Archive for the ‘graffiti’ Tag

Birthday Mudlarking   1 comment


I spent my tenth birthday (the tenth, that is, since moving to the UK), slogging back-and-forth through the silt and grime of the Thames Foreshore from London Bridge upstream to just past the London Eye, risking Weil’s Disease to search for largely worthless artifacts.  I have a Standard Thames Foreshore Permit that’s good for another year-and-a-half and quite underused in the last year-and-a-half.  Standard allows access and scraping to about 3 inches deep — essentially, beach-combing on one of the filthier urban waterways available and this seemed like a fine way to start another (yet another) year.



After a quick sustenance stop at the Market Porter, I headed down the stairs in front of the Globe Theatre about an hour ahead of the low tide.  I picked up some old, handmade nails; clay pipe remnants; shards of China and other crockery; and, a weirdly shaped bottle.  I left most of the bulky crap like bricks, but may read up on them a bit before a follow-up visit.  This one, from Cliff & Sons, Wortley, Leeds is probably late 19th century:



And, this one is from the Farnley Iron Works, also in Leeds, from the mid-19th century:



I’m sure someone out there can put a date on LBC bricks like this one but the company still produces so I’ll say sometime in the last 150 years:



A wheel theme emerged:



These appear to be mooring spots:



And, this one a mourning spot:



And, they led me to the London Eye.  No collecting can be done in this immediate area (nor, indeed, within 30 meters of a bridge), but it was fun to walk under it.  The tide and the past 2 days’ rainfall obliterated the non-wading portion of the Foreshore just beyond this and I returned the way I came, going past my stairs as far as the Golden Hinde before finally escaping the encroaching waters.



The rain sewers, probably carrying the Weil’s Disease encrusted rat feces:



Always a good sign to see one’s spirit animal:



These phone app bikes are always just left in the middle of the pavement.  At least this user was creative with it.



Stopped to take some graffiti photos and only then noticed the spectacular cap to the bridge abutment:



So, no treasure or real antiquities this go around but the South bank is known to be more sparsely decorated.  Nonetheless, there are some pretty things to put in the plant boxes this summer.



The bottle is my main mystery of the collection, though.  You might be able to see the rectangular (not cylindrical) throat at the broken neck.  It is labeled “GS Sheffield Hertford” which likely has something to do with G. S. Sheffield who was Master of Hertford Lodge #403 (Freemasons) in 1929.  I’ll update this if anything turns up.



I’ll call this one a mild success.  Past birthdays in this series of blog posts:

Looking for Cock (2009)
The London Underround (2010)
A Race before Hashing (2011)
Maastricht and Pinkpop (2012)
A Long Run West of Trowbridge (2013)
Westbury to Warminster Run (2014)
Running Sick and on Chemo (2015)
London Outer Orbital Path Finale (2017)

Somehow, it seems, I managed to do nothing notable for the 2016 birthday (drink and drugs may have been involved).




Posted May 30, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Tourism

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Finchley Central to High Barnet, Northern Line completed, TfL run Project   Leave a comment


The timing for Sunday’s TfL Run was different from Saturday’s in that both days I had things to do before noon but there were no early-opening pubs on the route Saturday.  A slight detour at the end of this run fixed that issue.




Like the day before, I got a start from Mill Hill Broadway, the end-of-the-line for the 114 bus. Noted today, the route includes a scamper along Bunns Lane (a good omen).



In good time, I reached Finchley Central Station and turned north up the Northern Line.



Finchley Central


Another good omen — or sound advice at the very least — was delivered by this graffito:




The stations are closely packed in this section and West Finchley appeared quickly.



West Finchley


The chain link fence notwithstanding, the path along the railway is fairly pleasant.




Woodside Park Station extends down the path a bit.



Woodside Park


The last of the short segments is uphill to the beautiful old shopping centre of Station Parade, adjacent to Totteridge & Whetstone Station.




Totteridge & Whetstone


At this point, I veered off toward the nearest Wetherspoons, the Railway Bell at New Barnet (write-up soon). Near the bar but on the wrong side of the tracks, this war memorial stands:




The angel on the orb is sublime, but …




I really like the lion’s head framed with sunbeams by the “We Will Remember Them” inscription.




After a quick breakfast and beer, I completed the run at High Barnet.



