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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: Signs and notices

Friday April 11 2014

So I made my way to the Opening Do of LLFF14 earlier this evening, at a bar near Kings Cross Station.  On my way, the light was so good I just had to take some photos.  Not many, but those I did take came out very nicely.  These three were my favourites.  The first is me looking back along Pentonville Road at St Pancras Station.  To think they were once going to knock this down.  The second is just a random piece of domestic architecture.  And the third I took because it looked like it had some rather good cushion type things, such as I might want to buy if I ever get around to making myself a sofa:

image image image

The Do itself was great, until eventually the noise of everyone shouting at each other became more than I could take.  As I said to someone, I couldn’t even hear myself talk.  Not hearing others was bad enough, but when I couldn’t even hear the sound of my own voice, well, there went one of my deepest pleasures in life.  So I left.  That wasn’t a problem.  The main business of LLFF takes place during the day, on Saturday and Sunday, and I will of course return.

On my way from the bar back to Kings Cross tube, I got very lost, despite having my Smartphone with me, with its invaluable map app.  And that was when I noticed something very odd and different about this part of London, compared to where I live.  No helpful signposts, telling you where the nearest tube is, or where Kings Cross or St Pancras Stations are.  I’m guessing because this is a part of town where tourists tend not to go, and most people there just know all that sort of stuff already.  Apart from me.

Tuesday April 08 2014

On Sunday morning, just before attempting to visit a friend, I discovered that I did not have my wallet in its usual pocket.  Frantic search around my home, nothing.  Must have left it somewhere on Saturday.  But where?  Frantic expedition to the supermarket in Lower Marsh, which I visited on Saturday evening.  No.  Nothing.  Start walking back home.  Then remember, was in Marie’s Cafe, Lower Marsh, after being in supermarket.  It has to be there.  But, it’s Sunday.  Will Marie’s Cafe in Lower Marsh be open?  Go back past supermarket to Marie’s Cafe.  Shut.  Only when I go back to Marie’s Cafe yesterday do I discover that they have it.  All is present and correct.  Debit card, money, other crap.

Thank you Marie’s Cafe:

image

So, basically, I am back to where I was on Saturday night.  But, feel ludicrously happy for all the rest of Monday.  And am happy still.

To quote myself, after an earlier episode of a similar sort:

The ridiculousness of the pleasure I now feel is that all I did was correct a stupid mistake, with much fuss and bother and dust up my nose.

This time around, the dust up the nose was only metaphorical.  That time it was literal, because that previous piece of error correction was error correction that involved a vacuum cleaner.

But pleasure is what I feel, and I am going now to continue to enjoy it.

Same again.

Marie’s Cafe has for some time now been my favourite eating out place in London.  Used to be the West End Kitchen in Panton Street.  Mainly it’s the food, and what it costs.  But there is also the fact that all the classical CD places in the West End have vanished and only Gramex, also in Lower Marsh, remains.

I see that the latest review at the other end of that link say that Marie’s Cafe is “overrated and overcrowded”.  Which is hardly her fault.  Personally, what I especially like is that there is a table for one right near the front door that is almost never in use, and I have started sitting there whatever the scrimmage state elsewhere.

Tuesday April 01 2014

Two photos of signs, taken on the south side of the river between Lambeth Bridge and Westminster Bridge, about a fortnight ago.

On the left, some of the verbiage on this statue.  My reason for showing it here is simply that I think this writing photographs so very well:

image image

And on the right, snapped moments later, another sign, on the side of a coffee stall.  It must be a very old joke indeed, but I was encountering it for the first time.

In general, signs make very good photos, I think.

Wednesday March 26 2014

On Monday last I attended a BBC Radio 4 event, at which Evan Davis interviewed Deirdre McCloskey:

image image

Yes that is the same screen, and it remained the same colour throughout.  In “reality” I mean.  If you were there, which I was.

But digital cameras, when set on “automatic” as mine always is, have minds of their own when it comes to colour.  One picture happens to have a lot of a certain colour in it, and it changes the overall colour of everything to compensate.  For instance, when you take indoor pictures but there is outdoor sky to be seen, then even if in reality the sky is deepest grey, the camera turns the sky deepest blue, and the indoor bits orange.  Likewise, when the sky is blue, but if you are outdoors, the camera, for no reason, is liable to fill a clear blue sky with pollution and turn it a sort of slate colour.  What was happening here is that these two pictures are both cropped.  But the left one was only cropped a bit, while the left one was cropped a lot.  And the stuff that got cropped out of the left one meant that the screen was no longer green.  It was blue.

As to what Deidre McCloskey actually said, well the thing I was most intrigued by was that she was entirely cool about being asked about how she used to be Donald McCloskey.  In which connection, don’t you just love how that circumstance is alluded to in this:

image

That’s an article reproduced at her website.  So, is that her handwriting?  Could well be.

I doubt the medical side of the switch was as easy to do as that.

The libertarian propaganda side of this is that McCloskey is a character, rather than just a boring bod in a suit.  The usual evasive sneers against pro-capitalists just won’t work on her.  And I even think it helps that (maybe because of those medical dramas - don’t know) her voice is a strange hybrid of male and female, often sounding a bit like electrical feedback.  She also has a slight but definite stutter.

