Poetic perfection in a reopening pub

Rebecca Day tweets:

I’ve spoken to regulars Chris and Jimmy. Jimmy hasn’t gone to bed after his night shift tarmacking the roads. He had a shower and came straight here. He described the taste of his first Carling as being like an ‘angel pissing on the tip of my tongue’.

In her original tweet, Rebecca Day put “p***ing” and “his” tongue, so I’ve restored what Jimmy said to its original state of perfection. You’re welcome.

One of the services this blog supplies to its regular readers is to pluck occasional pearls of perfection like that (or that (or that)) from the torrent of swine shit that is Twitter, or at any rate what Twitter seems to turn into for many people.

Abney Park

Recently I was in the general vicinity of Lambeth, Stoke Newington, that sort of part of London, seeing things like a lion statue. But that lion was nothing to what came later.

Which was this:

This being a truly amazing place called Abney Park.

There are plenty of forests in London. And God knows (because invariably He becomes involved in all such arrangements), there are plenty of graveyards.

But, have you ever seen an honest-to-God graveyard, in an honest-to-God forest? Well, now I have, in the shape of Abney Park. The photos above all emphasise this weird and wonderful combined fact.

The roots of the trees have yanked a lot of the graves way out of the vertical. And we’re not talking about modest little graves. A lot of these are guy-with-biggest-grave-wins graves, erected in honour of seriously rich people, including lots of celebs and luvvies. There’s one with a big lion on it, and what’s more a far more impressive lion than that statue I photoed earlier. There’s even a big old statue, of this guy.

When I and the friend who showed me this amazing place were there, the weather was that particularly perfect sort of perfect that consist of perfection which had been preceded by rain. My photos (with the possible exception of photo 0 (or photo 2.4 if you prefer) don’t really show that, but trust me, it was weather to die for.

More about Abney Park in this. Turns out the guy buried under the lion was a lion tamer.

I love London.

An old photo of a Robert Burns statue

I didn’t know until now that London had a statue of Robbie Bunrs, but apparently so:

How did I learn about this? I learned it from my photo-archives. I photoed this statue on August 29th 2008. The statue is one of several in Victoria Palace Gardens, a stretch of greenery-with-statues just downstream from Embankment tube station. Having photoed that photo, I gave it no more thought at all, from then on. Until now.

Partly it’s just that I quite like that photo, despite the over-brightness of the white building in the background. My camera then gave me rather mixed results.

But it is also, of course, that now is a time when statues are all over the news. Maybe Robert Burns, Sottish poet of yesteryear, will get involved. He must have said a few things that the Black Lives Matter people would disapprove of, it they were told about it. As they might well be told, by people trying to make problems for the Scottish Nationalists.

In other statue news, I see that Gandhi is now getting the treatment from the protesters. He said very un-woke things about black people when he lived in South Africa, but I suspect that what the people organising this demonstration really hate about Gandhi is that he is a Hindu hero, and the wokists are pro-Islam and consequently also anti-Hindu.

WHAM!

While searching the photo-archives for something else completely, I came across THIS!:

I photoed the above in the summer of 2016, in the Tate Modern gift shop.

Art galleries fascinate me, even though I often don’t like the Art that’s on show in them. And I am in particular fascinated by the gift shops that are now always attached to Art galleries. These places are often more crowded than where the Art is being shown. The above is only one of many, many photos, of Art stuff, that I have photoed in Art gallery gift shops.

In the case of this Roy Lichtenstein stuff, you can make a pretty good case for saying that those cushions, for instance, are as “authentic” Roy Lichtensteins as the “original” painting that the cushions were copied from. After all, the “original” painting was itself a copy, of something a lot like the cushions. And the original comic that Lichtenstein copied his painting from was mass produced, just like the cushions. Only the fetishism of the authentic unique object, by an officially recognised Artist, is holding back the dam of absurdity here.

I’m guessing that the business that Art galleries do in their gift shops, and in their equally vital coffee shops, is the difference between economic famine and something more like feast.

I also think that Art galleries are popular places to spend time in, again not because of the Art, but because of the quiet. Art galleries do not, on the whole, play annoying music, and talking in loud voices is considered boorish. The result is something a lot like a church.

Andrew Sharpe’s Ely Cathedral Supermoon

As mentioned in this earlier posting, I’ve found another photoer to follow. Sharpe: good name for a photoer.

The Sharpe photo (to quote one of his tweet-commenters: “Wow”) that got me pressing Follow at his feed was this Supermoon photo from last September …:

… is way better than My supermoon photo earlier this month. As, for that matter, is Sharpe’s Supermoon photo earlier this month.

Sharpe would appear to have a very similar photo-relationship with Ely Cathedral to the one that this guy has with Salisbury Cathedral. Both photo the same cathedral, lots of times, with the cathedral looking different every time. (A bit like my photoing of London taxis-with-adverts.)

I love exploring the countryside.

A Twitter dump

For several months now, as alluded to tangentially already today, I have a ever heightening heap of, in particular, tweets piling up in my computer, which I have in mind to say clever things about, and which I do not in the meantime want to completely forget about. Pocket is great for articles with big headings at the top, but less good for tweets. So, here is a twitter dump, several of which are now way out of date, but still fun to remember.

This has made some impression on the pile. Not much, but some. So, in no particular order …:

Horrific find in local cafe. Destruction of great literature to create a bookish aesthetic. Shameful. Wasteful.

When God tries to punish your city for homosexuality but gays use their magic shield to protect it.

Two Concordes landing simultaneously.

I was glad to help you get home safely.

