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Thursday, May 31, 2007


from a recent walkabout.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


"i have never hurried but i am always on time." is a quote that is attributed to talleyrand, napoleon’s foreign minister.
unlike talleyrand i am not the consummate diplomat, far from it, i come from the school of open mouth insert foot diplomacy.
another trait i do not share with talleyrand is the ability to be on time, as several people can attest to. in order for the quote to fit me it was have to read “often hurried, never on time”.

hopefully napoleon’s famous description of talleyrand as being a turd in a silk stocking does not apply to me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


more daubings on walls, doors and any other public surface that the "artist" can find.

the new "banksy" on the block has done someting that might be gordon brown, it might be ken clarke, or just some jolly avuncular chap like les dawson.
the golf sale sign might have worked with ken or gordon. it would have been better it if it was "gulf sale" and been gordon brown, but look everyone is a critic.

just enjoy.


some of the movie "children of men" was filmed here.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


you know i feel sorry for david beckham. he just can't win.
he has always struck me as someone who is intensely proud of playing for his country. he always seemed to be the consumate professional who performed as best he could no matter what his circumstances were. he never seemed to shirk when the boys at real madrid told him he didn't have much of a future there. from what i can gather he just got on with his training and tried to show he was good enough to play for them.
steve mcclaren dropped him from england not because beckham was playing badly, but because he wanted to send a message out that mcclaren was not in the shadow of sven. perhaps a brave move and one that wouldn't be haunting him now if the rest of the english team had stepped up and won games.
meantime beckham, who had been dropped by england and apparently out of favour with real madrid did what any sensible person would do: go and get the best deal possible. thats exactly what he did. his deal with the la galaxy could be worth over a £100 million to him.
as if that wasn't enough beckham has turned in some great perfomeances with real madrid, inspiring them.
so poor english performances and sterling performances from beckham means a no brainer call up.

except the media want to have it both ways. they are the people who creat the media circus around beckham and his life. so they are the first people to go on about how choosing beckham to play for england isn't just about him playing but all the coverage that goes with it and how that may adversely affect the rest of the team.
easy solution there: leave him alone and just talk about the game. but they want to sell papers. so they will go out of their way to report on beckham the lifestyle. a case of having your cake and eating it.
to add to it the media are positing that the recall isn't about england's form it is more about selling tickets for the new wembley stadium.
the media will go on about mcclaren's u-turn (ignoring their own u-turns and their own attacks on beckham) rather than how this move might actually help england win again.
then they are making a big deal over the fact that his new team have said that they are pleased he has been picked for the national squad but they will not be keen on him playing in meaningless friendlies as he has a duty to his new team. in this they are echoig pretty much every other football manager but they are seen as being bad.

more and more i find myself liking david beckham just because he seems to be a nice bloke who has to put up with a lot of shit from a lot of people who are not as talented as him and who are just jealous of his success and talent.

here is hoping that he scores on his comeback.


i have always loved the rain. i could wax lyrical about it, but i am not going to.
a couple of weekends ago i got truly soaked when i was in bristol (my own fault for not taking a coat with me, but then i didn't think it was going to hose down when i was there) i ended up with a cold.
this weekend i was at the london excel centre for a consumer event. the event was ok. when i left it i decided to walk a few dlr stops and enjoy the treat of walking through some of the docklands.
camera in hand i think i have managed to get some nice pictures.
i was a bit gobsmacked at the prices of some of the flats for sale - when places start at a £1 million plus you sort of know you are not going to be moving there...
but as i walked and took photographs i just got wet and wetter. the rain was never very heavy but it was costant.
now lets hope i don't get another cold.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


now i am on record for my support of the royal family. i confess that in my youth i was a royalist. i was among the heaving crowds that lined the mall for the silver jubilee and the wedding of charles and diana. then there was a period of being a republican – down with the royal family, up with the republic. these days i am quite at peace with the royals simply because they provide us with so much entertainment and provide employment to so many in the media.
our taxes are not being used just to keep the royals in comfort but to keep numerous journalists and commentators in employment.

last night i was once again walking along the mall, the splendour of a lit up buck house at one end at the other the magnificent admiralty arch, even with nothing special going on there is a feeling of grandeur, of pomp and ceremony.
i wondered what it must be like to live in the royal residences that dot the area, and then i wondered what it must be like to not be able to stroll the mall without the need to be shadowed by security. these thoughts spiralled off into thoughts about having servants do the most menial things for you: such as squeeze your toothpaste, or put your trousers on for you.
and then whoosh all thoughts of the royals had gone.

