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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: Food and drink

Tuesday April 15 2014

I love this, from AndrewZ at Samizdata, commenting on this piece by Natalie Solent, which quotes a couple of particularly demented pieces of writing in the Guardian, about cupcake fascism (this phrase should never be forgotten) and about the horrors of tourism.  (Natalie has been agreeably busy at Samizdata of late.)

Says AZ:

The online edition of any newspaper that isn’t behind a paywall relies on advertising to generate income and this depends on maximising the number of page views. The simplest way to do that is to publish outrageous and provocative opinions that will attract links from elsewhere and start a blazing row among the regular commenters. The great liberal newspaper of old is now little more than a group blog that trolls its own readers for advertising revenue.

No link from here to the original pieces, about cupcake fascism or tourism.  Oh no.  BmdotCOM is not falling into that trap.

Now that I have read the rest of them, I can report that all the comments at Samizdata on this posting are pretty good and worth a look.

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.

Friday March 28 2014

I will, I am now sure (although I actually promise nothing), be writing more in connection with the talk that Christian Michel has just given at my home, but as of right now, I am too tired to do it anything like justice.  All I will say about it now is that it was superb. (Read his sales pitch for the talk in this earlier posting here.)

But two bits of trivia about the evening occur to me to mention, both so trivial that I don’t have to have all my wits about me to mention them.

First, I made a particular resolution not just to provide satisfactory snacks to my guests but to actually open the packets of the snacks and putting the snacks in plates.  In the past, I have found myself burdened, once my guests have departed, with unopened packets of party food.  My surmise is that this is not because nobody wanted to eat any of these snacks.  No, the problem is that people don’t like to open food packets, because that feels, and worse, may appear greedy.  It’s like they want to eat all of them.  Or maybe, that they are reluctant to open a new packet when they only want one of them.  But, faced with a plate of biscuits or a big bowl of crisps, they will not hesitate to partake, if so inclined.  It’s a little thing, but this worked well, I think.

And second, as usual, the exactly right number of people showed up.  How do they know to do this?  Last time around I was afraid that there would be too many.  This time, for various reasons involving several semi-regulars happening to have other things on such as wedding anniversaries, I feared there might be too few.  In the event, the number of attenders, both last time and this time was pretty much identical and just right.  It always is.  A Samizdata commenter, commenting on something I wrote there about this odd phenomenon, said that there is an explanation of it in this book, which I’m pretty sure I already possess.  I must track it down.  With luck, this posting will remind me to do this instead of forgetting about it.

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.

Friday February 21 2014

When I saw this camel, this afternoon, in Station Approach Road, on my way to meet someone in Waterloo Station, I was baffled.  I photoed it, but I was baffled:

image image image

But now, through the magic that is the www, I can tell you that this camel is to be found round the back of a pub in Lower Marsh, called the Camel & Artichoke.  I walk past this pub a lot, on my way to Gramex, in Lower Marsh, but had never really registered that its name involved a camel, or that when I saw the camel, I was round the back of this pub.

Blog and learn.  Photograph and learn.

Sunday February 09 2014

Yes, it’s another posting about photographing London’s Big Things from a high up place.

On July 27th of last year, I found myself at the top of Kings College, London, and a week later I posted a few of the photos I managed to take from that vantage point.

Many of the photos I took looked like this:

image

In other words, general, semi-panoramic views, just hoovering up whatever was there to be seen, to be looked at in more detail later.

But after taking that photo, I realised that this view included what looked like another very promising vantage point:

image

When I got home, I did some googling, and found out that this place must be the Radio Bar at the top of the ME Hotel.  The ME Hotel is at the westerly spike of the Aldwych semi-circle, so to speak.

Here is another good picture of this place, and of the kind of views that may be had from it.

So, I had a go at visiting this soon after finding this out, in August, but there was a queue, and I am not good with queues.  Queues mean waiting in the queue, and also mean that when you finally get there, there will be lots of people in the way of my photographing, and worse, that they may be in a hurry to get rid of you (especially if you are a photographers), rather than glad to see you.  So, I decided to try it again when the weather was nice, but colder.

And recently, on January 25th, I did this.  Me being me, I took lots of views, and lots of views with fellow digital photographers taking shots of the views:

image image imageimage image image

I also cranked up the zoom, and took lots of views like this:

image image imageimage image image

This Radio Bar is one of the very best places I know of to look out over London.

With views that touch the clouds and include Tower Bridge, the Shard, London Bridge, Saint Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern, Somerset House, Southbank, London Eye, Houses of Parliament, and the theatre district of Covent Garden, the rooftop bar at the ME London raises the bar on the enjoyment of social life whilst having a drink in the lounge.

