Feb. 27th, 2012

chrisamies: (Default)
I seem to have volunteered to help with the Prince of Wales (Moseley) Literary Festival this year. Well, "seem to have" - that's a phrase I hunted down mercillessly from the WIP. I have volunteered and if there had been similar things in Kingston I would have done so there (that there weren't is possibly telling). Just back from the MAC which does put me in mind of Riverside Studios (Hammersmith) but is mostly like itself. Apparently it used to be very run down but is now bright and shiny and I seem to be in there many days of the week, whether for classes or for coffee while walking the dog.

Today I have also been to the dentist with an aim to getting my teeth improved. They work OK but they could be a lot better aesthetically. Mind you when a dentist with many years experience opines that she is not certain whether to label a particular tooth as a 3rd or a 4th tooth you suspect you are in the presence of Weird Dentition (certainly one of my upper teeth originally grew behind the others and had to be removed when I was quite young - this is in fact what is behind the dentist's hesitancy re labelling). The work will take a while (and cost) but should be worth it.

I can't scan and post the picture I have found: a black and white snap showing a woman I suspect is my maternal grandmother,  astride a bicycle. She is wearing a knee length dress and the bike has a crossbar which may have made mounting and dismounting tricky. It's annoyingly devoid of referents - the bike could come from a wide range of eras and the picture looks as though it was taken in a back garden somewhere. It sort of looks 1940s but the hat she's wearing may give us some clue.

A book I found recently is called "Notes from Overground", by "Tiresias" (the poet Roger Green). In this tome he scrutinises what many have not really looked at - train commuting. And as it was written in 1984 it also gives us a view of the last years of nationalised rail services in the UK, a now nostalgic era of diesel engines and uniformly blue or blue and white livery and occasional pens of steam locomotives. Not even Thatcher tried it with the railways, realising they were dear to the nation's heart and also you do not try the patience of railway workers for they are bolshy and quick to (industrial) action. It is also in this book that we find the original investigation of that curious graffito CLOSE AT HAND IS FAR AWAY IN IMAGES OF ELSEWHERE painted near Paddington station in the 1970s and destroyed when the wall that bore it was demolished in the 1980s. That one joins the repetition of CHRISTIAN GOLDMAN? in such places as Hammersmith Broadway and Shepherds Bush in the 1980s, and the solitary THE NIGHT on the street wall of Nazareth House on Hammersmith Road which lasted until a few years ago and finds its way into my story "Cow Lane" in Music for Another World.

I'll stop here and refer the reader to this item by [livejournal.com profile] sbisson of this parish: http://sbisson.wordpress.com/2005/04/20/far-away-is-close-at-hand-in-images-of-elsewhere/
which deals with all this. (I'd forgotten btw that I'd found a picture in the H&F Borough archives that shows that THE NIGHT graffito as existing in 1980, which either suggested my use of it in "Cow Lane" or else vindicated it, depending on when I found the picture - I suspect it would have been in 2003-4 when I was working on the pubs book so later than the writing of the story. I suspect the "90% crack up" item with its reference back to the French expression "metro - boulot - dodo" ("tube - job - kip") has gone as well. & between my comment to Simon's piece and now, the THE NIGHT one has indeed gone.

I suspect this is an example of "Circular reference, see, circular reference," as 'spride''s comments to Simon's article include a link to "Notes from Overground." I must have heard of that book somewhere, so why not in that comment?

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