This is a simple slideshow of Hamburg as seen through a humble I Phone camera in February 2016
Great British painters like Vincent Van B and E Van B do not come along every day. Enjoy their work while they paint every day scenes of the British environment . Here is Clapham Junction Station one of the busiest in the world.
Spending a day in a city never allows a comprehensive opinion on what it is really like, but first impressions here are good and a potential place for a short weekend break. A couple of things are sticking immediately:
The city has a nice relaxed feel to it, the restaurants were all full at lunchtime and maybe because they had limited menus of nice food at more than reasonable prices. Rialto restaurant was my feeding trough and a nice place too. An excellent Wiener Schnitzel. A lot of building is going on and wherever one looks there are steepled buildings and impressive looking buildings, such as the Rathaus.
The downside to the city was the huge number of people begging . Many did not look German and some of the begging, although not aggressive as such was certainly beyond what one might want to see when passing by. A large number of Germans were also selling what I presumed to be the equivalent of the Big Issue, in a far more mellow way and indeed interacting nicely with people passing by. The pavements outside shops were littered with evidence of the homeless with their sleeping garments, duvets, sleeping bags and sometimes maybe their entire possessions on public display.
In every European capital and city one sees graffiti which in fact is often so artistic in nature that it is better to refer to it as Graffiti Art. Should this be encouraged? My impressions are that it rarely detracts from where it is painted and often adds something to a grey nondescript wall. Technically though I imagine it is illegal, but why not encourage it in the same way that legal busking works on UK railway stations.
There are a plethora of high quality shops, and although I cannot pretend to be an expert in these types of shops, they kind of stand out as shops that have no-one shopping in them and no price tags on the clothes. Prada was one such example where two young women dressed seemingly in doctor’s white coats, maybe they were doctors from the UK and taking part in the UK doctors strike, were avidly cleaning a clean window outside Prada and at times hoovering the pavement or sidewalk. All the time being watched by a woman dressed in black. The beggars and those sleeping rough did have their “beds” on the pavement outside these shops and to the credit of German society I saw no attempt to move these people on.
Walking around Hamburg is a pleasurable and easy thing and my Fitbit told me that I had easily done my 10,000 steps before early afternoon. The canals are pleasant on the eye, and not unlike Amsterdam in many regards. Travelling around seems simple, with the exception that the Underground runs overground looking like the Docklands Light Railway in the UK.
Everywhere one looked there were interesting things ranging from a sluice in the centre of the city, locks adorning railings and numerous coloured flags.
One monument that in fact was a memorial to lives lost through war, looked uncannily like the “monument” in 2001 A Space Odyssey. If anyone remembers that curious start to the film.
The Rathaus and the surrounding area were busy with tourists and a nice walking area, with shops nearby. Hamburg is a city well worth visiting and this view is shared by people far more eminent than myself, Karl Lagerfeld and John Lennon.
Whitstable are currently very much bottom of the Ryman South as of February 2016 and before their away game at Molesey had won 4 of their 33 games and had conceded 89 goals in the process. Despite this misery there wasa decent contingent of Whitstable fans in the crowd of 63.
The Whitstable away support was in fact more noisy than the Molesey support most of the games with some curious chants, the most perplexing for me was the chant ” We know who we are”. However it takes a lot of effort not to mention money to come and support your team when they are expected to lose , and lose badly. I have no doubt that the pints of alcohol helped enormously dull the pain of this new loss. a number of banners adorned the away end all game and even when losing were still happy to sing and support their team. This is real support and they get my admiration this weekend.
The son of Ray Lewington and a midfielder at Molesey FC in Ryman South. A few photos from a recent game versus Whitstable won 2-0 by Molesey FC. When I photograph a game there are always players who stand out, either visually, or by taking a combative role in the game, or sometimes facial expressions. It was not difficult to pick out Craig Lewington as one of those players. Not a natural goalscorer having scored a single goal in 133 games for Molesey.
For anyone not familiar with this non league territory, a Ryman South game between a team on the edge of the play offs and a team bottom of the table. Whitstable sit bottom of the table with 14 points and a negative goal difference of 53 having conceded 89 goals in 33 games of which they have won a mere 4. Maybe the result then was predictable with a 2-0 win for molasses but for large portions of the game the result could have been in favour of Whitstable.
The Whitstable away support was in fact more noisy than the Molesey support most of the games with some curious chants, the most perplexing for me was the chant ” We know who we are”. However it takes a lot of effort not to mention money to come and support your team when they are expected to lose , and lose badly. I have no doubt that the pints of alcohol helped enormously dull the pain of this new loss.
