Entropy!

Catananche caerulea 2

I’ve mentioned that recently we moved to a fancy new messroom at work, and I think I  talked about our high tech fridge. It has an LED that says the temperature and the date, I get the relevance of the temperature, but the date seems unnecessary. It also makes a high-pitched squealing noise whenever the door is open, I’m not sure why since it’s got one of those doors that thunks closed if you let go of it.

Anyway, now the LED is broken and the high-pitched noise has become annoyingly erratic. Sometimes it comes on when you open the door, sometimes it comes on when you turn on the tap and sometimes it squeals continuously for an hour in a fit of pique. Luckily, unlike the chairs designed to tip you off and the clock that won’t set to the actual time, this affects the managers, so it will get fixed soon.

And speaking of the clock, a few readers suggested the exciting idea that the wrong times it kept setting to were coordinates, that would lead me to an inter-dimensional portal or some such (I can’t remember the details now, I might be making this up). So I tried setting it to see what time it moved to. It’s satellite connected, so no dial, I simply pressed the button, the hands whizzed round for a bit and then hung limply, twitching. I may have to accept that I’m not being sent important messages from another dimension, it’s just crap technology. This new messroom is falling apart.

IMG_20190507_065440

Just to sum up what everyone has worked out about the advert since it seems that it did make some sense if you’re more knowledgeable about markets, children’s books and life than me.

Calmgrove  – the bear is Paddington who was from darkest Peru and could talk. I suspect this is an invoke sweet things trick to mask their devilish intent.

Jasper Hoogendam – Winnie the Pooh was originally from Winniepeg, hence the name. Not in the ad, but still interesting.

Colin McQueen – in rugby the Lions have a coach from New Zealand (kiwi) and the cheeky chicken refers to ‘having a cheeky Nandos’. I have no idea what either has to do with banks.

Shaily Agrawal/ – pointed out that bear is a market term for someone who takes risks. I don’t really want my bank to take risks, because that’s what caused the economic crash last time. Maybe that’s the subliminal bit, they rename recklessness as ‘open mindedness’ and then throw in the bear.

I, after a foolishly long time, worked out that being shut on bank holidays is what banks do.

So to translate

Keep an open mind because being open minded has opened doors to Paddington Bear, who’s secretly a risk-taking banker; rugby coaches from New Zealand; and a cheeky Nandos. Now is not the time to batten down the hatches, it’s time to stay open, except when we’re shut. Because we are not an island, well we are, all the surrounding water makes that clear, but people can still visit, which is nice. And the world is big, and it has bears and lions, unlike the UK which only just got bears and has no lions to speak of.

But what are you talking about ?

IMG_20190507_065440

I look at this advert every morning while waiting for the train, but it’s nonsense, isn’t it? Can anyone give me a hand? Does it have a subliminal message? Or had they run out of ideas so decided to blurt out any old bollocks?

It’s for the bank HSBC. Maybe it’s like adverts for alcohol – they aren’t allowed to say a highly toxic product is nice, so they go all surreal instead. Or maybe they feel such contempt for the public that they believe we’ll be humbled by whatever they say.

The text:

Keep an open mind because being open minded has opened doors to talking bears from darkest Peru Kiwis who can coach lions and Portuguese chicken that’s cheeky. Now is not the time to batten down the hatches, it’s time to stay open. Except on bank holidays. Because we are not an island we are part of something far far bigger.

Thoughts that have occurred to my morning addled brain as I stare across the tracks…

  • Is Peru dark?
  • I like to think I’m open minded, when am I going to open a door to a talking bear?
  • Is this about a circus?
  • If that’s a Brexit reference, it’s only going to annoy people.
  • Most things open on bank holidays now. Are they thinking of decades ago?
  • Is this supposed to make me want to open a bank account? It doesn’t.

So anyone got any ideas as to what this might be on about? Does it make you want to switch to HSBC?

The Alley of Sinister Children

IMG_20190714_073216

I stumbled down a back street today and found myself in a tiny road with many flowers and statues of children hanging from the balconies. Each one was dangling from a different house, so this is a small of community who got together and all agreed to decorate their homes with strung up children. At first I found it interesting, but I didn’t like the one with no hands, bit too much like a Saw movie to me. I didn’t hang around very long after that, the vibes were not reassuring.

IMG_20190714_073243

IMG_20190714_073334

IMG_20190714_073200

IMG_20190714_073349

 

Frieze! Or I’ll shoot!

IMG_20190721_085813
A handy scarf hugging a tree

Alien Resort was asking about the picture I put up yesterday. It was one of the sculptures from the outdoor art Frieze at Regent’s Park (I turned the picture upside down because I liked the way it messed with perspective). Anyway, I thought I’d put up the other pictures from there, since it was an interesting exhibition.

Quite annoying though, despite cordons around most of the art and signs saying Please don’t touch, people were lifting their kids over the ropes and letting them climb all over the art. I like that the public feel less intimidated by art and rules now, but it seems like only the intimidation was stopping us from trashing everything.

IMG_20190721_091715
Ivan Argote – Bridges (We Are Melting)

^ This is part of the sculpture that I used in yesterday’s photo, there were four of these bridge-like structures with words that didn’t make much sense on them.

IMG_20190721_091932

Jaume Plensa – Laura Asia’s Dream

I thought this was beautiful, so peaceful ^

IMG_20190721_092059
Tracey Emin – When I Sleep

^ I’m not usually keen on Tracey Emin’s art, but I thought this captured a feeling well. And I liked the way she was just lying on the grass, as if she’d collapsed there and didn’t want to get up.

IMG_20190721_092930
Barry Flanigan – Composition

^ A rabbit, leaping through the air on the back of four elephants. This looked like the penultimate scene in a kid’s book.