(as a digression: i had been planning on going to see the grassed over trafalgar square, except i arrived after it had been rolled up. so i popped into the tescos metro near there to get some food for the journey home. it was just after 10pm so there were a few slightly tipsy people in there. behind me were a couple of blokes who were going on about how we should just all walk out with our stuff and not pay tescos, as they may so much money. this was followed by it is a free country so everything should be free. ah it was like listening to the more radical members of the swp. more than likely they were readers of “class war”. in their own way they were just as much out of touch as the royals…)

so there i am on the tube home. i am reading the evening standard (given i am reading the daily mail on a regular basis at the moment i may as well start signing up for the tory party..) and there is a piece about how the bbc are dumbing down because they have fearne cotton interviewing the princes harry and william.

"it is an absolute joke that a dj was allowed to conduct this major interview.
"it is a shame that the corporation did not take an interview with the future king and third in line to the throne as seriously as the americans did. frankly, it is ludicrous that a major interview with the sons of the princess of wales is not conducted by a proper journalist. this is a major news event not a bit of showbiz puff." says a bbc

quite why the americans took the interview seriously is beyond me, unless it is a case of regal envy. quite why anyone thinks that the two princes have much of import to say is also beyond me. perhaps they could tell us the best way to dress in nazi garb? or perhaps they can give us relationship tips.
given that the whole point of the interview is to puff up the forthcoming di memorial concert, it does seem appropriate that it is a dj doing the interview. given that it is going to be aimed at the youth it seems appropriate that the interviewer is a young thing.

obviously someone in the bbc is just a bit bitter that his or her job as a royal reporter has been given to a mere pretty face! what started with moira stuart is now happening to royal correspondents. they are being alerted to fact anyone can do it.

is it any wonder why i love the royals!

Monday, May 21, 2007


from the introduction of peter ackroyd's "london" comes this:
“… london is so large and so wild that it contains no less than everything – just as there will be irresolutions and ambiguities. but there will also be moments of revelation, when the city will be seen to harbour the secrets of the human world. then it is wise to bow down before the immensity.”

the words do not even attempt to capture london, they serve as a warning that london can never fully be defined, described or detailed at best all we can hope for are glimpses.
the introduction hints at the wonders the reader will discover on the trip through the london of peter ackroyd, the reader will find aspects of the city that they recognise, and others they won't. the promise that some secrets will be revealed and mysteries uncovered is a heady one.
i already love london.
now i just wanted to get to know my mistress a little better.


more from the recent walkabout.

Friday, May 18, 2007


out for a walk last night, a wander here and a wander there.
the result some pictures of this church. i need to go back and see if i can get some from the inside.
emma will know which church this is.

( i am not sure if these are supposed to be cute or scary... i am going with disturbing...)


is this a political statement ala class war and eat the rich?
is it an art piece making a barbed point?
was it some winos too many sheets to the wind to read?
Perhaps some disaffected youths no longer caring?

only you dear reader can make that decision.


such a sweet sight.
a bit of urban decay and the joy of nature combined.....

see sometimes i can be a fluffy pat....

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


got to love having cold.
all bunged up with stuff in me. nose blocked, congested chest. i need night nurse, no not the medicine – just a nurse…
i must be getting better i started the day hocking up a deep emerald colour and now it is a nice light lime.
by tomorrow i should just be having a sniffle.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


a couple more from bristol.
one continues a photograhic theme and the other is trying to be a clever composition.
can you tell which one is which?


the less than bright weather of bristol sort of suited the image.
this is part of the gorgeous temple church (mmm what da vinci code secrets does it hold?)
the bird (i have no idea what type it is and am happy to go: "look at the bird".

