I’ve been meaning to post this image here for some time:
Guess what it is. If in doubt, look at the categories list below. Then go here, to confirm what you must surely have worked out.
Many have described the event at which this happened as historic, but not because of this. But I reckon what you see in the above picture is what historians will end up being most impressed by, about this event, because it was a very public manifestation of a very impressive sort of technology, which is going to have a very big future.
These curmudgeonly coppers, baffled by new technology, hating modern policing methods and clearly in no state to mount a rooftop chase, proved gripping to viewers across the globe.
Actually, it’s pretty obvious why New Tricks is so popular with TV viewers everywhere. It’s because TV viewers everywhere are mostly the same age as the curmudgeonly coppers in New Tricks, and at least twice the age of all the other cops on television.
Speaking as an oldie myself, I can tell you that jokes about not being able to remember where you put things speak to me, very loudly. Yesterday, my oldie friend was helping me with my Ryanair checking in (another thing not all oldies to put it mildly are very good at sorting out) and during this my debit card was required. So I produced it, from my wallet, and two seconds later I placed my wallet … into a black hole, and couldn’t for the life of me find it anywhere. It just totally vanished into thin air, into a parallel universe, with its entrance portal on the far side of the moon. And then it reappeared, on top of the plastic sugar jar.
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Note also the Big Things picture of London, something I always like to show pictures of here, and note also how out of date this picture is.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:
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.
I spent a lot of today doing an elaborate Samizdata posting with twelve photos in it, and now I am doing the same here. Most of these ones are just of the I Just Like It sort.
Whether I have the time and energy left after posting the photos to say something about them remains to be seen. Anyway, here they are, one for each month, in chronological order:
Okay, let’s see if I can rattle through what they are, insofar as it isn’t obvious.
1.1 was taken outside Quimper (which is in Brittany) Cathedral, where they were selling that sugary stuff on a stick called I can’t remember what. I stalked the guy for ever, until he finally obliged by sticking his sugary stuff on a stick in front of his face. Never clocked me, I swear. Although, when others stalk me when I’m photoing, I never notice them.
1.3 is the men’s toilet in the Lord Palmerston pub, near Suicide Bridge, photoed soon after I took those.
2.1 explains itself. 2.2 is Anna Pavlova, reflected in the House of Fraser building in Victoria. 2.3 was taken on the Millenium Footbridge.
3.1 is 240 Blackfriars. What I like about it is that in some photos, such as this one, it looks like a 2D collage stuck onto the sky, instead of a 3D building in front of the sky.
3.2 is the new entrance to Tottenham Court Road tube/crossrail station, outside Centre Point, seen from further up Tottenham Court Road.
3.3 is the Big Olympic Thing, seen from Canning Town railway and tube station. A tiny bit of it, anyway. To me, unmistakable. To you, maybe an explanation needed.
4.1 shows me photoing shop trivia, in this case a spread of magazines dominated by the scarily intense face of one of British TV’s great Tragedy Queens, the actress Nicola Walker. I first clocked her when she was in Spooks. Now she’s in everything.
4.2 and 4.3 are both film crew snaps. 4.2 features a London Underground Big Cheese, who is a bit put out to find himself being photoed by the wrong person instead of by his own tame film crew. He was drawing a lot of attention to himself, so I reckon him fair blogging game. 4.3 is another film crew, in Victoria Street, just loving the attention, who will be ecstatic when they hear about how they have hit the big time. I like how there’s a movie advert on a bus right behind them.
There, that wasn’t so bad. Although there are probably several mistakes that I am, as of the smallest hours of 2016, too tired to be fixing.
Photos mature with age. The most commonplace snaps can turn into something a bit more interesting, with the passing of time.
Consider this one, one of the very first that I took with my Panasonic Lumix FZ150:
I know. It’s a shop.
But the thing is, it’s now boarded up. That photo was taken in January 2012. In January 2013, this happened:
The administrators to Jessops face a battle to rescue any of the company’s 192 shops after leading camera makers tightened the terms on which they sell products to the company following a downturn in the market.
Rob Hunt, joint administrator for PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: “Without the support of certain people, we are looking at complete closure.”
Jessops has since made a partial return to life, but so far, that Jessops, which is in Strutton Ground, near where I live, has remained shut.
In the years just before it closed it had an unbearably “helpful” shop assistant, who behaved like he’d been on some mad American training course in how to relate to customers. He wouldn’t leave you alone, and instead would engulf you in loud, totally fake bonhomie. I used to browse around in there from time to time, occasionally buying things like batteries and SD cards, and pondering my next camera. But because of this person, I stopped going there. Was I the only one, I wonder?
Talking of Strutton Ground, did you know that the Goon Show first saw the light of day in Strutton Ground? Yes, on the top floor of the pub at the far end of it from me. I saw this in a TV show about Spike Milligan.
