Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Edward VIII Postbox #5, and Chorleywood, Hertfordshire run   2 comments

I took a break from the A2Z Runs this week and just caught the Metropolitan Line out nearly to its limits.  There was a Red Lion to visit not too far away and in the opposite direction a splendid — and splendidly named — pub called the Land of Liberty, Peace, & Plenty.  (pub write-up links as soon as I get around to them)

The route I took (mapped, below) was hillier than I’m used to and the upper respiratory infection that grounded me for four days is lingering making the effort something more of an effort than it should be.

I had just reached a flat point ahead of a long downhill segment and off to my right I spotted a post box.  The royal cipher only clicked with me a few steps along and I had to double back.  Crikey!  This is the first one I’ve found entirely on my own…in the wild, and all.  An Edward VII postbox used to be the Grail, and now they are just dead common.

I’m up to five E8R postboxes, now, four of them this year within about 10 miles of my house!  Find this one on Haddon Road at Shire Lane, Chorleywood.  The most recent previous one was in Nunhead a couple weeks back, and the ones before that were on the P for Postboxes Run.  More to come, soon…I can just feel it.



Posted July 22, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in art, Tourism

Tagged with , , ,

Edward VIII Postbox and other Nunhead Thingies   2 comments


After the visit to Nunhead Cemetery, we headed toward Peckham Rye and along the way I found yet another Edward VIII postbox (my fourth)!  More about these on the A to Z (P) Run write up.

As a bonus, there was also a really nice Victoria Regina cypher on a subsequent postbox:



Find them both in Nunhead near the dog escaping the park:


Posted July 8, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in art, Tourism

Tagged with , , ,

Nunhead Cemetery   2 comments


As we approached Nunhead Cemetery, a horse drawn hearse crossed our paths and I removed my hat.  I wasn’t going to photograph the departed out of respect (the same reason I haven’t shot any disturbing images — although I have plenty of opportunity — of the crime scene that is Grenfell Tower).  But, the departed had already departed and I scrambled to prep the camera but was only able to squeeze off one sad image before it hid behind the line of parked cars.



Nunhead Cemetery is the 3rd of the Magnificent Seven Cemeteries we’ve visited after Highgate (West and East, distinctly different experiences) and Kensal Green.  It is the largest of the seven and so far the least impressively populated but no less interesting a walk and impossible to take in one go.  Here’s the photos of today’s initial fly-by.



Just inside the gate and to the right we spotted the Scottish Martyrs Memorial:



The plaque doesn’t really do justice to how harshly their pleas for reform were dealt with.  The link has a list of their fates which include hanged, burned, hanged and burned, and simply executed or assassinated.  Some were also “insulted.”



And, all for speaking sense…words relevant even today.



Also at the entrance and straight ahead, there’s the ruins of a grand chapel damaged by arson ages ago but shored up to use for musical events and, currently, an open air art exhibit.



On our walk past the Martyrs’ obelisk we looped around by the chapel,



and passed one of the few residents I’d ever heard of, Jenny Hill:



The cemetery had been allowed to fall into disrepair and was eventually sold for £1 to a fellow who set about making as much of it safe to visit as possible.  Parts were still being used to inter newcomers, but much of it was subject to subsidence of the tombs and encroachment of the forest.





This column seems to be missing a cross.



An anchor in the left hand, the right might have had a sword or could just be imploring the heavens.


The white marble monuments have decayed quite a bit:



While the pink ones look almost brand new:



This one was just for me and other fans of “Tater Tomater.”

“Women with har have to wear a Harnott.”



This was the first of several markers we found with this particular bathroom tile set in it:



And, this one was recently painted bright green (at the foot you can just make out an errant brushstroke colouring outside the lines):


And, down a path into the overgrowth (one of hundreds) strewn with dozens of these small markers someone put up a garden border to house, I suppose, an ancestors’ rock along with coins to pay the ferryman:



My favourite find of the day was this stone with a cart spring on it and the inscription, “The Spring of Life is Broken.”



Jackie’s favourite was this pre-tranny tablet describing someone “Who Lived And Died A Man.”



Some of the better, individual war memorials I’ve come across were here, as well.  It took a moment to realise that our Bobbie died back home of wounds incurred at the Somme:



And, Royal Navy colleagues added this anchor to the grave of Reg Bult.  His family’s stone, behind, becomes a bit more poignant by his comrades’ addition:



In the midst of a massive, multipanel WWII memorial, civilian casualties are also recorded:




Overgrown as it is, the cemetery is something of a nature preserve that includes an educational tree trail:



And, many of the graves are unapproachable (like those in this patch of nettles):



This tomb was completely devoured by a massive trunk:



And, the vines on this one form some sort of dreadlocks:



Without irony, this one has vegetation carved into it:



And, some of the monuments are as simple as they can get.


The wooden crosses take quite a bit more care as they are impermanent.  Still, this one has managed 55 years so far:



More grand ones are also around.  This one for the shipbuilder, John Allan, has some spectacular lion heads on it:



And, this one to the type maker (punch cutting was the 18th century equivalent of font design) Vincent Figgins is understated but grand:



I didn’t want to disturb the artist by crowding over her shoulder so I only got some pretty photos of this one:




This depiction of the life and death of the sculptor Frederick Schroeter (accompanied by wife, Frederica, on two sides of the plinth) was down a path where a massive tree had fallen a few minutes earlier (unstable ground).  We opted to examine this one closely and wait to see if others would drop:





And, some of the best ones are the simplest (rest well little Danny):




Wattenden Arms, Kenley, Surrey   2 comments


You’ll find the Wattenden Arms in the shaded village of Kenley (it is surrounded by urban forest and green space) on the north edge of RAF Kenley which the Luftwaffe tried its best to bomb into oblivion in 1940.  My notes on the back of the maps I printed out for this run specifically told me to look around the place for WW2 memorabilia which is supposed to be a feature of the pub; however, you have to actually consult the notes to act on them and it was only today that I spotted them.  Oh, well.