Monday, May 14, 2007


feeling awful have a serious cold (much worse than manflu), so my adventures of the few days in bristol will have to wait.

meantime enjoy this joke i got from a friend, who got it from his daughter. (she is funnier than both of us...)

so, this bloke's dog is dying.
he takes it to the vet but unfortunately the dog is dead-on-arrival.
the vet looks at it, and pronounces it dead.

the bloke is quite distraught, and asks the vet to get a second opinion.

the vet calls in his cat, who walks past the dead dog very slowly, not taking his eyes off it. the cat then lowers his head and shakes it, walking off mournfully.

the vet then calls in his pet labrador who comes in, sniffs the dog gives it quite a good prod, then the labrador rolls over, sticks his legs in the air and yelps.

the vet says "that'll be £175 please"
the bloke says "what for?"

the vet says "well, £100 is my fee, the cat scan is £50, and £25 for the lab report...."

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


so the european commission has given in and the uk can keep its imperial weights and measures. it is victory for the metric martyrs, and one in the eye for johnny foreigner. it does seem that this capitulation on the question of the onward march to metrication is due to the pressure placed by the north american business community.
but i am glad it has happened aside from the fact it will mean the demise of the “metric martyrs” and their constant carping, it also means that i appear much lighter in stones than i do in kilos and finally it allows me to do the old tommy cooper joke.

a man goes into a grocer and asks for 5 pounds of potatoes. the grocer replied, “we only sell kilos”. the man replied, “ok i will have 5 pounds of kilos”.
boom boom.


long time readers may remember my despair at the fact the king of the sandwich had disappeared from the shelves of the supermarkets.
the mighty cheese and pickle sarnie was a thing of memory.
oh cheese still featured in sandwiches. pickle made the occasional appearance in some varieties of sandwich.
but never together.
it felt like a part of england had died with the demise of the mighty cheese and pickle sandwich.

imagine my joy, imagine my raptures when on the shelf at tescos there was a cheese and branston pickle sandwich. it was as if a choir of angels had decided to sing just for me!
and a nice sandwich it is too.

for now all is right with the world.
but only for a limited period of time.
why? you ask.
because for some odd reason the current cheese and branston pickle sandwich is being touted as a limited edition sandwich. to a collector (such as me) such a distinction makes no sense. it is not like you can keep a copy of the sandwich in a mylar bag and sell it in a few years time at twice guide price. you are not likely to be on antiques roadshow asking the nice young man if your limited edition sandwich from 20 years ago is worth anything.
also from another viewpoint all the sandwiches that they have on the shelf are limited editions as they will not last that long either being eaten or destroyed.
i want to stand in the middle of the store and shout out: “this is false advertising! there is no collectors market in cheese and pickle sandwiches. don’t speculate on them or else you will end up like the poor collectors during the end of the black and white boom or the first wave of variant covers. you will be out of pocket and with boxes of unusable crap just fit for the bin.”
that is what i want to shout out, but i don’t.
commonsense kicks in and i remember that while the shoppers at tescos are savvy enough to know to only gamble on a sure thing – such as those £10 bets that are always in the windows of every william hills.

regardless of me failing my civic duty i am currently enjoying noshing on cheese and branston pickle sandwhiches. i am hoping that this is a not so limited edition of the king of the sarnies.
long may it reign.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


so they are calling it cameron conservatism. what drivel! what tosh! what marketing wank.
according to oliver letwin
the tories under david cameron have emerged from a period of wandering around in the “mist” with fresh new ideas that add up to cameron conservatism (and surely it should be cameronian conservatism or just “con” for short).
apparently one of the key theoretical advances of cameron conservatism is that politics today is socio-centric and not econon-centric (phrases that just slip off the tongue, you have to hope the media intern who coined them did so on a bet). no longer is politics about the economic but it is about society.
no shit.
which seems to be pretty much what the liberal left has been saying for years.

