diamond geezer

 Saturday, July 10, 2004

Readers' postbag

It's always a pleasure to receive mail from one's readers. I've had quite a bit recently (well, more than the usual couple a month), so I thought I'd share some choice correspondence with you. I get more proper email than spam these days - it's great.

Great Aunt Annie wrote from New Zealand with her wartime memories of a V1 bombstrike on SW London.
"My mother, sister and I were sleeping on a double mattress on the sitting-room floor, my father was dozing in an armchair, and my other sister was sleeping, Harry Potter style, in the cupboard under the stairs. I woke up to hear my mother telling me not to move because there was glass everywhere. The blast from the bomb had blown out all the windows but my mother had pulled the covers over us. Thankfully we were all uninjured. I moved my head just a fraction and heard glass tinkling on the pillow. I think we must have stayed where we were until the all-clear sounded. The next thing I remember is us all walking down the main road, heading for the school shelters. To my six-year-old mind, the most bizarre aspect of the situation was being out in the street in my dressing-gown and slippers in the middle of the night. It was eerie; no street lights, no traffic, just the five of us trudging along in the moonlight, like an L S Lowry painting."

James Blogwell wrote because he's delivering a literary conference paper about London Blogging and is planning to include my site amongst the six or seven London blogs he's featuring. Me, academic source material? Much honoured, Sir.
"The conference is at Senate House on Friday and Saturday 16-17 July. Unfortunately it's a miserable £50 to get in, though obviously for that you get much more than my twenty-five minutes - you get about 100 papers with titles like 'A Society of Gardeners: Writing and Gardening in Eighteenth-Century London' and 'Kicking the Dog Will do: J.G. Ballard's Peripheral Vision of London'. Details are here. I'm on just after midday on the Saturday."

Anne wrote to my Gmail address to tell me that my blog has been banned in Korea.
"It all started on 24 June when the video of Kim Sun-il's murder started circulating. The Korean Ministry of Information and Communication (Orwellian or what?) closed access to internet sites showing it. They could only manage it by the bluntest of means - by closing access to the hosts. As you are with blogspot, and they are one of the hosts of an offending site, Korean access to Diamond Geezer is denied. The same is true for all Blogger blogs and Typepad. OK, so there are lots of far more desperate human rights issues round the world, but I thought you might be interested since your blog is involved, and be able to spare a moment to sign one or both petitions."

Tanya Millard wrote after I'd praised her '100-square of bus photos' currently appearing at my local art gallery. I'd also really liked a series of photographs of London greens - a sort of Dulux colour chart of turf close-ups with matching streetnames (this is 'Stepney Green') - and wondered if that was her work too.
"Yeah, the greens are mine too. That project was more problematic as not all the greens in London have a sign saying the name of the green, and not all of them are actually grass, some are road names."

Mr Kim is also local.
"Congrats on site. You seem to have most of my interests!!! What about a section on local pubs? (Or is that thought just TOO depressing?) I took attached pic from my window...do you recognise location?"
Sorry Mr K, I'm not impressed enough by my local pubs to run a series on them, although I have written a post about one of them before. And yes, I recognise which window in which nearby block of flats that picture must have been taken from, but I shan't let on where it is.

Can I also thank Brian for his newspaper cutting (no, I haven't recently been ordained), thank Terry in Indonesia and MikeMK for their kind comments, and apologise to George that there isn't an RSS feed of my blog available, just an Atom feed that appears to have stalled in early February. And thank you all for bothering to write, it's appreciated.

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