Quota gallery from exactly one year ago

I’ll be doing a lot less of this sort of thing, just wandering about in London, photoing at will:

And yes, photoed on March 17th 2019, in and around Hay’s Galleria. Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, The Shard, all around there. Across the river, the Tower of London, no less.

The last photo is of that big lump of a building at the southern end of London Bridge, near to the Shard.

Also light fittings. I like London’s light fittings.

I also like that photo-posting here is back, after a short interruption.

March 17th 2019 was a date from that far off time before BMNB even existed, and galleries like this were tedious to do, and impossible for all you readers and viewers to click through conveniently, and above all quickly.

I’ll probably be doing quite a bit of catching up of this sort in the next few months, what with being stuck at home. As of now it looks like old geezers like me will be shouted at by the Fuzz, strictly from a distance you understand, to go home and to stay home.

Shopping for food or medicine will be tolerated. Just meandering about photoing, forget about it.

Ferrari sighting

While out-and-about on other business further in the middle of London even than my home is, I photoed this little Thing On Wheels:

This was in Bedford Street (as you can just about make out), which is just off the Strand. So far so ordinary. Some brand of “smart” car, presumably.

But when I got home, I looked more closely at this photo, and could just about make out … this:

I didn’t see this logo at the time. I merely noticed it in the original photo, of which the above is a crop-and-expand.

Unless I was mistaken, the Ferrari logo!. The Ferrari horse. Was this bod taking the piss? Had he stuck this Ferrari horse logo on his little red Dinky Toy for some sort of laugh?

This is the twenty first century, and questions like this can be quickly answered.

Apparently this was indeed a Ferrari Smart Car. (He’s not happy about this either.) Different Smart Car, Ferrari logo in the exact same spot. The cars must have come with this logo attached, and must accordingly be “real” Ferraris. Not real Ferraris, you understand. Real Ferraris can drive under articulated lorry trailers at 200 mph. What I saw and photoed was just a Dinky Toy car perpetrated by the Ferrari company in what must have been a quite prolonged fit of insanity, which I presume still continues. Talk about pissing all over your own brand.

Like I say, I like real Ferraris, which I suppose we must now call Ferrari Dumb Cars, driven by the spoilt children of the nouveau riche. The bloke in my photo looks more like an Extinction Rebel or some such thing. i.e. the sort of person who’d be totally opposed to real Ferraris. Which he may well be.

In the course of my googling, I discovered an entire internet subculture of photo-manipulators eager to take the piss out of this abominable little contraption.

Trees and other Things

I’ve not being doing much out-and-abouting lately. But yesterday the weather looked good and I managed a photo-expedition. My odyssey was a familiar one. I walked past the Channel 4 TV headquarters building to Victoria Street, checked out the progress of The Broadway. (That seems to e its name, by the way. It’s not One Broadwy or Ten Broadway, just The Broadway.) Then I walked down Victoria Street to Westminster Abbey and Parliament Square, and then across Westminster Bridge and along the South Bank, and then back across the River to Embankment Tube and home again.

But I knew there’d be new stuff to see, or maybe old stuff that I had seen many times before but not noticed. Stuff like … trees. Here are sixteen of the photos I photoed, involving trees:

Trees look as they do, especially when uninterrupted by leaves, not because trees naturally look like that, but because a not-that-small and very full-time army of tree barbers and tree surgeons (that being the word they prefer), caused them to be so. Every twist and turn of a branch is a decision made by someone wielding a chainsaw (this time click on “Gallery”) or commanding someone wielding a chainsaw. If trees ever do grow “naturally”, that too is a string of decisions that someone made and went on making. Every tree in London is a clutch of design decisions.

And as I say, no leaves. Which means that other things were to be seen also. The Broadway, the Wheel, the Crimea statue, stuff around Parliament Square (much of it smothered in scaffolding), the Wheel from closer up, Big Ben (smothered in scaffolding), the sign outside Foyles saying “FOYLES”, a big puddle, and so forth and so on. Lovely.

A London logo with lots of Things of a Certain Size

It’s not hard to see why I like a graphic contrivance of this sort:

I encountered it at a website entitled Specifier Review, which is concerned with the actual building of buildings. The explanatory blurb towards the bottom ends with the words “building product manufacturers and construction industry specialists”.

Note that, in this graphic, the Big Thing performers at the front of the stage are backed by a much more numerous but more anonymous chorus of generic no-name blocks. Things, you might say, of a Certain Size. Not necessarily that small, but definitely not Big. Maybe big enough to impinge locally, and to get right wing grumps grumbling in their opinion pieces, but not to register in the grander scheme of London Big Things, as seen from a distance. As seen, for instance, in the graphic that adorns the top of this blog.

It’s the Big Things that catch the eye of onlookers like me, but the bread and butter of being a building product manufacturer or construction industry specialist is working away on those boring, generic, Things of a Certain Size.

