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7th-Sep-2014 09:44 am - cat update
night eye
no pics today but Normal is out there amongst the weeds as is usual, absent-mindedly batting at spiders with a front paw.
it is called Normal because there are two all black cats - the other is quite slim build and has a tortoiseshell sibling (they usually appear together), but this one comes by itself and is the most likely to be out and about and near the house and is just super normal cat shape/build and face. I love that 'normal' cat is also perfectly lovely cat.
4th-Sep-2014 01:54 am - new cats
night eye
went to the Kennington Bioscope tonight, and met this lovely fellow on the way out (looks a bit sleepy as we woke it).
mrraowCollapse )

and there are a handful of cats that hang out in the back or front of the house, here is Japanese Print Cat and Black Cat having a slight face-off.
mrrrrraaaaoooowCollapse )
3rd-Sep-2014 10:32 am - underground/overground
night eye
Bradley L Garrett has new book out: Subterranean London.
which reminds me, has anyone had a go at London Under by Ackroyd? I've read most of London, I've tried and failed to do the Thames one (not cos it was terrible, just through having other things that seemed more urgent to do/read). This one doesn't look as long.

The 5th Phoenix Garden Agricultural Show & St Giles Fayre is this Saturday 6th Sept, 12 noon til 6pm. Yes please.
31st-Aug-2014 09:21 pm - links (blue, clothes)
night eye
Why the Sky and the Ocean Are Blue: The Color of Distance and Desire - thoughts on Rebecca Solnit's A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Maria Popova

Worn Stories: Playful and Poignant Tales of Clothes That Encode Life’s Most Meaningful Memories - extracts from Worn Stories by Emily Spivack (also by Maria Popova)
30th-Aug-2014 11:28 pm - Haunch of Venison vs BlainSouthern
night eye
(more London things that have closed down)
I was looking at old entries and noticed a broken image link to Haunch of Venison gallery. I really liked the original namesake gallery in Haunch of Venison Yard with its beautiful once-domestic stair with a grand sweeping handrail between rooms with stripped floorboards. I remember seeing Thomas Joshua Cooper Point of No Return there ten years ago, and the idea and execution of that series often comes back to me. I might be misremembering bits of it but he went to the extremities of continents (furthest west point in europe etc) and these beautiful big slow photos of rocks and waves carry a sort of solemn significance and particularity.
I thought it was doing well, it moved into the old Museum of Mankind space behind the RA, where I saw a few things, and then... it disappeared. I thought it was just that the RA were taking over that whole block (which they have) but - What happened to Haunch of Venison? - well Christie's took it over in 2007 and then closed it down last year. And then the "OH!" moment for me was reading that the original owners, after they left in 2010, set up BlainSouthern - that strange corporate-esque space on the side of Hanover Square, that I not-infrequently walk around the corner of and notice the rather slick dark brick and white revealed windows and the snazzy gloss patterned front, and yes I'd noticed there was art in there and thought it might be the kind of pet gallery that a big firm has in its foyer (because doesn't BlainSouthern sound like something with a large annual turnover and international headquarters?) until last week when I saw the list of artists for the current show in the window and was like "Hang on a minute - Donald Judd, Rachel Whiteread, James Turrell, Gordon Matta-Clark? This sounds like something I gotta see..." (and also does not sound like the roll-call of any corporate pet gallery).

so - sad that Haunch of Venison is gone. but - a little excited about this new place.
28th-Aug-2014 12:12 pm - Goodbye London
night eye
I was going to post after the weekend anyway, and just got an email which makes it three. three things that helped in a small way to make london my london have closed. the landscape has shifted.

Interstate, Endell Street. denim geek hangout and specialist importer of high-end jeans and other such stuff. it was a big, quiet shop, where you could (and I have) spend an hour just trying on jeans. the guy that ran it was cool, laid-back, no pressure, and it was the sort of shop where people - friends, customers - just dropped in to chat or talk about how their jeans were doing and would chat to you too, about whatever you were trying on. and these days vintage, traditional, small-loom, selvedge etc denim is everywhere and yet Interstate, daddy of denim cool, has gone.

Playlounge, Beak Street. odd funny things. picture books and toys and posters for grown-ups. vinyl collectibles, wind-up things, Studio Ghibli and Kozyndan. slightly grumpy proprietor, but not in a bad way. I suppose that stuff's everywhere now too, not the exact same things, but the aesthetic, cute monsters with wonky eyes, that sort of thing.

Smoke: a London Peculiar. when I first came to london I like to pick up the magazine that still seemed like an old-school 'zine, printed in black and white. then it went colour. then it went online. and I just got an email that says "we think it’s probably now time to hang up the Closed sign on the back of the screen.". and... yep again, in a way, their thing is no longer niche. to revel in bus routes, obsolete signage and odd bits of london, quirky histories and walking explorations. you can find a slightly less adventurous version of it in every other blog or market stall.

so long friends, and thanks for the welcome.
10th-May-2014 10:24 pm - janelle monae
night eye
I don't think I've ever seen anyone as pop.
glitter cannons are the best. and you can only use them once! I mean I suppose you could have several lined up, but they only tend to be used once. and it's like OH! when they shoot and then WOW when it all starts fluttering through the air.
and brixton academy is pretty good for effects like that because of the tall ceiling that pretends to be sky.
there was so much singing. I was really surprised. that sounds stupid I know.
it was great. incredibly assured, it made me realise that no-one else I've ever seen has had that - however good and however ballsy it's always been a little bit self-deprecating, room for self-doubt, false irony, overcompensating swagger... I guess it's what's meant by the phrase 'star quality'. shinyshiny.
totally straight covers of Jackson 5 and one of my favourite Prince songs, and not even pretending to be ironic and totally brilliantly pulling it off. and suddenly a serious speech about freedom and respect and abducted schoolgirls (I just kept thinking, while she was doing that, how it must only be americans who can do that sort of thing without mumbling or sounding a bit awkward and dry, but just heartfelt and rousing) and how we had to remember what we're fighting for and then segueing straight into a song. I mean. what.
it made me think about S growing up in london and being taken to see Michael Jackson and Prince and people like that when he was really little (his older brothers used him as autograph obtaining leverage) cos she really is like a reincarnated young Prince. I'll tell him about it when we finally go for a social coffee as opposed to meeting up for work.

I had a hunt to see if there was a decent video of the Let's Go Crazy cover, and there wasn't really, but there was this, which is pretty good:
26th-Apr-2014 11:15 am - small things
night eye
putting on ridiculous shoes to walk round the corner to buy loo roll, bleach and breakfast goods is making me disproportionately happy.
10th-Mar-2014 09:30 pm - three songs
night eye
slightly niche, but is anyone interested in seeing this with me?
The Last of England (funny looking address/link, not sure if that works) 8.45pm this Sunday March 16th, part of the Queer Pagan Punk Derek Jarman series at BFI.
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