Boastful but fair, although I think I marginally prefer, for the way it is laid out, One New Change.  But the views from this new place are an order of magnitude better.

On January 25th, I purchased not just the one over-priced (actually a blazing bargain, given what I was really buying) drink, but, after I had finished taking snaps, another.

I returned to the ME Radio Bar just over a week ago, but … later.

ME Hotel Radio Rooftop Bar
Church really dwarfed by modernity
Happiness is still Gold Blend at only £3 instead of £4.50
3D printer sighted!
Scott Wiener on pizza boxes
La Porte des Indes
Happiness is Gold Blend at only £3 instead of £4.50
Broad thrives properly on getting abuse
Fat bastard!
Pain in the midriff
A Strutton Ground shop and a Strutton Ground pub
Jamie Whyte on deferring gratification less as he gets older
Halloween is near!
The Heron Tower restaurant
Monty Panesar: “I piss on your short pitched fast deliveries aimed at my body!”
Pictures from Georgia and Warsaw
Rothko Toast
A Fleet Street lunch
Lunch at Gessler at Daquise
Michael Jennings - pictures of globalisation
What Michael Jennings has been learning about and will be saying about globalisation
Photoing people who are photoing food
Talking architecture at the Libertarian Home social
Classical CDs from Gramex
Six Nations joy
Brian’s Fridays will resume on the 25th of this month
Christmas Eve feast
Cheese or font?
Usain Bolt takes photos of photographers!
Another excellent spot to photo London from
Happy New Year
Les Rillettes Henaff
WWWhat a great afternoon!!!
Empty tables and empty chairs
No fruit juice
Choosing a Clean Food Outlet in Lawas is as easy as ABC
Just Righter
Another pub
The Armstrong Gun
Out to lunch with Alex Singleton
It’s interesting …
Female cows in TV advert shock
Thoughts on England not just keeping the Ashes but winning the series 3-1 (with asterisks)
And then give up and stay fat
Marmite spoons!
Merry Christmas
And here’s the proof!!!  Sixteen little square pictures!!!
Talk at Christian Michel’s
Cats know more about fluid mechanics than dogs
Why does a coffee lover not want coffee when he’s ill?
Blog hiati
Guerrilla webfare
To Serve Man
The long and short of conversation - Hitchens on YouTube
Graeme Swann on drink-driving charge after 3am dash to save kitten
Everyone?
iScream from Artisan du Chocolat
As strong and sweet as the free market itself
Yo! Sushi cat says:  Yo!  Stay away!
Incoming from Molly Norris!
“Is this a case of us operant-conditioning them or them operant-conditioning us?”
Sounds like a brothel with film star lookalikes
We’ll always have Chelsea
I never knew Marmite came in tanker lorries
Alfie the cat answers the Elmlea challenge
Sushi and scaffolding at Victoria
Why do pregnant women now do quite a lot of driving of their husbands?
The cats from out of town that cleared out the rats during the siege of Leningrad
My sleep and luggage and bus and fluid travel hell
My local Blockbuster Video just closed
Saying it with lights in the Victoria Station shopping centre that were still switched on!
Picture purrfection and a rather good Clive James piece
In other news …
Talking with Toby Baxendale
How building St Peter’s Rome split the Catholic Church and how marzipan was invented in Luebeck
The decor in Peter Jones - and where in London can I find a small ice-cube-making machine?
Quotes dump
Pull Tab
Magic bottle that makes dirty water drinkable
London Bites @ Sway
Summer break
Green eyed monster devouring cat food
Friend anonymous
Busy day and busy night
How technology has improved detention
The Vita-Mix 5000 at the Veggie Show
Register for your free pack and five £1-off-coupons
Acton
Even crazier crisps!
Vote for crazy flavoured crisps!
It could be a rather small funeral
Milk containers ancient and modern
Happy Christmas to all my readers
Gadget gold
There’s only one way to find out!  Fight!
Palming them off with a sunset
Inamo
England sinking fast
At Liberty 2008 all day
The uses of Jesus
When three’s company but four’s a crowd
Billion Monkey with icecream!
Jellennium Bridge
Big head and big something else
Heroic Billion Monkey falsely arrested by cop whom he photoed breaking law to get to chip shop!
Photo of some foodski
Crackers
Tea with CDs
Billion Monkey Alan Little?
Brian Micklethwait dot com quote of the day - soup
Democracy for sale – starting with football and beer
Berlin Billion Monkeys photo rat and cheese sand sculpture!
Renaissance Man
White Man’s Poison?
Fat Man on a Keyboard
That Rooney goal
Why photographing Big Ben can resemble being photographed with a sandwich
Male cows do not have udders
Spreading the word for free
Grassy car with blog