Leadenhall Market

Yesterday I showed a photo that I actually took yesterday, rather than last year or last decade. And today I’m doing the same. I’m showing you another photo that I took yesterday:

That’s the inside of the domed roof in the middle of Leadenhall Market in the City of London. This is another of those photos which is a lot easier to take if you have a twiddly screen, such as I always now have.

Here is the next photo I took, to show you which place I mean:

To me, one of the odder things about Leadenhall Market is that all the enterprises plying their trade in it would seem to be obliged by the house rules to proclaim their names in the exact same style and size of lettering. This is not what you get in most shopping centres, which is what this place basically is. But, fair enough: their gaff, their rules. And although in one sense this is uniformity gone a bit mad, in another sense it is variety, because this is not something you see very often.

It is clearly a recent thing, and Wikipedia confirms this:

Between 1990 and 1991 the market received a dramatic redecoration which transformed its appearance, enhancing its architectural character and detail. The redecoration scheme received a special mention in the Civic Trust Awards in 1994.

Ah yes. Commercial, you understand, but not too commercial. The subtle business of not being too businesslike.

I passed through this place on my way to Monument tube, having been wandering towards the City and its Big Things from the Bethnal Green area, enjoying the last daylight of a very fine yesterday. Of which maybe more here later, and of which maybe not more here later. (This blog is also not very businesslike.)

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Self storage is a strange expression

Yes. I ran it by Adriana plus her Plus One (Perry de H), at that feast I reported on yesterday, and it turns out that I’m not the only one who finds the phrase “self storage” …

… to be rather odd. (That’s this.)

I know what self storage is. It’s the name given to the process of ridding your self of some of the crap by which your self is currently surrounded and impeded, without actually chucking it away irrevocably. In particular, when your self is in between locations, or when your self has moved from a big place to a smaller place, your stuff, or your excess stuff, needs to be stored somewhere.

But self storage, taken literally, sounds like you are parking your self in a warehouse and for the duration, your life will consist only of all the extraneous crap.

You become like a zombie or something. I can understand people wanting to put their mere selves to one side while earning a living. That might make a rather profitable business. But while actually, you know, … trying to live … ?

Odd.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

The most popular England and Wales birthday date is my birthday date

A day or two ago I got an email from someone or something selling greetings cards, claiming that my birthday, September 26th, is the most popular birthday there is. Today, which is September 26th, the same email with only small adaptations bombarded me again.

The thing about modern individually targetted advertising – emails, adverts that pop up on your computer screen, that kind of thing – is that you don’t trust them. For instance, what if some know-a-lot computer happens to know that my birthday is September 26th, as many such computers surely do, and thinks that it will get a rise out of me by typing September 26th into its mass-email about what date the most popular birthday is?

So I asked the www, parts of which I do somewhat trust, and according to this Daily Telegraph piece from December 2015, it’s true. The Daily Telegraph these days is not what it was, but for what it is worth, here’s what they said:

A new analysis of 20 years of birth records by the Office for National Statistics shows a dramatic spike in the number of children born in late September, nine months after Christmas. …

Overall September 26 emerges as the most common birthday for people born in England and Wales over the last two decades.

It falls 39 weeks and two days after Christmas Day, meaning that a significant proportion of those born on that day will have been conceived on Christmas itself.

I don’t know how popular September 26th was as a birthday way back when I was biologically launched. I’ve always thought of my parents as pretty straight-laced and careful about things like when to have children. But, did they just get pissed on Christmas Day 1946 and start me up by mistake? Maybe so. (Maybe they got pissed carefully.)

Anyway, whatever, happy birthday me.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Dramatic sky over Brixton

For all I know the sky was quite dramatic over other places too, but it was in Brixton that I saw it:

Often, when I show photos here, they were taken days, weeks, months or even years ago. Yesterday, there were photos that were taken ten years ago. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but: the above photos were taken earlier this evening, when I journeyed out to Brixton Curry’s PC World Carphone Warehouse or whatever the &&&&& it’s called, to try and to fail to buy a new TV. Which means that this is topical meteorological reportage.

Click on any of the above photos if you wish, and if you do you’ll get the bigger versions. But I actually think that the smaller versions are more dramatic, because more abstract and less of something. Like little oil paintings. Especially the first one.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Bromley-by-Bow tube to the Twelvetrees Crescent bridge

Some of the best walks in London that I have done in recent months have been alongside the River Lea. Typically, I would start at Bromley-by-Bow tube station, go south along the A12 and then turn left along Twelvetrees Crescent until I get to the Twelvetrees Crescent bridge. Then I’d go either north or south.

