The curse of Having To Do Something Else The Same Day (and gauze in the early morning light)

I am writing this at 5am, and will shortly be going back to bed. That’s another Getting Old (see the “Categories” below) thing. I now typically have to get up in the middle of the night, to piss and to cool down, bladder and temperature control being two things that have cumulatively deserted me, as I have Got Older.

Also, as with most of this week’s evenings, I have something I must go out and do this evening. That always puts the kibosh (spelling?) on the day. There’s something about having Absolutely Nothing To Do For the whole day, until I next go to bed for real (i.e., at this particular time) in the very small hours of Saturday morning, that enables me to really get stuck into something, like a piece of serious writing (this not being that) or even merely thinking seriously about something, that I really like. Contrariwise, the knowledge that if I do get really stuck into something now, it might go on and on into the evening, at which point I would then have to cut it short, and go off to do something else, makes me fear getting stuck in in the first place. Even though I have many hours before I have to go off to do that other thing.

Factor in the something-here-every-day rule, and I think you can see how I need to get blogging out of the way as soon as possible. Blogging, of even the most trivial sort (this being that) is something that you can’t guarantee to finish at any particular hour. It takes as long as it takes. What if I find I want to stick up a photo? And what if that photo leads to other photos? What if I want to link back to an earlier posting, from the old blog, which I haven’t yet shovelled across to here? What if Surrey suddenly start doing really well at cricket, and demand my attention, in among me trying to contrive this blog posting? There’s so much to get complicated, and to gobble up all that now seemingly endless time.

Here is a photo that I want to stick up here, now, of the early morning light coming in through the scaffolding and the gauze outside the window of my living room:

That wasn’t actually photoed just now. It was photoed at this time in the morning, earlier this week. The time of day is the point, not the date of the day. The photo is all about how you can see through gauze if the gauze itself is not lit up, but not so much if it is.

Here is another early morning gauze photo, also one I photoed earlier:

The point of that photo being that despite the gauziness of the gauze, if you can persuade your camera to focus on the far distance, through the gauze, it’s like the gauze isn’t there. The gauze might as well be a perfectly cleaned lens of filter, for all the interruption it imposes. It changes the nature of the incoming light, but not the clarity of the photo. If anything, by reducing the mere quantity of light, it clarifies the picture, just like a regular filter. That red clutch of a table and chairs can be entirely seen, with no gauze in the picture at all, just less light and therefore, probably, less glare all over the place. But the gauze is there. Just not having any effect on what my camera seems to see. How about that?

Here is a photo of the gauze, similar to the first photo above. But this is not about the contrast between the lit gauze and the unlit gauze, merely about how very gauzy the gauze is:

Enough. (Although actually, let me add, I (LATER:) made the first version of the above gauziness even gauzier by “sharpening” it, in my photoshop-clone. Much better. (Much gauzier.))

But now, I have to photo-process the above photos, just to get them the right size, and then load them up into the blog. This all takes time. I also need to give the above a read-through and correct, which also all takes time. By the time this trivial blog posting is done, over an hour (a phrase which had to be changed from “the best part of an hour”) will have elapsed. Had I been doing all this in the knowledge that in two hours, say, I’d have had to stop and go out, it would have been very stressful. I might have had to stop before completion and just hope that that the bits of this blog posting were pickable-uppable later. As it is, all I did was delay some resumed sleep, let my feet get a bit colder than is convenient, and my bed get a bit colder than will enable my feet to warm up again, all of which is easily corrected with a hot water bottle. No problem.

Really. Enough.

I have now freed up the entire day, for important but non-urgent stuff. Bliss. Come to think of it, I have other important and urgent stuff to deal with. Now much easier to fit in. Bliss of a different kind. (ENOUGH.)

AEF

Yesterday I walked across Vauxhall Bridge. It’s been a while since I have done this, which is why I only yesterday discovered that just opposite the MI6 building there is a frenzy of excavation activity, in connection with the new giant sewer that they a building along the river.

Here are the photos I took of all this grubbing:

And here is the sign on Vauxhall Bridge Road next to all this activity:

AEF stands for Albert Embankment Foreshore. It seems that all the “Tideway” (i.e. the sewer) sites of a similar sort have a three letter acronym to identify and distinguish them.

