Thursday 19 September 2013

Stopping for a Pint in Old Tom's Bar, Leadenhall Market, in the City of London



The City's symbol is a dragon, bearing the red cross of Saint George, patron saint of England.
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Friday 13 September 2013


Hot off the Press: My KI Visa application, to enter the United States as the Fiance of the Red Dirt Girl, with the requirement of then marrying within 90 days of entry to the U.S.A. has been granted as of about 12 mid-day today.

Provisional date of flight is 14th October 2013, provisional date of wedding 24th October 2013.

I am the happiest person you can imagine, today, after all this time, there's not just a glimmer at the end of the tunnel, I'm out in the sunlight.

She's also the happiest person you can imagine, I phoned her at about 6:15 her a.m. to tell her the momentous news.

There'll be another post later.

Cue the Happy Dance!


Thursday 12 September 2013

Walking in the Wild West End.

Stepping out to Angellucci's for my coffee beans
Checking out the movies and the magazines
Waitress she watches me crossing from the Barocco Bar
I get a pickup for my steel guitar
I saw you walking out Shaftesbury Avenue
Excuse me talking I wanna marry you
This is the seventh heaven street
Don't you seem so proud
You're just another angel in the crowd

And I'm
Walking in the wild west end
Walking in the wild west end
Walking with your wild best friend

And now my conductress on the number nineteen, She was a honey
Pink toenails and hands all, dirty with the money
Greasy easy Greasy hair, easy smile
Made me feel nineteen for a while

And I went down to, Cha, Cha, uh, uh, Chinatown
In the backroom it's a man's world
All the money go down
Duck inside the doorway, duck to eat
Just ain't no way,
You and me, we can beat

Walking in the wild west end
Walking in the wild west end
Walking with your wild best friend

Now ah, a gogo, dancing girl, yes I saw her
The deejay, he say, here's Mandy for ya
I feel alright, saying now, Do that stuff
She's dancing high I move on by
The close ups can get rough

When you're
Walking in the wild west end
Walking in the wild west end
Walking with'cha wild best friend

Walking it, Walking it
I'm in London again, big day tomorrow. 
So, for some reason, all the budget hotels were full, including the one I'd checked out a month ago, so I'm staying at the Thistle, Marble Arch, on Oxford street. 6 minutes walk to the U.S. Embassy.
I'm up on the balcony floor, about three rooms this side of the centre.

This new beached whale thing, almost opposite.
In the distance, in the east, the Gherkin, and other high-rise buildings around the City of London. 

The greenery is Hyde Park. The Marble Arch is below the sight-line.
And I've been walking, walking, walking to New Orleans... No, I mean, Walking in the Wild West End, but I'll find Walking to New Orleans too....

So, I checked out the route to my interview, wandered back by way of Selfridges, where I saw some ridiculous things....

There's a bit at the west end called the Wonder Room, where a load of high-end bling sellers set up their stalls. Like gold bling cellphones at £6,600.
Rolex Breitling Tiffany Cartier Hermes..... How about an Ostrich-Leather travel-bag, with Swarovski Crystals? £10,500............................................

Where else could you buy a  toy sports car for your kids and drop 24 and a half thousand pounds on it?

Rock Star, baby!

The Malay Chicken Curry on the top floor was good though.
Back to the hotel for a shower and snooze, then out, just wandering vaguely south-east toward Piccadilly Circus.
Watching the world and starting to feel hungry, so to Chinatown but HORROR OF HORRORS!  Lee Ho Fooks is no longer there. I'd been eating there since even before Warren Zevon included it in 'Werewolves of London', and it's GONE!
So I had to pig out at Mr Wu's all you can eat buffet instead.

I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
Walkin' through the streets of Soho in the rain
He was lookin' for the place called Lee Ho Fooks
Gonna get a big dish of beef chow mein
Aaahoo! Werewolves of London
Aaahoo! Werewolves of London
Ya hear him howlin' around your kitchen door
Ya better not let him in
Little old lady got mutilated late last night
Werewolves of London again
Aaahoo! Werewolves of London
Aaahoo! Werewolves of London
He's the hairy, hairy gent, who ran amok in Kent
Lately he's been overheard in Mayfair
You better stay away from him
He'll rip your lungs out Jim
Huh, I'd like to meet his tailor
Aaahoo! Werewolves of London
Aaahoo! Werewolves of London
Well, I saw Lon Chaney walkin' with the queen
Doin' the werewolves of London
I saw Lon Chaney Jr. walkin' with the queen
Doin' the werewolves of London
I saw a werewolf drinkin' a pina colada at Trader Vic's
And his hair was perfect
Aaahoo! Werewolves of London
Draw blood
Aaahoo! Werewolves of London

Then I went north-ish, across Shaftesbury Avenue, through Soho, across Oxford Street again, found a Sam Smith's pub, sat outside in the warm evening drinking a pint of Old Brewery Bitter. North a bit more then westish, Harley Street, Oh, Bentinck street, I walked past the place where I had my medical... westish, regent street, northish to Nash's splendid

Langham Place, the BBC and a light beaming into the clouds, westerly more, bit by bit to Portland Place, found some interesting little streets, restaurants and pubs, galleries to peer in windows.

