Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Bus Shelters Gallery

I've been meaning to put these up for some time but continue to fail to get a decent picture but I'm now going to put them up anyway (some of the turf hearts are looking a bit spartan now that its been dry for a while - they started off so lush and lovely!). So bus shelters. Now featuring art (and for some time it seems on bus routes that I don't normally take), if you live near Southgate Road, Old Street or work near Moorgate. Two sorts - these funny brightly coloured sputnik things or turf hearts. Love it.

I think this is the artist making the spudniks. Article by Londonist, Guardian.

Sunday, 24 August 2008


There was evidence of a massacre on the lawn - little black feathers strewn across it. Since there wasn't a body I suspected the foxes - they tend to eat stuff entirely.

Cooking dinner I went out for some mint and discovered a carcass nestling in the pots, carefully placed as if lain there purposefully - a decapatated blackbird with weirdly grey legs. Bit of a shock. Bagged it up and tossed it (don't know why it wasn't as disgusting as the dead rat we found last week - maybe because I was a vegetarian making a roast chicken dinner for the very lucky boyfiend so my squeamish response was dulled already).

Later next doors' cat suddenly appeared sitting by the open back door - he sometimes comes but mostly in the day time. My suspicians changed as to who was the suspect for the black bird murder. Very much a cat type gift.

Friday, 22 August 2008

Shortning days

When did it suddenly start getting dark at 8.30 again? It suddenly struck me this evening.
Word Cloud

Courtesy of laP, via bignjuicy, a link to Wordle that has created a wordcloud of In the Aquarium. Vacation and clouds feature in big writing - perhaps its a state of mind. And then I did it again...
Red Admiral

Spotted one in the garden today - resting on the elderberries that are drooping from heavily laiden branches. Adding it to the short list visitors this year: peacock, comma and an abundance of small whites. Don't know why I get so excited by them but I do! (I've also had dragonflies.)

Thursday, 21 August 2008


Vacation is a word that always seems a bit matter of fact, business-like and as such best describes my time off from work. I am not on holiday - holidays are frivolous, exotic, trips out of your regular scenery. I have been off from work for almost a week now. Not been anywhere but the house. Which means I have been travelling less than on a regular week (which in itself is lovely - the less tube the better!) Instead I have been staying up late and watching the olympics live in the middle of the night, sleeping late, painting my hallway (it has taken me some time to figure out quite how I was going to do that - it's a stairwell and I have a fear of ladders, but with extendable poles and paint pads its not been that bad), and capturing any rays that break through the clouds. When I've finished the hall I will be able to hang some pictures which I've had hanging around for some time. Finally get rid of the last colour choice of the previous owners. Its all good!

Friday, 15 August 2008

Queen of the hill

Lady drunk sits atop a litter bin in the rain. Cheeks rouged by alcohol, hair in a pony tail, white shoes, surrounded by male courtiers drinking special brew from the can. She's screeching hey! hey! at a group of poles standing a metre or two away as they spark up cigarettes. Can I 'ave one? she asks in her best little girl flirt when she finally attracts one's attention. She has to decant from her litter bin throne in order to claim it.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Weather: changeable

  • Waking up: heavy rain (listening to it through the open bedroom window without looking out)
  • Awake: get up look out - sunny and raining. Craning out of the bathroom window - there is a double rainbow to the west
  • Leaving for work: drizzle, grey
  • Emerging from the tube: threatening clouds overhead
  • 1.30pm: blue dky, occassional white clouds

Sunday, 10 August 2008


We've been watching quite a lot of the Olympics. Its a habit from when I was a girl. Our family wasn't particularly interested in sports but we always watched the Olympics and Wimbledon. I've periodically added other sporting events depending on friends and boyfriends - currently that means football, but has in the past included snooker, cricket and formula 1.

