Monday, January 9, 2023

Totoro Moves Indoors

Here's another piece of wildlife-themed street art from Walthamstow, also by Irony + Boe. A hedgehog, I believe. It certainly makes this otherwise utilitarian shopfront interesting!

Yesterday was a day to get my ducks in a row before school resumes this morning. I cleaned the house, watered all the orchids, and took care of some other small tasks.

I also walked the dog, and found that someone had dumped a partially decorated Christmas tree at the corner of Finchley Road. Our local council will recycle old Christmas trees, turning them into mulch, but they have to be taken to a fenced area in Fortune Green (only a few minutes' walk). And they can't be mulched if they're still decorated! So, being a busybody, I untwined the lights and took off the bits of ornaments still clinging to the tree, threw them away, and hauled the tree up to Fortune Green. Cleaning up after strangers, once again.

Incidentally, the abandoned Christmas tree in a pot is still sitting nearby. It's too heavy to easily move. I don't think it's even a real tree -- I think it's a piece of a cut tree that's been stuck in a pot of dirt. It's dying and I'm not convinced it has any root system (which is one of the reasons I didn't consider adopting it). I'm resisting the urge to report it to the council because I want to see how long it hangs around if I do nothing.

Here's Totoro, who usually hangs from the walnut tree in our garden. We have a team of tree-trimmers coming in about ten days to do some heavy duty pruning, including raising the canopy on the walnut tree, so I brought Totoro indoors and hung him from the avocado, where he can watch from a position of relative safety.

The Russians were at it all day yesterday, sawing, drilling and pounding. Fortunately, this didn't stop me from making headway in "The Ink Black Heart" -- I'm up to page 815 or so. I think I can polish it off in the next few days. It's huge, but it's interesting and pretty easy reading overall. Much shorter books have taken me much longer to read!


Moving with Mitchell said...

I'm assuming The Russians are going to have a pretty spectacular apartment when all is said and done. Will all ever be said and done?

I didn't comment on yesterdays wall art, which I loved. Today's is a great surprise and the one saving grace on that building.

You're a good neighbor and citizen.

Ed said...

I had to google Irony and Boe. It makes me wonder how someone can paint an eight story chihuahua on the side of a building on the east side of London and still be anonymous.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

You may be mistaking the sounds from upstairs. Perhaps it's Mr and Mrs Russia simply but noisily having sex. Have fun at work!

Jennifer said...

Good luck to you on your first day back at work! The whole first week back (for me anyway) was a bit of a struggle, but I'm feeling good this morning.

You're such a good citizen, cleaning up after others! You help give Americans a good name in London! :)

Boud said...

There should be a Good Neighbor badge for cleaning up the Christmas tree. That was nice of you.
You have an incredibly long Christmas break. I wonder if it's because a lot of your school families visit the US then?

Bob said...

We did yard work this weekend and took all of our garden rubbish, branches and leaves and such, to our local recycling center that will haul it away and make mulch, and I was stunned at how many people put their fake trees in the Yard Debris bin.
Stupidity or laziness???

Colette said...

That's such a big book. Are you reading it on an e-reader, or holding that big old book in your hands?

Sharon said...

Irony & Boe are very talented muralists. They do a great job with the animals.
I think I would find the size of that book very daunting.

Pixie said...

I read an article about Irony & Boe. I didn't realize it was street art, by which I mean, uncommissioned. They're beautiful artists and I would love to see animals on buildings around here.

Ellen D. said...

Hope work goes smoothly.
Maybe Totoro will remain on the avocado tree now. He may like it better inside.

Ms. Moon said...

Irony + Boe certainly get my vote for best street art. I love that little critter!
The heaviness of the tree in the pot probably explains why it was dumped where it was. As to the tree you so kindly de-decorated and hauled to its proper spot- pure laziness, I would think.
Now I have to find a copy of Ink Black Heart. I am intrigued.
Do the Russians do the work themselves? I am unsure about this. It doesn't seem possible but perhaps they are. I know they hire others for certain things but do they do some of it on their own?

NewRobin13 said...

That really is a cool hedgehog painting. Nice street art there.
I'm looking forward to updates on the little Christmas tree.

Red said...

We've got some major improvements to make when it comes to keeping things in our world neat and tidy. It's good that some people like you pick things up.

ellen abbott said...

What is wrong with people! Even though I don't live there, thank you for taking care of the dumped christmas tree.

