In this case, last thoughts are not a reference to my feelings about life after death, nor morbid consideration of my own mortality. Which isn’t actually going to be all that soon, since I fully intend on living, if not forever, at least until we have real actual flying cars and colonies on the Moon, like I was promised when I was a kid. Last thoughts in the current post are of London and our time there.
I was going through my PhotoStream, which for you non-Apple owning people is the term they use for the record of all pictures you’ve ever taken while you owned an Apple product. Photos that Apple no doubt collating in some ultra-secure underground facility in Wyoming. Someday, as you’re getting ready to interview for that job with the Fortune 500 company of your dreams you’ll get an AppleGram. Said AppleGram will ask you to agree to forking over 10% of your earnings, in perpetuity, in order to prevent the quite accidental release of that picture of you wearing a beer hat and urinating on the statue of the college founder during Homecoming Week hijinks, years and years ago. What, you thought Apple was making all that money off of iPhones?
So looking through the Photo Stream I pulled out a few or ten pictures that typified our time in London. Kind of a walk down Memory Lane, if Memory Lane had a few more pubs and take-away places.
Moss. A sensitive and evocative composition showing the ephemeral nature of man’s institutions. Or just an illustration that it’s so wet in London that green stuff grows on stone and brick. I don’t know, this pleases me in ways I can’t quite define, or I could, but explaining that I like it because green is my favorite color, might be a little more revealing of how simple I am than is in my best interest.
New York, New York. A shot from the Queen Mary 2 as we depart the harbor on our way to Old Blighty. Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate, as our feelings were definitely not grim nor grey. As a matter of fact we were really quite excited and it wasn’t just because there were unlimited buffets a’beckoning, though that may have been a factor.
Victoria and Albert Museum, courtyard, at night, December. I took like ten pictures and this was the best of the lot. The view was a lot cooler than my execrable photographic abilities reveals. Mary’s favorite museum in the world. Might be mine too, though the Imperial War Museum does have a V-1 rocket and that does trump a lot of dresses and statuary.
Airstream, repurposed. I don’t know why this tickles me so much. I don’t think food truck culture is going to make a lot of headway in the City because there’s really nowhere for them to park and do business. This Airstream is in the middle of what was essentially an outdoor mall.
St Ghastly Grim. This is from the gate to the churchyard of St. Olave Hart Street, which was not far from our flat. The skulls indicate that Plague victims were buried in the churchyard. But that’s not the best part. Consider the vicious looking spikes on top of the gate and wall. When the zombie apocalypse hits this is where I’m going to hole up. Unless the spikes were put in to keep the Plague victims from arising and getting out….
Squashed. Londoners will pretty much not tear anything down unless the money is really, really good. So far apparently the offers for this property haven’t been quite high enough.
Elf Herd. Another strange custom. Dressing up in Santa costumes and then walking en masse through the City. I really am not sure what the purpose was, a charity? The convenience stores were doing a land office business as many of the elves were flooding into their stores and getting a can of lager to drink along the way. I was struck by the difference in the two cultures, as Americans would all be towing coolers with beer, so they wouldn’t have to stop.
Brit-Mex Cusisine. It was hard to get a decent shot of this through the window, but it’s some sort of ‘Mexican’ dish. The best part, though it’s kind of hard to see, is that they’ve put chipolatas on top, just like they do in Oaxaca-on-Trent, just a stone’s throw from Mexico City, if Mexico City were located in Neverland.
Paternoster Square. This area was leveled in the Blitz and rebuilt, then leveled again so they could build a bunch of office buildings for American banks. They added in this square, centered around the quite large monument in the center. Interestingly enough, apparently the Brits have run out of people, wars, animals and royalty to dedicate monuments to, since this one has no inscription or indeed any function for existing other than it sets off the square nicely. Oh, and the square is more of a lop-sided octagon. But that’s not what is truly interesting about this shot. It’s the sun and the blue sky. That’s unusual.
Pop-Up Pissoir. Last, and certainly not least, is the Pop-Up Pissoir, located just outside our building. We didn’t even know this existed until halfway through our stay since during the day and on weeknights it is flush with the sidewalk. But on Friday and Saturday nights it pops out of the ground, ready to service the hundreds of drunk bankers and stock brokers wandering about the area. I never actually saw anyone using this, but then again I didn’t make it a habit to hang around and watch it for more than three or four hours at a time. I like the idea that this is made pretty exclusively for drunks as there is no privacy whatsoever, so you have to be quite drunk in order to throw off all inhibitions and use it. Quite drunk in British terms is defined as Emergency Room admittance in the US.