Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Shopping For Unicorns.

'Tis the season to be merry, as they say. And in London apparently there are few ways to be merry that don't involve shopping. The Christmas decorations might be a bid downplayed this year but there is surely no lack of enthusiasm and vigor to be seen. Am I the only one that gets a little numb and uncomfortable these periods?

Monday, 5 December 2011

Paris You Say?

Paris indeed! Just for a few midweek days, busy and tasty and surprisingly sunny. At least for one day. I didn't like Paris the first time, I'm kinda falling for it now. I suppose it's because the closest I ventured towards the "sites" was still measured in binocular twists. Will be back now.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Olive Trees.

Once more I find myself at a place where a long past is a living and breathing beast. It's everywhere around you and I usually find such burden to be a heavy one and need to dilute it with a simpler, more lighthearted, juvenile dose of time. A bit of today and tomorrow that is.

What happens though when this time past is literally living and breathing? I'm talking about ancient olive trees. Centuries old and so unruly and tall by now that you couldn't harvest them, comb and prune them without respect. And like anything else of this age you have to play by its rules. Lay your nets underneath and wait, let even more time pass. After all, that's how they got to be this old.

A Sibling.

Following an uneasy gestation and difficult labor, a little sibling to the 256 Days project was born a few days ago. It's name is The Old World and from the outset it appears as a less bright twin. The shape, layout and genome are similar but under the skin it couldn't be more distinct. There's a much darker side to the young one. A soul grim and misty, in a subtle way.

The link is here once more, take a peek if you will.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Going Strong!

The brave young people occupying the churchyard of St. Paul's are still going strong. Alas there's already talk of removing them, apparently the cathedral has closed for "health and safety reasons" and they're badly losing money because of that. A second camp has been made in a nearby square and this week will be pivotal. Let's see.

Monday, 17 October 2011

3 The World!

It finally arrived in London and from Saturday the Occupy Movement is live in the city centre. The attempt to protest and occupy the stock exchange failed in its infancy when police contained, suffocated and broke up the initial gathering of several thousand protesters at St. Paul's cathedral. They used their infamous "kettle" again. Regrouping and setting camp at the stairs and trapped for several hours the crowd kept singing, shouting, debating and demanding an end to this lunacy of corporate greed and political complicity and corruption.

With a technicolor appearance and statement but Julian Assange of Wikileaks (and loads of pushing, shoving and rampant rumors of another arrest following him) and even some football on the streets, it was a heartening display of resolve, anger and hope. There's a permanent delegation in-situ and more to come. Stay tuned.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Noch Ein Mass Bitte!

There's a little round tent with a colourful, childlike till at the front. A smiling middle-aged lady in a dirndl gives away tiny tickets and before you know it you've entered a place of fairy-tales. With a twist. The round, spinning stage is where men box out of balance, girls try to dodge lassos and swinging mothballs and couples cling onto each other as they flee towards the barriers. The crowd is rowdy and the MC drunk beyond tact.

This is the theme park with the traditional Bavarian games and more modern roller-coasters of Oktoberfest. The big party of course is in the "tents", huge structures of distinct breweries where bands play intermittently and songs ring out constantly, all to the rhythm of an endless flow of beer and roast chickens. Smiling and blushed face all round, smalltalk, dance and singalong, passionate kisses and endless toasts to "Gem├╝tlichkeit" and your head is spinning! You have to wear your lederhosen or your dirndl to feel comfy but other than that it feels like the party of the year without an effort. Ein prosit once more!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Road Kill.

Driving in Greece is always an experience.
It's not that the drivers are just exceptionally bad; they are, but I've seen worse. It's not even the shot and painted over with love scribbles road signs; at least they exist. Loads of them. And the road culture is appalling, full of testosterone and mindlessness.

What breaks my heart is the blindness. The blindness to the army of statuettes, murals, miniature churches and commemorating stands, some eerily sparkling new and some forgotten, bent and rusty that fill the sides of all roads. Each one stands for a death and each one tells a story. Hundreds upon hundreds of them. And somehow they are a mirage, ghosts that most people pass by without ever noticing.

*UPDATE: This little story has been expanded photographically and is still in growth. Since there are so many of these roadside murals it will keep getting renewed and refined for quite a while I believe. You can visit the current version here.