diamond geezer

 Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Half a dozen posts I started but couldn't be bothered to finish

200 things I saw on a walk yesterday
An abandoned cake tin, an Uber Eats cyclist cycling the wrong way up a cycle lane, a blue umbrella, Henry the hoover, a passing helmetcam, commemorative pansies, a bus waiting to even out the gaps in the service, crass marketing, a lorry carrying 12 lifted sections of railway track, another lorry carrying 12 lifted sections of railway track, a Red Bull can, too many pigeons, an emptied restaurant kitchen, bouquets spelling MUM in the rear of a hearse, a padel court, unreplaced cladding, We Hope To Reopen In January, colour-changing globes, Bingo Terrace, two people queueing outside a bank, twelve people queueing outside a building society, a black cab rank, a rainbow flag with the full eleven colours, and no I cannot be bothered to finish this...

I miss Sutton
I cannot believe it's been a whole year since I last went to Sutton. I didn't realise it at the time but I haven't been back to the much-maligned borough since 17th February and I kind of miss the place. I might have lingered longer had I known, or at least taken a few more photos I could have eked out as features during the following months, but I missed my opportunity. I know it's not the most exciting place London has to offer but it is somewhere different to here and just to be there would be a proper novelty after all these months. Equally I know some of you actually live in Sutton and must be sick of it by now, indeed you'd probably find Bow ridiculously exciting at this point, but unfortunately we can't broaden our horizons and do a swap. Other suburbs I haven't seen for some time so have an undue longing for include Neasden, Sidcup, Ickenham, Hornchurch, even Yiewsley, and no I cannot be bothered to finish this...

All the records that peaked at number 40 in the charts in the 1980s
Wonderland (The Commodores), Dance Stance (Dexy's Midnight Runners), Maybe Tomorrow (Chords), All For Leyna (Billy Joel), In The City (The Jam), Body Language (Detroit Spinners), Don't Say I Told You So (Tourists), Girls Can Get It (Dr Hook), The Call Up (Clash), I'm In Love Again (Sad Cafe), I Shot The Sheriff (Light Of The World), I Saw Her Standing There (John Lennon/Elton John), Norman Bates (Landscape), Europe After The Rain (John Foxx), Me And Mr Sanchez (Blue Rondo A La Turk), Do You Believe In The Westworld (Theatre Of Hate), The Big Bean (Pigbag), Back Chat (Queen), Athena (The Who), Back To Love (Evelyn 'Champagne' King), I'm Alright (Steve Wright), Motor Mania (Roman Holliday), Help (Tina Turner), You Don't Love Me (Marilyn), Genie (B B and Q Band), What's Your Problem (Blancmange), Strength (The Alarm), Because (Julian Lennon), White Christmas (Keith Harris and Orville), and no I cannot be bothered to finish this...

North Street Passage, E13
Walk around East London long enough you'll eventually find your way to North Street Passage. What's particularly peculiar about this alleyway is that it doesn't start in North Street which is 250m away, but it did originally and has since been cut to half its original length. Today it starts in Eastern Road between two schools, neither of which were here to start with, and which you won't be seeing either because they're securely boarded off all the way down. A sign on the spiked fence says Warning Anti Climb Paint lest anyone be considering trespass. The path is lit by sequential lampposts and littered with dog excrement in various unnervingly bleached shades. It goes on a bit and has several bends, which is bad news for anyone with a fear of being mugged. The first break comes courtesy of a locked gate at the entrance to St Mary's Allotments, originally a rubbish tip until illegally occupied by the Plaistow Land Grabbers in 1906 and opened up for cultivation. After a long celery-growing summer these horticultural anarchists were arrested and sentenced to hard labour, but had the last laugh when the Labour Party took control of West Ham council four years later and officially designated the camp as allotments.

North Street Passage next passes a miserable patch of grass and three decaying doors, and no I cannot be bothered to finish this...

Pancake Tuesday
Celebrating national traditions is always important, especially when they're tasty traditions like eating pancakes. I like to eat them on Shrove Tuesday but I don't cook them myself, I buy them ready-made. I never have eggs in the house because I don't like them which means I'd never get through half a dozen, even at pancaketide. I also don't have Jif Lemon in the cupboard nor even a bag of sugar, not since I gave that up in tea 25 years ago, but that's by the by. When I dropped in at my local supermarket I hoped they'd have packets of ready-made pancakes but instead their display focused on flour, batter mix and some cheap bottle of instant granules so I skipped that. All I could muster in the bread aisle were six Scotch Pancakes which I decided were better than nothing, even if they only go in the toaster rather than a frying pan. I've had my egg aversion since I was very young, and no I cannot be bothered to finish this...

Ash Wednesday
What are you giving up for Lent? Is there anything left you haven't given up already? A lot of the things people give up tend to be refreshment-related, for example chocolate, carbs or alcohol, but these are some of the only pleasures some of us have left. Smoking's a popular thing to ditch but I don't do that, and choosing not to swear is pointless because I have nobody to talk to anyway. Many Christians give up meat as their Lenten sacrifice, either for the entire season or just on Fridays, but I'm not willing to go that far because my powers of self-denial have been sufficiently tested of late. Incidentally did you know that Ash Wednesday is 46 days before Easter, not 40, because the six Sundays in Lent don't officially count towards the total. You could if you wanted abstain on weekdays and Saturdays and then splurge all your worst sins on Sundays without fear of breaking the rules. Thus far in Lent I have refrained from eating Creme Eggs and all other forms of chocolate, which isn't surprising given Lent's only been underway for seven hours, but no I cannot be bothered to finish this...

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