Friday, November 28, 2008

christmas ! did any one mention christmas ?

this morning, i was in a well-known "pile-'em-high, sell-'em-cheap" supermarket ... inspecting the half-price christmas decorations ... a few feet from me along the aisle stood a well-spoken country-wife in a puffa jacket and elastic-sided equestrian boots ... she picked up a toy turkey, less than half life-sized, which was made of felt, and was dressed as father christmas ... and it instantly began to sing jingle bells ... quite loudly, like a rather jolly man, kevin spacey perhaps, but it gobbled just like a real turkey at the end of each line ... blushing like a whole garden of roses, the lady looked around at the smart women behind the pharmaceutical counter, and then at me, and sounded quite panic-stricken when she said, "I don't know how to stop it !" ... so i put on a sympathetic smile and sidled over, a bit like vincent price playing the surgeon in the tingler, only not so well-spoken, or nearly as nice ... and murmured ... "maybe you should wring it's neck !"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

in war, truth is the first casualty ... today's guardian ran some extracts from the war diary of david cotterrell

Bloody reality ... last year, the artist David Cotterrell went to Afghanistan to observe the work of military medical staff at the main field hospital at Camp Bastion. His diary and photographs, now on show at the Wellcome Institute in London, are a harrowing reminder of the cost of war

... well worth reading, if only for the last paragraph

Friday, November 21, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

lovely video of cartoonist iconoclast/iconophile steve bell hard at it

the goddess of small things hath brungen home a second-hand postcard carousel ... every home should have one

NB we are living in a time when one of the great paradigms is "shifting" ...

our changing understanding of mind and brain were "illuminated" in this week's "in our time" discussion on BBCradio4, which was about neuroscience

fortnum and mason's xmas window 1a

dear diary ... to fortnum and mason's at four in the morning to photograph the window display ... it is the best time of day because there are few passers by along the narrow pavement, and because the darker street doesn't present such a complication of reflections ... even so, you have to wait for traffic to pass, but can't avoid the reflections of the brightly lit shops across the street, a vast black screen held behind the camera by a team of assistants also wearing black would be helpful ... i made a technical mistake and should have used a smaller aperture, so sometimes the camera has autofocussed on the window pane rather than on the tableau within ... i'll go back soon and try for some sharper images ... click on these pictures for fuller detail

last years christmas windows were on november 10 2007 and november 17 2007

fortnum and mason's xmas window 2a

fortnum and mason's xmas window 3a

fortnum and mason's xmas window 4a