Saturday, December 5, 2020

The Noble Lion


Here's another interesting old building from my recent walk through Kilburn. It looks a bit down and out at the moment. That retail space on the bottom floor seems to be closed. If I remember correctly, it used to be a nightclub or bar before it was "Soul Store West," whatever that was/is. Before that it was a pub called the Westbury.


The building once housed the Red Lion, one of Kilburn's oldest pubs. Hence the lion on the top floor, still looking rather imperial! Last I heard, there are plans to turn the building into a backpacker hostel.

There's not a lot of news around here. Dave and I have been walking back and forth to work each day, as usual, kvetching about politics on the way and about work on the way home. It makes the walk go pretty fast -- and we kvetch with humor, not mean-spiritedly, so it's actually a way to make light of all the world's frustrations.

As I understand it, the British government plans to begin rolling out a Covid vaccine next week. I'm sure Dave and I won't be on the front lines -- medical workers and nursing home residents will rightly be among the first to receive it, I believe -- but we both agree that we'll readily take it when it's offered. Neither of us have any qualms about it. I know some people are squirrelly because it's new, but it's not like it hasn't been tested. I'm satisfied it won't kill us.

We're supposed to get some freezing weather tomorrow night, so some time this weekend I need to start bringing in plants, and deciding what to save and what to let go. I'm also hoping to make some headway on my reading. I don't know what's wrong with me lately, but I've had a terrible time applying myself to books and magazines. I think the election, which fueled my need to constantly check up on the news, has destroyed my attention span!

51 comments:

  1. How was it about the US election or keeping up with COVID news? Doom scrolling. 'Word' of the year somewhere.

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    1. Yeah, Covid was definitely part of it too. I like that term -- "doom scrolling."

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  2. I have never heard the word "kvetch" before. If you are going to start using obscure Yiddish words in your blog may I suggest that you have a glossary at the end of each post? Alternatively, you should consider dropping English entirely and begin writing exclusively in Yiddish. The blog title will need to be changed to "Shotns aun Likht".

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    1. Obscure? Nah. YP, you never having heard of kvetch and its joys comes from living up North and in the Hinterland. Considering where Yiddish originated I have known the likes of kvetsch, chutzpah, not to mention meshugge, from before I set foot into Kindergarten. To further your education (it might come in handy during your next pub quiz), in the motherland there is another spelling (same pronunciation though slightly different meaning) "quetschen" (verb). Think squeeze (as in lemon). And then there is "Quatsch" (noun) which means nonsense. Same difference. And anyone who is blessed with Jewish blood will know that they have made kvetch(ing) into an artform. I feel quite homesick now.

      U

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    2. Thank You Lavern And Shirley

      Cheers

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    3. It's interesting how Yiddish has entered the popular lexicon in the USA. And yes, "Laverne & Shirley" and other TV shows probably had something to do with it! I use lots of Yiddish words -- kvetch, tchotchke, chutzpah, schlep, putz and schmuck (the latter two dirty words in Yiddish but acceptable in English) come to mind.

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    4. I know all those Jewish words except for tchotchke. I just checked and I can kind of remember it now I've seen its definition.

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  3. Awww the advantage of being old and feeble, I may be first inline for the double jab! Of course here in murka, we likely will not be getting vaccine until fall. No body knows.
    The lion is magnificent and the building , worth keeping up. All it takes is a bit of cash.

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    1. We're rolling it out quickly but I'm sure it will take forever to make it available to everyone.

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  4. You are right, Steve. You, Dave, indeed my undeserving self, will not be in the frontline. Let's thank our lucky stars. Since the government can't do a pirouette without a U-turn we are now "reliably" informed that despite last week's pronouncements it'll be the old and even older to do the first run. You can't beat the logic. On the perch already? Let them drop.

    Steve, you are one of life's good guys. Which is why I hope my comment isn't too much of a kvetch(ing).

    U

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    1. Dave will probably be before me, because of his underlying health issues with Crohn's and the medication he takes, which tamps down his immune system. And rightly so.

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  5. We're in complete agreement about the vaccine. Will start here in January and priorities have been mapped out. I love that building. It would be wonderful to see it lovingly restored.

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    1. It's a cool building but as John observed below, it's also a bit odd. I actually much prefer the one they tore down to build this one -- it's visible at one of the linked articles.

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  6. I will definitely take the vaccine.

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  7. It’s asymmetry makes it uncomfortable

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    1. It IS a strange structure, isn't it? It replaced a smaller and much prettier building, visible in one of the linked articles.

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  8. We too will take the vaccine when it comes our way.
    My attention span is the same. I am struggling with Obama's memoir- not because it is dense or uninteresting but because I actually have to concentrate to read it. I do not like this new development in my brain.

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    1. Me neither! I've always been such a reader and I'm having a terrible time focusing.

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  9. I'll take the vaccine as well but I doubt it will be offered to me soon though I think us older folk have some sort of priority. as for concentrating on reading, I thought my obsession with the news would end after the election and Biden's win but still spend to much of my reading time online. if I manage to get 30 minutes in a day reading my current book I'm doing well. consequently all my books have fines once I get them returned.