IMG_20190721_093217
Huma Bhabha – Receiver

Well, this disturbing hunk of chunk looked like it would step down and start thumping people. Just looked up the artist, and she’s great. May do a blog about some of her art soon, it’s the stuff of creepy dreams.

There were other sculptures too, which I’ll probably post up at some time. I hope you enjoyed these!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve dissolved!

IMG_20190721_091736.jpg

Hello lovely people! I haven’t been around for a few days, which wasn’t planned, but sort of essential. Doing a physical job in heat way above what I’m used to (nudging 37°C yesterday) reduced me to a sweaty, clumsy wreckage incapable of thought. If I’d tried blogging I’d have written only letter sludge.

The good thing is that all us gardeners were in it together, propping each other up, finding reasons to hide under trees or floundering as one.

Interesting fact (that I’m fairly sure I’ve got right): temperature is measured in the shade, otherwise the direct sun would distort the readings. This means that being in the sun feels 10-15° hotter. Which means it was really 50° last week.

Anyway, the heat, the trains shutting down with requests that commuters ‘avoid travel except where absolutely necessary’, and poking myself in the eye with a twig, meant that I thought I’d best leave it. Now we’re back to rains and thunder, I’d should be posting as normal. Speak soon, Ink x

 

 

 

Ding Dong Merrily the War

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Ricinis

Barry the road-sweeper is a paranoid bully who flips between aggressive friendliness, passive aggressive whining and irrational shouting. I was nice to him at first, so he thinks I should stay that way, but I don’t like the way he tries to intimidate people and have started avoiding him. Mostly he deals with this by standing outside whichever garden I’m working in and singing and dancing around. Occasionally shouting cryptic messages over the hedge, things like,

‘You never know where you are with women, do you?’ or ‘It could have been a nice day today, could’ve been!’ He doesn’t actually say these things to me or anyone else, he just shouts them to the sky as if a god were taking his side.

Aside from saying a friendly, ‘Hello, how you doing?’ I don’t take any notice. If I’m walking down the bit of street he’s sweeping, he leaps around in front of me waving his broom and singing, so I give him a polite smile and walk past.

Today he tried to get others on his side in this war I’m refusing to have. Apparently he walked up to Mike and told him,

‘I’m gonna mess with her, you’ll see. She thinks she’s got the better of me. But today I’ve started sweeping on the North side first, before the South side. She won’t know where I am! That’ll teach her.’

He’s so caught up in his paranoia and self-importance he not only thinks I know what order he sweeps the streets in (I’m on the other side of the hedge doing my job, I haven’t a clue), he thinks I care. Hopefully now he believes he’s got that small victory, he’ll lay off a bit.

Me vs. reality

IMG_20190330_145832

Shaily Agrawal made the suggestion that maybe our impossible-to-set clock was tuned to the wrong timezone. Aha! I thought, that’s plausible. But having fiddled around with it today, I see that every time it’s reset it chooses a different time. Sometimes ten minutes out, sometime six hours, sometimes three hours and twenty-four minutes. As a kid, I had a digital watch that was erratic like that. Every time you pressed the light switch the time changed. I even wrote it into one of my books. I assumed then, and am assuming now that it’s some kind of code. A way that technology can communicate with us.

I should probably also report, that I found no evidence of a portal opening or mysterious happenings at the time the clock chose. And no further evidence of a zombie apocalypse occurring. In fact it felt like a completely normal day, as if no doom was impending at all and only ineptness was lurking round every corner. But that can’t be right.

Word of the day: Fey/fay/fie – doomed, under the shadow of a violent, foreseen death

Have an escape plan…

van

Having a wander, I came across this vehicle. Odd decoration, I thought. I walked around the side and found this.

van bavk

Ah, a zombie outbreak response vehicle, I thought, handy. I carried on up the road and came across this huge bone just lying on the pavement, flesh all chewed away.

bone

Luckily I’m not particularly scared of zombies, they’re very slow, they can’t be that difficult to avoid, but I know where the zombie response vehicle is if I need it.

I used to have a boss who had a phobia of the zombie apocalypse. He had escape plans worked out. Whenever he stayed in a hotel he figured out where the exits were, where he could lock himself in safely and where food could be found. We once asked him if he had a plan for our workplace, and yes, he said he would barricade himself in the staff room, grow food in the glasshouse and use the tool shed to stock up on weapons. He had it all figured out.

‘And how about the rest of us,’ we asked, ‘do we figure in this plan?’

‘No,’ he said, ‘sadly you all died in the initial attack.’

‘Right,’ we said, ‘nice to know where we stand.’

 

Anyone else spotted signs of an impending zombie attack? I feel like there should be other signs.

The Secret Garden

IMG_20190714_072104

I think, think, I just caught a bumble bee trying to lay eggs in the crack in my window sill, is that possible? She was sitting on the crack for ages, waggling her abdomen about. I helped the fluffy lady out the window and couldn’t see any actual eggs, so I filled the crack in with bathroom sealant. Not exactly high-class DIY, but it’s all I had and the whole window is such a mess anyway, I can’t make it any worse.

There’s a small road off the main road near my house that looks like it might be a short cut to town, but whenever I spot it I’ve been in too much of a rush to go down there. Finally today, I did.

It contains a beautiful, cared-for garden, filled with flowers and mosaics. A small oasis in a grotty street off a grotty road that I had no clue was there. It was like cracking open an ordinary stone to find a carving inside.

Whenever I take the time to go exploring I always find amazing things. That’s one thing I  like about this blog, it makes me look.

IMG_20190714_072216

IMG_20190714_072059

IMG_20190714_072135

IMG_20190714_072203