Archive for the ‘Obits’ Category

Red Lion, Southall, London   Leave a comment

Pub #1916 (and the 200th of this calendar year):

Online, I saw that the Red Lion was open from 10 am daily.  Arriving at 2:30, the hours posted in the window showed opening times from 3 pm.  Fortunately, they were hosting a funeral and not treating it as a private function so I doffed my cap, slid past the mourners with their plates of fantastic looking Caribbean food, and ordered a Guinness to fortify my legs for the run back to Ruislip afterwards.

 

 

The sound was down on the tele and the cricket (a test match from Lords) had more ball tracking lines after each bowl than could possibly be necessary.

I tried not to interfere with the Friends and Family so I didn’t get a lot of images of the interior (which is a lot nicer and more expansive than I thought it would be).  Had I been less courteous, there was a photo to be had of this one young man standing, shoulders sagging, eyes closed, fingers occasionally flexing, and facing the front windows.  Poignant, and I’m glad I had the restraint to only capture it in memory.  Rest in peace, whoever you might have been.

 

 

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Posted September 9, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Obits, Pubs

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Fill a 6-foot-deep hole with 2 parts gin, 1 part lemon juice, 1 part simple syrup…   Leave a comment

At cocktail bars, I’m ridiculed by bartenders when I order something old-style like a Manhattan or a Side-Car.  But, going by the evidence in the Ruislip Cemetery, the Tom Collins is quite literally dead.  R.I.P.

Posted August 18, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Booze, Obits, Recipes

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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):

 

 

 

William J Simonsick, Jr   Leave a comment

I was forwarding a job advert to a bunch of people for a postdoc position here in the lab and Bill Simonsick’s email bounced back. I did a search for an updated email and eventually stumbled across this FaceSpace Memorial Page. Awww, shit.

 

Some people I meet think I must be immortal for having survived far more trauma far too frequently to generally be believed; but, I could give you endless stories about how I found Bill indestructible. That makes his passing that much more unnerving … if he can die, where does that leave the rest of us?  Instead, I just have this for you:

In 1997, my PhD adviser took the research group to present their work at the ASMS Conference in Palm Springs. He left the flight bookings to me and the senior PhD student at the time and we found flights into Las Vegas the day before and the day after, rooms at Circus Circus for each of those bookend days, and a rental van for the week for less than other travel options.

As a result of these travel choices, I was standing in front of my poster on no sleep for the previous 3 days with some Chinese graduate student who misunderstood everything on the publication and babbling incoherent questions. I was on my best behaviour and patiently trying to explain that he had his head up his ass without saying it explicitly.

 

 

Across the herd of suits and ties and slightly more casual business attire I spotted a guy in flip-flops, dripping Bermuda shorts, a ragged tank top covered in the most rudimentary fashion with a Hawaiian shirt, and a couple of gigantic glasses of rum and Cokes — not highballs, but short and very wide diameter, wading pools of liquor. He spotted me at about the same time and ambled over in an idiosyncratic walk I would become very familiar with over the next 10 years or so.

He stepped in front of my inquisitor and, over his shoulder, said, “you can fuck off now. We’ve got shit to talk about.” Then, to me, he handed the drink in his right hand and then shook mine; “I’m Bill. Your boss told me you had some cool shit to see.” I was now madly in love with this man.

He reached for his extra beverage and I pivoted on my hips to protect my newly found refreshments.  “The fuck you call this? No backsies, bitch.”  I had assumed this glass was meant for me, anyway, because the other one had a little umbrella in it and, since I was “working” I needed the more professional looking vat of booze.

His grin at this was enormous. “Tell me what you got, here,” he demanded, pointing at my work (such as it was).  I started to go through the practiced presentation and he stopped me. “No. TELL me about it.” The resulting conversation swerved recklessly across a wide range of things we could do with small tweaks to the techniques we could each bring to the table.  Along the way, others tried to speak to one or the other of us and — if they met his criteria — he would include them for a while. At one point, he sent a student — who was working security at the conference and had told us we couldn’t be drinking in there — to get us refills; these appeared without charge about five minutes later.

“We should do more of this,” he suggested. “I’ll meet you in the hot tub after the Hospitality Suites close.” Over the next several years, I got most of my good ideas smoking and drinking in ASMS Convention hot tubs with our Bill.

Rest in peace, buddy.

Posted June 22, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Obits, work

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Hull-idiz In’t Sun Part 4: Old Boozers   Leave a comment

[Note: all the Hull-idiz tourism posts are linked here.]

If you are shocked at how much time this blog spends on bars, you should leave now.  On my trip to Hull, I even sought out ones I knew to be closed.  The White Hart (above) was not on the list but sadly should have been.  It doesn’t seem to have been closed long since most of the fixtures are still in place:

 

 

Not far away, I found Sharkey’s (which is up for auction).  I thought it was a notorious crime hangout but on reading up on it found that it was only crimes against fashion and good taste that went on here.

 

 

The Earl de Grey, on the other hand, was a notorious seafarers’ pub in the red light district.  I took the photo for that aspect and for a murder I read about when I first booked the holiday trip.  Re-reading the notes, it was the murder of a talking macaw which was stabbed to death during a botched burglary.  Rest in peace, Cha Cha.

 

Posted May 17, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Obits, Tourism

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Bruce Langhorne, RIP   Leave a comment

Bruce Langhorne died of kidney failure a couple of days ago at the age of 78.  In these pages, I refer to music he was, in part, responsible for all the time (like here, and here).  Also, he looks like my cousin, Chuck.  Godspeed, sir.

Posted April 17, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in music, Obits

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Sportsman, Croxley Green, Hertfordshire   1 comment

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About a half mile from the Croxley Tube Station stands the Sportsman, an un-promising building from the outside but a wonderful pub within with a varied and enticing selection of real ales.  The house glasses are marked with full, ½, and 1/3 pint measures in the event you want to try everything on offer and still walk to the taxi at the end of the effort.

 

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I just went for a pint of the Rebellion Brewery’s Roasted Nuts which had the oily consistency and furniture polish back notes I hope for in a dark brown beer.  One kid came up and couldn’t decide between two of the eight on the pumps so the barkeep pulled him tasters of each (about a third of a pint in total) … good trick to remember for my next visit.

 

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There was steady traffic to the bar and everyone else seemed to know everyone else and, had I stayed for a second one they probably would remember my name as well (although they probably noted my oddities).  Somehow we got into the Topic: Recent Celebrity Deaths and I thought Lord Snowdon, whose title always makes me think of a quote from Catch-22, would win the prize; but, the old guys at the corner seemed fixated on Larry Steinbeck from the Bronski Beat.  This place is weird and wonderful.  As Yossarian queried:

Ou sont les Neigedens d’antan?

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