This particular location would surely make a great place for James Bond to start doing crazy things in the sewer. All you need is a small passage connecting the sewer to the MI6 building, a distance of about twenty yards, and boom. Away we go, with a car chase or a scooter chase or something, along the sewer. This could all kick off after they’ve finished building the sewer, but before the sewage is actually pouring along it. Maybe while people are inspecting it, to check that all is well, which is why it would be suitably illuminated.

Maybe the chase could precipitate the arrival of the actual sewage for the first time, prematurely, by something like a switch being knocked against by mistake. Both Bond and the Baddie could be overwhelmed by shit in the course of their chase. Along with a whole tribe of health and safety inspectors. That would get a cheer in cinemas.

Trouble is, I seem to recall the MI6 building being destroyed in a previous Bond movie. But what the hell. James Bond keeps being “reinvented”. So maybe the MI6 building could be reinvented, just as it always was before it got wrecked.

It turns out my recollection is faulty. The entire building did not get blown up (in Skyfall). There was merely a rather small explosion, destroying only Dame Judi Dench’s computer, inside the building.

Come to think of it, “Tideway” might be a rather good Bond movie title.

Sculptures and scaffolding

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:

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:

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.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Quota sunset from 2015

I left it too late and I am now too tired to do anything here today, so here’s a random quota photo:

Taken in May 2015, from the South Bank, looking north across the River. I’m pretty sure that’s the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. But feel free to disagree.

I hope – although I promise nothing – to do better tomorrow.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Three birds and a clock

When I was a kid, “Air Forces Memorial” meant this building which looks out over Runnymede, and which was only a walk away from where we lived.

But there are, of course, several RAF Memorials in London, and here is a photo I often try to take but seldom do very well with, of the eagle which perches on this memorial:

This eagle usually comes out blurry, with only the trees behind coming out well. All that reflected light off the gold of the eagle seems to frazzle the brain of my camera. But not on the Monday before last.

The above photo was taken from the other side of the river, with maximum zoom. Swivel to the left a bit and you see this even more famous item, which is now, as already noted, smothered in scaffolding:

I especially like the pile of staircases on the left of the scaffolding.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

One Park Drive

Recently I paid a visit to Docklands. The Big Things there add up to a quite impressive cluster, but are, on the whole, individually, unlike quite a few of those in The City, rather characterless and bland.

There is, however, an exception. This:

It’s One Park Drive, now nearing completion.

Here are a few more photos of it that I photoed:

Circular in plan. Its surface changes from one effect to another as you move up or down. Next to a stretch of water. I’m guessing they were thinking of these two towers in Chicago.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Westminster lighting effect

Last Sunday was the second near-as-makes-no-difference cloudless day of 2019, and I love it when sunlight bounces around London, in the way that it did in, for instance, this photo:

That’s the scaffolding covering, at the bottom of Big Ben, and those reflections are from the windows of the building across Westminster Bridge Road, with the big towers on the top, the one where the MPs have their offices. The one on top of Westminster Tube Station. Portcullis House, that’s the one.

This next photo shows rather better what’s going on:

As you can see, and as all Londoners will already know, Big Ben is smothered in scaffolding, while it gets a makeover. The sunlight, as you can now see more clearly, is coming from over Parliament, bouncing back off the windows of Portcullis House on the right, and hitting that white surface at the bottom of Big Ben.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Towers and trees in the Docklands sunshine

On the sunniest day of the year so far, I went, as earlier noted, east, to Docklands.

I photoed the blue sky, the leafless trees, and the many towers of Docklands:

Nice. Lots of pollarding.

Almost anything looks nice in weather like that.

I felt the cold so you don’t have to.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Complicated scaffolding effects in the morning sunshine

Today, as I promised myself on Tuesday, I went east. The weather was even better than was forecasted, and among the very first photos I photoed was this, before I even got to the tube station:

But the good weather came at a price, paid in degrees of temperature. No clouds and there’s nothing to keep the warmth in. It was cold. And all the walking I did has taken it out of me. Also, I met up with occasional commenter here and good friend Alastair, and that meant me getting up and out earlier than usual. So, I am knackered, and I can’t now even summon up the energy to explain what exactly is going on in the above photo, let alone show you any more photos. It doesn’t now help (although it will) that I have nearly six hundred photos to look at and pick from and ruminate about.

Now: early to bed.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog