Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “art”

What Is This Starter? Can Anyone Guess?


This was a starter on a menu in Glasgow Marriott. An unusual option. I chose it and ate it. Delicious . But can anyone work out what it is?

Glasgow Chemical Spillage ? Hilton Hotel Anderston Thursday Afternoon


At the back of the Hilton hotel at Anderston around 2 pm there were two fire engines in attendance spraying . It looked like a spillage that was being neutralised. Relating to a lorry parked there presumably .

A group of workers are now clearing up the materials. Clearly folks were evacuated from either the Hilton or from the adjacent building . Around 2.45 pm they were allowed to return .

Seemingly meaningless Graffiti. Any ideas what it means?


Whilst traveling one comes across a lot of graffiti. Some of it great, some pure art, some vandalism and some of it simply strange.

I have no idea what these sets of graffiti mean. One was painted on a park bench and the other on a metal container .

Berlin is Clean. No rubbish. No mess. So why are Merton and Kingston not the same? A change in direction for Recycling and Rubbish collection is needed in Europe


Each day social media is full of posts about the rubbish and mess that abounds in Merton and other localities. I don’t seek these posts they are there in their droves . Just search for #muckymerton and see what emerges.

The pattern is too familiar. Fewer collections of any type, rubbish dumped at bins , rubbish just dumped. End result is a total mess and more rats. I have seen more rats this year 2018 than in the combined 20+ years I have been living in the area. This is not even mentioning the mess foxes make . Take a walk through any Merton area around midnight to 5 am and the foxes are having a party. They are breeding well and in our area Monday night is festival night for them. Folks put their rubbish out for a Tuesday collection and the foxes firstly collect it then spread it over whole streets. We must accept that we are partially at fault here as asked to put rubbish out by 6 am . And everyone loves getting up at 6 am to do this.

Merton has been trialling things that are certainly unconventional. In the face of ever increasing mess and litter in some areas and parks they are removing waste bins and replacing them with , well, nothing.

I am no refuse disposal expert but then clearly neither are the council. But what I do see is other cities and towns in Europe that are devoid of rubbish and clean despite having far more citizens and visitors. Earlier this year I wrote a post on Ljubljana in Slovenia where underground rubbish and recycling bins provide an excellent solution.

https://arcticterntalk.org/2018/06/26/recycling-made-easy-in-ljubljana-a-lesson-for-uk-councils/amp/

The collection is also simpler with workers not having to handle any of the lovely rubbish and recycling.

What prompted me to write this article today is Berlin. This is summer . Tourist peak season. Temperatures around 34c . Yet walking to some business appointments there is no rubbish. Bins are either empty or certainly not full. Containers like small skips allow rubbish and recycling to be collected. Maybe the mentality is better too. Less fly tipping and discarding aimlessly of rubbish. Simply Berlin is clean. Whatever systems are used and funded Merton and other councils could do worse than learning about and adopting .

Following my post on Ljubljana I learned that such underground recycling and rubbish collection facilities are available in parts of Southern Spain and Northern England. This is not futuristic thinking its plain common sense and needs funding and adoption.

To me the way things are going in Merton, watching rats run free next to roads , rubbish piled up and bins overflowing, we have a system that is not working and in many regards is not unlike London in the 1700’s. Whoever decides , funds and is accountable is failing the residents. The better step is adoption of change , not reducing collections . Look for alternative options. Otherwise, I can see legal challenges from residents who pay their council taxes. We are traveling right now in the wrong direction.

Very Interesting Room Service at Radisson Blu Belfast


While travelling one sees curious things, people and foods. To find this version of room service this morning is up there with the most curious.

My guess is a kind friend left breakfast for someone. Or is it the cheapest breakfast ?

Brentford overcome the anti-football team Ipswich town


The game itself was a hard fought fairly dire at times 1-0 win resulting from a penalty that might not have been given on some days. Brentford continue their march towards a play-off place, which is unlikely but certainly possible. 00002387

The game was sad to watch really . Ipswich came with no intent to actually play football and were the definition of anti-football. Many photos show some of the pulling and pushing, and although no side are angels, this was frankly quite bad. All the things I can recall from old division 4 football when playing some of the teams like Workington and Bradford PA.  There was endless pushing, pulling, shirt pulling, general fouling and little else. Much of the Ipswich training manual must consist of where to run to get a new tattoo judging by the decor on view.

00002430 The Ipswich fans generally did not much like McCarthy and many wonder why he has not walked now rather than announce his grand exit for the end of the season. If this is his style, then Sir Bobby Robson will be turning rather more in his grave than some of the Ipswich strikers did during the game.  I recall Ipswich well as a child and my claim to fame was spending time at Sir Bobby’s house ( where the lawn was in fact the extra turf from Portman Road following a build of a new stand), having him cook breakfasts ( they were superb) and him getting me into games by telling the turnstile guys I was an Ipswich youth player. But I also recall that they played real football back then. McCarthy

Luke Hyam received the expected welcome based on his nasty tackle two years ago, but more so on his refusal to apologise. Frankly he was poor and there was nothing to really show why he had been restored to the team. Alan Judge made his first home start also since his leg break. hyam00002391

I found the Ipswich fans generally amusing with chants like ” we are the numbskulls” presumably in reference to comments from McCarthy. McCarthy cut a sad looking figure, not so tall as I had imagined and generally looking worn down. This surely will be his last football tenure.

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The game itself had few clearcut chances from either team, though towards the end Dan Bentley made some excellent saves, that are probably routine for him. Brentford lacked creativity in midfield and seemed to miss Flo Jo. For me yet again Josh McCeachran looked average at best and not maybe the standards we need next season.  Yoann Barbet looked a composed footballer but needs to reduce the number of bad passes that accompany his array of excellent ones. The left back berth is his to keep until next season. Romaine Sawyers certainly had his most physical game for Bees and the fact he was marking Hyam may have had something to do with that. His push on Hyam almost into the dugout in the early minutes set the tone for him. He also defended far more than most Bees fans realise, including myself. It is only when looking at defensive photos that I noticed how often he is there often behind the central defenders. 000024111K4A1593

Some Bees fans still think we have a chance of the playoffs but for me we are in the top 10 teams but not the top 6.  Bees lack the physicality to be a play off team and the points dropped against the “big” sides are what has cost us in addition to the missed chances. The recent “addition” of Chris Mepham has helped hugely. 00002469

The look that Martyn Waghorn gives Chris Mepham here is priceless. Lastly, did anyone else notice Mick McCarthy and Nico Yennaris having a cosy chat while they walked out before the start of the game. Anything in that at all?

As always Barbet is an extra spirit in the side and adds something that is immeasureable. For me he might be the next Brentford captain. Barbet

Having said all that we did win and we do still have a chance of the playoffs. Onwards and upwards……

Fall Out Boy At O2. Beyond Brilliant


It’s more difficult than one can imagine to entertain 17,000 folks with the right mix of songs.

Even when these folks are avid fans. Fall Out Boy contrived to do this brilliantly . A few reasons why

  1. Only one excellent quality support band . Against the Current. No need for multiple poor bands to fill time, these guys played maybe 35 minutes and were great
  2. The stage set was unique in that the background to the band was an ever changing colourful visual .
  3. The band played 2 songs effectively on a raised stage in the middle of the auditorium. Meaning that even those souls in the Sky got some close ups . A walkway also allowed the band to dance through the crowd in a kind of sensible non contact crowd surfing.
  4. The set list was a mixture of old and new with even the odd almost acoustic number
  5. They sounded great. Vocals were superb and the sound very complete.
  6. They played 90 minutes so not overdoing their welcome including an excellent encore.

All in all a great evening in what is now London’s best large music venue

Black and White Photography. The Forgotten Art


Just looking through magazines and newspapers it seems colour photography is the only form needed. But take a moment to consider the change that comes into a photograph when it is viewed in black and white.

Some key aspects to good black and white photography include

  1. Choosing a suitable subject matter. Not all subject matters lend themselves to black and white format. No precise rules exist .
  2. Focus. Generally a good depth of field of minimum f 10. Clarity of the image can be critical in its interpretation
  3. Contrast. In general terms a little greater contrast can be helpful. Not at all an absolute rule though as you can see from one of my examples below.

Here are a few examples of recent photos where black and white has changed the whole aura and interpretation of a photograph .

Sometimes my aim is to deliberately convey an old looking feel that the photo could have been taken many years ago.

These photos are in fact some of my favourite photos from last year .

Black and white photography allows so much experimentation that it should be considered routine in any Photoshoot .

A Day In Eilat-thoughts and photos


Eilat is the southernmost city in Israel sitting at the northern tip of the Red Sea with a population of around 50,000. Eilat is a popular tourist resort with regular flights from Tel Aviv as almost a shuttle service from Israel amongst other airlines. The diving options there are plentiful with unspoiled coral reefs and Eilat is regarded as  one of the world’s top diving centres. 0000189200001895

With only a few hours to see any of the city here are a few photographs that try to give a feel to the place. The temperatures are high being 30c even in early March and the beaches are a mixture of pebble stones with some sand. The only aspect that did not engage me though was the widespread usage of wire fences, sometimes with barbed wire to separate the promenade from the beach. 00001885

The food was amazing with fresh fruits and vegetables in abundance but with the odd curious aspect. At breakfast despite there being tomatoes on the buffets, the omelette chef did not allow tomatoes in his omelettes!00001903

 

The hotels seemed almost carved out of the hillside and the views from my room were quite unique.

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The beaches were fairly traditional with beach beds but also some more curious areas to sit. Some of the Eilat industry was also not too far away.

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A Restaurant Called Alice. Alice Ristorante Milan. Simply Beyond Brilliant


I am as far from being a restaurant critic as it is possible to be. Having been summoned to a Milan restaurant as part of a group of people one has little idea of what the food will be like and often the style of the food.

Alice Ristorante is situated in a complex with the cute sounding Eataly Milano Smeraldo name. Arriving at the door it seems one has arrived at the Milan equivalent of Waitrose. A large food store selling on three levels various Italian foods. Tucked away on the top floor was Alice Ristorante. A medium size restaurant overlooking the main street where the only obvious landmark was the taxi rank.

The food and the service was beyond brilliant. The group had been pre ordered a menu with accompanying wines.

Depending upon how one counts courses we seemed to have seven. Some of the dishes are best described by looking at the menu here. The only obvious dishes were the excellent sea bass and the risotto.

I cannot recall a better meal. The service was attentive without being overpowering. The white wines were perfectly chilled. The food looked and tasted superb. Cost? I have no idea.

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