A few months ago I was cycling home along Smuggler’s Way near the Wandle Delta when I spotted some graffiti on the wall of a builder’s mechant. A few weeks later I stopped off to get some photos.
Not a Banksy, I don’t think, but cool none the less. Unfortunately it looks like the uber-efficient Wandsworth Borough Council anti-graffiti squad have removed all traces of it, which is a shame. I bear no grudge against the squad – who I must owe a bottle of wine to by now for the number of times they’ve responded to my pleas regarding graffit on our estate – but a part of me wishes they could make a distinction between art and vandalism.
On an entirely unrelated note, here’s a nice chirpy song for you – “Youkou Yeah Yeah !” from Vulsor’s The Project. Keen followers of my last.fm profile – which records for posterity what I listen to at home – would have noticed this getting a few plays since I found it in my collection. I’d recommend “Mushroom” from the same album, except I hate how it ends. When I get a chance (and err, learn how…), then I’ll remix it and give it a proper conclusion….
I’d never heard of the idea of “reportage” before, and I’m still none the wiser as to who or what “Granta” is. But with an interest in journalism, and a photo of the awe-inspiring “Tank Man” on the cover, it was a fairly easy sell.
The book contains a wonderful collection of journalist’s stories, rather than the reports that would find their way into a newspaper. Most of the reportage (which I like to think is pronounced as the French would – rhyming with montage, not cambridge) is regarding conflicts, and the stories of being a reporter trying to get close to the action – but not too close. One stand-out piece for me is the investigative journalism behind Operation Flavius, an IRA bomb plot foiled by the SAS controversially shooting the suspects. Compared with reading (not-so-)broad-sheet newspapers, I normally prefer to cut the waffle and read the Economist for getting the facts on what’s going on. However, I would love to have a source of journalism like this book – almost by necessity it would be non-timely, but nevertheless fascintating, almost behind-the-scenes reading, where the subject merely provides the context for the experiences of the journalist.
The Granta Book of Reportage (Classics of Reportage) on Amazon.
I went to the first bbq of the year, at Jude’s flat, last night. It’s not really warm enough for that kind of shenanigans – it got quite cold quite quickly after sunset – but it’s a good excuse for a big get together. I took some drunken photos (more of which later), so now I’ve reached the 4,500 photos mark. Some more theatre productions would be nice to get the count up higher – and give me a chance to make more use of my new lenses.
The Thames Path walk continued yesterday as well – I’ve now got to Hampton Court. Hopefully by the end of the Easter hols next week I’ll have made it upstream as far as the M25 (after that it gets a bit harder to organise!)
Thursday night was another gig – the Secret Machines (no, me either) at Shephards Bush Empire. I thought it was brilliant – nice chilled out alt rock (as far as I’m concerned, but I have no idea about music genres) – but apparently it was disappointingly different from their normal stuff. Still, it suited me.
The Tuesday night badminton is fast becoming a regular thing – which suits me fine, since it keeps me out of the pub a bit longer. I manage to hold my own at it despite not having played for so long, and I’m quite amazed at how many times I manage to successfully hit the shuttlecock! And there’s something deeply satifying about a baseline diving back-hand ground sweep that clears the net by two inches and hits the ground six inches over (w00t!). Let’s not bruise my ego by asking me to make the shot a second time…
Just as well that I wasn’t wanting a travelcard this morning – my local newsagent was “closed for filming”. And the street outside (Uxbridge Road) was adorned with a black-out tab, film crews, an awning with a production crew having coffee (and talking with American accents), and lots of cables running everywhere. The side street had three not-really-OB-but-similar trucks parked up it, with all the cables snaking along the gutter between the newsagents and the trucks.
I wonder what made them choose that particular newsagents to film in? This didn’t look like a low-budget film (but not quite a Hollywood blockbuster either), and Uxbridge Road wouldn’t be the first place I’d think of for a film set. (Well, it would, but that’s because I live there!)
Last night I was having a conversation about the media, and more specifically what appears to me to be the UK media’s somewhat downbeat attitude to events. It wasn’t something I really thought about when I was abroad, but now I’m back it seems that all the news is a lot more depressing over here than it really needs to be. So in a completely unscientific study, I’m going to take the main headlines from this mornings BBC News website, and give each one either a Grim or Upbeat label. Continue reading
I have a plan. Well, I have lots of plans, and most of them never seem to work out. Well, some of them do work out, but I’m pretty sure that’s because those ones are carefully chosen, so that I know they’re going to happen anyway. That way I can congratulate myself that they were Planned, and they Happened because I Planned them. Continue reading