I returned to London last weekend for another view of the ‘poppies’ and also to have a ‘butchers’ around the City to try and get a handle on how to approach my next project. The streets around the gherkin, the walkie-talkie etc were largely deserted except for the odd tourist and a fair few construction workers taking advantage of the lack of traffic. I hesitantly took a few snaps through the windows of the gherkin with a flashgun half expecting to be confronted by security guards but nothing happened which in some ways was disappointing. I’ll come back when the light is better and the streets are busier. An interesting day out though and I’ve started to realise this could be a gruelling and challenging venture. The photograph in this post is looking down into the Tower moat when the ‘poppy pickers’ were off having a cuppa.
One of my very few limited claims to fame is that in an age of mass communication I do not possess a mobile phone nor have I ever sent a text message. It frustrates my friends and those for whom that I work for that I remain incommunicado for much of the day to the point where they offer to buy me one. Per se I am not of of the luddite persuasion and I use the technologies of e-mail and internet as much as the next man and even I freely admit it would be useful sometime to be able to speak to someone then and there to solve the problems that life throws at one occasionally, but in a way it is that that deters me from having one. I relish the thrill of thinking on my feet, I enjoy being lost, not knowing what time the next train is, what is for supper, whether Brighton won or most likely not. The unknown is far more enthralling and exciting than the known.
Yesterday, like several million others before us we went to visit the ‘Poppies’. As a spectacle it was on the wane as the process of removing them had begun, and like the battlefields of Flanders the Tower moat was aptly turning to mud and added to that visual reminder of the vast loss of life in a futile and self destructive conflict between the vested interests of European empires. I am some what of the opinion though that this sea of red should have been the way to commemorate the end of the Great War not the start of it ! The First World War, it’s resulting politics and repercussions which led to the Second World War, that in turn led to the Cold War, and then onto the current situation we see the Middle East and Ukraine still lives with us all to this day.
Sunday 9th November, 25 years since that unforgettable night in Berlin. Up early, no rain, not a breath of wind, a chance not to let pass by. I grabbed the dishevelled pile of Goodbye to the Wall prints taken down from the library windows the previous weekend , a pair of scissors, some sticky tape, jumped in the taxi and headed for the seafront, paid my £7 for an all day parking ticket and hey presto 10 minutes later, much to the bemusement of the early morning surfers, joggers, and cyclists, an instant exhibition. I left it as you see in the photo to it’s own devices and headed off to the park to watch Barney play footie. I went back once with my dear chum Ollie to have a look and take a snap or two. Most passers by seemed a little wary, so not sure how many people stopped and looked throughout the day, not many I think. That Ollie’s rather splendid 50 year old Mini in the background.
Now that the Photo Biennial is done and dusted for a couple of years it’s back to earning a living, surviving the winter, confronting that myriad of jobs that have been left on hold for the last few months and then of course there is the annual workshop party/bash to arrange. As much as I enjoy the process of putting up and arranging exhibitions there is something within me that says is it worth the cost, aggro and hassle, though on reflection I think that at the end of the day the plusses out weigh the minuses. I will no doubt participate next time round if I think I’ve got something worth showing and a venue to suit, (which will be most probably be the taxi) It’s time now for a bit of a breather before getting on with the next project which the more I think about it the more I relish the challenge. London here I come!
As a relative (second cousin) of Roy Plomley the creator of desert island discs it has always been one of the highlights of my radio week. The honour of being asked to appear on such a venerated esteemed and long established institution is immense, tantamount to appearing on the Archers or being characterised in the Simpsons. I know this doesn’t have quite the same kudos but if any of you passing readers have a spare moment to jot down your 8 pieces of music that you would be prepared to be cast away with I’d very be very interested to know them. Then of course which one of them you would choose above the others, you’ll also need to take a book, a luxury, and on my desert island I’ll allow you a film and your favourite dish.
In the short term I’m after broadening my own cultural horizons with some recommendations, in the medium term I have a half baked photo project whirring around my addled brain and in the long term….listen to the Galaxy song.
Here are a few the of songs I’d currently take with me.
Work love life miscellaneous – David Devant and his Spirit Wife
Galaxy Song – Eric Idle
The Cure – Pictures of You
Alabama 3 – Woke up this morning