All Seeing Eye

 

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Today Mike found a drone lying in one of the gardens at work, under an Acanthus. I’m not sure if it got out of control, flew into the garden and then the owner couldn’t get in to retrieve it (the garden is gated) or if our residents are so rich that the owner couldn’t be bothered trying to find it. And I’m not sure what they were using it for. Do people fly them for fun like they flew remote controlled planes? Or only to take photos where they shouldn’t?

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The managers in the office are trying to spread the rumour that they’re using it to spy on us. I really hope Barry doesn’t find out about this, he’ll probably assume that it’s mine and I’m watching him. If he can believe helicopters are spying on him, then being paranoid about a drone is easy.

Word of the day: Bombilate – to hum, buzz or drone

Entropy!

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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.

The Alley of Sinister Children

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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.

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Frieze! Or I’ll shoot!

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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.

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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.

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Jaume Plensa – Laura Asia’s Dream

I thought this was beautiful, so peaceful ^

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ding Dong Merrily the War

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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

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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

The Secret Garden

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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.

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Freaky deaky Clematis

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I’ll be honest, this photo was taken a few weeks ago. Or months. I don’t really pay attention, time does its thing whatever. Anyway, I found this while weeding in one our more exotic gardens and asked around my colleagues to see if anyone knew what it was. We thought because of the leaves, it must be a Clematis, but none of us had seen a flower like this.

After I got home I did some googling around and discovered this photo, so the centre of Clematises do do this, but is it normal to do it this much?

Clematis Taiga
The Googled photo From here

 

Like the segments of an orange. Barely a flower at all.

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This has just been a week when I’ve proved how little I know about plants, right?

Attack of the killer plants

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This morning myself and Dan were clearing out a herbaceous border that hadn’t had attention in a while. Sometimes people think gardening is simple, but I’m not sure why, plants are damn complicated. And not being straightforward means that we often have to ask each other,

‘Is this a weed?’ Because there are thousands of different weeds and if they grow huge or are attractive, then it’s easy to assume a weed is a carefully chosen ornamental plant, of which there are also thousands.

So Dan asked me if a plant was a weed, and I guessed yes because it was too close to a shrub, but still, it was huge and attractive, with pretty purple flowers. I picked some to get a photo, trying to arrange them on the grass, while Dan started googling purple weed, but got nowhere. I had a feeling that these flowers reminded me of something else, maybe something like Solanum? (there’s an ornamental Solanum, but tomatoes are Solanum too). Meanwhile Dan was rubbing the leaves under his nose to see if they smelt of anything familiar.

‘Oh yeah, they do look a bit like Solanum,’ said Dan, squashing a leaf against his cheek thoughtfully. Then a worrying thought occurred to me,

‘Isn’t Deadly Nightshade a Solanum, Dan? Dan, maybe stop rubbing it on your face.’ I said, beginning to panic I googled. Yeah, Deadly nightshade is exactly what it was. One of the most poisonous plants we have in England. Cue frantic seeking out of water and searching symptoms and cures, and waiting for hallucination, seizures, death.

Pretty though. And we discovered that Deadly Nightshade is ok so long as you don’t eat any of it and wash it off immediately. And women used to drip juice of it into their eyes to make their pupils big. So it’s been educational.

Word of the day: phthartic – deadly; destructive

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London’s many stone babies

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Somehow, Hamoudi has now got Jinjing into the drumming. This morning they were emptying out all the kitchen cupboards trying to find makeshift maracas (rice in tupperware) drums of different sounds (buckets, saucepans and the bin) and cymbals (they hadn’t figured this one out, but mugs, metal spoons and a frying pan hanging on the wall were all possible candidates.)

This led to Neville being annoyed and slamming doors, playing his music loudly (Miley Cyrus???) and singing.

So I ran off to central London.

Wasn’t sure where I was going, but ended up at Bank, first spotting this weird doodah on top of a building. Couldn’t get any closer to work out what it is. A machine anteater? A caterpillar tank? An alien invasion happening very slowly – like Tripods, but not tripod shaped? Any ideas?

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I know this doesn’t help much. But, what the fuck?

Anyway, then St Paul’s appeared.

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One thing I love about London is there is no uniformity to the buildings. Shiny new chrome can be next to a dome over 1,400 years old.

St Paul’s, like many English buildings, is filled with statues of toddlers and babies, which suddenly occurred to me is a bit weird.

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Especially when so many don’t look very happy.

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The carvings below were especially disturbing to me, since they seem to show two winged babies being whispered to by evil ghost babies.

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Look!

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I know some of you (Calmgrove?) are knowledgeable about old buildings, so maybe someone can tell me a reason.

The din had calmed down by the time I got home. Hamoudi had a plan about going busking with their makeshift drum kit. I suggested they got Neville to sing with them and he was quite enthusiastic. Sorry London.