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Thursday, 17 April 2008
View from the Restaurant


My mobile phone with built in camera and internet is very handy, and it keeps me in touch with the world. If I have a complaint about the camera it is that it is a bit slow. A second before this photo was taken there was an in-line skater navigating this pavement. 

I’m in a restaurant in the 17th and this is the view from the window.

Posted by bigblue on 17/04/2008 at 07:16 PM
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Parking in Paris


Well I’m back in Paris and examining the parking situation in the office block next door.  The red route marked in the pattern of a wave is marked for “les pompiers” (the fire-brigade). One can almost imagine the fire engine entering the site in an emergency and driving across the parking area in two waves.

Less artistic are the yellow stripes which are marked “stopping prohibited” (stationement interdit). Fair enough, that’s obviously why four cars have parked on the fire-brigade’s wave. The fire brigade will have to cut across the yellow striped area instead.

A very Parisian approach: there’s room for everyone now and the most blatant regulations aren’t flouted. 

[PS I do have my tongue in my cheek: I have seen similar parking arrangements at business sites in England].

Posted by bigblue on 17/04/2008 at 08:51 AM
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Wednesday, 16 April 2008
Silver tourism


When you travel on the Eurostar train to Paris in the middle of the day you encounter a different type of traveller: the silver tourist.

Posted by bigblue on 16/04/2008 at 12:33 PM
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This is the village of Ockley in Surrey, as viewed from Leith Hill Tower the highest point in the South East of England. The photo is also taken in the general direction of the English Channel, which can be seen from this point on a clear day (which this was not).  Ockley was built on an ancient Roman Road which stretches from Chichester to London. At the time of the Doomsday Book (1086) it was known as Hoclei.

Posted by bigblue on 16/04/2008 at 07:46 AM
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Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Field of Bodies


This appears to be a new cemetory, in the village of Stonesfield (near to Ramsden, Oxfordshire). It is opposite the Hats Off Recording Studio.

There are no gypsy graves in this photo.

Posted by bigblue on 15/04/2008 at 07:00 AM
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Monday, 14 April 2008
A Photographic Review


1. Mind the Gap, 2. The Night Sky, 3. Pen-y-beacon, 4. Moss on the roof, 5. Jumeira Mosque, 6. Ossuaire de Douaumont, 7. Four sisters: May, 8. Elland Road, 9. minus 20, 10. Ratcliffe-upon-Soar power station, 11. Sunset in Stockholm

These are all some of the more “noteworthy” photographs on my now (almost defunct) Flickr account.

Posted by bigblue on 14/04/2008 at 07:47 AM
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Sunday, 13 April 2008
Pretentions, Ideologies, Ambitions


The photograph was taken in Nanterre, in France.  The words brought to mind the arch-crook of Europe, who has brushed off more cases than Prince Charles’ valet.

Berlusconi has been accused 11 times of criminal activity. He was convicted once, in 1990, for perjury over his membership of the secretive P2 Masonic lodge. Other cases ended in acquittal or by falling off the agenda due to a statute of limitations, a process he facilitated with his own legislation, which made his office immune from prosecution.

Professor Paul Ginsborg of Florence University, whose latest book concerns the nature of Berlusconi’s power, said: ‘There are three problems with this man: one, his control of television; two, his attitude towards the law, shaping legislation to help his particular situation and to bring an autonomous judiciary under the heel of the executive and government. The third is the combination of these two - the fact that he happens also to be President of the Council of Ministers.

Bonus link: Barista’s recent post Finish hug Nim about the chimpanzee (Nim) who was taught American Sign Language.

Posted by bigblue on 13/04/2008 at 01:18 AM
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Saturday, 12 April 2008
My Travelling Companion


I never chose my travelling companion and she never chose me. We were simply allocated seats opposite each other on the 20:15 Eurostar train from Paris to London this week. However we chose to have an altercation of sorts over her huge double bass (or possibly cello) case which was in the overhead luggage area. I had squeezed my suitcase next to it, and this disturbed her. She pointed out that I wouldn’t like it if someone had done that with my car. I gather that we had different views of the same object: I saw a large protective padded case, and assumed what was inside was very well protected. She saw a precious and fragile object. Judging by the neck of the instrument in the seat next to her, it looks like it could be a rather old instrument.

In any case, she later apologised (unnecessarily) and offered to buy me a drink in the catering carriage. She had had a long and tiring day, and someone else had knocked her instrument earlier in the day. Bless. She was asleep when I took my suitcase down (carefully) at Ebbsfleet but opened her tired bloodshot eyes, and greeted me, as I left her to continue her journey to St Pancras.

Posted by bigblue on 12/04/2008 at 07:58 AM
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