… you can be anything you want to be. You absolutely can not.

Inequality is the idea you can never be happy with a million dollars if the guy next door has a billion.

When I said Boris should get the unpopular stuff out of the way straight after the election, I meant unpopular with other people, not me.

“The United Kingdom is the last major European country where it is illegal to use e-scooters on public roads, bike paths, and pavements. This is despite surveys and usage indicating they are overwhelmingly popular where they are legal.” Time to fix that.

I see the potential for a whole new and compelling theory of modern political trends: ‘where does the bonkersness go?’ It could be called The Bonkers Dynamic, or Bonkerology.

Why did the Pilgrim Fathers leave for the New World? … They sailed because they felt themselves in a story.

Brexit Day +4: The grounded planes, the chaos in the streets, the unpaid workers, the crippling strikes, the faltering economy, the upper class buffoon in charge, the petrol bombs, the riot police, the snipers on rooftops, the tanks on the streets. But enough about France

I will not stand for baseless attacks and slander, unless they are directed at people I personally dislike.

A little excess fear is exactly what evolutionary principles would predict. The cost of us getting killed even once is higher than the cost of responding to a hundred false alarms.

However the #CoronavirusOutbreak plays out, pundits and commentators will craft a clean story for why whatever ends up happening was obvious all along.

From Dawah to damage control – All the workshops that used to be around trying to convert non-Muslims to Islam, are now trying to keep Muslims from leaving Islam and doubting religion.

When a team loses it looks unpopular, out of touch, and hence more likely to lose in future. It is the very act of winning that changes other people’s minds because they don’t want to be on the unpopular team, and winning shows that what you’re offering is what’s popular.

Out east – one year ago today

I looked at what I was doing a year ago today, and came across these photos, of a great little expedition I had out east:

My wanderings began at West Silvertown DLR, from which there is a great view of the Tate & Lyle factory or refinery or whatever it is, the one with the giant can of Golden Syrup attached to it. Other local landmarks included: that cruise ship next to the footbridge, which is actually a hotel; a superb crane cluster off to the north; the Dome; that skilift Thing that goes across the River; and the Optic Cloak. (Where the Eastern God (Buddha?) was, I don’t recall, but I like him a lot.)

This is the area I was exploring:

It’s a place that is palpably in transition. Go back today, and it’ll be different. A year from now, it’ll be different again. In ten years, unrecognisably different. The landmarks in the distance will still be there, but the foreground will be transformed.

The weather that day (unlike the weather today) was a bit grim and grey, but I remember really enjoying this expedition.

I also, that day, photoed nesting birds, cranes, and a book of the week. That last posting having been done as soon as I got home.

By the way, behind the cruise ship is the ExCel Centre, now in the news because it was turned into a hospital. A hospital which had remained mostly empty, and now seems like it will soon shut. Which is good.

Hong Kong Demo – London – January 19th 2020

The Chinese government has been taking advantage lately of the fact that there is now only one media story, and is now crunching down on Hong Kong. Because now, this isn’t much of a story, compared to the big story.

As soon as the current round of dramas in Hong Kong began, I was pessimistic about the outcome in the short run, and I am even more pessimistic now. The only hope for the HongKongers, I think, is to get back at their tormentors by turning China itself, in the fullness of time, into something far different and far better, which won’t be so CCP friendly. And in the meantime torment their tormentors by making them scared, and angry that they are liable not to be written up very kindly by History. In short, the HongKongers must now settle down to try to win in the long run, along with everyone else in the world who would like China to be less horribly governed and generally a better place and less of a plague, so to speak, on the world.

But, to do my little bit for keeping Hong Kong as a story now, here are some photos I took of a pro Hong Kong demo in London on January 19th of this year, but never got around to showing anywhere, until now. These next few photos concentrate on the messages the demo-ers were proclaiming:

One weird thing though, the demo seemed to be outside this place:

What have the HongKongers got against the Royal Institute of British Architects?

This slice of google mappery explains:

The RIBA is across the road from the Chinese Embassy, and the demonstrators were shoved across the road. I have various guesses as to who made this happen and why, but I basically do not know.

Reflection

Not the sort you do inside your brain; the sort you can see:

My photo walks tend to happen in the afternoon and early evening, after I have done morningy things at home. But today I took a quite long walk, quite early in the morning by my getting old standards, in order for the light to be coming from a different direction and thus to photo certain Things better. And of course everything looked a bit different, including the River, because light was bouncing into it and off of it in unfamiliar ways from Things that didn’t usually look like that. It helped that there was hardly a cloud to be seen anywhere in the sky.

When I first got a digital camera I couldn’t photo The Wheel enough. What a great Thing. But soon I realised that just photoing the Thing itself wasn’t good enough. You had to play photo-games with it in some way. Line it up with other Things, seen through it. Or reflect it, in a window for instance. Or water.

I like how the foreground foliage blots out any direct view of the Thing itself.

The above photo was just one of my favourites so far from today’s expedition. There were other nice photos also, but the above will suffice for now.

Anyone know what those two little golden crosses are, in the River? Image googling for “golden cross”, got me nowhere helpful.

Hearing about the Welsh goats from the Bee

I’m referring to this:

A herd of goats has taken over the deserted streets of Llandudno, north Wales, where the residents are in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Kashmiri goats that came down from the Great Orme and into the town were originally a gift to Lord Mostyn from Queen Victoria.

This was in the Guardian, but I only just heard about it. And I heard about it only because the Babylon Bee guys featured it in the “weird news” part of their most recent podcast, the April 15th one, which I just listened to. Listen to the Babylon Bee podcast and learn.