Do the Russians not understand that all that reconstruction upstairs reverberates in your flat?

The Bug said...

I love your busybodyness! I have the same concern and annoyance, but usually lack the drive to do anything.

I would seriously lose my mind with the Russians. I can't stand racket. The good news though is that I think my hearing is pretty impaired at this point.

Sabine said...

You should get a medal for all the cleaning and picking up you do on the streets of London.

Jim Davis said...

Totoro thanks you! :)

Kelly said...

I don't consider that being a busy body. I think you're going above and beyond in being a good citizen!

I like the artwork, though I might prefer the foxes to this one. Tough call!

The Padre said...

Best Of Luck Back In School There My Man - Olga Girl Will Be Excited Upon Your Return


gz said...

I like the extra touch in murals where they incorporate existing structures into the design.

John Going Gently said...

More delightful photos
Thank you Steve for your good eye

Janie Junebug said...

A house on the other side of the street sold and is for sale again by house flippers. They've spent so much time there and made so much noise that we can't figure out what they're doing. I curious about the Russians in the same way.


Janie Junebug said...

I'm curious about the Russians. Not I curious. I'm an idiot.

Jeanie said...

Irony+Boe are very talented! You're a good soul to take care of the badly disposed of Christmas tree. And I'm glad Totoro is safe!

Andrew said...

How much more work can the Russians do to their apartment?

Last week a man on the tram picked up two discarded paper coffee cups and put them in a bin once off the tram. I caught his eye and I gave him a thumbs up. I used to do the same until the onset of you know what. I have yet to resume, for no logical reason now.

Margaret said...

Good to know about the book! I need to get to the next Book Club book first but it's not coming in at the library. ("The Marriage Portrait") We chose too many popular books and the waits are long. That was good of you to take care of the tree; my small one fit perfectly in my yard waste container and got taken away today. I was a little bit sad.

Steve Reed said...

Mitchell: I'm not sure they will ever be finished. I think the minute they complete a task they start it over again.

Ed: It's like Banksy! How can no one know who Banksy is? The guy has had international exhibitions!

YP: Oh, Lord, I'd rather not think about that.

Jennifer: Or maybe I'm being a typical overbearing American and not minding my own business? :)

Boud: Yes, exactly. It used to be two weeks but so many people travel that it was extended to three by adding another teaching week at the end of the school year.

Bob: Ha! That must drive the recycling workers crazy. Can people really be that clueless?

Colette: I am holding the real thing, and it's a struggle!

Sharon: It's very compelling reading, though, which I've found with all these Galbraith books. They're big but they're good.

Pixie: But I guess they must not be entirely illegal, done in the dark of night, right? I mean, maybe no one pays for them but they must have permission. I'll have to read up on it.

Ellen D: He may remain, you're right! The squirrels have done him some damage outside.

Ms Moon: Yes, they're doing most of the work themselves. They've brought in contractors for big or specialized jobs, like replacing their window and doing plumbing.

Robin: I'll keep an eye on it!

Red: I always think, if everyone did this, there would be no litter!

Ellen: I can kind of understand dumping a tree on the street, because maybe someone has limited mobility or some other reason why they can't get it to the recycling center. But I CAN'T understand not removing the decorations first. That's just pathetic.

Bug: I hope you're hearing's not impaired! It would have to be pretty darn impaired to block out the Russians.

Sabine: I genuinely enjoy seeing things looking better after I complete a task like that.

Jim: He probably does like being in a protected space! (Although he IS a forest spirit, supposedly...)

Kelly: I guess the artists have to adapt their subject to the shape of their wall.

Padre: She gets so wound up when we return home in the evenings!

GZ: Yes, me too. It's great when they can work with the architecture.

John: Irony + Boe get the thanks for these!

Janie: I would LOVE it if the Russians would "flip" their flat, though they've probably been there too long to consider it a proper flip. And who knows who we'd get moving in? They'd probably want to remodel the place again!

Jeanie: They are very good street artists. I always like their work and how it draws on local ecology. (Well, a lot of it, anyway.)

Andrew: Good for him! I sometimes do things like that, but like you, I'm wary of touching something that's been near someone else's lips.

Margaret: The turn of another year! We often have parents coming in looking for a popular book that's being read by their book club, and it's seldom available. So you are not alone!

River said...

I wish the Russians would hurry up and finish. I look at the number of pages in a book before I decide to read it these days. More than 500 and it goes back on the shelf.