London Mist

Battersea Power Station

Saturday morning, 7.35am.  This hasty phone-photo doesn’t quite capture the sight of London’s iconic buildings awakening out of the mist.  There is something quite serene about the damp chill you get on these misty mornings.  It is part of that time of day when you can walk alone through places that will be thronging with people in just a few hours.  Joggers and postmen know just what I mean. 

It is a source of great worry to me that I am not really a “morning person,” and rarely see this time of day.  I should do it more often.

Opie Zeitgeist

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Several Edinburgh Fringe Festival shows this year have marketed themselves with Julian Opie style images. I’m not quite sure why Opie’s aesthetic, made famous by the Best of Blur album cover design in 2000, has suddenly caught the zeitgeist. Perhaps the producers see how the stylistic forms, which are simplistic yet idiosyncratic, remind us how we build up our ideas of the human and its nature from a few bold strokes. More or less the same lines, but a million different possibilities. The same, they reason, could be said of their play.

Or perhaps its just easy, lazy design, tapping into an already recognisable ‘cool’. Maybe its a coincidence.

Elsewhere, I see Jabr-wocky has suggested that the Best of Blur album may have been derivative in itself.

Edinburgh Minge

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Midnight, and a busker on Edinburgh’s Cowgate cannot believe his luck. Two drunk young ladies with belts for skirts decide to whip up some loose change from the punters, by performing an erotic dance for passers-by. While the guitarist strums rock classics, badly, they rub their arses on each others breasts, and (with practiced ease) bite each others buttocks. The crowd is three deep. The minge of the fringe.

We walk on to the Smirnoff Underbelly, and into the popular late night comedy review ‘Spank’. They have a popular feature called ‘The Naked Promo’ where one plucky Fringe performer can promote their show, on stage… but only if they are naked. An actor from the much trailed Bloggers takes the challenge, and we get to hear all about the show, while looking at his cock.

I think I’ve seen enough pubic hair for one night.

The medium of icing

My dear mother makes a point of baking a cake to me on my birthday, and posting it to wherever I happen to be in the world. Not for her a simple Victoria sponge sandwich or fruit cake: The gateaux must carry some bespoke decoration. In her time she’s managed cake crosswords, football club crests, a variety of public transport vehicles, and a three-dimensional representation of Marlinspike Hall, Captain Haddock’s ancestral home, with chocolate button roof slates (this was circa 1989, before the advent of the many cake building technologies we now take for granted).

However, I have yet to see anything quite so post-modern, as the offering I received this year.

My blog in cake form

Yes! A rendering in icing of an electronic page, which itself metaphors paper. Thank goodness I don’t have Google AdWords on the site at the moment.

I have to say I’m disappointed no-one has entered anything in the comments, but I guess my mother didn’t have time to whip-up any RSS biscuits.

Working with icing is no mean feat. I refer you to an amusing interview with the anarchic Todd Trainer, drummer with the seminal Shellac, leader of the bizarre Brick Layer Cake, and something of an icing artist:

Yeah. Icing has definitely always been a part of the visual aspect of Brick Layer Cake. All four records have had icing on the covers, both front and back covers – literally all the artwork that has ever appeared on my records is icing, so that’s a theme, an aesthetic theme … Icing is a rather limited medium – I shouldn’t say “limited”. It’s an unforgiving medium to work with, because you only get once chance to really do it right.

Sport Cancer

Another entry in my occassional photo-blog series, chronicling preposterous headlines in the press. I spotted the following headline in today’s Metro newspaper, Scottish central-belt edition.

 

Apparently, Scottish captain and football pundit Barry Ferguson has been opining on how Tommy Burns, the assistant coach for the national team, will fare in his latest challenge.

Barry backs Burns to beat skin cancer

Fantastic alliteration… but otherwise totally crazy. As the photo shows, the story is at the back of the newspaper, on the sports pages. Should we act on Barry’s tip, and place a bet? Ferguson’s extensive medical knowledge is evident in these choice quotes:

‘He is a great guy and everyone gets on well with him … I’ve not had the best of seasons, but Tommy told me recently that I’m a good enough player to get through this. Little things like that mean a lot – and show that Tommy’s a top man.’

That’s good to know, since only miserable bastards actually die of cancer. The ‘top men’ always pull through… Is it really the job of tabloid newspapers to boost the morale of football fans in this dishonest manner?

Benefit Scroungers?

Benefit Scroungers! A wife, a mistress, and fourteen kids – one one council house

So shouts this week’s Closer magazine. Only that’s not right, is it? Scrounging would be putting each kid in their own council house, thus depriving their council of more resources. Shoving fourteen kids into a single council house is the opposite of scrounging: it seems positively thrifty. Good on them.