So far I've been watching:
  • rowing - some of the races but trying to miss the meet the people in the boat segments because they aren't enhancing my experience of the sport.
  • men's gymnastics - very impressive feats of strength and control, and none of the arm and hand twiddles that female gymnasts have to pepper their routines with.
  • swimming - always like watching swimming, I like the under water shots, and the line of the world record going along. I'm very much rooting for Phelps, but also for anyone from outside the normal swimming-winning nations (glad that Taehwan Park from Korea won a gold in 400m freestyle). Very irritated with Sharon Davies' commentary - each time the GB swimmers don't come 1st, 2nd or 3rd (which is always) she starts off the interview with, "are you disappointed?" which really dampens their youthful excitement about being at the Olympic games swimming in competition with athletes they are in awe of.
  • boxing - not sure why I watched it but I did.
  • archery - its a funny sport - tense and taut with very big bows. Disappointed by our GB team - they seemed to shoot more accurately against the Chinese and then having failed to make the gold/silver contest got worse while competing against the French. Still they are clearly better than I'd ever be (very small target when its set a 70m.
  • women's cycle road racing - which was very exciting at the end, a Brit in the breakaway group, who the commentator was suddenly very concerned about when she seemed to be slipping off the end of the group, only for her to come back and win it in the sprint. Her absolute jubilation at winning was a joy to see.
  • 2 minutes of beach volley ball (honestly, this is clearly not about the athletes but the sport of watching the athletes - how can it be taken seriously when they wear really skimpy bikinis to play in - its ogling that is the real sport here).
This morning Dad and I watched his copy of the opening ceremony. Great fireworks. Really great fireworks. A male display (female - one at a time, making for a slow paced display but able to savour every explosion, male - set them all off at once for an intense but impressive display - its a theory, someone told me one bonfire night - I like male displays better, personally). All over the city. Loving the birdnest stadium. I even liked seeing the athletes parading in - bright eyed, excited by the occasion, taking pictures of the crowd who were taking pictures of them. The ceremony was impressive, although at times rather long I thought (we could fast forward the slow bits).

I'm concerned about the London Olympics. Clearly Londoners and Brits generally are less than enthusiastic about them. Being stingy is clearly not going to help us make a successful games. I'm not sure we can come up with an impressive opening ceremony, I'm not even convinced we can get the stadia finished in time (while I love it I do remember that the Millennium Wheel didn't actually get raised until sometime after the new year, and remember the issues with the Millennium Bridge?)

Everyone keeps saying we can't top the Chinese so we should do something really low key and different. I'm not sure low-key will help to get people engaged. I think we should do something like a massive fireworks display that snakes all along the Thames - a massive intense male fireworks display from Parliament all the way to the O2 or something. Less of the bah humbug. More passion. Maybe.

Saturday, 9 August 2008


In the Haringey People (my local info mag) June edition it promised that most households would get enhanced recycling by the end of the month. So I started collecting up plastic bottles and cardboard - excited that soon I would be able to not put them in the bin. End of June came and my enhanced recycling didn't materialise. So eventually I emailed and asked them when I would be getting it. Their response was that the vehicles that collected enhanced recycling were the largest in their fleet and couldn't fit down my street.

The regular dumpsters fit down my road. I just don't understand why they don't think about the size of the roads that have to be collected from - it isn't like my street is really especially narrow - this is London, some of the streets are residential, with parking on two sides. I just feel that if my neighbourhood was in the middle-class heartland over by Crouch End, Muswell Hill and Highgate it would have to have some solution provided. Pisses me off!

Friday, 8 August 2008

Waiting for Vacation

I'm feeling a distinctly low ebb in my creativity. Probably working too hard. Soon I'll be on holiday. One week to go...

Guilty pleasures. (whisper: I've been watching Big Brother. Even though I swore I wasn't going to).

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Wally Road Caf

An old lady wearing a teeshirt with a seal on the front sits inside a greasy spoon cafe eating a fry-up. Her dogs are outside. 2 of them loll on the pavement. The other one sits in the pram watching her through the window.

Monday, 4 August 2008

London from a child's perspective

There's buses. Bendy ones. And double decker ones. Double decker ones are better becuase you can stand looking out the front top windows. You can see everything. Counted clocks on the way home. There were 10. We saw sculpted faces in the buildings - men, ladies, babies and sheep with horns.

One park to the next. Liked Stationers Park best - lots of climbing and balancing on tightropes to do. Liked swimming in the Serpentine - came out covered in green algae.

On the Southbank there was a water fountain - it was in squares. It kept sinking and getting tall. Lots of people were in it - all wet. The big boys had gone in with all their clothes on. Little kids were in their pants or swimmers. It was cold but exciting to run through the streams.

Trains, under and over the road. We walked through a tunnel under the river. Later we went on a boat. A fast boat but not as fast as expected. Waved at people on other boats going past and on bridges. Some of them waved back. One man driving a tug, came out of his cabin and blew a kiss.