Waves reflected on the side of a boat in Belle Isle

Having the previous day taken off from London City Airport, I am in Belle Isle, off the coast of Brittany. It is the summer of 2014. The light is especially strong. I notice some reflections:

If I had never seen sunlight bounced off water onto another surface in this way, would I ever have imagined that it could look like that? Like some sort of net? Seriously, it’s like these reflections are constructed out of string, just like nets. The effect is particularly strong in the second of the seven photos above. There are even knots to be seen. Weird.

Reflections, eh? Make you think.

On cricket and sleep

Last night India beat Australia, in Australia, and I listened to it on the radio. That is to say, I listened to a lot of it.

But, I didn’t listen to all of it. I know I didn’t listen to all of it because there were big jumps in the score. Shubman Gill went from being about fifty not out, to having been out quite a while ago for nearly a hundred. Pant did another huge jump and a couple of Indian wickets fell, in a similar memory-hole fashion, later in the “day”.

This is not a posting trying to make you like cricket. But, one very interesting feature of cricket is how statistically detailed the unfolding of the story is, and always has been. Football can go from 1-0 with an early goal, to 1-0 with no further goals, to 1-0 as in the early scoring team wins it. You could be listening to the radio commentary and nod off a bit, and not even really be sure that you had nodded off.

But cricket scoring never stops dead like that. Runs are continuously scored, wickets keep falling. Miss out on an hour of that, and you immediately realise that you missed a huge chunk.

So it is that I absolutely know for sure that I didn’t listen to all of the India v Australia cricket last night. I listened to India making a solid start, in their chase for over three hundred in the day. I definitely caught the end, when India won it. But for big bits in between, I was … asleep.

With sleep, the difference between a bit and none can be all the difference. For cricket lag, the cricket version of jet lag, to set in thoroughly, you need to be wide awake exactly when you shouldn’t be. In my recent experience, a bursting bladder, by requiring you to be physically active, is surer way to doing that then merely dozing in a bed, listening to cricket in foreign parts, parts of it.

Will I get a good night’s sleep tonight? At the regular time? Because of the above, I do not rule out the possibility.

Chairs for sale in Thuir

I don’t know why I like this photo, which I photoed a year and two days ago, in Thuir in the south of France. But here it is anyway:

Is it simply that the chairs are so nice? Is it the confident way they present themselves, confident that they are nice chairs, and confident that no vehicle will attack them?

I seem to recall being on the lookout for chairs at that time. Chairs rather like those. But of course buying some of these chairs and then trying to ship them back to England was out of the question. Any chairs I buy have to be on sale in London. Did all that have something to do with liking this photo?

Don’t know.

It occurs to me that I am fond of arguing that modernism has totally triumphed indoors. And it mostly has.

But these chairs didn’t get the memo. Maybe that’s why I haven’t been able to get these chairs out of my mind since photoing them. They contradicted, by their very existence, one of my pet theories.

Remote work is what a lot of people now want to make work

Interesting Twitter thread by Chris Herd about remote working:

I’ve spoken to 1,500+ people about remote work in the last 9 months

A few predictions of what is likely to emerge before 2030

I’ll believe it all as and when I see it. I will continue to believe that personal meet-ups still count for a lot, and get a lot of information communicated. Historically, this is why cities exist. Suburbs have long existed. I suspect Herd is describing a new sort of suburb, but not the end of the urb.

Clearly, a lot of people want to make this stuff work.

My architecture email feeds are telling me that new building in London, and most definitely new office building in London, has stopped dead. It’s all house conversions and trivia about would-be luxury shops.

Meanwhile, if the above quoted bits are anything to go by, the war against the full stop continues

One for the “You Are Here” collection

Nowadays, cameras can tell you exactly where you were when you took a photo, as well as exactly when you took it. But I can’t be doing with all that. I prefer taking photos like this one as I do my out-and-abouting, that say, as this one does, “You Are Here”:

And that one says it in French. Excellent.

We’re in the Pompidou Centre in Paris, in the bitterly cold February of 2012. Even remembering how cold that visit was makes me shudder now. But the Pompidou Centre itself was warm enough, and the views in it and from it were most diverting.