I had a bit of a wait while the barman fiddled with the lines to the Lilley’s Mango cider which, once he finally was able to fill the glass did so with a lot more sediment than I have ever seen in this usual Christmas treat.  While waiting, I admired the cornice work and the old wooden bar.  Beautiful house.



Outside, there were mostly solitary drinkers.  One old guy came out muttering to himself and the others all averted their gaze.  He stopped at a table where a fellow typed away on a laptop, pointed at one of the canvasses on the garden walls, and demanded, “do you even know who that is?”  The kid never looked up and just said, “sorry, no.”

“Beatles tribute act?” I offered, reckoning that this guy is me in a few years (if not me, now) and I owed it to my future self to respond. He looked over, shook his head, and whistled a short, sharp report. A wee terrier trotted out of the bar and they went to a table kind of remote from me.

A moment or two passed as he continued a private dialog in public. He looked my way again and pointed at me.
“No. No. That’s the Beatles, that is.”  He seemed agitated.

“I don’t think so,” I put to him. “Paul and George look like they’ve just dismembered an enemy, and John’s head is too big and rectangular.”
He got up and stood in front of the picture for a minute. “Dear lord! You’re right! Disgraceful.”

“And, don’t get me started on Nico, over there.” He looked at another canvas.
“I thought that was Joni Mitchell.” We were probably both wrong.


Posted June 3, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in art, Pubs

Tagged with , , , , ,

Shakespeare’s Globe and the Groundling Experience (and onsite pub, The Swan)   Leave a comment


We went to see Nell Gwynn (written by Jessica Swale) at the Globe on the South Bank this past weekend and I would highly recommend the play (very funny stuff about one of my and Jackie’s favourite historical figures).  Someone else at, I think, the same performance wrote this essay on it which will do it more justice and less damage than I’m likely to.

But, you should go to any play you can at the Globe and do it in the standing room area.  For one thing, admission is just £5.  For another, your sight line is only ever obstructed by the actors — who are often standing right next to you — as opposed to the seated areas where (according to the Globe’s own publicity) some of the scenery will be blocked no matter where you are.


Cool things about the Globe (I’ll probably add to this as time goes on):

They still fly a flag to let the illiterate know there is a performance that day.

It has a special dispensation to allow it a thatched roof inside the City (prohibited ever since the Great Fire).

[…add more here as it comes to me…]



In the groundlings area, you are also exposed to the elements but the weather was kind on our outing.  The drinks are at ‘captive audience’ prices but not too high, considering (the onsite pub is The Swan, but we only got the drinks and headed in for the show).  And, you feel like you are part of the action down there.

Photography is strictly forbidden in the theatre but not enforced outside of the performance times.  I can’t wait to go back.

National Libraries, Museums, & Galeries March 2016-11-05   1 comment



We joined a variety of other supporters and activists for the National Libraries, Museums, and Galleries March Saturday.  Starting at The British Library, a few thousand of us chanted slogans and blocked traffic the 2 mile journey to Trafalgar Square.






The Police Support Officers were comradely and professional.




And, it was our first chance to really have a look around at some of the architecture we’ve passed, unnoticed, dozens of times before:




The speeches were plagued by multiple failures of the sound systems.  My fellow socialists need a class in piss ups at breweries.



Posted November 7, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in art, Politics, Tourism

Tagged with , ,

London A to Z Runs : G   3 comments



The bird logo also looks, appropriately enough, like a hand putting up two fingers.

I went to Shoreditch because it is renowned as Street Art Central and this would give me G for Graffiti as a run theme.  However, I had a back up plan to hit pubs with G in the name.  Here’s the net result.



Over the street market not far from Liverpool Street Station, I spotted one in the waning light and torrential rain (above).  This would be easy, I thought.  The occasional vandalism of the better thought out vandalism was inevitable:




But, it took a lot more hunting than I was led to believe to find anything like the treasure trove of spray can masterpieces that I was led to believe existed in this realm.




The graffiti pickings were pretty scant with most of the suggested roads (by friends and colleagues) heavily abraded for the sake of the Philistine homesteaders’ (who have gentrified the buurt) property value and presentation.  A shame, really, but to be expected.  Ironic art that they didn’t choose has no place in the hipster habitat; or, perhaps the irony is that this IS the habitat they chose before they pulled a Palmyra on the place.




If you really explore the still-dodgy-looking back alleys near the industrial and council estate parts of the neighbourhood, you can find a little bit of what I was expecting.




But, generally, this had no more (and, in many ways, less and not as impressive) thoughtful tags than even my suburban region way up in the Northwest (I really should document the A-40  ‘galleries’ outside Uxbridge sometime soon).




The best stuff seems to be commissioned for construction hoarding …




… and looks for all the world like the sort of stuff you get in Holland or Germany on every spare piece of trackside ‘canvas’ available.




So, I took what little was to be found in the rainy dusk.  I gave up after a few miles and focused on the G pubs: the Grocer in Spitalfields, the Griffin at the northern reach of Shoreditch, the missing Golden Bee (no write-up as it has yielded to new construction), and the Globe just beyond Bunhill Fields on the way to Bank.



Posted November 6, 2016 by Drunken Bunny in art, Running, Tourism

Tagged with , , , , , ,