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    1. Thirty minutes would be great for me! I'm on the computer all the time nowadays.

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  10. I figured I'd be high up for the vaccine, considering my age and health issues. But the New York Times had a tool yesterday whereby one could put in several facts about one's self and then learn where one stands in the line. Turns out there would be 15,200 people in my county getting the stick before me!

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    1. There are a lot of vulnerable people out there!

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  11. What a gorgeous building. it could be so many things, but a hostel is a good choice, as long as they don't alter the fa├žade,

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    1. It may have historic protection, I'm not sure. They definitely need to leave the lion -- that's the most interesting part of the whole building!

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  12. With you on the lack of an attention span when it comes to reading lately. Have a huge stack of books to be read, including Obama's, but keep listening to mindless audiobooks to distract myself from the insanity that is our life these days (especially since I live near DC). The national news is our local news--not that I watch TV--but I do read the papers. Like reading about multiple train wrecks every day.

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    1. At least an audiobook is a book! You're doing better than I am.

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  13. That's a very fancy old building. It looks like each story became less in height.

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    1. I wonder if the top story housed servants or staff members at the pub?

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  14. I love that you and Dave kvetch on the way to work. I so love Yiddish and am so glad that I grew up with Yiddish being spoken so often by my extended family.
    Roger and I plan on taking the vaccine when it's offered here. It may take a while for me to get one, I have no pre-existing conditions and am not an essential worker. Won't it be wonderful to finally live without the fear and dread of this virus.

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    1. Yiddish is very handy! I only know the most popular Yiddish terms but I use them all the time! It's very New York.

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  15. You certainly aren't the only one having a hard time keeping your attention on a book. I think it is our stressful times of politics and pandemics but I'm the same. I've been working on the same book for three weeks now.
    I will be interested to hear how the vaccine roll-out works over there. Will you get it from your doctor or will there be some sort of distribution center. It's a massive project.
    That building is gorgeous. Was the Red Lion really established in 1444? Amazing.

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    1. I have no idea how distribution is going to work. I think it remains to be seen. As for the pub, one of the articles I linked to says it can't actually be documented back that far -- but they can document it to the 1600s.

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  16. I don't have any trouble reading but need lighter fare to distract myself. I'm hoping to get the vaccine soon!(although I'm ONLY 64)

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    1. I could probably use some lighter fare. I'm not crazy about this Dickens book I'm reading at the moment.

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  17. We have decided we will take the vaccine when it is offered, too. My son will be among the first to get it in NYC. I think we're all distracted right now. Books pile up on our nightstands.

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    1. Yeah, your son is certainly a prime candidate as an emergency worker, though at least he's young and healthy!

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  18. I experienced the same short-term attention span for reading a few years ago when my dad was in a nursing home and I was working every day and visiting him every evening. I didn't have time to read books, just short pieces in the news and blog posts. I had to actually force myself to read something longer once Dad had passed away and I had more time again. Now I read two, sometimes three books a week. Our son had the same problem when he went back to school. He wasn't used to reading anything of length, but as time went by he was more able to focus on longer text. So I think what you are describing is definitely a thing that happens with our brains.

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    1. I guess there are times in all our lives when we're just too busy or distracted. I'd be THRILLED to be getting through two or three books a week!

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  19. we are all very disturbed with this political mess more so of the pandemic. i have been sleeping a lot trying to stay away from the news. i try watching the local news and there the ugly trump face showing up there. i heard on inarguration day he wii be holding a rally to run for President again. He is also trying to pardon his children and himself. I think something crooked has happen with them and he is afraid when Joe and all his experienced associates take over they wii find out what happened crooked. we ask ourselves when eill the mess end.

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    1. Yeah, I also heard Trump is going to put on some kind of show on inauguration day. I think everyone should ignore it. The surest way to make that guy go away is to not pay him any attention, because like all bullies, that's what he lives for.

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  20. My attention span is ruined, too much twitter and short form news articles. I used the NYT tool that Catalyst mentioned, and I am far, far down the line for the vaccine, even though I am among the aged population. Feh!

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    1. I don't do Twitter. That's one thing I just cannot manage.

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  21. That building has a long, interesting history - its look has changed quite a bit over the years. Wonder what it was when it was built in 1444? I hope they can rehab it into something useful and restore some of its original character.

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    1. It was probably a mud hut with a thatched roof!

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  22. That lion is a good one. His mane is great!

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    1. Yeah, I love that lion, and the exotic foliage surrounding him.

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  23. I will happily get the vaccine when it's my turn, which won't happen for a while. I've read all sorts of crazy reasons that people have for not getting it. That bugs me as much as the people who won't wear masks. Maybe more.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. I agree! I don't understand the opposition to it. I've read about crazy people saying it's going to contain microchips to control our behavior. I mean, do people REALLY believe that?!

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  24. I have been a reader all my long life. I find my attention span wavering like never before. Thank you for telling us, and for many of your readers comments, that you are experiencing this also. At my age, any cognitive hiccup, makes me concerned about dementia.

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