I have quite a few Paris postings here now, but have yet to transfer any of the postings from the old blog that I did about that earlier 2012 trip . My favourite, from a more recent and much warmer visit, featured my all time favourite food photo.

Life at the top of the slope

I am about to journey to the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, at the far end of the Fulham Road, to get two distinct sets of X-rays done. Chest, and hip. I have been coughing a lot. And I have pains in and around the arse, back, right leg, and nearby spots. It kind of moves around. “Pain in the arse” is now yet another of those hitherto innocuous phrases which have become filled with meaning in recent weeks. Not the actual orifice itself, you understand, just the bones – or is it the muscles? – in that general area. “Old fart” and “under the weather” are other common phrases that have both, for a while now, made a lot more sense than they did when I was younger.

I am at the top end of the slope, at the far end of which is: death. My body is just beginning seriously to disintegrate. Two years ago, I could stride about London for hour after hour, or babble away on the telephone without a care. Now, not so much. The majority of the efforts of the National Health Service seem to be devoted to looking after the likes of me, softening the blows of ever older age, and thereby prolonging it.

I am hoping that this first serious clutch of discomforts will be curable, or at least treatable after a fashion, to the point where I’ll be able to walk and talk more fluently than I do now. But I do not now assume this.

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.

The top bit of Alderney looks like a conductor

Yes. Did you know, that the top bit of Alderney, the northern most Channel Island, looks like a conductor. With a baton.

Photo on the right there, photoed by me from the plane back to London from Brittany, in July 2007. Now suitably rotated and cropped.

It would seem that a lot of people don’t know that. I can find no other references to this on the Internet, but cannot believe that I am the only one to have noticed this important musico-geographical fact.

Did you also know that the French for a conductor’s baton is “baguette”? That may be quite wrong, but I do recall hearing this somewhere, from someone. And it would seem that there may be some truth in this notion.

Really go places!

Another taxi, another advert, saying this:

That’s right: PAY FOR YOUR JOURNEY WITH AMERICAN EXPRESS AND REALLY GO PLACES.

Unless this happens:

Same photo, photoed in the summer of 2017 outside the Royal Albert Hall, but with the bigger picture included.

2020? Really going places is not something being much encouraged.

Cars as giant electric skateboards

We are enterting a period during which there is maximum confusion concerning the future of vehicles, what they’ll be, how they’ll look, and so forth. It’s rather like the confusion that reigned around 1900 about what exactly automobile was, and would look like. And of all the things I’ve recently seen that bear on the next phase in powered vehicle history, this is probably the one that grabbed my attention in the most grabby way:

Because electric motors are now delivering the same punch for a fraction of the volume, weight and all round fuss of the petrol engine, it has, it would appear, become possible to think of road vehicles as being formed of two distinct and separable elements, the vehicle itself, and its load. Look at those things. They’re basically the bottom bit of an electric scooter, with the wheels doubled up for stability, and made big enough to replace old school cars.

Suddenly, in the constantly promised but never quite delivered world of the robot cars of the future, we get a glimpse of how those robots might actually end up looking, and how they might function.

I note with pleasure that Ree, one of the companies apparently busiest in this area, is based in Israel, the state of Israel being one of my favourite states.

The article to which I just linked, and where I found the above photo, talks only of permanently bolting the top onto these sorts of bottoms, if you’ll pardon the expression. But why does the load have to be permanently attached? The load can now become a separate object of robotised transport. Which makes all kinds of transport fun and games possible. You don’t get into your car in the morning, to travel to Timbuktu. You get into your pod, made of super-lightweight super-materials. And your pod then gets automatically taken to Timbuktu. By container ship, plane, train or automobile of this newly flattened sort, depending on how much of rush you are in and which forms of transport happen to be the cheapest at that moment.

Presumably, they have thought of making a lorry-stroke-electric-skateboard of this sort that can have a shipping container loaded onto it. It would be very odd if they haven’t.

Those are just first thoughts, and could be all wrong. Because rule number one of these transport upheavals is: Nobody Really Knows. Please friends and commenters, tell me of any related developments of this sort that you learn about.