A Weekend Diary

…words and images from England's green and pleasant land…

Archive for the month “November, 2013”

Friday afternoon in Fareham…and Saturday evening in London…

Worked a ten-hour day on Thursday, so treated myself to a half day on Friday…and spent a couple of hours in Fareham town centre…

A pint of Carling, at Table 63, in The Vanguard Pub, in Fareham West Street...

A pint of Carling, at Table 63, in The Vanguard Pub, in Fareham West Street…

The sculpture at the right is called 'Still Moves' and carries the inscription 'Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed’...which I'd have to meditate on for a very long time before it made any sense ;)...

The sculpture at the right is called ‘Still Moves’ and carries the inscription ‘Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed’…which I’d have to meditate on for a very long time before it made any sense ;)…

A bit further along the pedestrianised part of West Street, in the direction of the railway station...

A bit further along the pedestrianised part of West Street, in the direction of the railway station…

Had my barnet cut, by long-time barber Giovanni at Baker Street on Saturday afternoon, then headed down to the West End by way of King’s Cross…

The wonderful interior of King's Cross station, rendered in mono...

The wonderful interior of King’s Cross station, rendered in mono…

I’ve posted a couple of other photos of Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross on this blog, but never before have I caught a Harry Potter fan so…err…mid-air 🙂

An enthusiastic Harry Potter fan :)...

An enthusiastic Harry Potter fan :)…

That wonderful interior in colour...

That wonderful interior in colour…

The Victorian frontage of King's Cross, in the Euston Road...

The Victorian frontage of King’s Cross, in the Euston Road…

Black cabs, outside St Pancras International...

Black cabs, outside St Pancras International…

The Hippodrome, on the corner of Cranbourn Street and the Charing Cross Road

The Hippodrome, on the corner of Cranbourn Street and the Charing Cross Road

Cranbourn Street, leading to the north side of Leicester Square...

Cranbourn Street, leading to the north side of Leicester Square…

A festive Leicester Square, viewed from its south-western corner...

A festive Leicester Square, viewed from its south-western corner…

And a bit further north in Chinatown, a TCM/Massage clinic in Newport Court, off the Charing Cross Road

And a bit further north in Chinatown, a TCM/Massage clinic in Newport Court, off the Charing Cross Road

A temporary 'Gift Factory' outside the Royal Festival Hall on London's South Bank, with the London Eye visible in the distance...

A temporary ‘Gift Factory’ outside the Royal Festival Hall on London’s South Bank, with the London Eye visible in the distance…

Travelling down the escalator to the Northen Line platform at Waterloo Tube station...

Travelling down the escalator to the Northern Line platform at Waterloo Tube station…

Awaiting a High Barnet train home....and I'm wondering who composed the poem, presumably not Boris ;)...

Awaiting a High Barnet train home….and I’m wondering who composed the poem…presumably not Boris ;)…

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Erhu busking, HMS Warrior, the London Jazz Festival, and Albert Road, Southsea

Gerrard Street is the main street in London’s Chinatown, bustling with tourists and visitors most weekends of the year, so this solitary erhu player, photographed on Sunday afternoon of last week in Gerrard Street, is somewhat untypical, but here he is anyway, one of the very few erhu buskers on the streets of London…

Busking with an erhu, in Gerrard Street, Chinatown, London...

Busking with an erhu, in Gerrard Street, Chinatown, London…

On Tuesday afternoon, I was down at Portsmouth Hard, supping a pint in The Lady Hamilton pub (where incidentally, I chanced upon Adam Ant in the bar around three years ago; he was staying in bed and breakfast there at the time) as I awaited a coach to London’s Victoria Coach station at half-four. Following is a photo of HMS Warrior I took that afternoon; it’s a ship that I never tire of looking at…

HMS Warrior, the world's first ironclad warship, 1860, at Portsmouth Hard

HMS Warrior, the world’s first ironclad warship, 1860, at Portsmouth Hard

The trip to London was to take me to a gig in the Purcell Room on South Bank, part of the London Jazz Festival this year, and specifically to a concert by Christine Tobin, singing The Songs of Leonard Cohen. I very rarely buy jazz records, but I’ve seen a lot of live jazz in London over the years, including a few years ago, gigs by both Christine Tobin and Huw Warren, who accompanied her on accordion (and piano) on Tuesday evening.

