Let’s watch the world burn together…

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So I’m in London, land of blitz spirit and denial, greed and disaster. Hunkered down in England’s plague-pit, I promise you all, everything is going to be absolutely fine.

Mood: Sort of itchy and news-obsessed. Waiting for doom to knock on the door.

Weather: Sunny, blue sky, little fluffy clouds. Distinctly inappropriate weather for a global catastrophe. Anyone would think nature was fine about our impending ending.

Word of the day: Impest – to infest with plague or pestilence.

“Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.”

The Year Of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion

It’s been a while since I posted. I just finished writing my book yesterday (woohoo!) I’ve got my head to a somewhat settled place, and a huge disaster is sweeping through everywhere except Botswana and Yemen. The UK government is doing a great job of making a plan up as they go along, London may soon go into lockdown, but I’m still working. Working is actually pretty nice, it feels like we’re a lifetime away from danger when we’re out with the flowers and the robins.

How about all of you? (going to have a look in a minute) Are you isolated? Healthy? Scared or complacent?

Note: for anyone isolating and bored, the above picture was made using the website http://weavesilk.com/ If, like me, you like making beautiful and impressive pictures, but don’t really have any talent or skills, then this is the website for you. Click and drag ineptly as you like and the results will be delightful. The controls in the left hand top corner give you enough variety to keep it interesting. A seriously soothing site.

 

But what are you talking about ?

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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

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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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I’ve dissolved!

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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

 

 

 

The Illuminati are torturing Jack!

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So after a night of no sleep, I collapsed in bed about 8.30pm. Slept fabulous and woke up feeling zingy and refreshed, thinking What a fantastic long sleep, now I’m ready for a new day, insomnia’s fixed! Then I looked at my phone and it was 9.30pm. Bugger.

Did the same thing at 10pm, and midnight. And which point I felt so zingy I couldn’t even try to sleep, so I got up and played Patience.  Finally slept until 5.30am and woke up feeling like I’d been crushed under a boulder.

Anyway, all this is irrelevant, you want to know about the letter..

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Part 1
2nd blanked
Part 2

 

Blanked letter person
Part 3
Blanked final
Part 4

There is one other record (I could find) of someone getting this letter in London, this year, which is pushing me towards the idea that this is an art project or game.

Above Top Secret

Tomorrow I will start investigating the different names (will they be untraceable? Is that what he means by ‘their computers cannot be searched for’?) If I can’t get anywhere with that, I’ll contact the email address on there, there’s also a phone number, is it wise to call it?

Right now I’m having trouble keeping my eyes open, so it will all have to wait. Does any of it look familiar? Any theories? (I love your theories…)

Note: If it’s difficult to read, I can scan it in tomorrow, the photos were taken on the grass in the wind, which isn’t ideal.

 

Bigger than you might think

 

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People are strange when you’re a stranger
Faces look ugly when you’re alone

People are Strange  – The Doors

Phrase of the day: el semaforo de medianoche (Venezuelan Spanish) a pushover, literally ‘a traffic light at midnight’

Today a set of traffic lights was found lying in the road on the estate at my work. Weirdly there was no obvious place in the street missing a traffic light and it didn’t look like sabotage. We tried to work out where it came from using the No right turn and Park closed features, but there were too many options and we’re too easily distracted. The current theory is that some workmen replaced this one with a new set, but then forgot to take this away. I was surprised at how huge it was.

On the train this morning, fabulous woman had dyed a streak in her hair orange and had rings shaped like claws. I think she’s turning into a tiger. I tried to catch her eye, see if I could start a conversation, but she was in the world of her phone screen and didn’t notice me.

Here’s another one of the traffic lights. My muddy foot bottom left for scale.

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Release the cats!

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“I have lost my rhythm.
I can’t sleep.
I can’t eat.

I have been robbed of
my filth.”
― Charles Bukowski, Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit

Word of  the day: Cryptadia – things to be kept hidden

I didn’t really sleep last night, by four thirty am I’d given up completely. By seven I was on a bus going to Victoria – turns out TFL decided to switch off transport for my town today and a bus going to Victoria was the only way out. However, it was time to release the cats.

 

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I ended up at Westminster Cathedral. Inside was praying and sermons, outside were small crowds of the homeless.

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Anyone who’s been following will know that I recently found a stone cat in the gardens at work, and then I made a few of my own. Today I spread them out around the Cathedral, glad it was early before people were about wondering what the fuck I was doing.

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Mission complete.

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.

 

 

Mystery solved?

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The tube seat pattern

‘I guess, just be careful you don’t wear any negative shoes, or they might get lifted?’

Comment from A gorilla’s existential crisis

Well, it’s looking like the mystery of the black star has been solved. Although the answer itself may be a diversion, a trick to pacify us. Claims of Illuminati, black holes and aliens are still under consideration.

Weather: blazing!

Mood: chirpy

Word of the day: Hypogeal – underground

So the black star update:

The gorilla blogger, Matt Johnson (unusual name for a gorilla) did some searching around and came up with a theory to explain the star (for anyone who missed the beginning of this, there are stars on the ceiling of tube trains in London and NOBODY else appeared to have noticed them or knew what they were).

The website he linked to had this comment, which I didn’t read properly at the time.

And look out for the little star on the ceiling, that indicates the floor hatch for lifting Negative shoes.

Then after posting on a London underground forum, I got lead to another post, which led to some comments under an article about the underground, and this said basically the same as Matt’s research.

The blue stars are an indication of where the shoes are on the train, in case they need to be lifted. They were on all the old Victoria line trains and are on the baker loo as the trains are basically the same.

For anyone confused about negative shoes, this is the wiki description of shoes. Somebody had fun coming up with names for stuff.

Electric railways with third rails, or fourth rails, in tunnels carry collector shoes projecting laterally (sideways), or vertically, from their bogies. The contact shoe may slide on top of the third rail (top running), on the bottom (bottom running) or on the side (side running). The side running contact shoe is used against the guide bars on rubber-tired metros. A vertical contact shoe is used on ground-level power supply systems, stud contact systems and fourth rail systems.

I suspect it’s the vertical contact shoe that needs lifting and is marked by the star (which I still say is black.)

So I’m going to leave the mystery alone for now, but it won’t be forgotten. I suspect London is full of odd little mysteries, I’d like to connect some of them up. Any ideas how?

 

 

Can you help with this mystery?

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Sorry about the crappy photo, it isn’t easy to take a photo of a tube ceiling in rush hour.

Life used to be filled with unanswerable questions, but then Google came along and answered them all. Except THIS one.

Weather: blue skies filled with puzzlement

Mood: quizzical

Word of the day: sideral – sent from the stars; ominous or evil

Question of the day: why is there a black star on the ceiling of many carriages on the tube (London Underground)? They’ve been there a few decades at least. Not on every train, and it may be only the last carriage (which is where I tend to sit) but always on the ceiling, a black star sticking about an inch across. I tried Google, but no luck.

I asked at work and NOBODY has ever noticed it but me, they looked at me like I was delusional, until I showed them a photo.

So has anyone else noticed this too? Do any of you know why they are there?