Dan Gets Out of His Father-in-Law’s Mercedes: He Is Not a Happy Man

The Snakes (never mind the page, it’s somewhere near the end, that’s all self can give you).

Dan is clearly not a happy man. He even casts shade on what’s become of the old Battersea Power Station.

Battersea Power Station is, in self’s humble opinion, A GREAT RECYCLE OF INDUSTRIAL ARCHITECTURE. It’s now the Tate Modern. OK, maybe it’s a little grim. But that’s just the outside. The art inside is fabulous!

Of course it would go. Everything went. Like Battersea Power Station before it, a place like that was marked for destruction . . . He leaned against a wall and watched the people going by, and the girl cooking the curry in the wok . . . She’d been joined by a friend who had propped up a sign saying ‘vegan.’ She smiled at Dan. He didn’t like white girls with braids . . . He put his hands in his pockets and walked away, out into the noise of Rye Lane, towards the station . . . He was nearly crying when he got to the station, and he didn’t even know why.

Lighten up, Dan!

Self can’t WAIT to see how this novel ends. According to 80% of the people who left reviews on goodreads, it’s going to be terrible.

Self’s next read is an Elmore Leonard short story collection, and those stories will be as far from contemporary London as one can possibly imagine.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

Riding Through London in a Mercedes: Dan and His Father-in-Law

The Snakes, p. 321 (making great progress, hope to finish by tomorrow): SPOILER-FREE

“Where are we going?” asked Dan.

“Wait and see.”

It was quiet in the car, and Dan didn’t notice the traffic. They drove through Camden Town and past the British Museum, then crossed the river at Waterloo, Elephant and Castle, the Old Kent Road, and gradually, the streets became familiar.

 

Self has done this walk, on foot.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Graffiti & Murals

Self loves this week’s Fun Foto Challenge because there is so much raw energy in street art; graffiti has always fascinated.

All photos: Shoreditch, East London, November 2019

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Here are a few other graffiti galleries to sample:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 91: SIMPLICITY

Love this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge!

P. A. Moed:

This week . . . we’re getting back to basics.  Show us what simplicity means to you. 

Is it stepping back to a time when luxuries were scarce and people were content with less?

In these times of self-isolation, self turns back to the comforting presence of her old books:

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There’s a date in self’s handwriting on the flyleaf: February 1984

And she’s planting tomatoes:

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And she vows that as soon as she can travel to London again, she will visit Chez Mamie on Hanway Place, the place where she’s spent so many hours, enjoying Julie’s fabulous cooking:

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Chez Nous (Formerly Chez Mamie), 22 Hanway Place, London: Self has been eating here since 2014.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 90: DISTANCE

This week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge is DISTANCE.

These days, everyone’s talking about and hopefully practicing “Social Distancing”. Since it’s something we should all be doing, we thought a challenge focused on DISTANCE might be an appropriate reminder of its importance.

Self visited New Mexico over the holidays. The place still fascinates.

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Cranes in a field near Albuquerque, New Mexico: Late December 2019

Self loves London’s bridges. She loves the view, she loves the bustling river traffic.

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London, November 2019

Finally, self was fascinated by Cornwall, which she visited for the first time last May, to attend the Fowey Festival of the Arts (Traditionally held in May, the festival’s been postponed to late September),

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Sailboat near Fowey, Cornwall: May 2019

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: CONNECT

The Challenge:

What the world needs now… No, I’m not breaking out into a Hal David and Burt Bacharach pop tune! During this time of social distance, it is more important than ever that we connect with one another. I thought the theme of Connect might make a lot of sense. So, your challenge is to capture anything that either connects or with which you feel connected. 

Self deliberately searched for pictures that show connection despite absence of people,  as a way to honor Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “shelter in place” order for California, her home state.

We will get through this!

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A London Bridge

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This copy of David Copperfield was read over 60 nights in a cave during Captain Scott’s expedition to the Antarctic: On exhibit in the Charles Dickens Museum, London

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Fowey Hall, Cornwall, May 2019

Stay tuned.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: SCALE

For the first time in over 10 years, self went to the supermarket and bought a bottle of vodka. In the back of her mind was something a friend had told her: that alcohol contains a natural anti-viral agent. The vodka was set out right at the end of the liquor aisle, an open invitation: Smirnoff, Ketel One, Grey Goose, Belvedere. She nearly picked up the Smirnoff then decided that if she was going to self-isolate, she deserved the best.

In the meantime, she’s cleaning out the closets in son’s room. And found a whole bunch of Lego figures. She scattered them on the floor and took pictures. VOILA! Scale!

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For contrast, a picture she took in the Antiquities gallery of the British Museum, May 2019:

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 87 – REFLECTIONS

Miriam Hurdle: “I am fascinated by the reflection photographs in the lakes, the rivers, the building windows, the sunglasses, the mirrors, and the puddles.”

Self is, too!

Here are three from her archives:

  • Two snapshots of the London Eye,  taken from the next bridge over, November 2019
  • Lily Pond in Front of Christ Church, Oxford, UK, 11 November 2019 (Armistice Day)

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

London in I Capture the Castle

Some forward progress, at least! Today self managed to see Bad Boys for Life, and liked it quite a bit, except for the action scenes, which were just your run-of-the-mill, generic action scenes. It was really nice seeing Joe Pantoliano again: he still has that trademark Joe Pantoliano way of delivering lines! And Will Smith is still cool.

She has made it to p. 77 of I Capture the Castle, which self is finding very, very beguiling (even though it couldn’t be more different from her last book: The Goblin Emperor):

It was three years since we had been in London. We never knew it well, of course; yesterday was the first time I ever walked through the City. It was fascinating, especially the stationers’ shops — I could look at stationers’ shops forever and ever. Rose says they are the dullest shops in the world, except, perhaps, butchers’ (I don’t see how you can call butchers’ shops dull; they are too full of horror). We kept getting lost and having to ask policemen, who were all rather playful and fatherly. One of them kindly held up the traffic for us, and a taxi-driver made kissing noises at Rose.

I had hoped the lawyers’ office would be old and dark, with a Dickensy old lawyer; but it was just an ordinary office and we only saw a clerk, who was young, with very sleek hair. He asked if we could find our way to Chelsea by ‘bus.

“No,” said Rose, quickly.

He said, “O.K. Take a taxi.”

I said we were a little short of change. Rose flushed scarlet. He gave her a quick look, then said, “Wait a sec.” — and left us.

He came back with four pounds.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Tuesday Photo Challenge: ACTION

There’s always plenty of action around us, so your challenge is to share some of your best captures of that action with all your blogging friends.

Tuesday Photo Challenge

Ever since self’s Nikon Coolpix stopped working, she hasn’t taken as  many pictures. Taking pictures with her Android is such a bear! Nevertheless, she did manage to take some action pictures:

  • Top Picture: San Mateo Farmers Market, the Yang Gang, January 2020
  • Middle Picture: On the street in front of Ottolenghi in Spitalfields, East London, Nov 2019
  • Bottom Picture: Jollibee Hamburger, a little past midnight, Manila, September 2019

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Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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