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More photos of them phone boxes   Leave a comment

As I was in Kingston again today, I thought I’d try and get some better images of that sculpture made out of old red BT Phone boxes.

Kingston street art

Kingston street art

And this is the view from the other side. Harder to take because of the position of the sun. Make a great place to hide a geocache though.

Kingston street art

Kingston street art

Ding Dong the Witch is dead   4 comments

The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) is caught up in yet another controversy this evening, this time over the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. One song from that show is likely to top the download charts this weekend, and the BBC is concerned if it should be played on the radio.

I’m not sure that in 1939 they had any grasp of music charts let alone music downloads, probably more interested in what a certain German was up to.

wizardoz

Now I can understand the BBC being worried about the lyrics of certain songs, like Relax recorded by Frankie Goes to Hollywood which had clear sexual innuendo and Je T’aime a duet written by Serge Gainsbourg, sung with lover Jane Birkin in 1969. As attempts at censorship both of these failed badly, and in the latter case because it was effectively banned from sale in the UK, so a copy was given away with every copy of Private Eye one week, which I believe is still one of Private Eye’s top selling issues.

This however is a children’s song and the lyrics simply celebrate the death of the wicked witch. The problem seems to stem not from the song itself, but from the people who bought it. Yes, for the slower amongst you, it has been bought by people who are not supporters of the late Baroness Thatcher. The BBC’s proposed solution is to have two audience guests in to discuss the reason why the song is in the chart and then play less than 10 seconds of it.

The irony of all this of course is that Thatcher was very against state control and censorship for censorships sake, and she would have opposed any moves of this sort were she still in office. It does however serve as testimony to the divisiveness of Margaret Thatcher that tens of thousands of people have downloaded this track as mark of protest even though she left office nearly 25 years ago.

Posted April 12, 2013 by bluonthemove in Uncategorized

Fitting a post around a picture   2 comments

I never know whether one should try to make a post to fit a picture, but as this picture will be both amusing and nostalgic to some of my audience I thought I’d give it a go.

I was reading recently that BT has a very prolific wireless network around London, and much of it is based around their street furniture. So their street cabinets and their phoneboxes have all benefited from the addition of wireless network equipment, it must be quite heavy, look what it did to these phone boxes !!!

Street Art in Kingston

Street Art in Kingston

Apologies that the light is not in the best place for the image, but I was in a little bit of a rush.

Posted April 2, 2013 by bluonthemove in Family, Food, Travel, Wimbledon

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Graffiti   1 comment

This post has been inspired by recent posts by Brit on the Rock which have included photographs of some of the graffiti around Gibraltar. Generally graffiti is just mindless vandalism which creates work as people have to clean it off, but sometimes it shows an underlying artistic talent that maybe could be harnessed in some way.

 

On the side of a squash court

On the side of a squash court

 

As can be seen in the slideshow at the bottom of this post, graffiti gets everywhere. This example does seem to me to show a talent for design, and whilst it might not be clear from the photograph the orange colour has been used to highlight elements of the design very well. I begin to think its a pity the person who did this hasn’t got a place in an art and design college somewhere. Not a clue what it means though!!

This next effort clearly shows artistic talent.

 

That's Handy

That’s Handy

 

With the current proliferation of many poor quality websites let down by their graphics and their design, seems to me there is a lot of talent being potentially missed out there. Clearly we need to take this art off the streets, but may be there is scope for graffiti walls within school premises using special paint which is easily removed. Artistic efforts could be photographed by the school and potentially submitted as course work, before being removed.

Many years ago the less academically bright boys were taught subjects like woodwork and metalwork and the less bright girls did domestic studies like cookery. Are we missing the opportunity to nurture those who are less able to communicate effectively by missing very obvious artistic talents.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

All pictures taken with my Samsung Galaxy Note II smart phone.

Posted March 13, 2013 by bluonthemove in Gibraltar, Publishing, Walking, Wimbledon

Bargain properties in London SW19   6 comments

I have been discussing property prices with various blogging friends, so rather than block up their blogs with information on my local area, I thought maybe it deserves a post of it’s own on here.

So, what gems are available:

First up we have a 5 bedroom detached house for sale in Lancaster Gardens, Wimbledon Village, SW19. To be fair it is set within an acre of land complete with outdoor heated pool, and 4 of the 5 bathrooms are en-suite (the two attic bedrooms share a bathroom) so its a snip at £7,400,000.

