What we have here, photoed five years and a day ago, is one of those window cleaning cranes, and the Moon. In the first photo there, we see all the ingredients, but this is not the Photo itself. It is merely the photo with the ingredients that went into the actual Photo.
Very little is said about window cleaning cranes, and the aesthetics of window cleaning cranes. Yet they often become the biggest feature in a particular scene.
I just wrote the sentence: “There is nothing temporary about them”, concerning these window cranes, but that’s not right. Sometimes they reach up out of their buildings, spread themselves, and dominate the scene. But somethings they fold themselves up into almost nothing. Or, they literally hide themselves inside their buildings, and become nothing.
They are invisible to some, because if you pick the right moment, they are invisible, nearly so or completely so.
In March of 2020, I journeyed to Battersea, to check out progress in all the new Machines For Living In that they were building in those parts. Frank Gehry, who specialises in the architecturally strange, is building his first London building there, and I had in mind to be checking that out in particular.
But I saw something which I personally reckon to be even stranger than that.
As so often, I only really took in how very odd these signs were when I got home. But no matter, I said to myself, I’d go back and really check these signs out, make sure I knew who had put them up, and so on and so forth. Surprise surprise, I have yet go back. All I have by way of context is this photo, that I photoed by way of a farewell-I’ll-be-back, on the same day and just after I’d photoed all the other photos:
It would appear that the workforce of one of the many enterprises toiling away in that part of London had to run a gauntlet of uplifting propaganda whenever they clocked on and clocked off.
I still don’t know what I think about that. I do know that I was intrigued, and that I still am. Certainly management is setting itself up for one hell of a pratfall, if it fails in any way to live up to these standards itself. And I now reckon that one of these signs is itself a very public error of judgement, namely the one that says: “Quiet the mind and the soul will speak”. Do you want people putting up a building with mush like that slurping around in their heads? I definitely do not. “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work”. says another of the signs. It failed to put very much perfection into that “Quiet the mind” sign. “Be PROUD of what you have done today”. Not that day.
Hey, I think I convinced myself what I think of these signs. A badly thought-through mistake. Only one big thing had to go wrong, and it did. Just as soon as the signs went up.
On April 1st, according to this, all work stopped in that particular part of Battersea, the bit where they were building stuff. I wonder if those signs were there when work restarted. If it even has.
“You’re never a loser until you quit.” I reckon they rather boxed themselves in.
The Wodge. That’s what the Guardian’s Oliver Wainwright is calling 22 Bishopsgate, London’s biggest Big Thing. Will “wodge” catch on? My guess: no. Everyone knows what a gherkin looks like, or a scalpel. But wodge? What is a wodge?
Maybe 22 Bishopsgate will end up being called the “Big Thing”.
I think, on balance, that I did want Spurs to win, but it would have been fun if they hadn’t. Biggest gap in League places in the FA Cup ever, apparently.
There was a burst of four Spurs goals in the first half, but Marine kept it to five, presumably because, the game having been won, Spurs sent on lots of children, one of whom actually scored their one second half goal.
But what fun it would have been if Marine had actually managed to score a goal. To satisfy me, they would have had to score four goals.
Deprived of such enjoyments, I had to get my fun from the geography of the ground where this game was played:
Yes, houses and their gardens, right next to the touchline, which meant that some of the TV pictures looked like this:
That’s a party in one of the gardens, watching the game through a see-through fence and revelling in the attention of the cameras.
Where is “Marine” exactly. (Another oddity is that it seems to be only football club of any significance not to have a place in its name.) It seems to be in a relatively posh place, name of Crosby, somewhere north of Liverpool. Apparently quite a few football high achievers and managers live around there. I think the ground they played this game was this.
When I photoed this photo, I’m pretty sure that it was the Big Things in the background that I was thinking about. 22 Bishopsgate, is it? No sign of that. Or of the Scalpel. The Cheesegrater still under construction.
But as for all those people lounging about in the Park, sunning themselves, or meandering about next to the lake, well, that’s not going to change, is it?
Burgess Park, May 2013. Burgess Park is one those London Parks that not everyone has heard of. Or maybe what I mean is I never noticed it until about 2013, when I seem to recall realising that it might be a good way to walk from my place to that of Michael Jennings. I recommend it.
Rough day today, what with the steroids having stopped. They definitely had a mental as well as physical effect. So quota photo time, this photo has been picked pretty much at random from the archives:
What made me pick it is that that’s not just the Shard, in a general way. It’s the Shard while they were still building it, the photo dating from March 2012.