High Barnet


This also completes the Northern Line (hooray!):






Here is what remains of the system:



It is getting hard to find that remaining overlay on the full system map:




Posted February 22, 2018 by Drunken Bunny in Running

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Bank to Bank Loop, Northern/Overground/DLR Lines, TfL Run Project   1 comment


At Bank Station 7:30 Saturday morning, I set out to tidy some dangling segments of the Northern Line and Overground as the TfL Run Project continued.



Heading toward Moorgate, the dragons of The City of London Corporation guarded the exit:



The dawn was cold and rainy and I focused on the path religiously, knocking out the Northern Line bits from Bank Station to Angel quickly:




Old Street



If it were easier to travel to any end of the remaining bits, I could finish it in a single trip; but, the Northern Line will probably fall in two modest runs in the next few weeks:




From Angel Station, the next stop was Canonbury a little ways north.  In transit, this old (I’m guessing) cinema caught my eye:



The Overground is still, after all this work already, daunting (shown here with today’s effort included):




Lost in some council estates, I eventually emerged in the suburban paradise, Canonbury.  Still fucking cold and wet, though.




On the way to Dalston Junction, Mildmay Library was a colourful example of 1980’s public architecture:



Dalston Junction and Haggerston were stacked one on the other a half mile apart.  Just follow the elevated tracks:


Dalston Junction



This waterside watering hole looks worth a visit but, alas, not at 8 in the morning:



Hoxton Station had a little more character than the last two:




Across the alley from Hoxton Station:



Shoreditch High Street Station is huge, stretching far down the now East-West tracks (there is a big turn eastward here from the North-South rail I followed for the last several stations):


Shoreditch High Street


Some of the copious (and increasingly commercial) Shordeditch graffiti:



Whitechapel Station is set back from the road while the roadside entrance is refurbished.  Shadwell Station is actually two stations: the Overground and the DLR ones:



Shadwell Overground

And, that’s where I took up with the DLR.  (I don’t know what happened with the map, below, but Canning Town to Lewisham has not yet been completed.)



Shadwell DLR


I got turned around in The City a bit.  Lot’s of construction, two film crews, and some oligarchic or other hyperwealthy security sent me out of my way before I finally took a break in the Crosse Keys.  Then, it was a quick trot to close the loop:





And, there you have it.  Here’s the system map through today:




Weekend Runs 21-22 October 2017   1 comment


“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
USPS Creed

The weekend runs tested my resolve with cold, rain, wind, and pre-dawn darkness; not exactly the Postman’s Creed, but most of us really think of the “Going Postal” version of the motto à la Newman from Seinfeld.  In fact, when a colleague asked, “was someone chasing you?” in reference to my mention of 30 miles on trail this weekend I replied, “only my demons,” before I realised I really had an opinion.




Saturday, I did an 8½ mile loop out to the canal path (where someone has dredged a scooter from the depths where the A40 crosses), through Northolt and back to the diy shop to pick up some varnish for a garden project. The wind was brutal and even dislodged a traffic light while I was waiting to cross the street at Northolt Station.




We had a busy day planned Sunday so, in order to be home in time to shower and get out to Uxbridge by 11, I left an hour-and-a-half before sunrise on my 21½ mile journey to Clapham Junction.



Hitting the canal at the same spot in Greenford as the previous morning, I worked my way south to the longer branch that passes below Ealing.  At a park along the way, I was intrigued by this beached rowboat with the WATER DONKEY sign.  If anyone can explain it, you are a better man than me; if anyone DOES explain it, I regain the high ground.



The route merged onto the River Brent path as twilight allowed me to holster my torch which would be a great euphemism; not as great as “Prize Length of Piling,” but not bad.


The transition to the downstream sections of the Thames Path required a stretch of street running through Brentford where a lovely collection of pubs taunted me with their pulled curtains and gated doorways.  I’ll be back, though, mark my words.



This year’s World Series involves the Astros and the Dodgers, two of my least favourite baseball teams, but them’s the breaks.  It was good to see that someone with a spray can is also patiently waiting for the Cubs’ return to form, next year:



Just before the Brent highway segment, there were several impressive weirs and railway bridges.  Following on, I eventually crossed to the south side of the Thames via the stately Kew Gardens Bridge and dodged the now-legion runners and cyclists that wait for a decent hour to get out for their morning constitutional.



On the far side of the Putney Bridge sits a Wetherspoons called the Rocket in an early-1960s office building that looks as if it was just built (a rarity in that era of Stalinist architecture).  Alas, the bar was not yet open (food only till 9) so to its sister pub, the Asparagus, I struggled.



