Monday 28 November 2016

The Pipe Cleaner (not) from Venus

Friday night and on the pre-loader express Up the City to that finest of venues, The Waterfront to catch Dr John Cooper-Clarke and Hugh Cornwall. Ticket said 6.30 start, don't know what I missed by the time I rocked up  but  straight to the the bar I went. Why not? Looking round me I am sure the delivery dray was rammo with Sanotogen that morning . Demographic? Retired Social Workers and Sociology Lecturers to a man/woman.

Standard gig fare in poxy plastic pots. But I had acquired  a thirst...sometimes lots of lager will do.

The Stick Insect and an almost equally thin but heavily tribal tatted Hugh Cornflour were up and at it and  rolling through an eclectic mix including McArthur Park, Johnny Remember Me and Jezebel.
To the right was a handlebar tached 70's  Lounge Lizard Porn Star on keyboards and occasional geetar. Behind  the Hi-hat was a pair of eyebrows and behind a pillar was a bass, probably attached to someone given it's movements.

One (more elderly than me) Social Worker type was soon off to her 2CV or more likely 16 plate Beetle with the ironic plastic daisy air freshener, seemingly suffering from burst eardrums. OK, it is quite a tight venue and the bins are normally up around 10.98 but what did she expect?

Time for another pint and back out came the band and  it had to be said jacked it up several notches: mostly Stranglers faves such as Nice n Sleazy and  a timeless cover  again, Walk on By. Which I have on white/pink vinyl. Forgot how similar the intro's to Nice n Sleazy and Toilers on the Sea are.

The one song Cooper-Clarke had written  required a lyric sheet, as he said in his laconic Salfordeese "Instantly forgettable lyrics-that's my bag" Classic from the Stick Insect.

Back over the Novi Sad bridge into the City at night and it's ripped backsides

Through the turnstiles and wait for the vomit comet, the last train from Naarich.

Tonight one chap of advancing years, as we pulled into "Your next station stop Salhouse" suddenly sat bolt upright, bolted for the doors and if it hadn't been one of those press the yellow light jobs would have gone straight out onto  the the adjacent track. As it was  he darted out on on the platform side, got back in and ran to the end of the next carriage and slumped back in a seat smiling beatifically to himself. Don't think any one else noticed.

Of course the serious yoot don't get Up the City till the last train in of  a weekend night, having necked  litre of voddie and Red Bull. It gives you wings.

Saturday 26 November 2016

Return of the prodigal

Idly flicked over the on/off switch and it worked.... even if only temporarily my old and battered Nikon D40 has had a new lease of life.  Don't know why but I'm not complaining.

A watery border

Unplanned coffee stop

Sunday 20 November 2016

Anticipating Angus

Tales of impending doom as Angus approached reportedly whipping up a right billy-o. Decided against it, given I had about an hour all told. Had I a whip or a dropshot rod in the charabanc  I might have stood a chance of  a fish or two given the amount of small fish packed in the boatyards on the Thurne.  Never mind.  As it happens Angus got cold feet round our way.

Saturday 12 November 2016

A right load of old flaneur. In which Bureboy and @Bain3z walk about a lot, drink beer and listen to Chris Packham and Lauren Lavern sitting behind a bee.

Recently (August isn't really recently is it?) oldest Bureboy son @Bain3z did his old man proud  with a weekend in the Smoke, blagging him along as his unofficial lens man at the quaintest of events, Caught by the River Thames. Reading it wasn't. Sublime in parts and cleverly curated as it happened.

On the early doors to Liverpool Street, low morning sun and dirty windows.

Strange how quickly it becomes OK to neck a pint at 9 am if everyone else is. I didn't, we made do with a Wetherspoon's brekkie for the price of that away day pint.

Not sure if Ipswich were away for the first day of the Champo season, if so this lone star was putting in a brave face in the mock finery of Hamilton Hall.

Striding out for Brick Lane and Rough Trade East. A long time since I bought Alternative Ulster from the shop in Ladbroke Grove. All brown paper bags and simple Rough Trade stamp then.

Books as well now, London Pride and what  I had come to the big city for. Pratley meets Andrews in Arcadia.

Coffee and a paper and the first links in the chain of coincidence and curation. Road sign for the A10, straight through to Kings Lynn as it happens, past the cathedral in the sky at Ely and  the Truman stack, towering over  the craft brewers and gin stills of hipster East End

Street life

Rep your endz

Going to London first as a very young boy to Greenwich and then weekly as a callow youth to haunt the Great Gear Market, Seditionaries, the  Lyceum and Electric Ballroom  two predominant memories were the toast like smell of I don't know what and the thick black grime we used to harvest from our noses and foreheads with our tube tickets as we dodged the skins and soul boys.

