Sunday, December 23, 2007

There was a star in the east last night...

Well, since this is my first proper written post for a while — for which I apologise profusely: it has been a very busy time lately — it might as well feature a proper link. And I can’t think of a better link to provide you with at this time of year than Nigel Slater’s final column in the Observer before Christmas. It isn’t a food column in the sense that any recipes are introduced. Instead, a wonderful evocation of the Christmas markets in Vienna. Studded with special little things, and just like opening one of the food cupboards in our house this weekend.

We have plump little mince pies, which would have scurrying legs and wide smiles if they were alive. There are bulging, slightly dented bags of sugar so dark it looks almost black, most of which will be beaten into a rich, cirrhosifyingly alcoholic rum butter this afternoon.

There is a ham from what (one hopes) was a large, floppy-eared, snuffly pig in Norfolk. It sits in the fridge, golden-skinned, beside a Stilton cheese which we hope will be intense and spicy. I feel like doing a little jig, for real, when I think of the presents I have wrapped, and the look on people’s faces as they rip the paper away. I don’t feel ashamed in the least to confess that I have even given the Veuve Clicquot champagne-bottle a brisk, gentle, utterly delighted pat as I have walked from hall to kitchen.

Before uncorking it on Christmas morning, however, there is a final bit of wrapping to negotiate, stuffing to prepare, and the turkey to smother in butter and rashers of streaky bacon. There is green, prickly holly to scatter around, and there are decorations from all over Europe to peer at between the branches of the tree. Merry Christmas, everyone.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

St Pancras Churchyard, 2


St Pancras Churchyard, 2
Originally uploaded by peripathetic
You can see the gravestones heaped around the Hardy Tree in the right background, behind the fence.

St Pancras Churchyard, the Hardy Tree


St Pancras Churchyard - plaque explaining the Hardy Tree


St Pancras Churchyard
Originally uploaded by peripathetic
There are many historical filaments linking the site to the church, the church to the name of the station - and the station's development to the fate of the church and those buried there.

St Pancras church


St Pancras church
Originally uploaded by peripathetic
Another contrast. This church, in a quiet, leafy churchyard, is only a few hundred metres behind the rearing bohemoth of St Pancras station.

Russ in a mirror, St Pancras


Barlow Train Shed, St Pancras

This wasn't built in 1990, you know. And it was built so early-on that they had to use wooden scaffolding. A marvel.

St Pancras


St Pancras
Originally uploaded by peripathetic
The contrast with King's Cross couldn't be greater. Marvellous building.

Poor neglected old King's Cross

Next to St Pancras, but not yet restored. That comes after the authorities have run out of money on St P.

Docklands, from Point Hill


Docklands, from Point Hill
Originally uploaded by peripathetic
What a superb view to round the corner to every morning. Greenwich. The morning after.

Barbican, from the Terrace


Barbican, from the Terrace
Originally uploaded by peripathetic
Looking back to Jazz and warmth and Jonathan. I went back indoors within 20 seconds.

Lakeside Terrace, Barbican


Lakeside Terrace, Barbican
Originally uploaded by peripathetic
The tall tower behind is one of the residential blocks built here in the 50s, still the highest residential towers in London. I couldn't get its top because the camera was perched on top of a traffic cone for stability and would have fallen off if I'd moved it..

St Giles Cripplegate, Barbican

While the jazz was playing, I nipped outside onto the Lakeside Terrace and took this photo of an old medieval church, which survived the bombing in World War 2, in the middle of darkness and concrete architecture.

Multicolour Barbican lights, 2

The Barbican Arts Centre in Barbican, London, is an extensive Brutalist structure and contains quite a lot of colour - like these lights. Jonathan and I had been to see the exhibition about art and sex from antiquity to now, and had stopped in the foyer for a beer and some impromptu jazz.

Covering tired eyes, Greenwich

Aww. It had been a hard day for the cats.

St Pancras, from the front arch


Rikki and the Barlow Train Shed, from the arch, St Pancras

We'd had a lot of champagne by this stage.

Barlow Train Shed, with newly-opened undercroft, St Pancras, 2


Barlow Train Shed, with newly-opened undercroft, St Pancras


John Betjeman surveys the building he helped to save

Again, at St Pancras.

The Meeting Place, by Paul Day, at St Pancras

This new statue inside the restored station is meant to capture of the excitement of travel. I found myself staring at his arse under his jacket.

After the exhibition


After the exhibition
Originally uploaded by peripathetic
After seeing Wildlife Photographer of the Year, we wandered across the road to the V&A, on the way seeing this superbly large moon. I say.

Natural History Museum windows


Golden pumpkin pie


Golden pumpkin pie
Originally uploaded by peripathetic

Davide's art shot, 1


Davide's art shot, 1
Originally uploaded by peripathetic

A fine bird


A fine bird
Originally uploaded by peripathetic

Gleaming table


Gleaming table
Originally uploaded by peripathetic
Thanksgiving evening. About 10 minutes before we started to serve.

