Thursday 28 October 2010

Life stages

There have been several distinct stages in The Boy's life:

1. From when he was born until his mum and I divorced...hopefully it was a happy secure environment for him in his earliest years

2. From our divorce through to his mum's divorce...two homes, two parents with separate lives

3. The years with me...the father/son relationship changing as we mutually supported eachother through the challenges of our new life

4. The current time, in a new family environmnet. Hopefully happy and secure.

This morning I was pitching to a possible new client. He runs a creative agency and a very bright, clever person he is. He's still at university and is just 21. That's just half a dozen years older than The Boy.

I felt positively old, and wonder how long it will be before The Boy takes up the reigns and gallops ahead of his father? Policemen are looking quite young too...

Wednesday 27 October 2010


I really hope you remember this:

I published it having seen this magnificent picture on my daily journey to and from work first here and then wrote further about it here

They are magnificent pictures which give pleasure to many, many people, being far more accessible than 'high art' tucked away in a gallery.

It's a tragedy then that Hackney Council has decided that the hare is graffiti and has issued an order for the owners of the building to remove it within 14 days, failing which the council will themselves paint over it. No doubt they'll send a bill as well.

Of course this isn't the first time that the councillors of Hackney have taken it upon themselves to destroy art...see here and here.

Of course they're not alone - Transport for London did this

It wouldn't be so bad, but you can't turn your head in London without seeing a wall tagged in someway or other...and this graffiti is rarely if ever touched by the local authority.

Now I ask you who is the vandal?

Monday 25 October 2010

The Piggy Pot

To get from Cyprus to the Lebanon, the plane climbs very steeply and then descends equally's a very short flight, although as the travel agent had got the flight time wrong plus there was a further delay, we spent a long time in the newly opened Larnaca airport.

Of course in that short flight you go from The West to The Middle East and the culture changes...but the liberal ways of the Lebanese means it is the destination of choice for Arabs who need some 'oxygen'. You'll see fewer burqas in Beirut than you will in London.

Downtown Beirut

Well, what else would you eat in Lebanon...

Iranian style mosque

A rare sight...The Cat's Mother in the sea when we were in Cyprus

The green frog took refuge in the Bird of Paradise plant in Grandma in Cyprus' garden

It says "Do Not Cross". Still in Cyprus

Beirut by night

Loved this tree in Byblos

Byblos fishing port

...very popular with Iranian day-trippers

You take the cable car at Harissa

Those are bullet holes...many reminders of many battles

Soon to be demolished cinema

Playing dead

Baking Lebanese pizza - delicious with thyme

Drying soaps at the factory

An ancient Lebanese gnome

How cool is this!

Beautiful, beautiful statuettes

Lebanese wine...some of it is truly delicious

So the Star of David is not just a Jewish emblem

Nor is the swastika just Nazi or Hindu

Amazing Roman ruins at Baalbec

Judge the size by finding the people!

A very popular man - the Iranians are effectively paying for rebuilding the southern suburbs of Beirut, giving people money for new furniture after their homes were destroyed by the Israeli invasion, and providing a monthly income.

The night before we left on holiday, it was the OBs Dinner....amazingly everything had fallen into place. I got to practice being a bouncer - throwing out one very, very, very drunk individual. I was quite pleased as he was twice my height and indeed width, but I guess I had the authority of age. If all else fails, I guess it could mean a new career at any of the local clubs....

Generally drinking was more moderate than it had been...but I was amused that The Last To Leave was the headmistress, and I don't think I would be sued if I mentioned that she was somewhat cheerful...