Friday, 31 August 2007

Silver Number 5

A silver number 5 balloon floats in the air over the Old Kent Road. Spiralling upwards, lost from the grip of a child who watched it rise up a nd float off.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Where to go, what to do

There was a time when we went out to the same places over and over and over again and not get bored. Now we flounder around looking for somewhere that has just enough edge to make it exciting. Not that we ever find it anymore. I suspect we've worn out our desire for sitting on the floor outside pubs, talking drunken bullshit and dancing all night long to crappy tunes in dodgy clubs. We did go out in Brick Lane the other day - great for a change. Round the back of the Truman Brewery. Warm night. Lots of people wandering around. Music blaring. Warm beer. Chatter. There's a routemaster bus down the side street at the back which is a restaurant. Its a gimmick for sure. Spitalfields has changed since they started doing it up. Bit glassy and shiny but some interesting bits. Like the archeology under the pavement.



Friday, 24 August 2007

Out of Office

I've just received an email from the person I emailed half an hour ago which elicited an out-of-office-automatic response message. So they were in the office after all. I've already emailed the person they said to contact in their absence if it was an urgent enquiry. So that's 2 arms of the message into the organisation. The first arm (to the on-holiday-but-actually-in-the-office person) has now been actioned and moved on. It could lead to muchos time wasting on the part of the 2nd party. Never heard of this phenomenon before reading this at Dr Oddverse's. I'd have never thought to use out of office just to avoid answering communications!
I am a passenger
Occassional regulars

From Highbury & Islington getting on a first capital connect service to Moorgate with me (3rd carriage, back set of doors) - a man who wears a waistcoat (grey today with a blue shirt) and uses enough brilliantine on his hair that it appears to be solid. Its parted in the middle and slicked down to within an inch of its life - slightly too long at the back. He has a head like a thunderbird puppet. I bet he doesn't go to the barber very often - they'd be telling him lots of alternative ways to coif his hair. Can't imagine what his pillows must be like. Wonder if he sleeps in a hairnet and never rolls around so his face doesn't get greased by the residue...Ugh.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Tower Bridge

We waited ages. I think the bridge opened. As we got going. again I spotted dave's van again - london calling - second time I've seen it.

Then I noticed for the first time (despite going past several times already) that the caretaker's house of Tower Bridge Primary School has a large glitter ball hanging over a bamboo - its lovely, sparkly and reflective.

On the bridge is tourist heaven. Every inch a photo opportunity. A Japanese woman stands nervously with one foot on either bascule. A family of 7 squeezes up to the side leaning out slightly so the photographer can get them and the bridge towers into the frame.

Intermingled with the tourists are the commuters, trying to get home from Tower Hill station. A sloany woman and her friend (pleated skirt, big scarf) dodge a couple of men jogging - men who could be rugby players.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Sheds

Pssst! In all the searching I've been doing I've discovered an underground geek clique. They call themselves shedders. They have forums. And sheds.

Allotment shed aesthetics (in the loosest possible sense)
Allotment shed by Architectural Collaborative
REAL Estate
Sheds in snow photo
Small shed top shelf
Reader's wivessheds
Ericka Kinnear - shed paintings

Anyway, here's my shed



Its rotting from the bottom up! I feel like I've ventured into male territory (unnatural amounts of concern with inanimate objects - like trains). I'm sort of at a slight loss to know what to do next. I've found shiplap boards for sale at Wicks. But I don't know exactly what to do to correct its slight lean away from the door. I'm not sure hitting it with a hammer will help, unless its planned properly.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Shed

My garden has a shed. Delapidated. Its one of those typical sheds - overlapping boards that are rotting away with the wet weather. Its leaning - away from the doorway. But it provides useful storage for outside furniture and stuff. I've been looking around to buy a replacement one (can't afford it just yet). I've been thinking it can't be that hard to build one to your own plans with materials that you find around and about. It might not be a hit with the neighbours but it'd be unique. It could have a corrigated roof, panels of metal, walls of chipboard and painted on an annual basis.

My mind is going back to the wacky neighbour of my grandparents - Willy Gunn, didn't speak much but had a niave approach to fencing and its colour. Woven willow fencing. Painted annually with pale and interesting shades. My aunt went into his house once - after he died - his walls were covered with murals.

Presumably it needs a frame and then cladding.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Occupied

I've been occupied with
  • Making curtains (the only set in the house - not buying enough tape, having to squeeze the curtain hooks so they fit through the ring)
  • Start of the football season (it takes the boyfiend some time to settle into the peaks and troughs of drawn, lost and won games - before the settling in life is a bit up and down)
  • Big brother (sorry but its true), god I'd hate to be trapped in a house with those people. Maybe more control freaks this year.
  • Finding this revolting but hilarious. What exactly is the male version of the camel toe?

