Monthly Archives: February 2012

Habitual Thinking

Catch yourself doing it whenever you can I say, because if don’t, what you think is your own organic thought will mainly end up thinking you ~ most of the time.

Kevin & Stan

Kevin is the rather idiosyncratic cat and Stan is the Irish Wolfhound. They live with my step-sister in Suffolk.

I am not sure what they are reading there.

Why things feel like they do, sometimes

There are words to go with this post.

They have come to me like the inverse of the bird’s eye view of the tree branches.

I may be a while sorting them out…

The Hammersmith & City Line

Earlier this week the children and I hopped on the pink line from Paddington to Liverpool Street.

We passed easily through the station that was my nemesis in my twenties: Edgware Road.
I well remember repeatedly kicking the metal station sign there in a commuting frustration back in the day.

Nearly twenty years later the Hammersmith & City line looks as down-at-heel as I do. This is not helped, although also curiously enhanced, by taking shots with the no-flash rubbish camera on the Crapberry.

Taking photos of people feels intrusive but not so much when they are through the window, across the line and on the other platform. The Crapberry is so Crap that the potential shot that made my heart race was missed as a train rushed through in the opposite direction, obscuring my view at the crucial moment.

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Where rubbish photos can’t go, the words step in. I prefer photos to words sometimes, but they can’t do everything.

Somewhere between Baker Street and Kings Cross a boy gets on with his family, fully in the grip of a panic attack caused by Mind the Gap. He takes a while to stop sobbing, his forehead leaning on his mother’s shoulder. The fear, becalmed, kicks in again as he realises he has to get off the train. His legs, quaking under his emotional overload, look incongruous in the whitest boxfresh trainers. His parents, who look old enough to be his grandparents, treat him with a mixture of sympathy (mother), studied indifference (father), embarassment (both). His mother gives the boy and his sister a Polo Mint each, to help. The sweets are as white as his trainers. His sister wears a hat and no attack of panic.

I cannot help but feel glad that the boy is not getting off at Bank. The gap there is both high and wide, probably because the platform is, unusually, curved. I would ask my grandpa why? if he were alive to ask. I think of the Central Line on the London Underground as his, although he was involved in the extension out further east, past South Woodford. I also think of the time that I nearly lost my youngest down the gap at Bank when she was much younger and smaller.

Yes, Bank is a fearsome station. The trains come roaring in there from the distance, the shiny but furious rails scream in advance of their arrival, the warm wind whooshes in your face.

I am glad that the boy is not going to Bank; riding the Central Line is inclined to make me cry.

For our own journey we have no Polo Mints, wear muddy boots and have no front to maintain. Better to ride the tube like that if you can. There must be many other passengers that want to sob and quake on the trains these days. Who can blame them?

Toby & Me circa 1976

Toby was the family pet I was born into having – a rescue who was put to sleep with kidney failure (I think) when I was about 10 or so. When this happened I tried really hard not to cry in front of my mum, in case it upset her. This rational to a 7 year old child approach to loss backfired fairly spectacularly because then my mum was extra upset anyway on account of my not seeming to care about the dog not coming home from the vets.

Sometimes it feels like those funny little coping methods we seemingly have hard-wired into us can be traced back quite simply to childhood and photographs like these are fragments of the map, or a piece to an incomplete jigsaw which has long since lost the picture on the lid.

I wonder what anyone did before snapshots were invented. The past truly did not exist, perhaps.

Looking at Toby now I can’t help but notice a resemblance to Rudi, my current hound, which had not occurred to me before. He certainly had the devil in his ways when he felt like it.

That said, a dog never lets you down, even when it does.

Pollenia Rudis

Otherwise known as the cluster fly, came to my attention today as a great quantity fell out when the loft door was opened where I am staying.

An ancient family violin was being retrieved from the roof cavity but before we were able to inspect the condition of said instrument we were entertained by the dog,la Espagnol (Springer variety), scurrying around the cream carpet eating the dead and dying insects. She was shooed off with much fake vomming and retching from the assembled children before the remaining carcasses were sucked up for one final whizz round the storage cylinder of the vacuum cleaner.

As it turned out the violin, which in a Victorian version of brand piracy, has Stradivarius imprinted on its innards, is in a derelict sort of state with a broken fingerboard, displaced bridge and something rattling around inside it. Maybe it too swallowed a fly.

A fly eater

I’ll be back…

In the meantime I am leaving the blog being minded by these two lads. I like to call them the Mitchell Bruvvers.

Nobody make any sudden moves, alright?



London bricks: encrusted with snow

Side order of icicles

Today seems like a good idea to come up with Gedankenexperiment III, featuring a cat.

Probably my cat. The cat that shat on the bathroom mat in the middle of the night… before commencing loud miagolare so that those that serve her might wake up, let her out and clear up the mess.

Female Construction Worker: Thailand

I love the orange hard hat on top of the pretty sun hat. And her smile.


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Converted my bad self to Lil Wayne after this epic track got under my skin at the end of the last year – I already had a shameful Bruno Mars pop habit.

Check out Lil Wayne’s body as a canvas here. ‘Fear’ ‘God’ tattooed on his eyelids. As you do.

Life lined up on the mirror don’t blow it…
…I see your soul through your window pane…