Saturday, July 31, 2010

three beautiful things

RUNNERS. At weekends, one is always enchanted by fleeting glimpses through the trees of spring-heeled goddesses scampering around the common. Today come several hundred, half of them dressed in pink, on a fun run that seems too arduous for most in this sticky humidity.

A LITTLE BOY, maybe six or seven years old, gets on my bus and climbs on to a high seat. He is un-believably girlishly pretty, but undoubtedly boyish because he is absorbed in contemplation of his new boy’s toy, a Lego Clone Walkers Battle Pack, still in its unopened box. Throughout the fifteen minute journey he does not speak, but reads the box’s facets over and over whilst he hums the Star Wars theme, very loudly.

WOODPECKER. We awake to steady rain after a drought. Two squirrels dash hither and thither among the great dark boughs of a Cedar of Lebanon, fetching twigs vandalised from a neighbouring lime tree to fortify their dray. A woodpecker flies in at speed from one side and settles in classic profile, so to speak, before commencing her methodic ascent, regardles of squirrel chaos, tap-tapping as she goes.

i must remember to wash the windows this year

lucas says here

austin of england

Saturday, July 24, 2010

good job no one was listening ...

"darling, if i were rich, i'd have cardboard cut-outs of you in every room ... holding trays of drinks and chocolates"

Monday, July 19, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

putney ambulance station, west hill, wandsworth ... at the crack of dawn

oh, and that's Saint Thomas a Becket Roman Catholic Church, designed by Edward Goldie (1856-1921), an impressive Victorian Gothic Grade II Listed Building situated on Wandsworth's West Hill, where it has been "stood standing" since 1895

Friday, July 16, 2010

the archaeology of fun ( part 99 ) ... i've been snoozing and had missed the whole lipdub phenomenon ... even in remote herreruela the people are living proof that there's no such thing as a sleepy village in 21st century spain

WARNING: only allow yourself to click on this link if you sincerely believe in the potency of cheap music

i do !    i do !    i do !

... later ... i'm just checking out the history of Lipdub on wikipedia ... which soon leads me on ...

to discover hundreds or thousands more lipdubs on YouTube ...

here are a bunch of French students ...

and  some Catalan students ...

i haven't found many british ones yet, but ... ...
nope, she's american

and we'd better not try to stop the Germans now ...

or the professionals ...

of course it all started years ago and i'm surely the very last person to catch on ...

etc etc

Sunday, July 11, 2010


watch this clip through to the slow-motion close up in about the twentieth second

despite the english referee's laissez-faire attitude to extreme violence, the best team prevailed and justice has been served

good old tolstoy ... never wide of the mark

rory stewart mp

I read Rory Stewart's account of his walk across Afghanistan a while back and went to look at his website this morning because he's  recently become the MP for Penrith and the Border.

He still writes from a uniquely individual viewpoint ...

... whether through statistics, or anecdotes, or narratives of the past, the real language to describe what I feel about Cumbria eludes me. Take my Sunday walk for example. I walked out of my front door and reached the top of Knipe Cragg at three in the afternoon. It was very hot. Three days earlier in London I had twenty-one appointments in a day, 35 people came to the constituency surgery, and the previous day I been at Glenridding to canoe with the Ullswater Community college, at Brampton cottage hospital fete and at Crosby Ravensworth where they were abseiling for the tower. But there was nothing in the diary for Sunday afternoon. So I continued on down to Little Strickland. Except for the retired Bishop of Newcastle exercising his neighbour’s dog, I saw no-one on the fells. Turning North, I stopped in Hackthorpe for supper in the Lowther Arms.

A regular told me that he was in the pub to give his wife two hours’ free to watch the soaps. I shared some chips with him; he seemed pleased that I would be walking back to Bampton after supper. He asked what I did and I told him: “No” he said “You’re not, you’re having me on. I follow politics, you’re not an MP” and, taking a final chip, retired to sing to himself in a corner. I walked back, past a great red bull, with a blood red sun falling behind Blencathra and saw beyond the telephone box at Knipe the white path stretching up to my cottage. Crossing my threshold again at ten minutes to midnight I could still see Cross Fell. It seemed hardly possible, on that longest day, that half a year had passed since I walked on the longest night, with all the East Fellside blazing in snow and moonlight, to Castle Carrock. How can I ever fit any of this into the language of a London office?