First up on Tuesday night in the Purcell Room though, as support act, was the Georgia Mancio Trio, who performed half a-dozen songs, including a version of David Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’, sung with a Brazilian Portuguese lyric…and there was also a song by Simon and Garfunkel ;)…

Georgia Mancio Trio, with Gareth Lockrane on flute, and Geoff Gascoyne on bass

Georgia Mancio Trio, with Gareth Lockrane on flute, and Geoff Gascoyne on bass

Christine Tobin’s set consisted almost entirely of covers of Leonard Cohen’s songs, material for an album she’s releasing next spring called ‘A Thousand Kisses Deep’. (The only exception to Cohen songs on Tuesday was a John Martyn song from the 1970s, ‘Go Down Easy’ which she did as an encore). It was interesting though to hear Leonard Cohen’s songs interpreted in a jazz context, and the highlight of the evening for me was her take on ‘Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye’ from Cohen’s 1967 album ‘The Songs of Leonard Cohen’.

Christine Tobin, in monochrome

Christine Tobin, in monochrome

Christine Tobin, in glorious redheaded colour

Christine Tobin, in glorious redheaded colour

I got back to Portsmouth around midnight that evening (having endured the dubious pleasure of some inebriated teens or twenty-somethings, misbehaving on the homebound train, but mercifully they got out at Woking) and I took the following day off, to accompany my partner to couple of meetings she had in Portsmouth and Southsea that day. All the following photos were taken in Albert Road, Southsea on that Wednesday…

Indepedent Republic of Albert Road (Southsea)

Indepedent Republic of Albert Road (Southsea)

'Bored of Southsea' is a shop on the other side of the street....

‘Bored of Southsea’ is a shop on the other side of the street….

A row of shops on the south side of Albert Road

A row of shops on the south side of Albert Road

Above 'The Vaults' pub, on the north side of Albert Road

Above ‘The Vaults’ pub, on the north side of Albert Road

SoundZ record shop, on the south side of the street

SoundZ record shop, on the south side of the street

One of several different Albert Road banners in the street...

One of several different Albert Road banners in the street…

The western end of Albert Road...

The western end of Albert Road…

North Finchley Remembrance Sunday 2013

North Finchley War Memorial, soon after 11.00 this morning

North Finchley War Memorial, soon after 11.00 this morning

The Memorial is outside Finchley United Services Club

The Memorial is outside Finchley United Services Club

The Police closed off the northbound part of Ballards Lane by the Memorial, causing a long tailback of traffic towards Finchley Central

The Police closed off the northbound part of Ballards Lane by the Memorial, causing a long tailback of traffic towards Finchley Central

Looking northwards towards Whetstone, outside the Tally Ho pub, North Finchley High Road

Looking northwards towards Whetstone, outside the Tally Ho pub, North Finchley High Road

The Lord Mayor’s Show 2013

For me, the annual Lord Mayor’s Show in the City of London is by far the most watchable of London’s street processions, even when the rain is pouring down, as it was for the outward journey this year…

Awaiting the return procession to the City...

Awaiting the return procession to the City…

The morning had seen a lot of rain...

The morning had seen a lot of rain…

View downstream from the Victoria Embankment

View downstream from the Victoria Embankment

The Victoria Embankment as seen from near Blackfriars Bridge

The Victoria Embankment as seen from near Blackfriars Bridge

The Bathstore, awaiting their return to the City

The Bathstore, awaiting their return to the City

Keystone Cops heading back to the City..

Keystone Cops heading back to the City..

The Bolivia float...

The Bolivia float…

The Thames upstream from near Blackfriars Bridge...

The Thames upstream from near Blackfriars Bridge…

Blackfriars Bridge from north of the river...

Blackfriars Bridge from north of the river…

Propellors

HongKongComics

GiveADogAHome

ScotsRegiment

Frogman

InflatablePig

CoupleOnSofa

HomeOrgUk

BlueBanners

WorldNeedAHug

BlueSky

MauveRobot

BritishArmy

GreenCarriage

MountedLifeGuard

And here she is, the new Lord Mayor of London, Fiona Woolf, a lawyer…

NewLordMayor

The Black Friar pub, opposite which I was standing for the last twenty pictures....

