Le Tour Comes to East London

July 8th, 2014 at 10:57

Inspired by Witchy’s reporting of the Tour coming past the Coven and by the entirely chance intersection of the Tour de France coming to the very bit of East London that I happened to be working in that day Planarchy is alive again for one day. East London was so excited even the DLR got redecorated…..


This particular bit of London didn’t get much attention from the Caravanne…indeed were the often present Police speed trap in place yesterday they’d have had a field day as the pre-Cycling vehicles whizzed through, late for Queenie presumably. Thus the first thing we got a decent view of was the official Tour road-sweeping truck….

And then before the riders comes the special Tour roadsweeper.

The first riders to come through were somewhat slower than most but much smilier!

Followed by the first riders who whilst being much slower than t
Then finally the race leaders…..er, racing along.

Finally(!) the Tour leaders.

Then just as the rain eased a little, the Peloton came into view….

and then less than 120 seconds later, the Pelloton.

..and just as quickly departed….

...still Peletonning.....

Followed by a lorra, lorra bikes without riders…. and to think I’ve been wondering how to safely mount two bikes on our car!

Even the bikes without riders whizz past.

Just as we think it’s all over we spy some stragglers….


All over too soon but a memorable experience nonetheless, possibly even better than when we stumbled across it half by accident in Paris (who’d have thought it would go there too?) many years ago.

Larger versions of pix and a couple more too, here….


Time lapse test post

June 6th, 2013 at 13:14

Just a test really, to see what embedded versions of like.

Night Sky from Nic Hamilton on Vimeo.

Hmm, can’t really see the stars. Better on the larger one that this links too but even there t’internet seems to have stolen rather a lot of the stars.

Testing 7,9,8…

May 4th, 2013 at 21:42

Blah de blah…


May 29th, 2011 at 12:40

Finally we got around to watching a DVD that’s been sitting around since Xmas, at least…..and it was every bit as as clever and witty as everyone was telling me. Apart from the excellent writing particular mentions must go to Nic Cage for his wonderful Adam West impersonation whilst Big Daddy and to the young Chloe Moretz as his delightfully dysfunctional daughter. Such an excellent performance in such a violent role for a young girl brings to mind Natalie Portman and her performance in “Leon”. I can only hope Chloe’s future career is more promising since Nat hasn’t, IMHO, made a decent film since (although I think she has made a lot of money and won an Oscar or two).



May 27th, 2011 at 16:41

I like to have a series of something on the Humax for those nights when I wake at three and know I won’t get back to sleep again. Lately it’s been Colditz, a favourite* from my youth. I thought I remembered the series quite well but it wasn’t until last night when I was watching the one where one of the officers fakes madness to escape that we got to one that I remembered almost perfectly. Nevertheless, once again I’m struck by the fact that my first watching of it is longer ago in time than the true events were when I first watched the TV version (yet at the time I’m sure I considered all of WW2 distant history).

* So inspired were my friends and I by Colditz and earlier “The Great Escape” that we had a succession of tunnels dug under the fence at the bottom of our garden through to the railway cutting beyond. When my parents sold the house there was nowhere near enough soil to refill them so many remained partially boarded up hollows. I’d love to know if successive owners of the house have ever come across the tunnels and tried to work out what they were (burrowing space aliens?).

Shibboleth 2?

February 9th, 2011 at 12:39

I liked Doris Salcedo’s Shibboleth (above) at the Tate Modern a few few years ago.  Since I couldn’t afford to buy it I decided to get my own with the help of a poorly maintained council owned tree.

Or something like that, anyway.

…..once upon a time, about two and a half years ago, we returned from a very pleasant holiday in Corfu.  A few hours after our return our next door neighbour knocked to enquire whether we had any cracks in the party wall.  We replied that no, to our knowledge we did not.  He persuaded us to check and sure enough, behind the TV there was indeed the beginnings of a mini-Shibboleth.  Moving more furniture revealed further cracks along the party wall and indeed on the front bay.  The cracking pattern was found to continue upstairs where it was even better hidden, being at the back of our wardrobe.
“Arse,” and indeed, “Feck!” but strangely not “Drink!” were amongst the words we exclaimed.  It was clearly, to us at first, an issue of subsidence rather than an artistic statement and hence we agreed with our neighbour that we’d both contact our insurers the next day.

The agent contracted by our insurers was on the property within a few days and after an inspection of less than hour concurred that this was indeed subsidence and that it would be covered by our household insurance policy.  So, good news in that it was covered, less good in that, in common with most buildings insurance policies it carried an excess of £1,000 (still somewhat cheaper than the original Shibboleth!)  The most likely cause was thought to be the council controlled tree on the pavement and in an attempt to prove this holes were dug and root samples taken for DNA analysis.
The insurers remained convinced that this tree was the cause with the council being less sure.  Eventually, however, and thanks mainly to our neighbour constantly badgering everyone involved, but still 13 months after the initial sighting of the cracks the trees (there was a second affecting the neighbour’s property) were removed.  In the meantime our cracks were being monitored on a monthly basis to check the movement and indeed, as predicted, once the trees had been removed the crack did begin to close up a bit.  The neighbour’s house was repaired and he moved out sometime last year whilst we awaited the start of repairs.  Our insurers wanted to confirm that movement had ceased before starting repairs which made sense but even so it was only this week that they finally began.

The the plan was that on Monday a removal firm would come and take some of our furniture to a storage depot.  On Tuesday a specialist asbestos removal firm would take down the sitting room ceiling (the artex had been found to contain asbestos, apparently quite common until 20 years ago).  Then on Wednesday the main contractors would begin the repair work.

Yeah, right.  Three different contractors all working for a fourth would be able to deliver on time.

Well, they did……and as I type poor little Shibby 2 is almost certainly an art of the past just like its inspirational mum at the Tate Modern.