Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Smile Coat

Yesterday was a half-day at work, spent mostly shelving books and checking them out to a few last-minute students. I left about 12:30 and went to a pub for lunch with some of Dave's coworkers. And now -- woo hoo! Vacation!

Here's another selection of iPhone photos, taken over the last few days. First, an interesting street in St. John's Wood. The post office near work has moved, and now I walk this alley each time I go to mail something. (Admittedly, not that often.)

This woman showed up in the library and I asked her if I could photograph her coat. She was French. It seems like the sort of stylish thing a French woman would wear.

This also showed up in the library. Graffiti at our school is virtually unheard of, but we had a group of students from other schools visiting one weekend and I suspect they were the source. It says "Purple. Yas queen slay." I thought they were just meaningless tags until I Googled the phrase, and it turns out to be the equivalent of "You go, girl" or "Work it, girl," originating in drag culture. The things you learn! Still, we removed it.

Balls in a cage!

Olga going after yet another cat on one of our walks. Yes, you've basically seen this picture before. Some things never change.

Shadows in the staff lounge at work. On the rare winter days when the sun is shining, we do get some dramatic lighting!

Olga's dog-sitter, Simone, is showing up this morning to take her for a walk. We thought this might help prepare Olga for her longer stay beginning on Monday. I think it's supposed to be rainy out there today, so she may not be all that enthused about going!


  1. I love the alley, so picturesque and clean and of course I love any photo with Olga.
    Enjoy your Holiday Steve.

  2. When you say that "we" cleaned off the graffiti, how many hands were involved? Did the job require the entire library team? Perhaps one sprayed, another rubbed and another wiped.

  3. the picture of the alley sort of reminds me of Portugal with their narrow cobblestone streets and the houses right on the edge of the street. I suppose that is SOP for Europe but it is so different to this American.

  4. You have an eye for beauty in the mundane. I can't tell you how much I enjoy your photos. I just do.

  5. Thanks to Ru Paul, I guess, drag culture is becoming quite large. The more color the better, I say!
    That coat is fabulous.

  6. I always love seeing your iPhone pics.

  7. ...and how did you get a photo of that interesting street without people in it?

  8. What an interesting street you found. It doesn't look like the typical mews street. This one looks planned. That is certainly an interesting coat. Those caged balls must have gotten out of control and someone must be watching RuPaul's Drag Race. I bet that cat just loves to get Olga all excited.

  9. I LOVE the little street, charming. Balls in jail, good idea. Olga must be getting used to you guys taking off by now. She will have a good time with your sitter, I predict. Safe travels, stay well! See you maybe in January if you are up for it.

  10. Would that street/alley be known as a "mews" in England?

  11. Your photos always tell stories.I especially love the one of the French lady in the Smile coat and Olga, of course, ever hopeful to catch a cat.

  12. I was amazed that your library still uses a card catalog, but looking at the tags, it looks like you store art and stationery supplies in them?
    Glue sticks and pencils?

    I miss flipping through a card catalog. Though of course electronic catalogs have a million advantages, they just don't feel nice on the fingers...

  13. Briony: Happy holidays to you too!

    YP: Surprisingly, it WAS a multi-person job! I tried to clean it off myself, using first soap and water and then Goo-Gone. Neither worked. (It's written in Sharpie permanent marker.) So I called maintenance and they sent someone with sandpaper. Now the top of the cabinet needs a touch-up to its finish.

    Ellen: Yes, it's so different from what we're used to in the states, where there's so much wide-open space! But as you said, SOP for Europe.

    Colette: Thank you! :)

    Ms. Moon: Absolutely. I think RuPaul has done the world a huge favor!

    Robin: Thanks!

    Red: It's actually not a busy street at all. There were only a few other people walking around when I was there.

    Sharon: It's definitely a mews but it's also a through-street from one block to the next. The neighborhood is pretty posh so it's clean and very well-maintained.

    Linda Sue: Absolutely! We'll see you then!

    Catalyst: It is indeed a mews, although the official name is Charles Lane -- and not Charles Mews. No idea why.

    Elizabeth: Olga is the living embodiment of try, try again!

    Fresca: Yes, my predecessors saved a tiny piece of the card catalog and we use it to store supplies! Most of it is gone, though. There was a certain charm to the old cards, definitely!

  14. That street looks like a storybook place, so manicured. I wonder about the life behind those doors. That photo inspires stories.