Posts Tagged 'London'

is this really London?

Found this blast from the past, from some time in 2006 in London…

Had an ultra bizarre afternoon on Saturday. Decided to go to a ‘free’ ‘blues’ festival in the city. Turned out to be a bit of a dinky free concert hosted by an animal rescue charity so they could ask the audience for donations.

When I arrived there was a jazz pianist (quite good) with a female singer who sang the whole first number at least a third lower than the key the pianist was playing. Excruciating. The rest of the set was more or less in tune but still excruciating. Then she played solo violin (quite well) while a tall muscular eye candy black man did an interpretive dance (!!!!!!!). All a bit art school.

I thought I’d stick around for the next act, really wanting to hear some blues. Instead a five piece hard rock band from Scotland got up, pretty good music, all black clothes, studded belts, you can picture it.

As soon as they started playing, a group of old fogies, well into their seventies, jumped up and started grooving VERY ENERGETICALLY. Three of the gents wore lurid 70s shirts, two sporting large gold sunnies and WIGS. Yes, wigs. And they thought they were HOT!

Pretty soon there was a bit of a crowd, attracted by the music. We were all looking on with our mouths open, lots of people taking photos. Just wish I’d remembered to take my camera instead of having to make do with the crappy mobile phone camera…sigh! Those photos just didn’t work out.


the tower…

Finally tackled the last major London icon on my list – the Tower of London. Strolled over Tower Bridge on the way to get the bus at London Bridge too.

The ToL was more odd in experiential stakes than I’d anticipated. The prime attraction of course was the Crown Jewels, deservedly with capital first letters. After braving the fire hazard of 4 rooms of queuing you can finally get up close. Quickly it’s apparent the royal family are obscenely wealthy and you’re looking at the iconic representations of that wealth within a place where thousands have been incarcerated and murdered solely in order to continue their lineage and power. All at £16.50 per adult tourist. And why do they still need tax funded allowances? Hmm? OK OK the place is run by an independent charity blah blah blah. Still.

A nice man in a cute uniform (not in a sexy way) explained how every 15 years the velvet in the crowns is replaced – at £440 per square meter. And the ermine lining the lower edges is replaced regularly too. The little brown or black dots amidst the white fur (about 20 per crown) is taken from just one place on the animal – the tip of the tail. That’s quite a few departed souls for the Queen’s head to be a little more comfortable once each November…

Rant over. Here’s some photos I liked. And some carvings by prisoners that hit home are further down too.

Continue reading ‘the tower…’

Thames beach at low tide 3

Another of the incongruities of life – I can go hang out at Southbank with the hordes of tourists and find peace and contemplation. Down on the ‘beach’ it’s just you and the river and whatever detrius of life the river’s allowed to rest for a few hours before high tide returns.

in the minority…

During the weekend just passed Brockwell Park hosted the Country Fair – a massive free community festival of gigantic proportions.

Living in Brixton you see a big mix of cultures – African, Jamaican, European, many more besides, all jumbled up together with an overriding Carribean identity. On the weekend though, the true hugeness of the local black population was on show, and I realised I’d underestimated just how big it is. They came out on mass and had a good time!

My friend Owen kindly allowed me to take some photos of him. His politics lead us to meet some easygoing locals and there were a few other lucky shots to be had.

out and about… and proud…

Quite by accident got caught up in the London Pride march today. I won’t bore you with a photo of Boris, there were too many other sterling people to photograph instead. Curiously, many in these photos have serious eyes amidst the spectacle. May tolerance and compassion continue to spread in all walks of life.

Continue reading ‘out and about… and proud…’


we pass by the same things everyday, then one day we do one thing different and see something in another light. this time I had my camera and caught the essence.

The Eternal Wait

The Eternal Wait

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