The quota photo was one of the notions that South African based blogger 6k was kind enough to write about recently in connection with my blogging. And I do indeed think quota photos have value (as does quota blogging more generally). Just shoving up a photo like the one above is hardly going to spoil anyone’s day. After all, a photo can be skipped past in seconds if it does not appeal. On the other hand, it might just pack a bit more punch than that. So what’s to lose? I’m in a rush now, but maybe I’ll manage a comment, with a link or two maybe, to the effect that some of my favourite 6k photos over the years were often first posted as mere quota photos, which he posted just so as to post something. Yet I especially liked some of these particular photos in particular.
Maybe part of it is that a quota photo can be one of those photos that you just like, for no very obvious reasons that makes you want to attach an essay to it. Normally, you might hold it back until you decide what it means. This way, you just shove it up, and then others can like it too.
As for my quote photo above, I have, I think posted various versions of the above, where the Shard is aligned with one of the pinnacles of the Tower of London, but not this particular one.
A couple more photos from Christmas Eve, the first was showing what a weird, for me, time of day it was, even though I was already two-thirds walked home by then:
I know. 10.20am. AM!!! That’s the big clock at the top of Victoria Bus Station. And yes indeed, look at the weather, too.
Yet the funny thing is about that time in the morning is that in many ways it resembles the time when it is about to get dark again.
Consider, for instance, this next photo, of a favourite view of mine taken from the same spot and at the same time as the photo above, but just pointing in the opposite direction:
That’s one of my favourite views in London, being from the road where Warwick Way turns right, past the big bus terminal, over the big railway line into Victoria, and towards Posh Pimlico and its posh antique shops, as you go towards Sloane Square, which was where I had just come from.
I have photoed the slowly changing scene that has been Battersea Power Station over the last few decades, many a time during those years. And I have photoed photos where the evening sun was bouncing up at me like a short-pitched cricket delivery off the pitch in front of me, from railway lines like that. But I don’t recall ever having before photoed Battersea Power Station in the morning and combined that with the reflecting railways lines effect. But Christmas Eve morning having been the morning, the sun was coming from the opposite of the usual direction, and there it all was.
I like how the railway line has to climb, and also curve like that to get itself in line, past those sheds on the left, in order to be high enough and pointing in the right direction to get across the river bridge.
This is really just a posting to see if posting has got any easier from the mess it was yesterday, but I also owe regulars here, after yesterday’s single and decidedly fiascotic (also time-cheated (small hours of this morning) posting. Which means I am now going to save it in my Word-clone before trying to post it here.
Here are a couple of photos I photoed earlier in the month, of a rather handsome building just off Sloane Square, just past the tube station as you leave, in the direction of Pimlico, Victoria and such places:
A moment later, I tried photoing a detail at the top of the building, of where the top of the tower seems to collide with the big rectangular chimney under a row of chimney pots. Seems being the word, because you cannot tell from my photo, any more than you can from looking at the photos above.
But my closer-ups didn’t solve the problem. They merely magnified it. Memo to self, blah blah. Go back and check it out.
Well, today I did just that. I was in a bus and in no mood to get off it. I wanted to be home. But luckily for me, the state of the traffic stopped the bus and I was able to photo the exact detail that I earlier didn’t photo properly. It helped that this time around, the light was in the right place:
There was photoshop-cloning in both of the above, but we’re not talking my prowess as a photoer, we’re talking architectural detail, and my photoshop-cloning made things clearer.
I don’t know quite what to make of this. Best guess, the chimney basically has the right of way, because without it the machine-for-living-in that this building is doesn’t work so well. But, that little top-of-the-tower thing has nowhere else to go except to bury itself in the chimney, while actually, in reality being brushed aside by it. Whatever exactly we are looking at, it’s decidedly odd.
It is also unclear whether this is an old building or a fake old building, or maybe a hybrid in the form of a painstakingly restored-exactly-as-was old building.
I say this because a year or two ago, this is how it was looking. This being posting with photos that show a lot of activity going on in what became the inside of this new building. I’m guessing, although it’s only a guess, that they only got planning permission if they left the previous exterior untouched. But this was very hard to contrive, give what they wanted to do behind that exterior. In short, a lot. So they said, can we smash it all down and then build a new building with an exterior that looks exactly like the old one? And that was okay, provided it was exactly like that. So that’s what they did, right up to and including the way this chimney collides with this roof top thingy.
It’s a bit unfair to call this “roof clutter” (as I do in the category list below), but what else can I call it? Maybe a new category is due called Rooves? Or is it Roofs?
On further reflection, I think that what this strange little circumstance shows is that chimney pots have swung wildly back and forth from being just severely practical, towards being highly ornamental (as well as practical) and then back again. Which means that umpiring between a plainly decorative tower top and a chimney gets very … odd.