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Aborigines


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There has been a hiatus here as a result of a broadband outage.

Here however is what passes as vegetables at Tokyo Sushi in Romford.

aborigines


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Boar’s Head Ceremony


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Worshipfuls saying cheese.

boar1w

By chance I was near Regent’s Park just before this year’s Boar’s Head ceremony started at 15.40 from Oat Lane. The Worshipful Company of Butchers process through the smaller City streets to Mansion House. This is not the real boar’s head, though – apparently they do send one but are not allowed to parade with it, so papier mâché has to do.

boar2w

Here they are turning into Gresham Street:

boar3w


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Joan Littlewood


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Statue outside the Theatre Royal in Stratford is apparently new. Yesterday she would have been 101.

jlw1

jl2w

Roger Lewis writes:

If Stalin had been a theatre director he’d have resembled Joan Littlewood. …Joan dismissed every one of the Redgraves (‘How do these untalented people make it?’) and when she saw Flora Robson, Cedric Hardwicke and Ralph Richardson, she was ‘appalled’. Shakespeare didn’t quite make the grade, because ‘too politically middle-of-the-road’, and neither did the second world war impress her, as it was ‘large, boring’.

(Newham Recorder)


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Bank holiday weekend in Cranham


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tesco cranham

tesco-cranham-2


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Out of the eater came forth meat


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Baking Britain Golden. Tate & Lyle sugar factory, Factory Road, Silvertown.

tate_and_lyle_pano

tate_and_lyle

LATER NOTE: There is a better photograph here – black and white, and the photographer must have gone round the back. I’ll have to work on it!


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German Deli – Huh?


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gdeli1w

It looks as if German Deli is waiting for the next Olympics.

germandeli2w

huhw

They do have a special offer on Limburger cheese, best before date 28th July. I’m not a great eater of Limburger cheese, and am surprised it has a best before date at all. Also an offer on Halberstädter Wurstsoljanka. It is also the place to get your Sahnesteif, or indeed the Great German Bake-Off Hamper (don’t think Paul and Mary would think much of this one) and pseudo Currywurst pack.

There is apparently also a shop here at Stratford.


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The Pool of Bethesda


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bethesdaw

Paintings by William Hogarth on the staircase in the North Wing at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, the Good Samaritan on the left and the Pool of Bethesda on the right, figures probably based on patients at the hospital at that time – possibly showing rickets, mastitis/breast cancer, gout, syphilis, gonorrhoea, jaundice/depression, obesity, emaciation. Unfortunately you need a guided tour to be let in to see them properly. The easiest way to see the figures is in this plate, made available by www.albion-prints.com here:

hogarth-1822-lg-folio.-the-pool-of-bethesda-59164-p[ekm]416x312[ekm]

Larger version

Here’s more detail:

The central protagonist is the man unable to reach the pool to be healed on account of a chronic ulcerous wound on his leg. The painting shows a scene from The Gospel According to St John, in which a man that has been unable to walk for many years is healed by Jesus. Much like St Bartholomew’s temple on The Tiber in Rome, Jerusalem’s Pool of Bethesda was thought to have healing properties. On occasion, the water would become disturbed and this was believed to be by an angel, who can be seen at the top of the painting, departing having made a pass over the water. Whomever entered the pool after the waters had settled again would be exposed to its healing properties. The man unable to walk was alone and no one would help him to the pool’s edge. Jesus took pity on him and healed him without the need of the water’s powers. So here he is, beneath Jesus’ kindly gaze. His physical stature has often been remarked upon and more recently it has been suggested that he is suffering from Myotonia Congenita, causing enlarged but weak muscles and ulcerous wounds. Others hold that it is a reflection of the influence that Hogarth took from the classical style of painting. Behind him is a mother holding a child with rickets, depicting the pronounced forehead, curved spine and inflamed joints of the disorder as described in the 18th Century. The fidelity of this portrayal may reflect Hogarth’s friendship with John Freke, a surgeon at Barts that trained Percivall Pott’s mentor, Edward Nourse. Freke had written on the subject of rickets in 1748 and may have provided Hogarth with the information and possibly even a model for its accurate portrayal. Although a diagnosis of rickets certainly makes sense, others have suggested the differential diagnosis of congenital syphillis – common in Hogath’s time and an illness that would also fit the bill.

The Gentle Author has also dealt with this picture in detail at Spitalfields Life, but seems less impressed than I am: Hogarth at St Bartholomew’s Hospital:

I cannot avoid the conclusion that “Jesus at the Pool of Bethesda” was a misdirection for Hogarth. It has more bathos than pathos. He aspired to be an artist in the high classical style, yet we love Hogarth for his satires and his portraits. … Far from proving that an English artist could excel at the grand historical style,”Jesus at the Pool of Bethesda” illustrates why this mode never suited the native temperament. All the qualities that make this painting interesting, the human drama and pitiful ironies, are out of place in the idealised landscape that suited the tastes of our continental cousins.


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The seven noses of Soho guided walk


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Happy New Year to all readers and I wish you the infinite wealth which you may or may not get after seeing all seven noses in Soho on Peter Berthoud‘s tour – recommended. Do not fall for anyone offering you ‘six noses of Soho’ at a reduced rate. This is a pale copy and, what’s more, ineffective. The Peter Berthoud walk was not just about the noses and went all over Soho and beyond in two hours as the weather got drier and the skies gloomier.

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We saw one of the altered traffic signs not yet spotted and reversed by Westminster Council:

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I’d seen one in Brick Lane before. But I didn’t know they were a set and were the work of Clet Abraham, a French artist. There’s an interview with him in the Huffington Post.

The noses proper were the work of Rick Buckley, but because he didn’t out himself at first, stories grew up around them.


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Posted in London, photos
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