Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Hate Crime...

Duty done. Stuart and I were just victims of a crime. A hate crime. Okay maybe not a big crime in some people’s eyes but an important one I think. We were homophonically abused as we walked along the road to the shops to go and buy some food for dinner. 
Three youths cycling in the opposite direction thought it might be fun to swing by us as close as possible and shout “FAGGOT!” in our faces. Well, up with this I will not put! I’ve reported them to the police. It’s a hate crime.  Ok it probably doesn’t really affect Stuart and I particularly deeply - kids behaving like idiots - but there are plenty of people who it would affect.  Profoundly. And I’m not gonna fucking put up with it a few yards from my own fucking front door! Fuckers! 🤬

Update: Met Police just called. They are coming round at 9am tomorrow to take a description of the person. 👍

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

RIP Jon Green... Or, as I called him, Dad.

Dad’s funeral was yesterday. A sad occasion for sure. He was 89 (exactly a month off turning 90), been ill for a while, but when the end comes it is no less of a shock. 

He didn’t die of Covid, but Covid stopped us being at his hospital bedside at the end. Which was shitty to be frank.

My brother Simon and sister Joanna spoke at his funeral - words which were powerful and moving.  I, however, wasn’t going to let the old boy get off quite so lightly. Below were my opening remarks....  

Hello everyone.

You have heard some lovely words today about my father.  
Well, I’m here to puncture a few of those myths! 
Today’s eulogy is brought to you by the Letter ‘L”
Listening, Letters, Love, Laughter, and Lists!
A great listener, yes
A great letter writer, absolutely 
Hugely likeable, yes
Lots laughter, sure
Utterly unable to Lie, true
Oh, and, let’s not forget fiercely protective of his family, 
An avid reader
And, as if you haven’t guessed, an avid list maker too.
That man loved a good list! 

But...  he had weaknesses.

Especially a weakness to chocolate and to booze!
Once Myrtle left a shopping list for us when she was away for the night. 
Dad edited it crossing off the boring stuff like bread and soup, adding chocolate and whiskey. 
In fact he had a very sweet tooth did Dad. He loved deserts. 
Mum joked there were 3 people in their relationship.
And one of them was a tart. A custard tart.
Dad had a great sense of humour. Dry as anything.
At a very young age I naively pointed out to him our birthdays fell on the same day of the month. His 26th Dec, mine exactly 9 months after his on 26th Sept.  He just winked at me. At the time I didn’t know why.
In fact that wink was lost on me until my 1st year biology class in secondary school.
That man was playing the long game with at that wink.
About 30 years ago (when he was the same age I am now) he and I started to become much closer. I guess in the years before that he was learning how to be a father and me a son. But 30 years ago I started to see things with my father’s eyes
He was a role model. Although he modestly never saw himself as such.
I once said to him, "we are all role models whether we want to be or not".
He just smiled. 
He had a great smile.

Friday, November 27, 2020

UK first LGBTQ+ March in Highbury Fields 50 years ago today...

50 years ago today 150 marchers held the UK’s first LGBTQ+ March in Highbury Fields, London. Brave people who started a soft revolution that has done so much to improve the lives of many.

The One Fifty Marchers project follows @frazerflintham and @jdizzlestewart and their journey to track down those 150 men and women who took part in that first LGBTQ+ march on November 27th, 1970.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Friday, November 20, 2020

Highbury: People-Friendly Streets...

Highbury, like many neighbourhoods within the borough, has suffered from increased traffic volumes in recent years from the use of the area as a short-cut. We are introducing people-friendly streets neighbourhoods in Highbury West and Highbury Fields to reduce through traffic and make the area safer and healthier for all.”

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Victoria Park via Regent’s Canal...

Lovely lockdown walk today with Stuart along Regent’s Canal to Victoria Park and back through Hackney and Islington.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Southwark Park...

Today Stuart and I walked down south (of the river) to meet up with Andy in Southwark Park for a social distanced cuppa. Nice walk, nice park, but especially nice to see Andy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The Essex Way...

Our walk the other week from A House for Essex took Stuart and I along The Essex Way. Starting in Wrabness, then to Ramsey, and on to Harwich. The walk runs along the River Stour which separates Essex from Suffolk across to the salt-flats on the North Sea coast.

Monday, November 16, 2020

A House for Essex...

The other week, just before lockdown, Stuart and I managed to slip in a couple of days away at Grayson Perry’s A House for Essex in Essex’s glitzy Wrabness.
Back in 2012 Living Architecture commissioned Grayson Perry to fulfil his long-held wish to build a chapel to the history of his home county of Essex. Three years later, with the help of FAT Architecture, it was complete.
Stays at A House for Essex are like gold dust as you have to enter a ballot. After five years of trying we finally got a last minute cancellation booking so jumped at the chance.
A House for Essex is both an artwork in itself and the setting for a number of works by Perry exploring the special character and unique qualities of Essex. The building has been designed to evoke the tradition of wayside and pilgrimage chapels. It belongs to a history of follies, whilst also being deeply of its own time.
Unique and incomparable, the house overlooks the river Stour. The place is a fully immersive experience of the fictional life of an Essex woman, Julie Cope. It is architectural eccentricity at its most creative - albeit with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
The house is at the end of a private lane set in an undulating landscape leading down to the shores of the river Stour. We let ourselves in through large wooden yellow doors into a lobby and hallway, off which a small bathroom is situated, and across the hall the staircase leads to two bedrooms and a second bathroom on the first floor.
The first-floor bathroom has both shower and large sunken bath, from where we could soak and take in the views. Each bedroom has an internal balcony overlooking the main living space, as well as views across the river. There is a spacious kitchen and dining area with two hidden doors flanking the fireplace and wood burner, through which could enter into the double-height living room lined with decorative timber panelling and Grayson Perry's richly coloured tapestries.
There are other specially commissioned artworks including red furnishings, large yellow pots and mosaic floors celebrating the fictional story of Julie Cope and her life in Essex. Glazed and shuttered double doors opened to reveal a sheltered porch overlooking the fields down to the Stour.
A House for Essex is a testament to the idea that art and architecture can lift our spirits and allow us to experience the world through the eyes of others, both in reality and fiction.
We loved it. And will enter the ballot again as soon as we can.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Stratford to the O2: The Line...

Today’s lockdown walk saw Stuart and I first go to Stratford, and then through the east end along The Line - London’s East End sculpture trail - ending up at the O2. It was a 4 hours trek with some so-so sculpture but some amazing vistas.