Friday, May 02, 2014

A long 20 months

I started at University of Cambridge a little under 2 years ago, and now I'm finished. Medieval graduation ceremony to follow later this month.

Sunday, January 05, 2014


I was in Belfast briefly over the holidays and the weather was BAD.
Wet, cold and windswept.
Apart from Christmas with family I did little other than eat and sleep.
I did take a trip down the Shankill and Falls roads and document a few monuments to the bad old days. The different factions are still arguing about much the same things as they have over the past 3 decades though outside of dissident Republican groups there is  little appetite to return to the violence of the past.
Sobering how bad things were back in the 1970s.

Police station on the present day " peace line" separating Protestant  East and Catholic West Belfast.

The opposite view from the IRA below. 

This is my first post in 6 months.
I think I should get back in the saddle.
Love to all

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

4th Plinth on Trafalgar Square

There are four plinths on Trafalgar Square.
At the southern end  are statues of Henry Havelock and Charles Napier. The Northern plinths were designed to hold equestrian statues and the north-eastern one features George IV on horseback. The Northwest plinth was built in 1841 and was originally designed to hold a statue of  William IV, but the project ran out of money.
It remained empty for the next 150 years until 1999 when a succession of three exhibits commissioned by the Royal Society of Arts graced its granite pedestal.
It was considered a "wonderful triumph".
I seem to remember bemused commentary in the papers, though not much notice beyond the initial coverage as each exhibit was unveiled.
The Great and the Good  decided the masses continued to need new public art and to this end a committee was formed to continue commissioning works to take up residence. 
The latest has now landed.
The Blue Cockerel has roosted on the 4th. plinth. ( OK I know, no more, I promise)
This bright blue symbol of France staring at it does at Nelson's column on the square commemorating the thrashing of  Napoleon's navy has a nice tongue in cheek vibe to it.
I usually find these sorts of things a bit self-indulgent and tedious but given the French-Brit angle I'd say its quite good. Its inevitable the rubbish about it being some sort of ode to feminism will surface again and if it does, I'll scratch my head and think about something else.
Stay well everyone


My recent trip to Canada involved a flying visit to Montreal.
No trip to Montreal is complete without a visit to Schwartz's on St Laurent Blvd.
Good old fashioned heart attack food to rival Katz's deli in NYC.
Stay well