After my long-overdue pint, I finished the journey at Clapham Junction.  I think there is a subconscious battle going on in my feeble mind.  Every time I catch a train here, I get songs by Squeeze stuck in my head but NEVER the one you would think.  Typing this up over coffee Tuesday morning, I’m still struggling to supplant Pulling Mussels From A Shell with any other earworm.



Posted October 24, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Running, Tourism

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London Outer Orbital Path (Sections 17-18)   6 comments



Tuesday was hard.  After Monday’s screw up that turned the 16 mile run into 22, I was sore and lazy and it took ages to get motivated to leave for Cockfosters to start sections 17 and 18 of the LOOP.  The weather looked awful and I just didn’t want to go.  However, when the Tube emerged from underground the sun had emerged and it looked a splendid day.



I diverted a bit to cross the defunct Middlesex University campus for which planning permission is sought to raze the place and put up cheap housing.  The first point of interest for me was spotting a Thomasson (above, and a better explanation of what this means is here).



It seems a great waste.  There’s nothing obviously wrong with these buildings except that the land they sit on is so expensive.  Fucking capitalists, price of everything/value of fuck all, grumble grumble grumble.



Not far from Middx Uni, I ran up on some glass houses which are all that is left of hundreds of hectares of these that used to produce most of the tomatoes and a variety of other fresh veg for the country.  With Brexit, these may come back into vogue, soon.



I took this photo in Barnet after three pubs in rapid succession in order to make a joke of some sort (which I’ll use later with another graffito…it’s a lame joke and inoffensive, but this is actually some serious paint):



I don’t speak Turkish, but as near as I can make out this is memorializing Sila Abalay, a leader of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) in Turkey, who was killed in a shoot out a couple of weeks ago having (it is said) killed a police officer.  I can’t get anything precise for ‘hesabini soracagiz’ but I think it is something like ‘we will hold them to account’ in this context.  Heady stuff for a jackass like me.



The Enfield lock and its canal were welcome since that put me only a few miles from my finish, I thought.  Across from the Greyhound pub, this yellow submarine caught my attention:



Especially the warning that “38 MAXIMUM PERSONS” were allowed.  Maybe if you chop them up into small pieces, first.



Along the way, I got some sage advice:



And, realised that I had not seen a LOOP way marker for ages.



I suspected that this was the bridge that would take me to the other side of the canal where the trail should be but, as it turned out, the canal I wanted was on the other side of the reservoir.  Shit.



Making the most of the situation, I found some public sculpture:



And, eventually found my way to the Royal Oak for some supper and a beer.  This was nice, as I was coming into Chingford Station from the south instead of the north so I won’t be doubling back over a lot of the trail.  This route also took me past this grand mosaic on the Assembly Hall:



And, as it was the afternoon rush hour, no one was going into London from out here so I would have a train car all to myself:



Here’s a map of how the day fell out.  The pub write-ups will come as soon as I get a bite to eat and some exercise.


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

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Bristol to Bath Rail Trail run   4 comments

Bristol Bath Rail Trail graffito 5

Marathon training schedule required a 12 miler one day this weekend (9 the other day) and the Holiday Run Streak demands 3 per day.  I wanted something more interesting than loops from the house for  a 15 mile trip so I caught the train to Bath and trekked out toward Bristol along the Avon tow path and the Bristol/Bath Rail-to-Trail path.

Bristol Bath Rail Trail Ras Tafari marker


The total was 15.4 miles and 3 pubs (the Bird in Hand at about 10.2 miles, the Dolphin at about 13, and the Vic at roughly 14).  Protected from howling winds by the trees and topography for most of the route — and from the rain for all but a few miles at the turnaround end of things — I was able to take in the sights.

Bristol Bath Rail Trail graffito 7

Truly there is natural beauty all around as you head through the hills on the nearly flat grade of the rail bed and tow path.  The Cotswolds and farmland and villages spring up at intervals and are complemented by the old rail structures and waterway accoutrements.

Bristol Bath Rail Trail graffito 3

But, I’m a big fan of well thought out graffiti and there is an abundance at the Bath end of things.

Bristol Bath Rail Trail graffito 2


Bristol Bath Rail Trail graffito 1

Bye, thanks for coming.

Bristol Bath Rail Trail graffito 4


Posted November 29, 2015 by Drunken Bunny in Running, Tourism

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