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Thursday, 19 October 2006
Free Willy

free willy

with every watch bought?  Actually the poster reads

FREY WILLE since 1951

which is really not a long time in the watchmaking trade.

Bigblue had an in-COUGH! appointment with the dentist today, so he must have taken this photograph another day.

Posted by bigblue on 19/10/2006 at 09:10 PM
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Wednesday, 18 October 2006
Empty Interiors

MT Interiors

Spotted this week in Uxbridge, and added to the list of firms with funny names.

On a general point about this blog, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that I have added a little country flag on the site’s referrers page to indicate the country of origin of the visitor.  I had also added it against comments, until I found out it is not error-free: sometimes it has me as being in Germany, at other times the UK. If you do check out the site referrers, please don’t click on any dodgy-looking links. Although I have a blacklist in place, some spammy sites slip through.  I have also disabled trackbacks - the only people utilising them were spammers.

Posted by bigblue on 18/10/2006 at 09:44 PM
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Tuesday, 17 October 2006
The Level Crossing

level crossing

This evening, following my SatNav, skirting the jams on the M25, travelling where I have never travelled before, I came up to this level crossing.  After waiting an age a train passed in one direction, followed shortly by another in the opposite direction. This crossing seems to be popular for pedestrians too, as they also queued up while the booms were down.

A couple of months ago, following (very loosely) the guidelines of Dr Chris Greenhalgh, I wrote the following poem:

The Raven

Black bird lying in the centre of the road.
On back, dead beak pointing skyward.
With gaping sockets.
Wing flaps up with each momentous passing car.

Once strategic and thoughtful.
Watchful for friends.
Nibbling the giblets of the daily slaughter
Janus of our familiars:
Valued and reviled;
Questioning and whispering;
Tattler and spy;
Miscreant, cursed by the gods.
A portend of tomorrow’s void.

Silent cry.
Crassly, I continue in my air-conditioned comfort.
Finally you wave as I pass.

Edit - 20 October 2006: I have added a line that was missing from the poem!

Posted by bigblue on 17/10/2006 at 10:02 PM
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Monday, 16 October 2006
Bark Cover

Bark Cover

This is Bark Cover, made from willow bark and rusty nails by Anna-Maria Väätäinen, from the Relationships exhibition at the Grace Barrand Design Centre in Nutfield. Anna-Maria Väätäinen is quoted as saying:

The background to my pieces is the weaving of a willow basket according to the strict rules taught by an old Master Basketmaker. Besides serving dishes in different forms, I am right now focusing in particular on willow bark. I study the qualities of willow bark, the suitability of various techniques on working it, and the range of its possible uses. After the traditional forms and techniques I want to find something new to me in the willow bushes, the willow bark and e.g. the forms of the serving dishes do not seem yet fully explored.

Somehow I don’t think that the strict rules of the old Master Basketmaker entailed fastening strips of willow bark together with rusty nails. Also what exactly is one to cover with this object?

Posted by bigblue on 16/10/2006 at 09:40 PM
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Sunday, 15 October 2006
Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara

Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara

This is the Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara in Havelock Road, Southall, London.  It is the largest Sikh Temple in the Europe.  It is also just around the corner from the Delhi Wala Restaurant of 11 King Street.  It was here that Pinkie, Raghs and I had lunch today.  Pinkie was greatly impressed with her Special Dal Kachori starter and her Masala Dosa while I had a variant of this, the Mysore Dosa.  Raghav didn’t seem to each much.

Unfortunately we hit a traffic jam on the way home afterwards. Still, it was worth the journey.

Posted by bigblue on 15/10/2006 at 10:03 PM
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Saturday, 14 October 2006


Relationships - three perspectives on the Finnish basketry with works by Minna Koskinen, Anelma Savolainen and Anna-Maria Väätäinen is the exhibition currently on at the Grace Barrand Design Centre.

A relationship reflects an interval, a journey from somewhere to somewhere else. It can be distant or close. It tells of interaction that makes it posslbe to interpret, analyse and understand basketry in new ways.

Basketmakers work on their own but are not alone. The techniques bind us with the past but also pave the way for the future. The material creates connections, gives ideas and builds bridges into techniques, forms and meanings. The form shapes our world, and meanings communicate our thoughts about the past and about the shared experiences.

In the exhibition Relationships, the makers’ views on the Finnish basketry are based on their current work. Each maker has her own relationship with the technique, material, form, work and working.

It is interesting that even though the starting point for the makers is almost identical, during the work process only some factors, important to each individual maker, become significant. What we emphasise, and why, is an interesting question. To a great extent the deep meaning of doing is seen in the answers: thoughts born of understanding through the use of hands, and of one’s own life experiences.

The works are ideas crystalised with the process. They are stories that reach the viewers and touch them. At the same time the works are also expressons of opinions on the present, material, form and basketry.

The above items are Boat (various) made of birch bark, pine root and plywood by Anelma Savolainen, and Spring made of electric wire and birch bark, also by Anelma Savolainen.

Posted by bigblue on 14/10/2006 at 10:51 PM
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Friday, 13 October 2006


Submitted under the theme of Destruction for the Friday 13th photofriday challenge.

Posted by bigblue on 13/10/2006 at 10:21 PM
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Thursday, 12 October 2006
Not very inspiring

Hope and Clay Builders

Spotted on a building site near work and added to the list of (probably intentionally) funny company names. And it makes sense, because if you’re building with clay you will need hope too.

In the past I have spotted Human and Pitt Funeral Services (in Cape Town) and Patel & Patel plumbers - with the slogan “You’ve tried the cowboys, now try the Indians”. And of course there’s the wewashit laundry.

Posted by bigblue on 12/10/2006 at 06:57 AM
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