It’s always bin day when the Google Street View car’s in town

Sunday 3 February 2013

My very first blog post was about the sale of the house I was renting, and the imminent need to find new accommodation as a matter of urgency. (I’d set up the free blog account about six weeks earlier. Inspiration does not come to me easily.) My post gave an honest account of the deplorable condition the house had fallen into over the decades before I moved in, and pretty much every punter who inspected the place before the auction made no secret of their plans to gut the structure for renovation, if they were legally prevented from razing it entirely.

I’ve just returned from an unexpected trip to Australia, and one afternoon I happened to walk down my old street. I wondered what the old dump looked like now it had been cleaned ip.

Pretty much nothing’s happened to it in the last eight years. In fact, it looks worse. The old doorbell’s been removed, the windows in the front door crudely patched over, and random sections of the front wall have been painted various shades of grey. A new shed’s been erected in the back yard, but other than that there’s no sign of work done.

When Google Street View first came to Australia I looked up this street but it wasn’t covered. I just checked again and it is now, with photos from late 2009. In that photo it looks no different from when I left it, so these tentative changes are even more recent. Looks like the new owners work even more slowly than I do.

Little Old Ladies Are Waiting To Rob You Blind.

Friday 18 March 2011

The Riddle of the Pills

Saturday 8 January 2011

Here’s an idea: if you’re making psychoactive drugs, don’t stamp cryptic numbers all over them.

The Corrections

Friday 29 October 2010

This sukkah’s coming down

Sunday 10 October 2010

Well it’s about time! I presume they save the wood for next year.

Neither The Drift Nor The Sky At Night

Thursday 7 October 2010

How long do these sukkahs stay up for? Wikipedia tells me “a week” but my neighbours on both sides have had theirs in the backyard for nearly a month now. Maybe they’re following some secret, extra-pious rule like the Vatican do by waiting until February to clear away their nativity tat.

Barely cognisant of my own religion, let alone anyone else’s, I was intrigued when the neighbours started constructing what appeared to be a large plywood box on their back lawn. For a few days I imagined that Scott Walker was about to start recording a new album in my street, or that the local kids who play in the yard were about to be saturated with orgones. No-one had ever told me that the Jewish religion obliges its followers to perform annual DIY.

You’ll have noticed the railings above the roof, showing that the local sukkahs have been adapted to suit British conditions: a tarpaulin can easily be drawn over the traditional branches covering the roof, to keep out the rain. This also explained the unusual addition permanently attached to the shed on the other next-door neighbours’ house.

When I first moved in I noticed the translucent roof mounted on pulleys and assumed the residents were keen amateur astronomers, who kept a telescope handy for backyard stargazing. Nope. Another retractable roof to keep the branches dry. Although it does seem a bit like cheating to have a permanent lean-to on your house and just chuck some branches on top when sukkot rolls around each year for Instant Sukkah.

The Lightning of Idiocy Strikes Again

Sunday 4 October 2009

Me, three years ago:

I just explored one of the last unopened boxes that I packed before leaving Melbourne eighteen months ago. Amongst the electronic gear stuffed inside was an ancient Sony Discman. I popped the lid open and found Disc 2 of a three-CD set of John Cage’s Etudes Australes. It looks like I left the country in a bigger hurry than I remembered.

Me, this weekend:

I just pulled that old Sony Discman again, having stashed it away for a year after its behaviour became too erratic. I popped the lid open and found Disc 2 of a three-CD set again; this time of The Barton Workshop plays Morton Feldman. It looks like I’m even less careful and organised than I realised.

Get Off My Lawn!

Thursday 13 August 2009

Damn kids. I’d take a potshot at them but then I remember they actually are native to this country so it’s probably illegal.

Lying Low

Thursday 30 April 2009

Things have been quiet lately. In real life, not just on the blog. I’ve been saving up and settling into new surroundings. Writing some more music.
The subject and name indices have been updated, though, as far as Anzac Day.

Brockley Farewell

Monday 13 April 2009

No more dormobiles, but this last visitor to my old home in South London has added a final twist to the whole, mysterious affair.


Tuesday 7 April 2009

The world won’t let me stay put. After having to move unexpectedly at the start of last year, it now turns out I need to find somewhere else to live in the next few weeks. Excuse me if updates are a bit spotty while I get a new place, broadband etc.

Another Voynich Enigma Cleared Up

Sunday 5 April 2009

After sorting out the true meaning behind the Voynich Manuscript, and uncovering the Voynich Manchester lurking in East London, another revelation. Thanks to the anonymous commenter who disclosed that the mysterious Edward-Kelley Lorem-Ipsum style curtains can be bought at Argos for £10 a pair.
In fact, they can be had for as low as £8.99 if you get them in terracotta, or for as much as £19.59 if you want them ‘natural’. Judging from the customer reviews on the website, they’re very popular with cheapskate landlords; but it beats me why anyone would voluntarily waste their time writing about stupid curtains on the internet.

They’re Doing It On Purpose

Saturday 14 March 2009

Another week, another VW camper parked outside my house. Pretty blue, though.

What are they trying to tell us?

Friday 6 March 2009

Make that six outside my house.

There he goes again

Thursday 26 February 2009

The worst of the winter seems to have passed, and so the Volkswagen Campers have started parking outside my house again. This is the fifth one to lurk beneath my window.