Friday, 30 August 2013
Photograph: Steve Mepstead.
There are many photographs of the brighter side of Carnival on the inter web but this image is my favourite this year. It sums up the other side!
As does this photograph, from Getty Images :
For the residents of Notting Hill the lasting legacy of Carnival is the lingering stench of urine that pervades the neighbourhood for some time afterwards.
Tuesday, 27 August 2013
Monday, 26 August 2013
Friday, 23 August 2013
The Friday night before carnival was always the high point for many locals. Recently the powers that be had stopped Mangrove Steel Band from playing in the street; it was traditionally the last pre-carnival rehearsal and an opportunity to play for the community but thankfully this year they were back. Wonderful!
Brilliant director Andre White is back behind the baton, Matthew is there behind the drum kit and so many familiar locals are making life good.
I find carnival itself far too crowded and intimidating so to be able to see these very dedicated people perform in the street on this night is magical. It is also magical to bump into so many friends and neighbours sharing the joy.
Thursday, 22 August 2013
Wednesday, 21 August 2013
Not something you will see every day.
Hear them HERE
Jan Nieupjur writes:
While the Bantock piece was all very nice what a shame the BBC or the Proms powers that be did not take advantage of having six harps on the platform and more importantly six of the best harpists in the land in the house and put on a decent programme that could have been memorable and in my memory certainly a first.
Had there been six first violins from various orchestras on stage together we would never hear the end of it and imagine the kerfuffle had there been six tenors!
Editors note: Jan nieupjur knows nothing about classical music and even less about reviewing it but I owe him money and am obliged to publish his views.
Sunday, 18 August 2013
There’s a guy who drinks in my local, Old guy, in his 80’s I guess, small and wiry, looks honest and hard working and always dapper in his black suit, white shirt and black tie, as if always waiting for a funeral or just come back from one.
The only odd thing about him is his eyes; he has one piercing blue eye and one dark brown, almost black. The dark eye is glass and ill fitting.
Last week I plucked up some courage and bought him a pint, sat down at his table, looked into
the good eye and asked about the other one.
He started to talk without hesitation and with great passion.
In 1947 he said In 1947 I was demobbed and me and 3 mates went to Butlins for a week down Southend, we shared a chalet, all them chalets look alike and on the second night I got so
pissed I went back to the wrong one didn’t I. I crept in in the dark so as not to wake the others, undressed and climbed into the bottom bunk and fell asleep. I woke meself up with a coughing
fit and in doing so startled the girl who was sleeping in the upper bunk.
She mumbled something like she had a mouth full of pebbles and a moment later demanded “who’s that?’
I didn’t know then but I know now that she had a glass eye and she kept it in her mouth at night when she slept so as not to lose it and to keep it moist. She had popped it back into the socket, wet with spit, before demanding who I was.
I was pretty surprised to hear a girls voice from the bunk where me mate was supposed to be so
I leaned out and looked up, as I looked up she looked down and her glass eye fell from its socket.
Our eyes met!
Fuck I said you’ve poked me fucking eye out, well you should have caught mine she said and what the bleeding hell are you doing in my chalet?
She sat with me in the doctor’s office as he scooped out my busted eye with a spoon and replaced it with a marble as a temporary measure. Six weeks later I had a brand new glass eye and a beautiful new wife. We were together for 60 years Trish and me. I buried her six weeks ago.
Before the funeral. He went on. Before the funeral I went to see her one last time.
In her box she looked as beautiful as when I first set eyes on her. A mad idea came into me head and I gently eased her glass eye out with me thumb and replaced it with me own. I put her eye into me head before closing her eyelids. I wanted part of me to go with her you see and I wanted part of her to stay with me.
This brown un was hers, beautiful colour ain’t it. Obsidian the poets call it.
The funny thing is, he said with a chuckle, the funny thing is she was such a beautiful woman people used to say to me. Stan, ugly little runt like you, how the fuck did you catch her eye in the first place and I’d say back with a twinkle in me good un, it’s more of a case of how I didn’t catch her eye what did the trick.
Saturday, 17 August 2013
Saturday, 10 August 2013
A nation rejoices
a nation is happy
for Morgana of Wales
has filled up her nappy
no signs of austerity
in her posterior dexterity
yet for her no diamond
or other rare jewel
but the perfectly formed whirls
We wrapped it in tissue
sent it off to the issue
of the issue
of our dear Queen's eldest son
With a brief covering word
to authenticate the turd
as a born and bred, dressed in red,
Welsh number one.
when they unwrap it
they have Gilbert and George snap it
for in turd matters they
are certainly no fool
And will quickly identify
reasons aplenty why
(in the words of the hip)
it is undeniably cool...
To be blissfully happy
with the contents of a nappy:
A golden hued, curlicued, ormolu stool.