Gas works before lockdown ends?

I did quite a bit of writing today, but none of it for here, today. So, quota photo time, and again, it’s photoed in the well-lit dark with my Samsung Galaxy A40 mobile phone. I don’t know if gas work is what is happening, but that’s my bet, and if that’s right there is a lot of it about. I’m guessing they don’t like big rearrangements of the gas pipes when it’s freezing cold, as it was a week or two ago, but they want to get anything they want done done, before lockdown ends. And I further guess that this, at the junction of Warwick Way and Tachbrook Street was part of it:

I’ve been seeing gas work everywhere, like in Vauxhall Bridge Road. And are those smaller orange pipes also for gas. Guess: yes.

While wondering what verbiage to attach to the above photo, which I like simply for artistic effect and because of that sign about social distancing, I came upon this photo I photoed quite a bit earlier, at a spot I often shop at, where Horseferry Road does its big kink, where I often do very local shopping, and where I get my hair cut:

That’s definitely gas they’re working on there, because it says so. And it also goes on about social distancing, which at least fits with the social distancing sign in the first photo.

These annoying signs are becoming my most vivid recollection of lockdown, and it’s gone on for so damn long I can still photo more of them whenever I see them, as I surely will for quite a while.

Being offensive is not an offence and a public falsehood about the content of the law from a police force is worse than mere confusion

This:

I, and many others, found this sign very offensive. Which means that it was “being offensive” and it broke its own rule. Some of those many others complained and Merseyside Police retreated:

Merseyside Police said it “apologises for any confusion this may have caused,” adding “hate crime is an offence and will not be tolerated”.

Any confusion? These people are there to uphold the law. The law as it actually is. How about apologising for making a very public, very clear and very false statement about the content of that law?

At least they got a very public kicking on social media.

EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT again – and its reflection

Ever since doing this posting, I have had that photo up on my computer screen, and I remain very fond of it.

Here are two more photos of that same piece of art/signage, photoed around the same time, although on two different days. Slightly more creatively photoed in that there are other things going on also:

I look forward to getting back to the top of the Tate Modern Extension, which is where this is. It’s one of my favourite spots in all of London.

Quiet the mind?

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.

These signs:

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.

Happy not brand New Year but Happy New Year anyway

On Jan 1st 2021, I was obsessing about routers, and not giving any thought to whether any of you readers were having a Happy New Year. Yesterday, there was the same preoccupation with my own concerns and indifference to yours. So, it now being the evening of Jan 3rd 2021, is it too late for me now to say …:

… Happy New Year?

I don’t think so. The year 2021 is not brand spanking new, this very day. But it is still pretty new. You are still only getting stuck into it in a very preliminary sort of way. There’s a basic way in which you may even still be stuck waiting for the thing to even get started, what with You Know What.

So, there you go, see the above photo, which I photoed on Jan 1st 2018, through the window of a local charity shop.

Merry Christmas – no sarcasm intended

On Christmas Day and the days surrounding it, my trickle of readers becomes even less of a trickle than usual, so the chances are that you are reading this posting, if at all, not on Christmas day itself, but rather some time in early January, doing a catch-up of what I have babbled and blogged about over Christmas, just as it is your occasional habit to do a catch-up of recent stuff here at other times of the year.

Nevertheless, if you are one of the self-selected few reading this today, only minutes or hours after I posted it, I wish you in particular a very …:

As I reported yesterday, I did a little walkabout yesterday morning, and I walked past many shops. But I didn’t see any signs saying things like that. How could you say that, in the window of your shop, totally closed for the duration, without sounding sarcastic and getting just broken glass or graffiti for saying such a thing? Or worse, of appearing to accuse passers-by of being the kind of heartless bastards who intend to have a merry Christmas and screw the rest of humanity? You couldn’t. Maybe its different in the less affluent parts of London, but in my vicinity, “Merry Christmas” is surely being spoken quietly but it is not being publicly proclaimed, in lights or in any other way.

Which means that above photo is from my photo-archive, having been photoed (in or next to (guess) the then still rather new Victoria Station shopping appendage) in the run-up to Christmas 2010.

I have other Christmassy things that I may or may not get around to reporting from my walkabout yesterday morning, but I just wanted to get that basic message up and posted, especially, as I say, if you are reading this on the actual day itself. Merry Christmas. You won’t want to go around shouting this in the streets to strangers, as I have myself sometimes done in the small hours of Christmas morning when returning home on foot from a Christmas Eve feast with friends. But, I hope you are having one nevertheless.

John Wesley statue outside St Paul’s

I do love statue-photoing but I admit that it has been very hit-and-miss. This, however, by my modest standards, I rate as a hit:

That’s John Wesley. He was, or so it says on the base of the statue, the “father of Methodism”. And, it is right outside St Paul’s Cathedral. How come? Well, it only arrived there as recently as 1988 and is a bronze redo of another statue of Wesley that is in Central Methodist Hall. Or there’s another copy of the original there, or something.

I learned this here. And if you follow that link you get to an even closer head shot of this Wesley statue, which, to my eye, makes him look rather like the actor Christopher Plummer.

Wooden sheep out east

So there I was, out east, exploring what was happening to the canals in the Bow, Hackney Wick part of London, photoing photos like this, …:

When, rather suddenly, I came upon this:

All that grubbing around the canal being to create the sort of place where Desirable Apartments can be constructed, and Desirable Apartments need Desirable Sheep Sculptures.

Have you noticed how upmarket sculpture, and also upmarket toys, made of wood, make it very clear that they are made of wood? The woodenness is emphasised. Downmarket sculpture, and downmarket toys, are as realistic as they can be made to be, with the how of it left entirely behind. I veer into toys, because this sheep looks a lot like a toy, I think.

I see a connection between this emphasising of the particular material that the Thing is made of, in sculpture and toys, with Impressionism. Posh paintings, like Impressionist Paintings, make it clear that they are indeed paintings, made of paint, as well as paintings of something. I mean, take a close-up look. Paint! Paintings for peasants just look as much like what they are trying to be of as possible.

Signs reflected in cars (and other things (like water))

One of the unconsidered visual trifles of urban life is the reflections you can, if you want to, see in the bodies of cars.

Reflections like this:

It’s one of these.

Here are some reflections-in-cars photos that I posted here in 2019. I never managed much in the way of reflected signs, though. Memo to self …

If robot cars ever abolish cars as we now know them, as they well might, the explosion of nostalgia for these shiny old cars, cars that are now largely ignored from the aesthetic point of view by all but a few petrol heads, will be something to see.

You hate the look of whatever threatens to engulf you. You switch to liking it when it retreats and threatens to disappear. Neon signs are now in retreat, it would seem, so this Real Photographer guy in Boston now likes them. The cars are just one of his ways to notice the signs.

The chaos from which buildings arise

It is the sundrenched late afternoon of April 21st 2009, and they’re busy building something:

What I’m getting at with the above imagery is:

(1) This is a construction site, and these people clearly know what they are doing. Constructions almost always turn out exactly as planned.

And:

(2) Look at the state of it!!!

I recognise various individual bits of tech there, like the reinforcing rod tubes, and that big blue propeller for digging holes, to put such things as reinforcing rod tubes in. But all that stuff jammed together in a confined space like that? It looks like someone’s attic for goodness sake.

Yet, it was from this outdoor attic that there duly emerged … the Shard.