Butterflies in the windows of Harrods – 2011

Yes, in February 2011, I was photoing butterflies, in shopwindows:

And yes, Harrods.

There’s another art that must surely have become a bit more elaborate since the arrival of digital photography. If your window display s temporary, why bother to go to too much bother? But if you can easily go snap and make it rather more permanent, then you’ll surely bother that little bit more.

One of the better talks I have ever given concerned the impact of digital photography, and in that I recall mentioning someone who used digital photography to “collect”, to so speak, butterflies. Real ones. By photoing them rather than by stabbing them with pins. If I’d thought of shop-window displays when preparing that talk, I might have mentioned them also, along with graffiti and ice sculpture.

Big Things above three urinals

Indeed. To celebrate being able to post photos again with ease, this:

We’re in the Gents, at the Lord Palmerston pub, Dartmouth Park Hill. Although, they call it the “Lords”.

The above photo was photoed in 2015. I’d just been checking out the view from that Bridge that goes over Archway, from which you can see London’s Big Things for real. I went back to this Lords Toilet more recently, to try to get a photo that would work for the permanent top of this blog, but the Big Things had gone. Shame. Maybe looking at giant architectural penises proved off-putting for those seeking to piss through their own smaller penises.

Oval memories

My life and the world are both a bit of a mess at the moment. I’ll spare you the details of the former, by just saying that these details are indeed messy without in any way being life-threatening. The mess the world is in you know all about, even as you and I may well quarrel about who’s fault it is and what needs doing about it. Just so you know, I’m right about that and if you disagree you’re wrong, but I see no need and now feel no desire to elaborate on that basic truth.

So, escape, in the form of yet more happy memories from The Time Before All This:

This was a game of cricket at the Oval, a walk across the River from me, in July 2016. I was originally only going to post the one with the silly hat and the artistic one, with the shadows, photos 8 and 7. But then I thought, have a good old wallow. Thank you again Darren. Darren being my friend Darren, the Surrey Member, who gets me in with him as a guest.

Photo 1 is the first ball of the match, between Surrey and Gloucester, hit by Jason Roy, pictured there, to the boundary. Photo 9 is the end of the match, with Surrey having won at a canter. All the others are the sort of photos of sporting events that Real Sporting Photographers ignore, but which I really enjoy. All the incidental stuff. The signs and commemorations. The groundstaff and their equipment. The crowd and their various habits and antics, fuelled by drink.

I can wait to go to the Oval again, to see another game. But only because I will have to. Can’t come too soon.

A Fake Ancient bridge with buildings on it in Scotland

I encountered this amazing place …:

… on account of it being advertised at, of all bizarre places, This Is Why I’m Broke. Not the whole thing to buy, you understand, just a stay there for the night.

It’s a late nineteenth century concoction. Fake Ancientism, in other words, at its considerable and Scottish Baronial best.

The above bridge was attached to Blackcraig Castle, both that “castle” and this bridge being the work of Patrick Allan-Fraser.

Also featured at TIWIB, and changing the subject somewhat, this gadget looks like it might come in rather handy.

It looks and tastes like conventionally-produced chicken

A new restaurant is opening up in Tel Aviv:

At a new restaurant in Tel Aviv called The Chicken, the chicken on the menu is grown from cells in a bioreactor in an adjacent pilot plant visible through a glass window. Diners don’t pay for their meals; instead, SuperMeat, the startup making the “cultured chicken” meat, is asking for feedback on its products, as it prepares for large-scale production of food that it thinks can transform the industry.

The main item on the menu, the Chicken Burger – a crispy cultured chicken fillet served on a brioche bun with toppings – looks and tastes like conventionally-produced chicken. “The burger has a juicy chicken flavor, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside,” says Ido Savir, CEO of the startup. “Feedback from multiple tasting panels was consistent that it was indistinguishable from conventionally manufactured chicken, and simply a great-tasting chicken burger.”

So not really a restaurant as such, more an exercise in handing out free samples. But still very interesting. Although “feedback”, in this context, sounds like someone’s been sick.

Human guilt about the way we treat animals has been building for quite some time. Which means that as soon as we can stop maltreating animals so that we can then eat them cheaply, we will. In the same sort of way that we largely did away with slavery as soon as some of us felt that we could.

I learned of this story from the endlessly informative Steve Stewart-Williams, my favourite tweeter by a considerable margin. He has supplied me with many a story for my Fridays here, when I like to reflect upon and giggle at and about animals and their complex relationships with each other and with humans, from mutually supportive to horribly cruel. And there could not be a more important animals/humans story than this one, because it will surely utterly transform how animals are treated by humans. (Next up, animals won’t be allowed to eat each other either. They too will only eat “cultured” meat. Think about it.)

Sadly for many animals, the choice they have is between being reared by humans, maybe cruelly or maybe not, and then being eaten by humans, or not being reared at all. Life as food, or not life at all.

On a cheerier note, watch the heads of veggies explode when they realise that the fastest food is now also the most veggie food.

And yes, if you’re thinking I must have prepared this earlier, as they say, you are quite right. I wrote this, apart from this, last Monday.

Sparklingly witty BMNB QotD: On when clever banter can be called “repartee”

Yes, a champagne Twitter moment from Dan Hannan:

Clever banter can only be called “repartee” if it’s from the Repartée region of France. Otherwise it’s just sparkling wit.

We can all drink to that.

Only a small risk of getting rabies

Michael Jennings:

Oh, those glorious days of the past when I could be bitten by dogs in beautiful places with glorious mountains, churches, food and wine, with only a small risk of getting rabies. I miss those days so much.

Sigh.

Ghost apple

Weird:

“Ghost Apples” are an unusual phenomenon where freezing rain coats rotting apples before they fall, then when the apple turns mushy it eventually slips out and leaves the icy shell still hanging on the tree.

This is a really good metaphor for … I don’t know what, but something.

I’m going to bed now

I had planned to stay up all night, to see whether I get the President of the USA that (see below) I want. But, I’m tired, and it already (at 11pm UK time) looks like Trump has won. Early impressions can be wrong, goodness knows. Look what happened last time. But as of now, I’m fairly optimistic, more so than before the earliest evidence of what is happening started to emerge.

I’ll find out tomorrow. Or sooner, if all the fruit juice I’ve just been drinking gets me up in the middle of the (the as in: my) night.

Monster pumpkins

I love it when Halloween comes around and the supermarkets are suddenly full of weird stuff:

Sainsbury’s this afternoon.