Saturday, September 3, 2016

A Big, Bright Mural

When Dave and I went down to Greenwich last weekend, we passed this colorful mural on a plywood barrier around a construction site. (The British call these barriers "hoardings," for reasons I have never fully understood. Are they hoarding whatever's inside the barrier?) I didn't see the artist's name anywhere -- or I'd give credit here -- but maybe someone else will know whose work this is.

That's the Emirates Air Line in the background, a cable car that crosses the Thames between North Greenwich and the Docklands area of East London. We rode it once, back when it first opened in July 2012. Apparently it's not being used as much as some had hoped, and there's recently been discussion about how to boost ridership -- from lowering fares and treating it more like plain old mass transit to offering champagne during the river crossing. Opposite ends of the spectrum, right?

The sun was working against me, here!

So, in other news, "All You Need is Love" went down just fine yesterday morning. We in the faculty/staff choir had fun singing, the kids clapped along, and everybody seemed to have a good time. Now that's done for another year.

Also, I did give in and sign up for French classes again. I am going to speak this language if it kills me. Or if it causes my souffle to fall or my Hollandaise to separate, or whatever the appropriate French metaphor for tragedy might be. The classes begin Sept. 17. I appreciated a fellow blogger's recent advice to "re-enroll and complain all you want, but visit France often." She's absolutely right. That kind of practice is exactly what I need. Also, I should complain in French.

Finally, my stepmother has indeed booked our family cruise. We're going for seven days from Tampa to Key West, Roatan, Belize and Cozumel, spending Christmas Day at sea. And we'll be back on Dec. 30, so we won't have to re-enact the early moments of "The Poseidon Adventure" (which, as you may recall, took place on New Year's Eve). We have a veranda cabin, or stateroom, or whatever it's called, which means we have a little balcony and big windows. As I told Dave, "Well, that should provide a stunning view as the ship rolls over!"

He's going to get really sick of my Poseidon Adventure jokes.


  1. I understand that the noun "hoarding" comes from an Old French word - "hourd" which is also connected with "hurdle". Not to be confused with the other, very different meaning of "hoarding" which comes from an old Germanic word - "hurt" meaning treasure.

    Your cruise cabin with balcony sounds fantastic and so does the itinerary. You lucky sod!

  2. What a generous gift your step-mother has arranged. That should be a nice cruise and a balcony cabin is the only way to go.
    I've never been to Greenwich but, it's on my list of places to visit on this next trip. In fact, I have quite a list of "never been to" places.

  3. Wow...Great of your stepmom and I know you'll all have a wonderful time! Love the colors in the mural.

  4. what fun. I love Cozumel and haven't been in ages. interesting imagery on the 'hoarding'. I wonder what it all means and what's with all the eyes.

  5. We may be in Cozumel for Christmas. Wouldn't that be wild if we could meet up with you and Dave while there?


    Bright and playful art! I love that about London , Thank you for the photos! Here, in this conservative hip corner, some body painted the little circumsized bollards as mushrooms, city painted over them because one must have a permit and pay cash to do anything artistic on the street. So now we are back to little grey penis's poking up from the street corners.
    Hope to see you in September,or October,or November- am running away! Wish it was also December, then I could mind OLGA and be Santa for her.

  7. Construction site people are getting cooler and cooler with their fence murals.

  8. YP: Interesting! I did not know that! You linguist you!

    Sharon: Yes, definitely check out Greenwich. Quite a lot to see!

    E: It is great of her.

    Ellen: Yeah, the eyes are definitely the dominant feature. I suppose if we knew anything about the artist we could see if that's a recurring theme for him/her.

    Ms Moon: WHAT?! That would be AMAZING! We've got to compare notes!

    Linda Sue: Thanks for the link! (For everyone else, it's to "The Lego Poseidon Adventure.") That's terrible about the bollards. Bureaucrats can be so tiring.

    Red: Aren't they?!

  9. Wow, a Christmas cruise! Love the itinerary. What cruise line?

  10. Very cool murals! Looking forward to hearing about the cruise after Christmas!

  11. Steve, when I lived with a French-speaking person and insisted he speak French to me all the time, I became fluent conversationally in less than six months. I still remember a lot of the language 37 years later and could carry on a fundamental conversation even now. Good luck to you. If I had a bucket list, living in a French-speaking home and community again would be at the top of it.

    I'm fairly new to your blog and it's well worth visiting every day. Glad to have found you.