Not forgotten (nor forgiven)

Thursday 08 July 2021 – London.

Time seems to be disappearing at pace at the moment, but it also seems to be dragging unbelievably slowly, the days seemingly taking longer than the weeks. I am struggling with motivation, especially at work. It is difficult, though in real world terms I am of course lucky to have so little to contend with.

This week saw the UK government announce that, even though it is projected there could be up to/at least 100,000 covid-19 infections a day later in the month, it is time to remove all restrictions and let life return to ‘normal’ on 19 July. This in turn caused the NZ government to announce they may ban all flights from the UK to protect the country. We are due to fly on 29 July so you can imagine how this has made me feel. Fingers crossed that neither of these things come to pass, but infections have now passed 30,000 a day and are growing. We are both double vaccinated so theoretically and statistically we should be fine, but I don’t want a positive test to scupper the trip we have been looking forward to for months, nor do we want to get ill.

Now we are back in London I was planning on going to the office two or three days a week. My workspace here is so much smaller than that in the flat and the office is big and air-conditioned and more comfortable than working from home. I have been in a few times and there are very few people on my floor, but with infections rising and mask wearing getting less prevalent on the Tube I am going to wind that back and only go in when needed. Today was one of those days. I had arranged to meet Steve for an after work photo-walk followed by some food and a couple of pints.

In preparation for this, last night I got my big camera out of the camera bag and after charging the battery discovered it was completely dead. No response at all when I turned it on, bugger, this is not what I want just when I am about to finish work, have no job lined up and am three weeks off from embarking on our 6 month minimum trip back to New Zealand. I tried a bunch of things but just could not get it to go, so charged the battery in the little camera and packed that instead. At least it is light.

I was meeting Steve at Embankment station and I took a few photos on the way. Making the most of the opportunity of working in a fairly old part of London; there is no history this historical in Auckland.

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Neither Steve or I were really feeling the photo-walk idea, we have both done this part of London too many times and work has been sucking the life out of both of us lately, interest was low.  We crossed the Thames and agreed to take a slow walk towards the pub he had booked a table at. It was a bit of aimless amble, the graffiti walls of Leake Street Tunnel was the first stop. I was pleased to see that there are now more bars and cafes opened up in the main tunnel offshoots. I always felt these were wasted opportunities.

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We walked round the side of Waterloo Station and found some classic English 60s tower block action.

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Back to the embankment. I had completely forgotten about the Covid Memorial wall, and it is long and frightening and wonderful and immensely sad. There are thousands and thousands of names and memories to those who have succumbed to this hideous virus. Walking past it, looking at the names and reading the messages very much puts into perspective my complaints about my desk at home being too small.

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If only the bastards in this place on the Thames bank directly opposite showed some real humility and came over here and read these all too human stories, then took stock of what their negligence has done, hung their heads in shame and resigned.

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There were not may photos on or by the wall which made this one so poignant. 18 years old, so sad.

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Crossing the river via Vauxhall Bridge took us past Tate Britain and through the grounds of UAL, a space I really like, it is always peaceful here when I pass through and the buildings are lovely, and just a little faded.

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We arrived exactly on time for our table booking at The Cask, a beer pub in Pimlico we have been to before; though memories of that evening are vague as they have some very strong beer. We didn’t make the same ‘mistake’ this time, eating a very good burger and chips as well as drinking substantially less. They have the best pub toilets I have ever seen and I am actually very jealous of those tiles.

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4 days later…. Using the mystic powers of the internet I have fixed my big camera. This has made me very happy.

Street art – Southbank and Leake St

Monday 05 August 2013 – Waterloo.

The weekend just gone saw the Urban Culture Festival at the Southbank Centre, I had other plans so was unable to turn up on the Saturday and Sunday, though I did go for a quick peek on Friday afternoon, though nothing was happening then. Among other activities there was some street art going on so I arranged to meet fellow appreciator Darryl there today.

I got there a bit early and went to have a look at the skate park to see if there was anything happening, but it was dead. I did find a new painting though.

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Darryl and I started off at the Southbank Centre and a big new work by Stik. Part of the programme at the weekend was Stik giving a street art class, so after he had finished his painting a bunch of people coloured in the figures. It was pretty cool !

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There was some tape art by Ben Murphy.

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Around the back of the centre there was work by a few artists, sadly there was a whole load of work going on there when we arrived and it was really hard to get shots on most of the work and impossible for the large Dr Zadok and Spore mural as it was completely fenced off, with a large truck in front to add to the blockage. We did get to full see this 3Dom piece.

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But the mural by Captain Kris, Spzero76 and Si Mitchell was hard to photograph in its entirety with the Spzero76 section marred by a large open door.

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Dan Kitchener.

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Just like in the Dan Kitchener mural it started to rain as we headed over towards the Leake St tunnel by Waterloo station, thankfully it stopped as we got out onto the road side, though it hammered down later on and I was stuck at Southbank for 30 minutes as I waited for it stop enough to run for a bus.

Leake St tunnel was totally different to last time I was there, and the Lost Souls Crew of Captain Kris, Spzero76 and Si Mitchell had been busy there as well.

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Dr Zadok and Spore had a mural at the end of the tunnel.

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And I also liked these pieces by some artists unknown to me, I am assuming handles.

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Kaes

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It was good to catch up with Darryl and see some new work and we arranged to meet up again tomorrow to see a couple of new works up in Shoreditch – before they were gone…

The art of Leake St tunnel.

Wednesday 26 June 2013, Leake St, Waterloo, London.

Leake St tunnel is a legal graffiti area near Waterloo Station and I was last there back in January and talked about it briefly in this post. One of my fellow street art bloggers, the always cool Inspiring City, went there at the weekend to have a look at a paint jam organised by London Vandal to raise money for cancer research. I would have gone if I had known about it !

I have not heard of most of the painters in action at the weekend so it was time to go and have a quick look see. Though I did not recognise much of the work, it was still pretty interesting and there were quite a few other people there taking photos as well.

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Unknown 🙂

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There is a load more stuff to look at, mostly graf rather than ‘art’, but is a cool spot and worth a visit.