Monday, 30 March 2009

52 Shots - #12

A lonely pink cardigan lies discarded; destined to spend the Easter holidays alone at the Royal Academy of Dance, Battersea.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

The curious phenomenon of the stationary escalator goers

I have been pondering this phenomenon for quite some time now. I was never sure if it was due to a special magnetic field around the escalator; or perhaps it was something that certain people are born with. You know, some people can roll their tongues, whereas others just can't. 'Was this the same?' I wondered to myself. Some people can walk on escalators and others just don't seem to be able to.

London fortunately has the mostly unspoken rule of 'stand to the right, and walk up the left'. Otherwise I would eventually burst a blood vessel in my brain from an accumulation of overwhelming impatience. I always thought this 'rule' was to reduce the likelihood of escalator riots between the two factions. But after a little research, I'm thinking perhaps not after all. Perhaps the immobile team just know what's good for them.

In Korea the authorities have begun to actively discourage the act of walking on escalators due to a stark increase in escalator injuries, mainly occurring when people are walking. Also, apparently an escalator dislikes a whole bunch of people standing on the right, as it wears this side down faster than the left. Maybe all these people I'm passing on my right are really just stationary out of concern for the escalator?

If you are lucky enough to live in States, you get the yearly pleasure of 'National Elevator Escalator Safety Awareness Week' which is run by none other than the National Elevator Escalator Safety Foundation. Their website contains tips on how to ride your local escalator safely, including such gems as 'Stand facing forward' and 'Don't window shop while riding'.

They also bust a few 'commonly' held myths about escalators. Apparently they actually can't 'reach out and grab you' and the stairs don't 'fall into the basement and have to be restacked every morning'. Gosh, and all these years I'd been thinking.....

But even after some research, the mystery surrounding the phenomenon remains for me. I may just have to place it in the 'curious unexplained social phenomena' file, between 'why does no one eat the last biscuit?' and 'why do I have to turn my Ipod down when I'm scratching about in my bag for my keys'.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

52 Shots - #11

It's not much fun working at an office located in an area which appears to have had its day about the time when shoulder pads and leg warmers were cool, first time around. As well as having what surely must be the most depressing supermarket in existence. Only there you could be in the checkout queue behind someone buying a six pack of Asda home brand cider in a can, at 10am.

But every now and then you find small joys. This pair of swans nesting just down the road is one such pleasure. Looking somewhat out of place with their elegance.

Monday, 23 March 2009

My new neighbours

Every morning I follow the same path through my neighbourhood, towards the tube station.
When the snow melted, I discovered these tiny beings had been hitting their heads on the frozen ceiling for days.

For the last six or so weeks I have been witness to this miniature village of daffodils staking claim underneath the comforting arms of a tree which has seen more seasons than these little bulbs can possibly imagine.

Slowly but surely, just as the days stretched out at both morning and night; this little army of daffodils, one by one opened their eyes, blinked a few times, then proceeded to grin cheekily for the rest of the season.

Their toes planted firmly in the dirt, they spent the spring hanging out with the squirrels, by my house.
Thanks for coming guys. It is nice to have you around.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Life is sweet

Sometimes, when work seems to be constantly pressing on my shoulders; or I have to stand the entire way on the tube for the 64th time and some man is standing so close his laptop is about to give me a hernia; the line in Sainsbury's is going back around to the baskets; and my fridge just gives me a vacant stare when I open it, and the recycling seems to be in the same overflowing state constantly.... I have to remember just how good life is right now.

The country I chose to live in, chose me by handing me a visa. No longer do I wake up in the middle of the night in a panic about where I might be in two months' time.

I have many wonderful personalities in my life. I am truly blessed to know such great beings. My ever-delightful housemates; a very amusing and diverse array of office deskmates who share their secret biscuit stash and desert-dry sense of humour with me; friends who ask me over for a cheeky pinot grigio on a Saturday afternoon or accompany me to the Tate Members Bar for an afternoon of pretension; and a wonderful person who, if I'm feeling rubbish but denying it, will look at me with a tilt of the head and frowned forehead and ask 'are you sure you're ok?'

I have a job which, although it drives me insane sometimes, pays for my ballet habit, late-night dancing at the Pigalle club, Vanity Fair subscription and the occasional escape from the city. And sometimes I get a small amount of reward from it.

And last but not least, Lady Spring is this week gracing us with her gentle warmth and shining personality.

Ladies and Gentlemen, life is indeed, very sweet.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

52 Shots - #10

On the first warm & sunny day of the year, London goes a little bit mental.
Speaker's Corner, Hyde Park reveals more than its fair share of personalities. One of them lets us contribute a piece of us in pastel on his travelling piece of artwork unfurled from a wheely suitcase.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

52 Shots - #9

After a Friday evening stroll through constructivism with Rodchenko and Popova, we stop for a swift game of chess at the Tate Modern.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Dear Niamh Isabella

The first day you were in my life dawned crisp and cloudless. The early morning light was not at all shy about sticking its arms through the trees of the Common, reaching out to touch me as I made my way along the concrete edges of the green.

It was the first time I saw that the tribe of daffodils outside the tube station had woken up; sunny little faces starting to lift their way towards the sky after months of being tucked away underground.

The newspapers of the day were filled with stories of bank bail-outs, falling share prices, and company takeovers, all sitting around a photo of a solemn looking basset hound who was about to participate in Crufts - the world's most famous dog show.

But while we go about our normal days, on the other side of the world somewhere, you are getting used to your new-found freedom of movement. Your lungs stretch and fill with air; your parents watching, counting your fingers and toes, and marvelling at this new little piece of life. A big sister looks over too, with her bright blue Bramwell eyes; watching and wondering.

There are the grandparents, bursting to tell the world of the new branch to the tree, another legacy of a lifelong love the rest of us are in awe of.

Don't forget there are a couple of Bramwell aunties, one is here and one is there, however you look at it.

And whatever the weather was in New Zealand; even though it is on the edge of autumn; you will always be the tiny girl who came into my life on a beautiful spring morning.

A morning where, for a little while, nothing else in the world mattered at all.

Monday, 2 March 2009

52 Shots - #8

Sunday morning caffeine fix a la Peter Gordon, at the Providores
Great coffee, outstanding veggie fry up, and all in the company of marvellous friends.
What more could you want from a Sunday.