On one of these meanders, the weather was particularly bright and sunny, and before I even got to the river, while I was just walking south along the A12, photo-ops abounded. Or maybe they didn’t but it felt as if they did. Everything, even the most mundane of objects or lighting effects, seemed dusted by a spraycan of joy, and I can’t look at the photos I took that day without that joy colouring my feeling about the photos I took at that moment.

Photos like these:

I can’t be objective about whether anyone else might like the above photos. I was and remain too happy about them to be objective. Just looking at them when I was preparing them for this posting, I became too happy to even care about being objective.

Share my joy, or not, as you please. 1.1 just tells us where we start. 1.2 is another view from the station, but not of it. 1.3 is one of those gloriously complicated drain-unblocking lorries. 2.3 I like because the colours on the car are so like the colours sported by the building, and because the sunniness of it all is emphasised by my silhouette. In 3.2 you can just see the top of the Big Olympic Thing, an effect I always enjoy. And 3.3 features a photo of, I do believe, the Taj Mahal. Lovely.

Not long after photoing all that, I photoed these shopping trolleys.

When I returned a day or two later to retrace my joyful steps, I photoed the excellent footbridge from the Twelvetrees Crescent bridge (one of my favourite footbridges in all of London (although maybe it’s just how good it looked that day from that spot)). I photoed the Shard. And I photoed a map that shows the locality where all these delights are to be found.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Eight

Today being the BMdotcom day for cats, and now also for other creatures, here is another creature, in this case a chicken, in an advert:

And here, photoed by me recently, outside the Old Vic theatre, is one of these excellent machines referred to in the advert, in action:

You can surely see what I did there, and I assure you that it was no fluke. I waited for it to say 8. I also have 9 and 7, because I wanted to make quite sure. I have been photoing these excellent machines for quite a while now.

The 8build website. They’re doing some work on the Old Vic.

On the left in the distance, nearing completion, One Blackfriars. I find liking this Thing a bit of an effort, but I’ll get there. I always do with such Things. According to that (Wikipedia), One Blackfriars is nicknamed “The Vase”. I smell, although I have no evidence for this, an attempt at preemptive nicknaming, by the people who built this Thing. “We’ll call it The Vase, to stop London calling it something worse.” That’s what happened with The Shard, after all. And that name stuck.

I tried to make the title of this “8”, but apparently a number with no letters is not allowed.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Droneverts

Incoming from Michael Jennings: One for you.

It certainly is. Apparently, in Mexico, Uber is using drones to advertise itself, by having them hover, with signs, over traffic jams:

Drones to carry adverts, or signs. But of course. The possibilities are endless, and the probability is: lots of complaining, drone destruction, car crashes blamed on drones carrying adverts or signs, etc.

Imagine it. You are going at a speed considered too fast by the Big Computer in the Sky, so it sends a drone out to fly out in front of you, telling you to slow down or be fined. Or more probably, just telling you that you have already have been fined. Ah, modern life. Science fiction just never sees it coming.

By the way, what is that sign saying?

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Recent taxis with adverts photos

Yes, I’ve been continuing to photo taxis with adverts. Here are half a dozen of the most recent such snaps.

First up, further proof, if you need it, that the internet has not abolished television. People still like to be passively entertained, surprise surprise. But the internet is in the process of swallowing television, so that they end up being the same thing:

Next, become an accountant! Note how they include the word “taxi” in the advertised website, presumably to see whether advertising on taxis is worth it. Note to LSBF: I have no plans to become an accountant.

Note also the Big Things picture of London, something I always like to show pictures of here, and note also how out of date this picture is. No Cheesegrater, for a start:

Next up, a taxi advertising a book. I do not remember seeing this before, although I’m sure it has happened before:

Next, Discover America. I thought it already had been:

Visit a beach. I didn’t crop this photo at all, because I like how I tracked the taxi and its advert, and got the background all blurry, and I want you to see all that blurriness. Nice contrast between that and the bright colours of the advert. A little bit of summer in the grey old February of London:

Finally, a snap I took last night, in the Earls Court area. And now we’re back in the exciting world of accountancy, this time in the form of its Beautiful accounting software:

As you can see, it was pitch dark by the time I took this. But give my Lumix FZ200 even a sliver of artificial light and something solid to focus on, and it does okay, I think. A decade ago, that photo would have been an unusable mess.

I am finding that taxi advertising changes very fast these days. All of the above photos, apart from the one with the beaches, was of an advert I had not noticed before.

Which means that in future years, these taxi photos will have period value, because the adverts will have changed over and over again with the passing of only a handful of years.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

You can tell that drones have arrived because now they are being turned into a sport

I like cricket. And I like drones. But which is best?

There’s only one way to find out. Fight.

Actually, all the drone did there was hover, waiting to be clobbered, which, a minute and a half in, it duly was, by Chris Gayle.

What I want to see is a game where drones fight against each other. Or a war. Either would do.

Or, perhaps a demo.