New Alfa Romeo, first decent looking car they've built since the seventies,

And so, eventually, back to my hotel. I'm all ready. Papers in a folder. otherwise empty pockets, no belt, no phones, no coins tomorrow, I want no drama with the security screening.

So, I'll just insert some photos in this, and go to sleep until my 6:30 a.m. wake-up call.

Oh, and as we're in Memphis now: I can't resist adding Chuck Berry's rocking little tear-jerker of a song.


(C. Berry) Long distance information give me Memphis, Tennessee Help me find the party, tried to get in touch with me She would not leave a number but I know who placed the call 'cause my uncle took a message and he wrote it on the wall Help me information get in touch with my Marie She's the only one who'd call me here from Memphis, Tennessee Her home is on the south side, high up on the ridge Just a half-a-mile from the Mississippi bridge Last time I saw Marie she was wavin' me goodbye With "hurry home" drops on her cheek that trickled from her eye But we were pulled apart because her Mom did not agree And tore apart our happy home in Memphis, Tennessee Help me information, more than that I cannot add Only that I miss her and all the fun we had Marie is only six years old, information please Try to put me through to her in Memphis, Tennessee.
7th floor lobby

I'm down here, about halfway to the horizon, on the left.
G'night All.

Monday 9 September 2013

The Temptation of St Hilarion.

The Temptation of St Hilarion, Dominique Papety (1815 - 1849), The Wallace Collection, London

Hilarion was an anchorite, a saint whose daily life consisted of living frugally, in the wilderness.

"At his first entering on this penitential life he renounced the use of bread; and for six years together his whole diet was fifteen figs a day, which he never took till sunset. When he felt the attacks of any temptation of the flesh, being angry with himself and beating his breast, he would say to his body, "I will take order, thou little ass, that thou shalt not kick; I will feed thee with straw instead of corn; and will load and weary thee, that so thou mayest think rather how to get a little bit to eat than of pleasure." He then retrenched part of his scanty meal, and sometimes fasted three or four days without eating; and when after this he was fainting, he sustained his body only with a few dried figs and the juice of herbs. At the same time, praying and singing, he would be breaking the ground with a rake, that his labour might add to the trouble of his fasting. His employment was digging or tilling the earth, or, in imitation of the Egyptian monks, weaving small twigs together with great rushes in making baskets whereby he provided himself with the frugal necessaries of life. During the first four years of his penance he had no other shelter from the inclemencies of the weather than a little hovel or arbour which he made himself of reeds and rushes which he found in a neighbouring marsh, and which he had woven together. Afterwards he built himself a little cell, which was still to be seen in St. Jerome's time; it was but four feet broad and five feet in height, and was a little longer than the extent of his body, so that a person would have rather taken it for a grave than a house. During the course of his penance he made some alteration in his diet, but never in favour of his appetites. From the age of twenty-one he for three years lived on a measure which was little more than half a pint of pulse steeped in cold water a-day; and for the next three years his whole food was dry bread with salt and water. From his twenty-seventh year to his thirty-first he ate only wild herbs and raw roots; and from thirty-one to thirty-five he took for his daily food six ounces of barley bread a day, to which he added a few kitchen herbs, but half boiled and without oil. But perceiving his sight to grow dim and his body to be subject to an itching with an unnatural kind of scurf and roughness, he added a little oil to this diet. Thus he went on till his sixty-fourth year when, conceiving by the decay of his strength that his death was drawing near, he retrenched even his bread, and from that time to his eightieth year his whole meal never exceeded five ounces. When he was fourscore years of age there were made for him little weak broths or gruels of flour and herbs, the whole quantity of his meat and drink scarce amounting to the weight of four ounces. Thus he passed his whole life; and he never broke his fast till sunset, not even upon the highest feasts or in his greatest sickness."

Still, it seems, despite his filthy sackcloth, and his stinky diet of lentils, women sought him out. He, being a convinced mortifier of the flesh, was thoroughly unwelcoming to them, assuming they were temptations sent by satan.

Now let me see. If I'd been living in a cave forever, eating a bowl of lentils a day, all by my lonesome self?
And this young lady turned up, with a banquet of fresh produce, and a jug of wine? And she stretched, languidly, murmuring "My hands were full, so I had to  wear the tablecloth... Skootch over and I'll...."

I would have given in, in a heartbeat.
That's why there's no Saint Soubriquet.

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My Starter Won't Start this Morning....

Lightnin' Hopkins.

Sunday 8 September 2013

Evidence of Bigfoot

Big feet in St Pancras' Station

A giant shoe, made of stainless-steel saucepans.
I have no idea whatsoever what the subtext or rationale for this is.

If it was supposed to sell shiny pans to the pointy-heeled, I doubt it would be successful.
As for me, I can't even remember where it was. Somewhere to the north of Mayfair?

Update: Sculpture 'Marilyn', by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos  -see below:

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