Friday, 31 October 2008

Light Me Up !

That's quite enough nostalgia. Couldn't help myself though, spotted the unmitigated pub-side gas pump on the other channel and thought of this. My Americana catalogue is very broad and may well support its own pages soon. Until then ........
I'm afraid its back to street lighting worries. This last few weeks have involved a lot of driving in the early hours - where have gone the pleasures of driving in the dark ( much appreciated '43 Jeep "night view") ? Fortunately there are plenty of unlit routes in County Diplo, but travel any distance and the night is washed away by that nauseous yellow glow of the sodium lights sliced up like some vivisectionist's whale by the long stitched gashes of trunk-road and motorway lights. I was briefly enthused by plans in Powys to turn these awful decorations off after midnight to save power - badly received by residents frightened of the dark !!! Lord save us (again) just switch the bloody things off altogether, perhaps give us all a few quid off our rates as a pleaser. Having never really lived in town it does seem so sad that the State has seen fit to deprive those that do of darkness. The natural way of things ( dark/light, night/day, hot/cold, noisy/quiet) does provide us and the rest of the planet with a frame work, a pendulum of emotions, moods, temperatures, light levels etc all of these rocking us gently within the extremities, enabling us to enjoy being tired or bright-eyed, cold on a clear autumn morning or struggling with the searing provencal heat as we tease our pallet with a little nicoise and a crisp cold Semilion. Can we please have some bloody contrast and stop trying to smooth out the experience into some ghastly mediocre, mean, average, bland, featureless pureed vegetable. MORE DARKNESS !

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Street Art

Spire of Dublin, affectionately known as The Spike, presumably a monument to Mr Milligan. Almost breathtaking and VERY brave, this needle in stainless steel by Ian Ritchie soars some 400ft into the grey sky. I spent a few moments lying on the pavement photographing this glorious piece of modern art, I realised that all the other people lying around were the worse for drink and not taking in the same view. I include a picture of one I made earlier ( a few years ago ) designed by John Murdoch in flint and stainless - this only a tenth of the height at 40ft and somewhat less dramatic. I have encountered some truly pointless pieces of street art in my time but these are decidedly not so - perhaps their very shape is intended to floor such criticism before it starts.

Oh Molly !

Just a quick up-date - been off air for a while. Four day trip to Dublin has left me a little exhausted followed by a week on the Dorset coast (more later). Much Guinness was taken in Ireland and I just managed to catch this glimpse of our morning delivery. Haven't been to Dublin since a very heavy cricket tour some 12 years ago and things seem to have changed a bit (not the Guinness). Down in Balls Bridge I found a very notable French eatery in proper relaxed form, set around a wine merchant's dealings. Pierre of "The French Paradox" has sought to make his clientele even more happy by feeding them over a zinc top bar with a menu of confit, casoulet and good agricultural terrines etc - spectacular wine list with techno-nitrogen delivery system allowing some VERY posh juice to be made available by the glass if necessary. I managed to visit three times in four days and fail to get any pictures - you'll just have to take my word for it - the casoulet was bloody brilliant.
On the Friday I made a trip to the Croke Park Stadium, headquarters of the Gaelic Athletics Association. Two note-worthy points: spectacular engineering and quite the best tour guide I have ever met - if every tourist attraction had a guide as keen, knowledgeable and enthusiastic as the man showing us around Croke, they'd be chocker every day. MORE GUINNESS !