I guess that’s probably more interesting than a Jessops closing. I’ll see if I can dig out more photos of things that have changed, that are rather better than that one, taken longer ago.
As regulars here will know, I am constantly fascinated by what goes on at the top of London’s buildings. I love the Big Tops that are built to impress, like the Shard, the Strata, the Gherkin. I love all the decorative stuff done in earlier centuries. I love chimney pots, which used to come in all shapes and sizes. And I love all the anarchic clutter that electronic communication of various sorts has placed at the top of otherwise utterly bland and forgettable blocks.
So here are some recent snaps, celebrating all that:
Those are shown in chronological order of me taking them.
1.1, 1.2 and 3.2 are are all quite near to me, taken in the vicinity of Warwick Way.
1.3 is the kind of thing you see when a big building site gets into gear, and then of course stop seeing when the work is done.
2.1 was taken in Lower Marsh, I think.
2.2 is Strata, also taken in Lower Marsh ish, peeping over a roof with a decorative knob on it.
2.3 is a bit indistinct, being roof clutter reflected off a big glass fronted building, but the clutter is there if you look.
3.1 is a bit of a cheat, because it is the umbrella that makes the picture, not the decorative roof (Parliament) behind it. But again, the roof is there.
3.2 includes the top of the big tower on the other side of the river from me, i.e. on the south side.
3.3 is a big lump in Park Lane, as viewed from just inside Hyde Park, near Hyde Park Corner. I went with a friend to Hyde Park yesterday, hoping to view a statue of Colin Firth as Mr Darcy, emerging from the Serpentine. No luck. Gone. Or maybe just not where we looked.
Who would have thought it? The future of warfare is blokes flying radio-controlled toy airplanes. At present it’s still men against toys, with the toys winning, but soon all nations will have them, and millions of others besides.
This was how chess got started, wasn’t it? First men killed each other. Then, they said, why don’t we just use sculptures of men, and move them remotely? That way, nobody gets hurt. I think I smell a whole new sport here. Imagine it, fat blokes at an airfield having aerial dogfights, where the losers lose their airplanes, but nobody dies. Great TV! Watch those dogfights! Superstar controllers will be feted in the media. And, they won’t die. They’ll have dual scores: kills, and killeds. Nerd heaven.
But Yannick Jauzion has played enough, and been mispronounced often enough by Davies, that by now you’d have thought he’d have gone away and learned how to say him right. You would have thought, indeed, that somebody at the BBC would have bloody well told him to do this.
Jauzion is not some incidental selection. He’s a great player. He scored a try against New Zealand when France knocked them out of the recent World Cup, and the commentators were talking him up before this France Italy game as a key player, for heavens’ sakes. Davies himself was saying what a key figure he might be.
Commentators are always going on about the errors of the players, but for a commentator not to be able properly to say the name of one of the universally acknowledged star players of France really is contemptible. Players have a fraction of a second to avoid error. Davies has had days to avoid this particular error. Years, in fact. And it’s not like it’s a hard name to say.
This France Italy game is a whole lot of fun to watch, though, unlike the stalemates of yesterday, and I promise you I’m not just saying that because England lost. It’s France, running it from everywhere, who are responsible for this.
“Jow-zion” from Edwards, again. Dear oh dear.
LATER: “Jow-zon.” He can’t even make up his mind how to mispronounce it.
LATER: Guess what. “Jow-zion” (we’re back to that again) has scored a try! The other commentator, some Scottish bloke chosen for his commentating ability as well as his mere rugby expertise, was saying it right, of course. And then Davies said it wrong, again, and the other guy corrected Davies, and then – miracle of miracles – Davies said it right! It won’t last though.
LATER: Told you. After the game, won by France 25-13. “Yah-zon”. Bloody hell.
I know, the sunlight all behind her. But what could I do? Move the sun round to behind me? Run round to the other side of the car? Not strong enough or clever enough, and no time. But at least the traffic forced her to stop right next to where I was. Had this happened during the early days of the Congestion Charge, she’d have been there and gone in a blur.
Could this personal appearance in full war paint be something to do with this? She was evidently being filmed as she travelled on her stately way. I’m pretty sure that that definitely-not-Billion-Monkey-type camera was attached to her car, although you can’t be sure just from my shot of the arrangement.
I was only passing through Piccadilly, having other business to attend to. But when that was done, I came back for more, hope that lightning might strike twice. And it did, in the form of these peculiar circumstances:
Those bottoms are advertising the Borat DVD, in which Borat himself dressed likethis. Or I presume he did. Maybe that was only for the promotional stuff. The Borats were cavorting and yelling in Boratese outside what used to be Tower Records in Piccadilly, and is now (I think) another Virgin mega-emporium. I of course photoed the photo-ers as well as the bottoms, that snap being the best of a (by then) rather dimly lit lot.