Monday, August 29, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011


Three lads swaggered on to the homeward bus yesterday afternoon, making plenty of noise.  Whilst the two fifteen year-olds repeatedly shouted out their determination never to allow any white woman ( there were about ten white women on the bus ) to “S*** M* D***”, the sixteen year-old and loudest took out his phone and began an even louder conversation with “a friend”, the subject of which was a change in Metropolitan Police’s prosecuting procedures in Magistrates’ Courts.  

At first It was difficult to follow the conversation because everything was gabbled in a highly streamlined kind of playground talk, but it became possible to distil some meaning because everything was repeated at least four times, partly because he had trouble saying and conveying what he meant, and possibly because the other person was as daft as he and had a similar attention span. 

The gist of the twenty minute communication was that he had just been released by the police after 24 hours at the station helping them with their enquiries following a raid on his family home.  Some of their mutual friends and neighbours, who had been raided on the same day, had been remanded in custody.

What he had learned during the process was that the Met are determinedly changing their procedures with petty criminals and are recording every alleged offence as well as previous convictions, and are presenting the magistrates with more detailed lists of previous form, arrests, acquittals, taggings, etc, whenever new cases come up.  This means that his list of misdemeanours has suddenly grown much longer and he is in certain danger of being remanded in custody as and when he next gets himself in to trouble.

What he hadn’t learned … it seemed to me, by implication, because he never mentioned the possibility … is that this might be a very good time to change his life-style and stop being a bad boy.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

3BT 25th August 2011

At second glance, the bus load of passive or expressionless schoolgirls leaving Gatwick Airport at seven in the morning turns in to a bus load of jet-lagged Malaysian air hostesses.

After a morning of tropically heavy rainstorms, I pause on my round to stand in a kind of bower, the shady canopy of a small plum tree, and I select one perfect purple plum, whose tender sweetness closes my eyes involuntarily like a kiss and transports my whole being back in to childhood.

Seen from the homeward bus at Clapham Junction, two women, with identical straight blond hair held by elastic bands in short pony-tails, kiss.  One is only five feet tall and stretches upwards on tip toe, whilst the other is about six feet two and bends only very very slowly until their lips touch at last.

i've got the silver back ... now i just need the odour ... of the alpha male

The Reform Tavern at Thornton Heath

i went to what might reasonably have been described as a tory grammar school in a small country town ... the various Reform Acts were never mentioned

I don't suppose Peel or Wellington would have enjoyed the present landlord's karaoke nights

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

charities at clapham junction were not exempt from attack on riot night

... so it looks as if my favourite shop dummies have gone up in smoke

Friday, August 12, 2011

here's one she took of me in barcelona

trouble at mill ...

Early in the day I must drive twenty miles out of my way because our pickers forgot the chutney yesterday for the chef at a posh country hotel who is doing a wedding feast later this morning.  All of my other customers must wait.

Except one.  He would have been the last of the day but I will now drive past his deli and he is already in there.  When I nip in with his box, four hours early, he is at first delighted and then utterly crestfallen.  Our pickers have sent provolone dolce, an innocuous white cheese, instead of dolcelatte, a strong and salty blue cheese.  He has twenty four cheese boards to arrange for someone else’s wedding.  I rack my brains and then drive thirty miles to a friendly wholesaler who very kindly lends me the right cheese, and back again.  All of my other customers must wait. 

Eventually, when I get back in to the yard two hours late and slump over the wheel before I begin to re-arrange the paperwork, there is a movement at the periphery of my vision and I look up see my rosy-cheeked manager giving me a cheery wave as he shoots off for a fortnight’s holiday.  Grrr, just you wait until my psychiatrist hears about this.

Monday, August 8, 2011

3 no 4 BT

A small pasture, maybe five acres, hedged and gated traditionally, and glimpsed from a speeding coach high upon a motorway embankment, is almost luminous in the intensity of the mid-day sunshine, and seems to have been subject to division by some invisible and quite mysterious force, because on one half stand seventy black and white dairy cows, whilst on the other is a parade of about two hundred shiny black crows.

A very old man cheerfully, sweetly, kindly ushering his desperately weak and fragile wife on to a crowded bus with infinitely loving patience and circumspection.

I am about to photograph a scene when an airliner passes over the city, and as I pause and wait for it to pass in front of a small white cloud, so I am confounded because the little cloud is the nearer to me and is so thin that the perfect shadow of the plane slides across it before I can press the shutter.

A posy of dark flowers (Cosmos atrosanguineus ? )  that smell more like cocoa powder than the real thing.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

reflected colours

a fine blogger with lovely eyes, who shall remain unnamed, observed that pigeons flying across the swimming pool appeared to turn blue in the reflected light

this reminded me of an infant memory ... the big girls would hold a buttercup beneath my chin and could tell from the reflected colour whether or not i liked butter

and then, only this evening ... i watched a jackdaw fly across the gap between the tenements, passing beneath two large trees ... and for a couple of seconds the glossy feathers on his neck and back reflected the greenery

politically ethically humanistically incorrect ...

Struggling to undo a stack of small boxes that had been taped together with unusual thoroughness by our pickers and packers last night , i cussed audibly ... and then explained to my bemused customer ...

"Picked and packed by the company's Asperger's Division; unpacked by the Tourette's."

f-f-far f-f-fetched ....

... f-f-fountains

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

3 more BT

At the British Film Institute on the South Bank, Glen Ford and Rita Hayworth looking like gods in the digitally re-mastered Gilda. 

Great scriptwriters don’t waste words and great photographers add magic to each frame to cast us in to new oceans of emotions.

A troubled and agitated mother-of-pearl sky conceals and then reveals the huge and fugitive new moon descending over the city.

In the gloom at Putney Station as our electric train slips quietly away, so a steam driven Pullman rumbles through, the loco panting as it follows a curve into the night.

in the churchyard at ide hill


An undeserved and unexpectedly affectionate text from the loved one during a frantic hour of work-induced stress.

Near Sevenoaks, glimpsed through a high hedge as I trundle slowly down a narrow country lane, a broad-antlered stag and a dark-eyed long-necked hind, each smooth coated and with uptilted noses, treading slowly through knee deep wheat that really does look golden in the strong sunshine.

Coming back to London down a long hill into Norwood, and having seen him some way off, I stop to let out a car who has been creeping from a side turning.  I might just as well give him space as try to wobble around him, and no skin off my nose because the crossing lights twenty yards on have turned red.  However, the cyclist who was a hundred yards behind me has now caught up and is sadly lacking in road sense, shooting by me in the face of oncoming traffic, unaware of either car or crossing.  Incredibly, he bounces off the car and lands on his feet as the oncoming drivers stand on their brakes, and then walks away shocked and shaken, but without a scratch.