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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Welcome, but...

...don't expect us to look after you.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Red sky at night....

I looked out at the darkening sky yesterday and saw the dying embers of the sun lighting the clouds in a glorious blush of colour. Then as the sun dipped below the horizon, the reddish glow seemed to backlight the sky in a final flood of red sky.

It brought back a memory of a dry dusty village and another red sky.
Today, I saw a picture on Flickr of a similar looking dusty village, although this one was in Laos.
It reminded me of a time in Kongwa, Tanzania a few years ago.
There are many parts of Tanzania, where the soil is also very dry and dusty.
Especially in the dry season, where the sandstorms whip the soil up and carry it for miles.
The earth around Kongwa is also very red, unlike the soil in Laos.

Then I remembered this time in Kongwa...
One day we could suddenly feel the hot dusty wind gusting around us, followed by a rapidly aproaching cloud of red dust, which seemed to quickly envelop the village we were visiting.
Soon we were completely surrounded on all sides and overhead by this hot, dry, red, stinging sand. We were in the middle of a fierce sandstorm.
At this point there is nothing to do, except take cover with clothing over mouth and eyes to try and keep out the sand.
A large sandstorm is a bit like a dry hurricane, including the eye of the storm where the sand diminishes, showing the clear blue sky above, as the epicentre reaches your position.
Then the stinging sand starts all over again as the trailing edge of the vortex sweeps across the village, before moving on across the plain.

The sand really does get everywhere! The redness seeming as if the sky was bleeding.
The only remedy is a quick shower back at the house to flush out all the sand.
At which point, the water runs red too.
That's the memory, ...bleeding sky ...red shower water.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Covent Garden

Mime Artiste in Covent Garden on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Take 1 Mime artiste, 3 willing stooges, a complicit audience and this is what you get.
Each time I've looked at this pic, I notice another interaction in the crowd.
A rapt expression, clapping, or just sheer enjoyment at the act playing out before them.
Covent Garden at its best.

Friday, February 10, 2006

A Girl witha... Dolphin.

Girl with a Dolphin 1

A little fun with the title. A blogger's reference to another girl.

So, I finally got some more pics up onto Flickr.
I like this sculpture ( A Girl with a Dolphin - by David Wynne ) for its flowing lines and sensual movement.
It's sited by Tower Bridge.
Who knows... the erstwhile Thames whale may even have sensed this dolphins magnetic aura as the whale passed London Bridge.

That's all, folks. Have a relaxing weekend.

People power.

I will not dwell on the mis-use of draconian police powers (section 44, et al) which allows the police to stop and search any person on the grounds, not for reason to believe an offence HAS been committed; but the Orwellian belief that a crime may possibly be committed at some future unspecified date.
Nor, shall I dwell on the stopping and searching (under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act) of people trying to peacefully protest or exercise their "right" of free speech. Ha.

To lighten the mood....
Already, we are having the Data Protection Act invoked against us by Corporate or Local Authority suits, intent on hiding something from us.
Or, for corporate or public servants convenience, to avoid answering hard questions from their serfs consumers or customers.
To wit: Those Jobsworths who refuse to supply requested information on the grounds of "...sorry, can't do that, ...data protection act, sir."
BTW. Why do they have an uncanny act of pronouncing "sir" in a lip-curling dog-like "cur ?"

Anyway, today was a small victory.
A telephone call..... ring..ring....
"Hello" says Luke. That's me.
"Hello sir, SeeBoard here. Do you mind answering a few questions ?"
"Why?" asks Luke warily.
"We are contacting our customers for..... ...but first, can I ask your postcode?"
""Why?" asks Luke cautiously.
"It's for the Data Protection Act, sir," says SeeBoard Man helpfully.
"Well, I know who I am" says Luke gratuitously. "So its not for my protection." Followed up with "And you are phoning me, so you know who I am" and "So, what *exactly* are you phoning me for ?"
"OK, its regarding a promotion, sir" say Mr. SB man with a certain air of resignation.
"Aah, I thought so" says Luke. "Sorry, but I'm not interested in any sales promotions today. Thank you."
Collapse of stout party from SeeBoard.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Is it time for Spring yet ?

Dandelion Clock.

Here's the thing, I'm cold. It's always cold and damp or wet.
Not to mention the overcast dark skies.
There seems no end to this cold depressing weather.
Although we are in the winter season, UK is nowhere near as cold as those countries in Europe's hinterland, so that's a good thing.
But, we are not living in those frozen territories.
This is London, not Siberia!

So, that's why I'm again sitting here in a warm Costa Coffee, somewhere in London.
Drinking this smooth mocha coffee and musing quietly to myself.

Hmmm....hibernation is not an option, but the idea has a lot of merit.
What do people mean by "Winter Warmers," I wonder ?
Is that a euphemism for close coupling ?
What about "Hug a stranger ?" For warmth, you understand.
Is that allowed these days ?

Nah. I'd rather move somewhere warm.
Except....... Having moved around a bit, I rather like living in England again.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Is it art? Or is it moulded scrap metal ?

An interesting story emerges from these recent thefts of bronze statues and sculptures.
These are heavy and valuable works of art, including human figures, abstracts and even a seven-foot cockroach.
The Chadwick sculpture is worth £300,000 and the Henry Moore sculpture valued at £3.0million.
Art dealers say it would be implausable for a genuine art dealer or private buyer not to be aware of these thefts if offered any of these valuable sculptures.
The Police say that a gang of crooks is more likely stealing these heavy bronze pieces for their scrap value.
So, a £300,000 Chadwick would melt down to £1,000 worth of scrap bronze and a Henry Moore at (say) £5,000.

Then, along comes Peter Sorene of the Anorak (www.anorak.co.uk) to suggest these tea-leaves might be artists, and not of the p**s artist variety.
Melting expensive sculptures could be Art, he argues, like the K Foundation arts movement which famously burnt a million pounds in cash in 1994.
click here to read more ...

Mr Sorene has a point. Except, most art performances require an audience at some point.
Now, a giant 7 foot cockroach bronze sculpture, melted down to a shiny bronze puddle before an appreciative gallery of art critics would be very "Turner prize" material.
"Art! My Foot!.... as a well known TV character would say."

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