Way back then in about 1978 Pizzaland and McDonalds (more likely Wimpy) were exotica to us hicks from the sticks. Now it is the smell of coffee in ghastly styrene cups and fast and street food everywhere. All pop up and guerrilla dining.

He's seemimgly  too intent on getting home to scoff the lot to pay attention to the help setting up their real deal soul food

Tube tickets ?Pah. Contactless payment whisked us via Notting Hill Gate to a very different London by Putney Bridge. Fulham High Street and the New Kings Road. Reasonably priced pint in an empty Remembrance. We knew we were on the right track by the Boden and  ironic beards and hats and earnest picnic hampers.

Once in the possession of our all access laminates (actually yellow sticky press/plebs access) we stood back to soak in the heaving, throbbing festival vibe. Um. Quaint was what we thought

Another pint @Bain3z thought. Then food. We  passed on the gourmet burger

and went for authentic (but not artisan) "street"chain food. Hot, quick and  at £5/10 every 30 seconds for about 10 hours a nice little earner..

Into the Waterside tent for just in time to catch the introductory meandering about rivers and coincidence  and a solitary parka clad figure siting on a bench dawn to dusk. Pedalo Swans featured heavily. The braces toting curator John Andrews of Arcadia introduced us then to Melissa Harrison's anthologising about the seasons. Flaneurse?  I asked of my journo well read son @Bain3z. He rolled his eyes. Wikepedia has the  flâneur as a,"stroller", "lounger", "saunterer", or "loafer". The Guardian has the   flâneurse reclaiming the streets as vital transgresive work.

Chronicling the minutiae of city life? My arse.

Anyway, to the main event for me anyway. Letters from Arcadia and a yurt in French France. Stream of consciousness Pratley to the slower meanderings of pint and London loving Arcadian John Andrews. Think you lost some of them with the tench reminisces but just what I came for. Top drawer.

Idler book stall

Into the Bishops Palace for some art noir about the life around  Lakeside and The Dartford Crossing. David Essex and a cook up cup of tea in a shopping trolley my arse.

@Bain3z had subbed me for a night in  a hotel which was an unexpected and lovely surprise. We had a Greek/Turkish and I walked back watching The Metropolitan Police spectacularly failing a couple with significant mental health needs, got into bed and slept till 10am. Don't think I have ever done that before. Ever. Back to Quaint by the River day 2.

@Bain3z can't settle unless he has been in a bookshop if it is open. This one warranted a pint to think about it first.

Regular old London geezer answers his mobile: "(Boi) wah gwan?". Pure melting pot gold. Classic.

Books then.....

Another little coincidence weaved in.

Casually placed belongings?

On the trail of the Green Man, And a damp squib sex cult attempt.

I'll put this here

Cos Chris Packham and Lauren  Laverne are dots. In front of a big bee.

Found out a bit about some people's fathers and that yes,  Rick Astley was apparently the dickspawn I always suspected courtesy of Smash Hits.

Sorry Super Furries, we blew you out.

There is the Truman Tower again, peeking over the wall..

London pace

Essex grace (minus the clock towers)

Outward bound.

Classic pre-reserved seats coach C seat 50

Cattawade glazed

Next day far down the A10 from Hackney and Radio 4 's 9.45 reading: all about the jolly old Flaneurse. Coincidence?

Caught by the River also features that fine print smith and quince jelly eating top man John Richardson from Zanderland

I'm in that..

Thanks son. Did you ever file that copy?

Wednesday 9 November 2016


The Bureboy charabanc led a convey into deepest Suffolk over the weekend, ending up nestled into  a browning reed bed at the head of the tidal Butley River. Weather mostly dank and dreech and it was a struggle to get my useless piece of Canon shite to register much that didn't have to be Snapseeded to death.

Formerly a Provender (animal feed) Mill our accommodation was several apartments and a central, if ill- appointed communal space but large enough for 18. High set electric points pointing to the watery nature of the setting. Indeed, a river does actually run through it.

The adjacent buildings to support a once large swine herd, decimated in the last great foot and mouth outbreak had been turned over to art studios and evidence of their artisanal travails littered the marshes and higher ground, and providing a focus for the Bureboy lens to fall on.

The Butley river, ponded above the Mill feeds the Alde which is bounded seaside by the great sweep of Orford Ness and Havergate before it widens again under the brow of Aldeburgh. There were roach in the very clear water but Bureboy was in Jankers for just even thinking about it..

Here at the Mill the reed dominates, quartered all weekend by a Marsh Harier, mate less. This high ground must have had some strategic importance in earlier times.


Longer lens (75-300mm) does pull the horizon in a fair bit.

One of the The Creek Men by Laurence Edwards,  A Thousand Tides.

Or 3 Frames. by Bureboy..

I poked about in what I thought was an empty studio only to hear some strange music, perhaps these were sentry crows?

John TT has already cast his sartorial eye over this faded Suffolk version of bog door blue.

Orford window looking..

And the Quay