Taxi adverts!

It’s almost the definition of History that you feel you can’t talk, in my case blog about, anything else.

But yes, Taxi adverts. I haven’t been going out of my way to photo taxi adverts recently, but when one comes along, I do my best, and as often as not my best is good enough. Here are twenty such taxi adverts, all of them photoed in the first few months of this year:

And here’s a final one, that I photoed this very afternoon, in Parliament Square. I was mainly photoing statues, but this one drove by, so …:

A lot of these adverts now seem very obsolete, although most of them were photoed either before all this History exploded, or while the explosion was only getting started. But now? Well, people are still vaping, and still working away at things like online banking. They’re probably still buying shoes and having them delivered to theirs homes. But not a lot of regular shopping is now happening, except for food, and not many people are now wandering about in London paying careful attention to all of these adverts and consequently buying this particular frock or that particular pair of shoes, or this other taxi app.

Those who are still wandering about in public spots are the anti-socials, like me, taking exercise, or in my case exercise and photos (and doing some food shopping), and all keeping ourselves to ourselves just like always. I mostly don’t have other photoers to photo now, but otherwise, for me, it’s pretty much pleasure as usual.

Computer battles

This blog is working fine, but my computer is not. It demanded a major upgrade of Windows, and life has not been the same since it deigned to do that, after the usual switch-it-off-switch-it-on-again palaver. My Photoshop(clone) is refusing to process photos, and everything looks different. Black mostly. Windows Photo Viewer or whatever the hell it is is a shambles compared to what it was. And now, it seems, I can’t even copy and paste a damn link, for phux ache. I wanted to insert the getting old link at this point, but my computer refused to even do that.

On the plus side, in the course of my various battles, I blundered into a way to make all the text on my screen 25% bigger, so i can now clearly read all about how my computer is failing to do what I want it to.

I think there are too many windows open. But that’s something to have a go at tomorrow. For tonight, good night.

At least the above bollocks seems to be loading okay.

LATER: Sorted. Switched-it-off-switched-it-on-again, again. I am indeed getting old.

William Huskisson and his statue

In addition to photoing ducks in Pimlico Gardens, I also photoed this statue of William Huskisson:

Harsh sunlight can sometimes turn the subtleties of sculpture into a mixture of uninformative black and equally uninformative white, so the diminished but more ambient light I had to make do with may have helped, although a bit more ambient light would have helped. And I fear that in any sort of light, the inscription on the base of the statue (in photo 2) would have been a photographic struggle. You can just about make out that William Huskisson was born in 1770 and died in 1830, but if you care about these dates, you’d probably want to check them out.

The anonymous writer of this piece about the Huskisson Statue refers to it as “rather Roman”. This is like calling an F1 racing car “rather fast” or the Milky Way “rather big”. Huskisson dates from the era when politicians liked to dress up as Romans for portraits and statues, an era that ended with the mid-nineteenth century expansion of the franchise. At which point politicians stopped dressing in a way that emphasised how different and aristocratic and educated and virtuous and special they were, and switched to being ceremonially portrayed in the way that they actually dressed in their regular lives, i.e. a smarter version of the way everyone dressed. “I’m special” turned into “I’m one of you”.

Huskisson’s main claim to fame now is that he was the first mere person ever to be killed in a railway accident. Lots of people must already have died in the course of constructing railways and locomotives, but Huskisson was the first civilian, so to speak, to be killed by this newfangled technology.

More impressive to me is that, as much as he could manage to be within the limits of political necessity and ambition, Huskisson was an old-school classical liberal. At one point in his career, somebody tried to get him to impose a legally enforced minimum wage. Huskisson brushed the notion aside as foolishness. Good for him.

Here is what the Adam Smith Institute’s Madsen Pirie has to say about Huskisson.

Another pair of Egyptian geese

Blogging as I just was about romantically linked birds, I recently transferred a posting about a couple of geese, which I did on Christmas Eve 2014, from the old blog to this blog, which was a big improvement because this posting featured thirty three photos of the happy couple, and viewing them is now a whole lot quicker and easier than it was.

Here is the photo number one of that clutch of thirty three …:

… and I really recommend you check out the other thirty two.

On Tuesday afternoon, at my end of Vauxhall Bridge, on the left as I approach it, I checked out the very same spot where I had photoed all these highly recommendable photos. Perhaps I thought I would meeting the original objects of my photography back in 2014, again. And rather to my surprise, I did encounter a couple of geese who looked very like the two I had originally photoed:

Sadly, I fear that “looked very like” is as far as it went. I had hoped I might have spied again the original couple, but this I now greatly doubt. There are now many of these geese in London and they breed fast.

I know this because I finally managed to identify what brand of bird these four birds all are. I googled “brown eyed goose”, and everything became clear. They are Egyptian geese. That’s a link to a Guardian piece about these geese. The Guardian loves them because the warmer weather we’ve been having lately has enabled them to flourish here. The Guardian loves warmer weather. Warmer weather, to the Guardian means that the world ought to have done to it permanently what the Coronavirus is only doing to it temporarily.

Venturing out again

I wrote here earlier about my fear of embarking upon any longish photo-expeditions, given the highly regulated nature of the public realm at present, and given how enthusiastic mere people seem to have become about enforcing these new rules, by shouting at those who they believe to be disobeying them. Such fears are a getting old thing.

But on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons of this week I set aside these fears and went on a couple of walks, keeping well away from other people of course. On Tuesday, the last day of March, I walked from my home to and across Vauxhall Bridge and then walked a little along the far side towards Battersea, at which point it got too dark and I turned back for home. And on Wednesday, the first day of April, I turned right along the north bank of the River until I got to and crossed Chelsea Bridge, explored all the frozen-in-the-moment building activity around the Battersea Power Station, and then walked back home along the south side of the River and back across Vauxhall Bridge.

The weather on Tuesday was fine, but on Wednesday afternoon the short-term weather forecast was something it very seldom is. It was wrong. I was promised a couple of hours of partial sunshine, but this never happened. But at least there was, as also promised, no actual rain, and once embarked upon my journey I pressed on, for the exercise you understand.

I soon arrived in a place variously known either as St George’s Square or Pimlico Gardens. Although, follow the second of those two links and you understand this muddle. Pimlico Gardens is the small bit at the southern end of the much bigger St George’s Square, which is elongated and not square at all.

Anyway, what with all this exercising, it seemed pointless not to do any photoing, given that nobody seemed to be objecting. In St George’s Square/Pimlico Gardens I photoed a couple – truly a couple – of ducks:

Ducks close-up seemed to work in the gloomy weather. There’s lots of detail for the automatic function to grab hold of, which is mostly how I do my focusing.

No social distance between them.