The Black Friar pub, opposite which I was standing for the last twenty pictures….

And some photos taken whilst wandering down the Victoria Embankment, on my way to Victoria Station…

RiverSilhouette

HMSPresident

CityBoundary

SBTopiary

The Rest is Noise

The Rest is Noise is a year-long festival that digs deep into 20th-century history to reveal the influences on art in general and classical music in particular, inspired by Alex Ross’ book The Rest is Noise

Such is the blurb that introduces the eight page A4 printed handout for this weekend’s instalment of the festival on the South Bank, which was given the title:’Politics and Spirituality in the Late 20th Century’.

To be honest, I’ve not taken a lot of interest in ‘The Rest is Noise’ festival until now, but there was something uniquely compelling about this weekend’s events, given its focus on life behind the Iron Curtain in the 1970s and 1980s, and my own interest in the Russian language, an interest which culminated in the acquisition of an O-level in 1984 (a strangely appropriate year given its Orwellian connotations ;)) and led to a continuation into A-level Russian studies in the mid-Eighties, which I never actually got around to completing, but which left me with a love of Pushkin’s work, and Gogol’s ‘The Overcoat’, and inculcated in me an enduring love of the beauty of the Russian language.

So it was, I spent much of the day on the South Bank, taking in some of the many available sessions this weekend. Unfortunately, several of the sessions that I would have liked to have attended clashed with others taking place at the same time; for instance, I would have particularly liked to have seen Astrid Proll, a member of Germany’s notorious Baader-Meinhof gang, talking about her life living undercover amongst London’s alternative squatter community, until she was tracked down in 1978. However, I opted instead for the simultaneous talk on the Beatles rocking the Kremlin…

The Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room on London's South Bank (as seen from the ground floor of the Royal Festival Hall)

The Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room on London’s South Bank (as seen from the ground floor of the Royal Festival Hall)

Catherine Merridale, a leading historian on the Soviet Union, here giving a lecture on Soviet society in the 1970s and 1980s...

Catherine Merridale, a leading historian on the Soviet Union, here giving a lecture on Soviet society in the 1970s and 1980s…

Catherine Merridale, in discussion with Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre, after the (11.00 am)  opening lecture in the Queen Elizabeth Hall

Catherine Merridale, in discussion with Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre, after the (11.00 am) opening lecture in the Queen Elizabeth Hall

In the early afternoon, I opted for some lunch, and headed to Marks and Sparks at nearby Waterloo station to get a sandwich, and there discovered free drinks were being handed out on the station concourse…:)

A free chocolate milk drink, being given away during a promotion on the concourse of Waterloo station on Saturday afternoon...

A free chocolate milk drink, being given away during a promotion on the concourse of Waterloo station on Saturday afternoon…

Next event for me was a showing of one of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s ‘Dekalog’ films, originally made for Polish television in 1988. I really enjoyed this, and I’ll be seeking to get the nine in the series that I’ve not yet seen on a DVD sometime….

Inside the Sunley Pavilion on Level 3 of the Royal Festival Hall, about to watch Dekalog 2, one of the ten Dekalog films being shown over the weekend...

Inside the Sunley Pavilion on Level 3 of the Royal Festival Hall, about to watch Dekalog 2, one of the ten Dekalog films being shown over the weekend…

The Front Room in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, venue for the discussion on the Beatles seditious effect in undermining Soviet  political orthodoxy... ;)

The Front Room in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, venue for the discussion on the Beatles seditious effect in undermining Soviet political orthodoxy… 😉

The subject interested me enough to buy a copy of this book, and get it signed by Leslie Woodhead, the author...

The subject interested me enough to buy a copy of this book, and get it signed by Leslie Woodhead, the author…

Final event of the day (that is, excluding an evening concert), was a lecture by the philosopher Alain de Botton, followed by a discussion hosted by Jude Kelly, who afterwards described the session as ‘thought-provoking and invigorating’, which I thought was fair comment…;)

Alain de Botton, during his lecture on 'sprituality and consumerism'...

Alain de Botton, during his lecture on ‘sprituality and consumerism’…

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