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Sent to Coventry

Again. Leadership training. Before it was an empowerment module. This time its about our motivations and values. I'm motivated by power with values around achievement, it turns out. Quite suprising really...Until I started to think about it more thoroughly. Yes I like to influence people. Yes I like to stand out and be recognised. Yes people used to think I should be on the stage. Damn - no hiding from myself then (it all came out through these stories we had to write about these grainy pictures on a test thingy oringally devised by Murray and later scoring worked on by McClelland).

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

The View

Very still, he looks out over the battlefield, surveying the quiet of the morning, from a vantage point in the battlements. Nobody seems him there. He sees everything.

The light is bright. Buses pour round the corner. Market traders setting up again. Early bird shoppers.

And then he swings the mobility scooter round and enters Elephant & Castle shopping centre through the first floor entrance.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Focus on Blogging

I've never written a popular blog - not for me the mass readership of between 200 and 2000 a day. But recently I've been feeling like its peaked. I'm over the crest of the wave now and coming to a slow halt which will end with the faintest lap on the beach.

Blogging is fighting for internet time with a host of other newer interactions - all the myspacing, facebooking & second life-ing providing a different kind of interaction - immediate, networky, gamey. So more people are joining in with more activities spreading themselves ever more thinly and presumably favouring the instant gratification route.

Not since March have I got close to the heady 1700 per month readers (small fry to many, I know!) In the last 20 days only 2 have scatched over 50 readers. It didn't used to be like that. Maybe I've exhausted the subject. Maybe readers are loyal to the blogs they know well, too pressed for time to explore other blogs. It doesn't help that the old group of bloggers I followed when I started is diminishing monthly.

Perhaps the age of blogging is over. Perhaps the turning point was when mainstream media jumped on the bandwagon thereby pulling it into the limelight away from the individual and thrusting it into competition with magazines and journals and newspapers. Readers of mainstream media blogs probably don't investigate the lone voice out there in blogland - how would they know to trust us if they have no previous experience of the self-published? Its hard to turn away from what you know and trust to work at getting to know a different and individual voice. I suspect mainstream media is quite pleased about it. Its about control and winning circulation after all.

Someday, perhaps even soon, there will be nobody left for me to blog for and therefore no point in blogging. When I started it was exclusively for me but over time the audience has become extremely important. Blogs will exist (and do in their millions) like old dusty books in public libraries waiting for the day when they will be weeded because they haven't been borrowed in a decade.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Going out

Parked at Dalston Junction on a red line, a woman performs her toilette standing at the back of her Mercedes with the boot open and a line of traffic inching past while they wait for the temporary traffic lights to change. She creams both her legs - taut calves (six inch taupe suede heels). Then pulling the straps of her top off her shoulders she does her neck and d├ęcolletage.

Going Home

The city is cool (but not cold) after the heat of the day. I'm chatting to a girl at the bus stop to keep her mind off needing a wee. A northern lass from between Manchester and Leeds, wearing a tiny short dress that could be a nightie. Her bus comes first. I'm left. I sit down. Opposite at the Tea House a queue is forming. Fashionable young things, slightly drunk and excitable. Opposite a girl sits down on a doorstep of a doorway covered in corrugated iron. Her legs are out straight to both accommodate her big wedges and to stop her knickers showing. She pulls her boyfriend down next to her. They have some kind of heavy conversation. Down the street a girl in a polka dot dress with net hanging out the bottom drapes herself drunkenly over her boyfriend. They snog.

People hanging around. Flirting. Drinking. Talking. Small groups. Couples. Stringing along the pavements from the closing pubs to the queues outside the night clubs. Everybody seems so young.

The 149 pulls up. Its packed. Standing next to a couple who bicker all the way to Tottenham (and beyond). She wanted to catch a bus to save money but complained about the amount of time it would take. He would have preferred to spend money on a cab to get home more quickly. Her nostrils flared in and out with anger even though they weren't shouting at one another.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Crackpot

So the final day of raku summer school was all about the firing. We did about 5 firings. Stack the pots in, heat it up to 1040ish, open the kiln, take out the red hot pots, put them in a dustbin and fill it up with sawdust. All very exciting, lots of fire and smoke.

Sadly all my pots came out with cracks in. Some of them were structrually unsound (and are now crock waiting for plants needing new pots). Others of them are just about ok to look at but useless for anything else.


Wednesday, 1 August 2007

The Kiss

He's clasping her to him in a long embrace, pressing his lips onto hers with enough vigour to tip her backwards, one foot off the floor, back arching. After they stand sheepishly chewing gum, looking opposite directions down the road, as if it never happened.