but no it is more than that. the cameronies are against government intervention in order to improve the social; they are not interested in top-down initiatives. no siree. what they are interested in is arguing for frameworks that give people and organisations the incentives to act in ways that fulfill not just their own self-interested ambitions but also their wider social responsibilities.
so that is a little like the way it was under thatcher.

so far this is turning out to be really radical and likely to cause the blind to see and the crippled to dance (but not earn as much as heather dancing the light fandango).

oliver letwin goes on to say "cameron conservatism puts no faith in central direction and control. instead, it seeks to identify externalities (social and environmental responsibilities) that participants in the free market are likely to neglect, and then seek to establish frameworks that will lead people and organisations to internalise those externalities - to act of their own volition in ways that will improve society by increasing general well being."
which i think means if you are one of the poor and weak in society you had better hope that there is a charity about to help you. if you are one of the rich in society, then you need deeper pockets in order to trouser the cash we will let you keep.
if you fall in the middle – well we are on your side, but you need to internalise some externalities.

or to quote the famous rugby song:
it's the same the whole world over
it's the poor that gets the blame
it's the rich what get the pleasure
ain't it all a fucking shame.

letwin and co seem to think that this is a new radical way of looking at the role of the state in the twenty-first century. as he says "to win a battle of ideas is always a hard task. but having an idea is certainly a good starting-point."

come on then olivier lets see the new ideas rather than this warmed up hash of old ideas.

Monday, May 07, 2007


no tell us what you really mean....

have to say i totally agree with the writer. luckily there are a few other galleries in the area.
the miro gallery is a lovely space (though it was much better when it had the old warehouse charm and less the "white cube" look). it has had some great art there and some not so great art there.
it is a little out of the way so i can sympathise with the sentiments expressed here.
and it did make me smile.


could this be the new banksy?

if it is, remember you saw it here first.
and that wall is now worth £300,000.


this is what happens when luck is with you, and when it deserts you.

if i had wanted it to be like this i would never have gotten it this way.

worked better than i hoped.


Sunday, May 06, 2007


"The New Labour era of Brown and Blair is drawing to a close."
so says david cameron.
filled with bloodlust after a terrible day at the polls for new labour, cameron is rightly puffing out his chest and getting all excited about the possibility of his time in number 10 downing street.
perhaps he is right that the time is right for a change, but with self evident statements as the one the one above we can guarantee that it will not be an intellectual administration.

he followed the above quote with "fed up with top-down state control" which in the hands of the tories generally means: we will stop trying to control the world of business, we won't protect the consumer and employee but we will interefere with the way you want to live your private lives.
it seems with the tories the more things change the more they stay the same.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I have to admire the daily mail and the independent newspapers. both have recently been green over the issue of packaging and waste. A noble thing indeed. There is no argument that there is too much packaging in supermarkets. There is no argument that we waste far too much.
Sometimes such campaigns need leaders. step up the daily mail and the independent. How they put the world to rights, how they pull no punches, how they lay it all on the line.
Except come the weekend both of them have sections that are wrapped in cellophane.
Ah so when there is money is on the line out go principles.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


it was a quiet(ish) night in london, it seemed most people were glued to the tv watching football.
me i was out taking some photos, though i had been to see "this is england" at the cinema (and a fine film it is too).

here is one that hasn't worked quite how i wanted it to.

and here is one with the added bonus of me. if ever i get a recording contract for my superpets rock opera then this will be on the album cover.
(not sure why i decided to add me into the photos - i think it might be due to the fact that recently i have been stopped by tourists who have held cameras out to me and just when i have said "sure i will take a photo of you" they have replied no can we take one with you in it.....
so i have decided why not just join the fun.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


10 years of a labour government.
oops i men new labour.
tony blair becomes one of the longest running prime ministers we have had.
in the years he has been in power a lot of good has been done.

in the next couple of weeks tony will be gone and gordon will be replacing him.
sadly the labour party seems to want to implode so it is doubtful that there will be another labour victory.
but here is hoping.

no need to shed tears for tony, he will be coining it in on the lecture circuit, his eye less and less on his legacy and more and more on his bank balance.