Next up we have another 5 bedroom detached home, this time in Marryat Road, London, SW19. It features a double garage, carriage driveway and garden of 20m x 30m with no pool which explains the bargain basement price of £6,850,000.

Moving on, there is a new build 4 bedroom house with open plan living space. Without wanting to be cruel here, this house looks like two shipping containers on top of each other with windows cut in them, rather characterless but then a snip at £4,950,000.

Turning our attention to apartments for a moment, there is a nice 2 bedroom apartment built in 2010. It provides one reception room which includes kitchen, dining and living areas, a master bedroom and a rather small second bedroom. £3,200,000.

London of course is one of the most expensive places to buy property, which is why I suspect I’ll find the Gibraltar property market nicely on the cheap side.

Posted February 25, 2013 by bluonthemove in Gibraltar, Relocation, Wimbledon

Lent   1 comment

I am no great believer in religion these days, probably never was to be honest. However having spent the four least pleasant years of my life in a roman catholic prison camp somewhere in the Berkshire mountains a certain amount has rubbed off on me (OK it was a school, but as someone wiser than me once said, a religious boarding school only prepares you for one thing, a life in prison).

 

Gratuitous religion

Photo courtesy of freeditalphotos.net

 

So, young catholic neighbour asks me what I have given up for Lent. After a moments thought I gave my reply; green leafy vegetables.

At this point child’s mother unhelpfully reminds me I don’t even eat green leafy vegetables. Not true I retort, I bung frozen spinach in currys as its hardly worth the effort to do saag for one in a separate pan.

I’ve never really understood all the self loathing associated with religion, it always seems to be about not doing things. God presumably invented the carrot as well as the stick. Whats wrong with abstaining from something one doesn’t like?

I guess where I’m going with this is looking at how people judge others. One thing that bugs me is when people imply that you cannot care about animal welfare if you like to pick up a pack of lamb chops from Tesco for dinner. They seem to forget without people eating meat there wouldn’t be any sheep or cows outside zoos; which should of course themselves be banned as they lock up animals.

My vegetarian brother was a prime offender in this area. He subjected a dog to long time servitude. On a typical working day he was away from home for 12 hours and the dog was imprisoned in a single small room for that time without food but hopefully it did have water. Not always if he forgot.

The cat didn’t fare much better, it was chucked outside regardless of the weather and wasn’t able to get back inside the house until he returned. Living amongst fields though, there were plenty of mice about for the cat’s lunch, and there were outbuildings to provide shelter.

He also used to say you shouldn’t eat meat if you can’t bring yourself to kill the animal in the first place. My response to this line of argument was usually to grab the remote control and turn the TV off. When he shouted at me to turn it back on, I would remind him he couldn’t build a TV or make the programmes shown on it. He bought it from a shop, just like I did with meat.

Animal welfare is about animals having a comfortable life, plenty of food and water, space to run around, not locking them up in confined spaces. Its not about them living a long life though and when the time comes for my dinner they need to be killed in the most humane pain free way that is possible.

I have no delusions though, that the food industry adheres to what my guidelines would be. I used to believe the price of meat should be more expensive, but in recent weeks we have seen that global markets are very difficult to control without global policing which I think is a long way from being effectively organised.

My financial commitment to animal welfare is directed towards orphaned baby elephants, allowing them to grow up with other orphaned elephants in a secure area where poachers are shot on sight, and to shelters for rescue cats. My choices, no one person can do everything.

Posted February 24, 2013 by bluonthemove in Family, Publishing, Wimbledon

Gung Hay Fat Choy   3 comments

If the title is incorrect, take it up with wikipedia!!

Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Yes, its Chinese New Year, and this year is the year of the snake. Seems the Chinese like snakes, and people who are snakes are not all bad. However, we in the west take a different view of snakes. If I were to say Tony Blair was a snake, most people would instantly agree with me, when all I would be pointing out is he was born in 1953 the year of the snake.

Today is going to be an excuse to try cooking chinese food, although I’m the first to admit I’m not very good at it. Maybe I’ve just spent too much time in Hong Kong and Singapore to appreciate what is available in the UK, certainly I don’t go to Chinese restaurants in the UK for that reason.

Posted February 10, 2013 by bluonthemove in Uncategorized