Saturday, 26 May 2012

Photo Daily

Old captures so many vivid thoughts.  In fact this was taken in the car park at our local Sainsburys, and as far as I could tell on close examination, the rust was a paint effect...the camera never lies

Friday, 25 May 2012

Photo Daily

Believe it or not, this picture is completely untouched.  The effect was created by the lighting outside Tate Modern on the row of planted trees

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Photo daily

This is Essex last October.  It was hot, it was sunny and the colours were vibrant.  It's taken a long time to find that sunshine again

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Gone to lunch

The Cat's Mother is in Berlin today.
She's gone to meet a friend for lunch.
And will be back for tea-time.
Enough said (but feel free to comment below).

Yet again I forgot it's Tara's Gallery day...and as it's The Gallery's 100th birthday, I thought it would be unforgiveable if I didn't make a special effort.  So here's my picture postcard contribution.  It's Konos Bay.  It is indeed picture-postcard perfect.  If you've been to the eastern side of Cyprus you'll know it's the best beach to spend a day lying on.  Or snorkeling.  I love snorkeling, and this time when we were over for Grandma in Cyprus' 80th birthday, I was rewarded  with the sighting of an enormous octopus, which was being eyeballed by a big stripy fish.  The octopus obviously didn't have the stomach for a fight, and eventually retreated into a dark crevice out of harms way.  Sadly my camera doesn't go underwater, so this is my picture of the Bay.

Picture daily

Some very colourful office blocks in central London

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Made in Dagenham

You are cordially invited to bid on my special Olympics Torch paragraph below.  Reserve price is £752,000, or you can Buy It Now for just £3.2million.

"We had a little debate last night about the morals or otherwise of Torch Bearers flogging off their torch.  Morally it seems indefensible - even the ones offering to give to charity are giving just 10 or 20 per cent of their ill-gotten gains.  Some, as The Cat pointed out, may not be in a position to not sell - economic issues which have challenged many of us, have brought others to their knees or lower.  If I had been lucky enough to have been a bearer I would certainly have kept it for my grand children (now, there's an assumption).  I'd have been proud to have carried the flame and it would have taken pride of place on the mantle piece.  What I think we've seen is the grubby greed that has permeated these Isles in recent years.  Anything that could turn a profit should be sold.  There's no soul to be found, no pride, no spirit.  Anything for a bob or two.  But just as mad and bad are the people ready to bid absurd amounts for these things.  According to the organisers they're worth less than £500...but even ignoring the hoax bids, people are prepared to pay tens of thousands for doubt in the daft assumption that they are an investment which can be sold off at a profit later.  A quick bit of research showed that you can by a Munich Olympics torch for £3000, and more significantly a Berlin Olympics torch for £4000...both those Games have real historical significance.  Let's hope the London Games don't.  The same hungry pack mentality took over for Olympics tickets...people applying for £thousands when they didn't really want them, they just didn't want to miss out.  I smile a very wide smile when I speak to people I know who gambled thousands to end up with tickets for events they actually don't want to go to."

I must mention that one of our friends is a baker and has been chosen to bake a cake for the Queen.  It will follow her in a barge down the River Thames on the day of the flotilla.  That's truly something to be proud of.

Last Sunday I was in Dagenham....famously home to Ford in Britain, and slightly more famous since the film about the winning of equal pay by women workers at the plant.  If you haven't seen it I suggest you get a copy of Made in Dagenham...its one of those that's heavily discounted and a fabulous watch.

There is an irony that Britain's industrial decline has left hundreds of acres of land empty in what was the heart of Ford's British empire.  And that is fortunate.  If you drive east along the A13 you come first to what's left of the Ford works, then their giant wind turbines before you can gaze to your left to see a colourful circus tent in the old dusty, pot-holed Ford car park.  And that is where the rehearsals for the Olympics are taking place. We have moved from the idyllic TV and film studios in central London to the windswept bleakness of the Thames estuary.  So now something new and exciting is being Made in Dagenham.  I'm not revealing anything that isn't public knowledge, because the space is clearly marked with large signs.  But we would all be grateful if you could drive past with your eyes closed so you don't get a sneak preview of what we're doing.  It's a surprise and you wouldn't want to spoil the surprise would you?  This Sunday and for the forthcoming weekends I and several thousand others will be there getting movement-perfect.  Only another 22 rehearsals to go

If it all goes to plan it will be a modern wonder.  'If' is a big word.  There's a lot to do, but I think we'll get there. Forget Beijing, our ceremonies will be different and much more in British theatrical tradition.  If you haven't seen it, here is an interview by Danny Boyle earlier this year on the BBC.   In answer to all those cynics who keep asking "Will it embarrass us"  The answer is a very firm and scathing "No".  It will do us proud.

I personally though may yet embarrass everyone.

Picture daily

So I worked it out...each day a picture with the heading Picture Daily...if you want to look then great, otherwise normal posts as erm normal

This is a rather splendid shop in the east was so splendid that I liked the idea that you could only really look at it from the outside rather than go in...

Monday, 21 May 2012


So I leapt in saying I'd post a picture every day, and so I will.  But I didn't really think it through.  Should I do the Daily Picture Posts as separate to the main ones, should I combine them, should I describe the pictures, should I just put them up, should they go up in the morning, or whenever during the day.  I'm at a loss.

So here's another picture, and then a proper post..

This was The Boy, who had just turned nine, in Portsmouth.  That's a pretty happy face eh?

Meanwhile I crashed into bed early last night utterly, utterly exhausted.  It took me a while to realise why

On Monday we'd flown back from Cyprus and travel's always tiring

On Tuesday I was in the office, and then went to an industry 'do' in the evening

On Wednesday I was back in the office having stressed about a potentially tricky meeting with my favourite client, and then in the evening I went to a 'house' meeting at one of the flats which involved some fairly tricky issues to be resolved

On Thursday it was a first meeting with a new client...always a challenge, before (to my joy) I had an early lunch with The Cat's Mother.  After work I rushed off to the House of Commons for a Palestinian Solidarity reception, before rushing off again.  We were then out to dinner with friends in the evening - away away in West London

On Friday a really early start to get to ride on a fast rib on the Thames (that's a speed boat to doubt some of you got the invite too?) - I don't get too many great press junkets as a Blogger, but I fancied this one, early start 'n all.  Then a late client meeting starting at 4.30 before weaving my way home on the scooter trying to avoid being hit by the Friday (grumpy) traffic.

Saturday we were round at a friends for a dinner party.  When I asked for a whisky on arrival, the host simply went to the cupboard got out a glass and presented with a bottle to help myself.  I can resist everything except temptation.  A rich meal and a few glasses of red wine later we gently swayed home at some ungodly hour.

Sunday morning I was up early as I had to be in Dagenham (more on that later) for an all day rehearsal for your pleasure on the 27th July.

In the meantime, at home, the stresses of the exam season were showing.


Sunday, 20 May 2012