The reason I feel entitled to mention all this is that it clearly does not bother her, or if it does she has learned very well to stop it bothering her, and indeed to make a communicational virtue of it all.  I guess she figures if you are saying interesting stuff, it really doesn’t matter if your voice sounds a bit funny and if people sometimes have to wait a second or two before hearing the next bit of it.  In fact it probably even helps, because it gets everyone listening, proactively as it were, guessing what is coming instead of just hearing it.

See also: Hawking.

Sunday March 23 2014

1955: Here.

2014:

image

I think that’s my most recent selfie, taken at the beginning of this month.  I took it in Croydon Road, Beckenham, while on my way to visit friends.  Shop windows often include you in the pictures you take through them, even if you are not trying for that.

I of course have more recent pictures of others taking selfies of the more usual sort, where their own faces dominate the pictures, but with famous Big Things in the background.  So yes, let me try to dig out the latest of those.

Here we go:

image

Although, note that there are two different smartphones being used there.  That was taken from the southern end of Westminster Bridge, looking down to the riverside walkway.  They are presumably trying to include the Houses of Parliament in their backgrounds.

Wednesday March 05 2014

That at any rate is the date that all the workers working on it have given me, when I asked them:

image image

Although, I suspect that the word “local” is supermarketese for “half as expensive again as you would like”.  Fair enough, their gaff their rules.  And it all helps.  Even if the only consequences are that the other local late-night stores drop their prices by a few pennies and keep their milk a bit colder, well, every little helps.

But then again, see the picture on the left where it says “Great OFFERS” three times over.  So, maybe the downward price pressure radiating from this new place will be quite substantial.

I also think it’s a very smart move to feature the opening time very prominently on the front.  No matter how often I am told which shop stays open until when, I forget, and 6am-11pm every day is nice and easy.

The shops that are being replaced by this Morrisons are (a) a Jessops camera shop, and (b) a remainder bookshop.  Both replaced by the internet, presumably.  But, if you are caught short for sugar or coffee or cheap wine at 10.30pm, the internet doesn’t do it.

Thursday February 27 2014

imageAnd here is a photo I took yesterday.  I once thought that these Evening Standard headlines would by now be a thing of the quite distant past, but they are still with us, for the time being anyway, along with the Evening Standard itself, which has survived being given away and as of now shows no sign of disappearing.

There is something charmingly antiquated about the word “swoop”, isn’t there?  This swoop took place - when else? - at dawn, yesterday morning.

Yes, welcome to Operation Octopod.  Truly:

Detectives set up a specialist team which worked in secret for months to gather evidence against the gang in an inquiry codenamed Operation Octopod. Most of the 200 officers involved in the raids were not even told of the targets, only given the addresses they were raiding.

This sounds like it might eventually become quite a good story.

Interestingly, this Evening Standard story goes out of its way to say that the family being arrested have not been named.  But the link to the story contains these words:

couple-held-in-north-london-as-two-hundred-met-officers-stage-adams-family-swoop

And later they changed the headline above the story on the website, to include the word “Adams”.  And indeed, it seems that the arrested family really is called Adams.  Expect the phrase Adams Family Values to crop up a lot in the next few days and weeks.

And in a few years, another movie, about London’s own Adams Family and their dastardly deeds.

Wednesday February 26 2014

Seconds after I’d finished photoing that camel, I took this photo:

image

But whereas I was quickly able to find out about the camel, and about how there’s a pub called that (partly), and so on, I was unable to find out anything about “SOUTH BANK ARCHITECTS” other than a phone number, which I dare not ring because I don’t really have a proper question to ask them other than: do you exist?  There is no website.  The www knows of no buildings that have been designed by SOUTH BANK ARCHITECTS.

So, if you work for SOUTH BANK ARCHITECTS or if you know anyone who works for SOUTH BANK ARCHITECTS, please add a comment.

My theory is SOUTH BANK ARCHITECTS used to exist, which is when they put up that big sign.  But, before the www came into existence, they went out of existence.  And now, nobody can be bothered to take the sign down.

South Bank Architects?
The text of my talk for Christian Michel last night
Merry Christmas
Fat bastard!
Hampers can be annoying
Otherwise blogging (and a Burgess Park butterfly)
Smaller is more legible – big is more fun
Corrie Chipps pictures the Zimbabwe inflation
Views from the Hackney Wick station footbridge
Pictures from Georgia and Warsaw
Reflections on a strange coincidence involving an Android app and a malfunctioning bus stop sign
Google Nexus 4 photos
Wedding photography (2): Signs
Remembering a warmer day
Lunch at Gessler at Daquise
Crossrail grubbings
Six Nations joy
Reflections on and in Westminster Tube Station
Big London Things with clutter in the foreground
Multilingual botanical gardens in Cyprus
Crusader latrines
Malta Day procession
A memorable scoreboard surrounded by empty seats
Occupy St Paul’s pictures
Another reason to like Colorado
Choosing a Clean Food Outlet in Lawas is as easy as ABC
Health and safety on a mountain in Borneo
Five pictures of me
Misspelt (correction: Italian) signs of the times
The graffiti says he won’t get his keys back
Multilingual signage
Rally Against Debt signs
Nil scrap value
Do not climb on the Thing!
The wedding lingers on
Another pub
The Armstrong Gun
Signs from the Frenchosphere
And there was you thinking you were immortal
Paris signage
More signs of the times
Blue Men on a boring building in Borough High Street
Signs - all in my bit of one railway carriage
That’s what I call a Health and Safety Notice
If you can’t beat them hire them
Another sign of the times
The bike behind the theatre
Soviet health and safety posters
More signage
Noticing signs of the times