talking art-speak bollocks.  It actually took me quite a lot of scrolling to find such a posting.  Mostly he features photos that he likes, and anti-semitism and such stuff, that he doesn’t like.

While scrolling for the art-speak bollocks, I came across this wonderful photo, which Hartley found here:

image

One of the many things this photo illustrates is, I think, what a truly magnificent building the Walkie-Talkie is turning out to be.  The variety of effects it creates, depending on the light and on where you are, is truly amazing.  I love how, in this particular photo, its windows merge into the general pattern of city windows, with individual buildings being hard to discern as the sources of all the bright little rectangles.

The Walkir-Talkie was hated at first, by many, many people.  But the reality of it is, from far away, from quite far away (as above), and from close-up, is truly wonderful, as is what you can see from it.

See also, as time goes by: The Tulip.

I also like all the little red lights in that photo, which are there, I believe, to scare away helicopters.

Tuesday April 09 2019

I see this building every time I step outside Highbury and Islington tube station:

image

I wondered whether such a photo was worth showing here at all; but a friend saw it and liked it, so there it is.

Life for me just now is complicated, There may be quite a few brief and rather perfunctory postings like this in the next few days.

Sunday April 07 2019

Or to put it another way:

London’s new Tulip skyscraper is great, but why aren’t more people embedding sharks in their roof?

Well, I can think of quite a few answers to that question, but I get the point that Joel Dimmock is making and I like it very much.

Is there starting to be a hum, as the late Chris Tame used to call it, in favour of people being free to build whatever crazy buildings they want to build with their own money on their own property?

One of the more interesting facts about the quotes quoted above is that they appear in The Independent.  Okay, in the “Voices” (clickbate?) section, but still, The Independent.  Is The Independent starting to be in favour of … independence?

Saturday April 06 2019

The designated starting point of my walk beside the river last Monday was Assembly (that being a photo of Assembly being assembled), the sculpture assembly outside the Woolwich Arsenal next to the river:

imageimageimageimageimage
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Those are some of the photos I photoed, and they are pretty much the photos everyone else photos of these metal men, and pretty much the same as the photos I photoed when last I visited these men.  That was in April 2011.  It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago, which I think is because these metal men, once seen, are not soon forgotten.

Assembly is the work of Peter Burke.  My googling skills are such that I often have to have several goes at a subject before I find my way to the stuff that I find the most informative and interesting.  I can just about remember visiting the Peter Burke website, but I don’t recall ever reading this biography of Peter Burke before.  Nor do I recall learning that this Assembly assembly began life somewhere else.  Or maybe he did an Assembly for that rural setting, and then did another Assembly for outside the Woolwich Arsenal.  Yes, probably that.  Burke is big on mass production, like his contemporary and mate (apparently) Gormley.

And, I certainly never watched this video of Peter Burke speaking until now.  As with all artists talking about their work, I see rather little connection between what he says about his work and what the work says to me.  But at least what he says is mostly accurate, in that he mostly describes how he made it.  There is hardly any pretentious art-speak bollocks of the sort that would get him sneered at at Mick Hartley‘s.

A key to why I like Peter Burke is that before he started doing art he was a Rolls Royce engineer, working on aero-engines.  He liked and still likes how stuff like that looks.  Snap.  Unlike me, from then on, he knew how to make it.

But someone could do all the things Peter Burke describes himself doing when he does his art and produce art that says nothing to me at all.  Insofar as he does describe what he thinks his art actually means, he pretty much loses me.  Which might explain why I only like some of his art, such as Assembly.

What I get from Assembly, as well as the obvious military vibes I wrote about in that 2011 posting, is something to do with stoicism, emotional self-control, being a man, being a man under extreme pressure while keeping your manly cool.  Even to the point of looking rather comical while doing all this.

Wednesday April 03 2019

I follow Tottenham Hotspur on Twitter, and for once, the hysterical tweeting whenever Spurs score a goal (often in a game they lose (which they don’t tweet about the rest of)) was justified.  This time the fuss concerned the very first goal scored for Spurs in their new stadium, by Son Heung-min. 

Spurs beat Crystal Palace 2-0.

Here’s what the new stadium looks like, with added fireworks:

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It says there: “Just incredible.”

I’m not a real Spurs fan, because I don’t think it looks “just incredible”.  I just think it looks like a football stadium, and a rather bland and boring one.  But, that’s fine.  It’s a big old machine for people to play and watch football in.  Also American Football and pop music, apparently, which makes sense.

I also like this photo:

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In the distance, the Walthamstow Wetlands, i.e. various reservoirs.  Here is a photo I took of the stadium from next to those reservoirs.

This was not just an important occasion for Spurs; it was also an important game for Spurs.  Had Spurs lost to Crystal Palace this evening, it would have put a severe damper on the rest of their season.  As it is, they will return to their new home for the next game they play there in very good spirits.

Tuesday April 02 2019

So tweets City AM’s Christian May.

Everybody is now bitching about this Thing, just like they did with the Eiffel Tower.  Do “we need” it?  Blah blah.  Well guess what: I want it.  And more to the point the people paying for it and wanting to build it want it.

Although, I did agree with the Dezeen commenter who said that maybe a Tulip is not the sort of thing you want in the middle of one of the world’s great financial districts.

LATER: Julia H-B:

Like all of London’s new skyscrapers, I’ll hate it.*

*Until I love it.

Precisely.