24 August 2023

Where has all the power gone? Part 2

 And life only.....


To take up where I left off....  After the Power Station and views across the mighty metropolis, I wandered a while, wondering why an Iranian car might need to be on the pavement.....

But it's none of my business....

It isn't my business.

I am only a passer-by.  A passer-through.  I should not be questioning the rights (the wrongs?) of others.  Like when a cyclist approaches me on a footpath and says, Hi.  Good morning! and I want to say, Fuck off, this is a footpath, not a bridle path, I know that if I do, then I will be the recipient of abuse.....

So I don't question an Iranian vehicle on the pavement.....

I was in the National Portrait Gallery, recently reopened after a touch of varnish. I see parliamentarians on the wall while weary visitors take little notice:

And Katherine Parr twinkles down at me from 478 years ago.  The wrinkles of power so flat in two dimensions:

Sunday morning, I return to the 'village' of Harpenden for a memorial gathering to remember my friend Irene.  I stop for a while with Colin, whose late wife was so dear,  then we walk round the corner to socialise with those who still stand.  It is great, but sad, and tinged with my own memories of how we all used to gather in each other's houses, when Amanda was well.....

Colin used to be in the Navy as codes man and so we discuss the use of Enigma machines and the way that his code books used to have lead bound into them so they would sink should circumstances demand they had to be jettisoned....  And he has some Bristol Cream.....  So, so normal....

Then back to Kentish Town for a BBQ with daughter Hannah and friend Michael.  

Under the supervision of Denmark (the Prince of):

I am an atom in the whirling life of London. There is everything going on and most of it is way beyond my comprehension.  

Piccadilly Circus is alive, citizens of the world abound:

Someone sings:

Someone dances:

In Leicester Square someone juggles blades:

Nearby a sincere young man sings:

Though not everyone cares very much:

And there are those who want to keep moving:

And those who don't:

In the French House young women are relaxed:

And outside young men dance (after a fashion):

Opposite the Ritz I spot a yellow car:

And in Berkeley Square no nightingale sings, but I note that a Ferrari is for sale at a few pence less than half a million quid....

Then at the Connaught Hotel, where a single room for a single night will set you back £1,000 at least, there is a nice big white Rolls Royce with a Qatar number plate:

Oh, I would like a Qatar number plate.  No need to worry about parking.  No need to worry about ULEZ, nor the Dartford Crossing.  

And I might like to stay at the Connaught (though I guess I might feel a little out of place....)

Perhaps just a drink? Though an 1893 Sidecar, celebrating the 100th year anniversary of the Sidecar, a combination that pays homage to one
of the finest Cognac from that era (Adet 1893, Cointreau 1980s, fresh lemon juice), will cost you just £1,400.

There are many ways of interpreting power. Money has its effects. Brute strength has its way. The significant reluctance of Nadine Dorries to follow up her threat to resign shows the shabbiness of some tired and shallow people. The fall from grace of a private Embraer Legacy aircraft travelling from Moscow to St Petersburg yesterday suggests that no one is invulnerable.....

But power still throbs through our societies. I remember the thick cables that powered the Electric Arc Furnace at Brown Bayleys Steels Limited, Leeds Road, Sheffield. They were several inches thick, and as the furnace was powered up, they twitched and switched as if possessed. 

I'm out of here.

And if my thought-dreams could be seen

They’d probably put my head in a guillotine

But it’s alright, Ma, it’s life, and life only

Bob Dylan


I make a point to appreciate all the little things in my life. I go out and smell the air after a good, hard rain……. These small actions help remind me that there are so many great, glorious pieces of good in the world.

Dolly Parton

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