It’s a whole different posting, but the building scene in London has now shifted away from Big Things towards Things of a Certain Size. No more Gherkins and Shards. Not for the time being. But still plenty more Things of a Certain Size, for thousands upon thousands more folks to live in and to work in, and to work at building.

Round town in Germany

Here:

The Bavarian city of Nördlingen is maybe the only town in the world built using materials of extraterrestrial origin.

Maybe, maybe. What I like about the Bavarian city of Nördlingen is that it’s round:

Note Nördlingen’s very thin and very sensible Green Belt, a circular park with lots of trees, by the look of it. Unlike London’s Green Belt, which is absurdly thick and ridiculous, and, to an appalling degree, treeless.

Brown Norwegian cheese (again)

In 1966, I had a three month holiday in Scandinavia, on a bike. This did not work very well in Norway, which is rather bumpy, but what did work well in Norway was the brown Norwegian cheese. I don’t have the ostehøvel that I used on that trip to slice the brown Norwegian cheese, because I gave it away to someone, but back home, I bought another one immediately …:

… and have been using it ever since, for slicing regular British cheese.

I had less luck finding any brown Norwegian cheese back home. Even since then, I have kept an eye open for this brown Norwegian cheese, in Brit shops, but I never found any.

Then I had a brainwave. Why not type “brown Norwegian cheese” into the www, and see what came up? Maybe the www could tell me which shop to try. And yes, you are right, I should have thought of this a lot sooner. See the contents list below, which will include: Getting old.

Anyway, the www did its stuff, and I was instructed to visit Waitrose in Oxford Street, which is in the basement of John Lewis. And I duly purchased a couple of … these:

“A Norwagian speciality. Mixed creamy whey cheese made with goat’s milk and cow’s cream.”

When you get inside this (and start slicing and eating), it looks like this:

Yum. £4 per cube. Worth every penny.

LATER: Sorry about the spotty plate. It really is time I got some plain white ones, on which dirt is more easily spotted.

A painter and a fish

Two more photos from October 20th 2007, and that’s really it.

First, the painter who painted Venus and The Annunciation, painting The Annunciation:

Maybe you suspected he painted his paintings at home and just taped them to the pavement. No. He painted them in situ.

And later, on the same day, a fish:

Which came out really well, I think. It’s the bottom of a street lamp. To its right, what the top of the street lamp looks like.

Colourful architecture in the past and in the future

Tim Dunn tweeted the two photos below as a before/after pair.

Before:

After:

Before being how Wells Cathedral used once upon a time to look, and After being after the Puritans had got rid of all the colouring in, and had added a couple of towers.

In my mind, I connect the idea that medieval cathedrals used to be riots of colour, which seems to be true, in addition to being an attractive idea to many (me included), with the idea that many new and recent buildings might benefit from a similar sort of process in reverse. In short, brightening up.

Here’s the sort of thing I mean:

I downloaded that photo from the www, but then lost where I had found it and couldn’t find it again. Nevertheless, there it is, the Sydney Opera House, lit up with what look like Aboriginal type graphics.

I also came across a French medieval cathedral lit up in colour like old Wells Cathedral

Which is all good, but such a thing only works well at night.

Actual paint, on the other hand, is permanent, and good luck persuading those who have got used to plain stone colour that they should instead get used to a highly controversial version of what their cathedral might have been like in the past.

Time for someone to invent magic electronic paint. This is the sort of pain which you can slap on just like regular paint, except that it is transparent, like varnish. But this varnish is different, because it consists of a billion tiny mass produced little magic spheres which, when activated by a magic message from afar, can light up in whatever colour you want. You sit down with your computer and Photoshop in lots of colours, and then you switch it on. Voila! It looks like it used to, before the Puritans went all puritanical with the first lot of paint. But, it’s only temporary so the grumblers who would have grumbled very obstructively will only grumble a bit and not enough to stop it. More Photoshopping means that you can switch to a totally different colour scheme, just by switching another switch.

Soon, all the now ugly concrete monstrosities will be covered in this magic paint, and the world will become a more colourful and much better place. Patent pending.

Those Frenchies do love their motorbikes

Yes they do. Here are some I photoed on my recent trip to their country:

And here is a particularly interesting motorbike specimen, which I spotted inside a shop in Perpignan:

You see what they did there? They put a classic motorbike next to one of the great design classics of the twentieth century, the Barcelona Chair. What this says to me is: This motorbike is a work of art also. My photos are not works of art, on account of unwanted reflections, but they make the point I’m making well enough.

The best motorbike I encountered, and photoed with its owner’s proud permissions, was this one, photoed right at the end of my stay, while being driven back to Carcassone Airport:

The nearest thing to this bike I could find on the www was this. Not a perfect match, but an exact match on the colour scheme front.

I like to think that the French see something philosophical, Sartrian, existentialist, in their bikes. What with you riding a motorbike, today could be your last day alive! So climb on your bike and find your true self! Or something. I put this or something like it to a friend earlier this evening, and she said maybe they like bikes because unlike us lot here, they have roads where you can really ride motorbike on properly. Sadly, I think that makes more sense.