Resting with a cup of tea


Resting with a cup of tea
Originally uploaded by peripathetic
The calm before the storm - Thanksgiving afternoon.

Close investigation, before Thanksgiving

As I am returned from London, what follows in this and the next few posts are a selection of photos that you can explore in more detail over at flickr. Enjoy!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Continuing the fine tradition...

...of lazy posts when we have too little time to say anything properly, here’s an amazing online tool that's like Google Earth — except you get to see buildings from street level, for a few cities in the Us so far.

And here’s a list of things that a guy has tried, and failed, to masturbate to.

tags: [] [] [] [] [] [] []

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Keith Jarrett...?!

Speaking at the group's annual conference, Keith Jarrett will ask Police Minister Tony McNulty and Sir Ian Blair, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, to consider escalating stop-and-searches among black people to reduce the number of shootings that have claimed the lives of another two teenagers in the past week.

At first I didn’t knowwhat to think. A great jazz pianist getting into policing? It didn’t make any sense. Luckily this brainlessness was entirely due to one less cup of coffee than was wise before picking up the paper this morning.

One of my colleagues in work is a lovely man. He will approach the desk with a slim new volume of poetry every month; a periodical about art every few weeks; talk about recent trips to Paris and the architecture therein. Which is why I was knocked for six when, this week, I grandly unfolded that day’s Great Modern Buildings poster from the newspaper, and he said “Oh, what’s that?” This is a church so famous, so oft-illustrated, that I can’t believe he didn’t know it, specially in our line of work.

But what was truly amazing — and surely the Guardian must have realised this would happen — was the reaction it got from those in the office who don’t give a damn about architecture. Twenty minutes later, two people (let’s call them Agnes and Norman) were still pointing to the poster and arguing interestedly about whether the roof was thatch or concrete. I knew which, and hadn’t said a word so it was partly my fault, but I left the office feeling that the best work I’d done all day was a bit of unfolding.

tags: []

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Architectural things

Forgive the briefness, but I promise you, these links are good ones. I have a cold. Enough said.

The Stockholm subway really does give the impression of being hewn out of solid rock — because it is. Zaha Hadid — remember the name. The Glasgow Museum of Transport’s conceptual rendering looks like a line of gabled industrial workshops has been slightly melted like butter, and swirled.

I’ve touched on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house before, but this post on MetaFilter presents a rendered movie of the place which is just amazingly good.

Ignore those on the thread who tell you that he built the house on top of the commissioning family’s favourite picnic rock — he built it around the rock so that it formed part of the hearth in the livingroom. Also, ignore 2blowhards on the subject of Wright’s houses. Their criticisms are like saying of the Pantheon, “But it’s got a hole in the roof. Stupid primitive Romans.”

Seeing Wireframe London opens up a small universe of play inside my head. Not sure why yet. The river is the only thing that’s solid. Which chimes perfectly with a book I have recently devoured.

HMS Belfast - HDR


HMS Belfast - HDR
Originally uploaded by nick.garrod

Clink Prison HDR


Clink Prison HDR
Originally uploaded by Arag√£o

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ingredients


Ingredients
Originally uploaded by peripathetic
...for pancakes, courtesy of a South African genius, my last morning in Greenwich. Well, not ever. Just this summer.

Jonathan's kitchen


Jonathan's kitchen
Originally uploaded by peripathetic
I spy potato salad in the making. Barbecue night, Greenwich, London, 2007.

First warm night, barbecue - flame effects 7

Yes, those have been a lot of flame photos. You have to wait for it to burn down to embers before cooking anything.

First warm night, barbecue - flame effects 6


First warm night, barbecue - flame effects 5


First warm night, barbecue - flame effects 4


First warm night, barbecue - flame effects 3


First warm night, barbecue - flame effects 2


First warm night, barbecue - flame effects 1


First warm night, barbecue


First warm night, barbecue
Originally uploaded by peripathetic
It was also my last night in Greenwich, so we decided to stay home and do something special.

Another shot of the pavilion

Kensington Gardens, London.

Twisty turny Pavilion, Kensington Gardens, 2007

...with a disappointed Jonathan in the foreground. They actually close the pavilion at 6pm daily and we got there at 6.

BFI Dinnertime III


BFI Dinnertime III
Originally uploaded by peripathetic
With Gormley figure. South Bank, London.

BFI Dinnertime II


BFI Dinnertime II
Originally uploaded by peripathetic
With Gormley figure. South Bank, London.

BFI Dinnertime


BFI Dinnertime
Originally uploaded by peripathetic
With Gormley figure. South Bank, London.

Cat in motion


Cat in motion
Originally uploaded by peripathetic
New toys! Greenwich, 2007.

Turbine Hall


Turbine Hall
Originally uploaded by peripathetic

Wednesday, August 22, 2007