28 April 2016

IWA Canalway Cavalcade, this Bank Holiday Weekend, 30April–02May, Little Venice

Three days of colourful boats, entertainment, food, stalls and music.
See the website for more info.
Come and find me at my stall at the far end of the row above the towpath on Warwick Crescent where I will have a broad selection of items for sale:
Greeting cards (blank inside with envelopes) featuring some of my canal and Cavalcade images. More cards here.
Clay pipe jewellery,  Thames glass pendants,  Clay Pipe Pete and Smokey Joe greeting cards,      London landmark cards,  upcycled leather accessories,  tins and small bric-a-brac
Warwick Crescent – What a lovely location!

25 April 2016

Unrestricted View – a film festival at Hen and Chickens Theatre, 25th April – 1st May

The Hen and Chickens Theatre Pub is well-known for being the starting ground for many new productions. It's where small theatre projects have begun and comedians both new and established have honed their craft in front of a small audience. Now the H+C is showing films.
Tonight sees the start of Unrestricted View, a week of eclectic movies of varying length carefully selected from a long list of submissions. Highlights of the full programme include: Set Fire to the Stars starring Elijah Wood which will opening the Festival and Men & Chicken starring Mads Mikkelson closing the festival. High points of the festival include Bradley Walsh in The Lights, Catherine Tate & Alex McQueen in Not Sophie's Choice, Richard Glover in The John and Indira Varma in Vintage Blood.
See the full programme here. I will be there this evening so do say hello if you see me.
It's also worth mentioning that there will be special drink offers to tie in with each film and craft beers available.

22 April 2016

The London Marathon – I can't be arsed

Every now and then I open up a little book by Richard Wilson and read one of the 63 things he "can't be arsed" to do before he dies. These include such diverse things as bungee jumping, running with bulls, drinking a yard of ale, seeing the Great Wall of China and joining The Mile High Club. I expect you too can think up good reasons for not doing most of those.
Earlier this week I happened to open the book at page 141; No.57: Run A Marathon.

This year's London Marathon is tomorrow, Sunday 24thApril. More info here. And here.
I think it was last year that I watched it on the telly jeering at the healthy nutters as I slobbed on the sofa in my dressing gown drinking black coffee and smoking fags; ooh the irony.

20 April 2016

More from Greenwich Peninsula

This follows on my last piece 

Just re-found these pics taken in August 2015 after an afternoon at the beer festival when we thought it would  be a good idea to walk back to Greenwich town in the rain. Pff! What's a bit of sky water?!
Around the Peninsula, including a high-rise tower of my own towers

This shows why I thought re-visiting the foreshore here was a good idea; OK even more plastic and modern detritus, but a decent beach with potted plants and the remains of an old brick floor.

18 April 2016

A mooch around the meridian – Greenwich Peninsula and the O2

The plan was, as the tide was so low last weekend, to go and investigate the foreshore around the Greenwich Peninsula. But as we came off slip way we could see it was horribly slimy and muddy.

Jen, Brian and Malcolm ventured further along the water's edge for a bit but I decided it wasn't worth the effort as did Caroline and Liliana. We three waited by the mass of tide-swept rubbish which included far too many plastic bottles and hundreds of those shiny metal cream frothing capsules that are being used for other things these days.

We then walked clockwise around the O2 along The Olympian Way (part of the Thames Path) stopping to look at some of the "art" along the path. By which I mean most of it is rather confusing. These artworks, which are part of The Line, include some large mannequin arms that looked vaguely sexual, a sign with a big number on it, a section of a boat and an upside-down electricity pylon which, because as it's behind a fence in an area that looks like a wasteland/dump, I would have walked past without a second glance had Malcolm not pointed it out to me. Perhaps that's the point. I think it would have a better effect in a green field or in the middle of a London square. Oh, and the information plaques for most of these things are already broken/tarnished. Upkeep/maintenance lacking again.

Moving on... The view down onto the foreshore was lovely – sandy beaches, birds and grasses. Just don't turn round and look O2 and its adjacent buildings which, due to the high blue wire fence, resembles an American prison camp.
Intrigued about the plans for this area we ventured into the Now Gallery to see what we'd understood was supposed to be an exhibition showing how the peninsula will be developed in the future. The strapline is "Where Pioneers Live". That'll be the kind of pioneers who live in luxury apartments and use the Tesco Express and gym on the ground floor, rather than ones who have all their belongings on their back, clean their teeth with sticks and survive on baked beans and bad coffee.
Once inside the building we spent ages trying to work out what we were looking at. The 3D architectural forms that looked like jelly, wood and colourful perspex buildings looked like fun. I doubt that will happen in the UK. You only see that kind of vision in, say, Barcelona. Another white form  depicted the whole sweep of this swathe of land all the way to the City but I couldn't understand what it was intended to mean. It looked nice in a foyer kind of way, but why was it there? What was it supposed to be telling us? And how much had it cost to make?

We entered the viewing room and spent ages trying to get the interactive CGI film thing to work on the tablet (well done Malcolm!) but it had no sound and we spent all the time in there laughing and jeering at the over-sized badly-steered boats, the 2D buildings, the unsupported red walkways, the giant birds and the enormous trampoline! It was fun, but ultimately rather confusing.
I spoke about all this to the girl on the reception desk who explained that this open-to-the-public walk-in area on the ground floor was just about concepts, but if we wanted to know what was really being planned we'd need to make an appointment to go up to the first floor. Aha! So they are keeping it all under wraps. I'd say we can expect another maze of homogeneous high rise glass with a few "iconic" tall things thrown in for good measure.
Hmmm... we then investigated the interactive exhibits to the left of the desk which were supposed to explain the different districts within the peninsula. It was like a playground for adults. And most of it wasn't working.
So we wandered back out into reality and walked the Thames Path to Greenwich.
But I'll save that for another day...

15 April 2016

Vintage Car Boot at Kings Cross this weekend

Find me selling all sorts of bric-a-brac, tins, accessories and what-not tomorrow and Sunday at Cubitt's Yard, Kings Cross.
For more info see the website.
Here's a video of last year
And some pics:
Kev's taxi will be there on Sunday only this year
Previous events at different locations: September 2014March 2015

12 April 2016

More doorway mosaics – patterns and motifs

Last month I put together a collection of mosaic floors depicting company names. This time it's a collection of patterns of mainly flora and fauna:
The thistle in the top row was the logo/emblem of David Greig the first high street grocery chain in the UK, and will feature in a forthcoming blog post about that company once I do some more sleuthing. The third one fourth row used to be on Wigmore Street near the end of Marylebone Lane but was removed/destroyed approx 2011 (sad face).

5 April 2016

Red Brick Reliefs

High above our heads on old façades there are carved friezes, motifs, date stamps and words from the days when buildings were almost as individual as human being –  architectural embellishments as personal jewellery and tattoos. 
I have noticed that quite a few of these are made from red bricks whose rectangular forms can be seen within the images.

In no particular order: Camden, Wapping, Kensington, Borough, Crouch End, Islington, West End
That's it. Please contact me if you have spotted any more of this kind.