The game though was end to end, and both goals were scored by the strong Stafforde Palmer, the first a powerful header from a corner minutes after half-time and the second a solo run where he kept composure and slotted home nicely. Before this game the player statistics in the programme informed us that in 27 games he had scored 22 goals this season, and in his complete Molesey career 62 goals came from 66 games. At this level impressive. The other player to observe was Craig Lewington the son of Ray Lewington. A tough tackling midfielder previously with Walton Casuals.
Having watched a dire performance from Brentford on the previous evening it was refreshing that in front of a crowd of 63 both teams were able to show 90 minutes of hard work and commitment in blustery conditions. The food is also somewhat better and cheaper than that served at league grounds, and served too with a friendly face. the cost of getting in is only £8 and for me thats too cheap even at this level.
I dont know much of the real history of molesey but the ground looks in need of a makeover and if I understand things is due for some sort of redevelopment, however it is surrounded by new looking houses, some of which overlook the pitch alongside the terracing.
A lot comes out of North Korea, and most of it ranges from incredible to unbelievable however recent statements that they will later this month Feb 2016 launch a satellite bearing rocket needs taking seriously. Seemingly thats the views of the two major Japanese airlines too. All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines.
Pyonyang announced their window for this latest piece of joy to be between February 8th-25th at least that is what they notified the UN. However one hour ago it has been reported that this window has changed to 7th-14th. Indeed CNN report that North korea today Feb 6th may have started fuelling their rocket. So where is the missile likely to be heading? Currently missile parts and debris are expected to fall into the waters off the Phillipines. So planes that fly over these areas will get diverted.
Currently reported news suggests that the window of 8th-10th Feb is when it will likely launch. This has caused great excitement in USA even over Superbowl weekend. In anticipation of the North Korean launch in the coming days, the U.S. Navy has positioned a Japan-based guided-missile destroyer, outfitted with the latest anti-ballistic missile defense technology to successfully shoot down the missile if the U.S. military thinks it is a threat to the homeland. One always wonders who makes these decisions. A lot runs through my head including are they having a good day and do they have undiagnosed Adult ADHD.
Japan are also quite reasonably interested in this launch due to their proximity. Ahead of the expected launch, Japan has deployed PAC-3 missile batteries in the downtown Tokyo to shoot down any rocket debris.
So what do North Korea know about missile testing? My opinion is that not all is known and what we do think we know may be fallible, however there are known tests 1993-2014 and North Korea has also fired a number of short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan (East Sea of Korea), apparently as political gestures.
South Korea remain largely unimpressed by this missile launch. South Korea called the plan a “direct challenge against the international community,” and warned that North Korea would pay a “grave price” if it went ahead.
So should we be concerned? Frankly yes. Actions such as these from North Korea may lead to other later joy and happiness. But the real question is what exactly are they doing?
Though North Korea says it’s putting a satellite into orbit, the launch may be viewed as a front for a ballistic missile test.
U.S. officials have said the same type of rocket used to launch the satellite could also be used to fire a long-range missile.
On Feb 9th 2015 a year ago, Ray Mills, aged 66 years, was arrested on suspicion of killing his wife Linda Mills with knives and a hammer. Both were “known” to the local community in that residents saw them out and about, but both rarely spoke to anyone other than their next door neighbour. On June 8th 2015 Ray Mills died in Wandworth prison however this never was reported until 14th July.
Ray Mills never came to trial as three court hearings were adjourned as psychiatric reports were not available. Ray Mills thus had been in custody for four months before his death.
The news of his death came four days after coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox called for a formal investigation into the alarming number of deaths at Wandsworth Prison.
During a pre-inquest hearing into the suicides of two men who shared the same cell and hung themselves months apart, she said the inquest could not go on because of various “themes and common issues” of deaths at the UK’s largest prison.
Eleven men died at the category B prison last year – which she said was three times more than would be expected at a prison. It is not clear whether she knew about Mr Mills and whether his death was included in that figure.
The Ministry of Justice has yet to comment on how Mr Mills died in prison. And that is essentially where we are now.
The house remains in the same condition with a small padlock on the door and no signs of any activity or potential sale. One wonders as what might be happening inside of course.
An inquest into his death has been opened at Westminster Coroners’ Court. The case was due to be reviewed by a coroner on December 7. There is nothing reported regarding this inquest.
So one year on, Ray Mills must be presumed to have murdered his wife, however in the absence of a trial details and proof are unlikely to ever be known. The local residents are not so happy that the house remains closed and uncared for, and details of the cause of death of Ray Mills remain unknown, however one suspects that suicide must be one of the more likely possibilities.
Motspur Park remains a sleepy suburb, half in borough of Merton and the other half in the borough of Kingston. We must await further information.
Mills was awaiting trial at Isleworth Crown Court when he died at Wandsworth Prison on 8 June 2015. An inquest is to take place at Westminster Coroners Court on a date yet to be decided.
Motspur Park Train Station 2016