Monday, June 14, 2004

Midsummer's Sunset

A very hot day, almost scorching in the afternoon, ends in the only glorious sunset I know of in London, here at the south end of Wanstead Flats by Manor Park.

With only one more week before the cycle turns once again towards winter, there is the urgency and fear that comes with a seasonal climate. The pressure to mate, to nest, to hurry and live in zest, to exult, to transcend beyond mere earthiness. The Electronic Children have a hopelessly vague understanding of the timing of the seasons, grown up as they are in front of a TV set, a computer terminal, inside double-glazed centrally-heated homes, entertained endlessly with music, games, films, videos, TV shows, and scarcely with enough natural wit to wonder at the mud from which they arose. Despite all this, they can't even be bothered to vote in a democracy that gives them the wealth that they take as granted.

The heat of summer has been so early that raspberries and strawberries have ripened about 2 weeks earlier than normal. All signs of spring have already gone to seed, and the lack of rain is already starting to show.

I can't help noticing how everyone is so confident and independent in the summer, and starts neglecting the people that they otherwise seek out in winter. The socialising effects of winter and their influences on Northern European societies are so understated.

Last Thursday's elections are already long gone history. Ken Livingstone again is Mayor, elected by numerous limp socialists and Lefties that either can't read the numbers on their council tax bill, or are already living off the state so that they don't care about a council tax they don't have to pay. The choice for mayor was weak, but even the Green Party fared better outside London than inside London. Darren Johnson, the out gay mayoral candidate for the Green Party, did not do well at all, but anybody who is honest enough about the importance of physical appearance in winning a democratic vote would be able to explain why: nice man, but not handsome, manly, or possessed of any forcefulness.

Robert Kilroy-Silk has done a fabulous job for UKIP in the European elections. There were so many people who knew him from his daytime "Oprah Winfrey" style TV show, who wanted to register their disgust at how he was forced to quit that job by the Political Correctness Mafia. He has been extremely well-spoken and focussed in his TV appearances about the elections, and frankly he looks like the best possible option for the future of the Conservative Party. Michael Howard is just never going to pull it off, because he never was good looking enough, and the ageing process is not helping his appearance, as it can with some types of men. Find out why so many women voted for Tony Blair when he first appeared on the scene, and it's not hard to detect that they felt he was handsome and charming enough for them to want to trust him.

Yesterday's football game between England and France was a shattering disaster in the last 5 minutes. Otherwise that is already history.

My exam today was a breeze. I have nothing good to say about the City & Guilds Institute and their examinations: they seem to me to be idiots who expect their students also to be idiots. I used to know someone who used to work there, and I was always appalled to hear that he created examination papers in subject areas in which he had no expertise. Now I know how he did so - today's examination was a mixture of the exact same questions that have appeared in examinations over previous yers. Without even any alteration in the sequencing or wording of the multiple choice answers.

I confirmed today that the South African guy who was in my course had paid £1,700.00 tuition fees for being a foreign student. How these guys get screwed... the course wasn't worth anything near that, and the qualification does not impress anyone who works in the trade. Shame he couldn't have claimed asylum so that he could have got the same course for free, as do the unemployed, while self-supporting ordinary citizens of Great Britain had to pay £370.00. This is one messed up educational system, which is still exploiting what is left of its pre-Seventies reputation that persists in pockets of the English-speaking world.

On Saturday evening I went to see the most Artistic Pyrotechnic (fireworks) extravaganza I have ever seen. It was at Victoria Park, and though there was an ok turnout, there was space for 10 times as many spectators. This show was by Christophe Berthonneau and his Groupe F, done for LIFT (the London International Festival of Theatre). What's funny is that apparently this has been going on for over 5 years, yet a Google search showed little advance publicity for this year's event! What a poor use of money... When New Year's Eve comes along, there is nothing to see or do in London that is public, yet here in mid-June, we get a secret showing that costs just as much money, and hardly pulls a crowd.


Anonymous said...

As somebody who lives in E12 (and a fellow cyclist), I am amazed at how dismissive/unknowing you are of your locality.

You appear to always have to travel South or West to find something to satisfy your oh-so-radical lifestyle.

Have you never spent an interesting evening eating out in High St North, seen live music in Forest Gate (admittedly poor of late) or dallied in the fine pubs or clubs of Seven Kings or Leytonstone?

Or is it all just too proletarian for you?

A one-way ticket to Brixton or Dalston, perhaps?

Oh, and you have written some interesting things too.


Anonymous said...

I thought Victoria Park was in Hackney/Tower Hamletts but never mind. Eating out in East London - yes there are some interesting South Indian caffs in High Street North and I would recommend the El Che Spanish restaurant in Leytonstone for their grand Sunday buffet's. Live Music? Not found it yet...

Andy R

loveandthecity said...

Live music in Forest Gate? Is that at the Princess Alice?

I know of live music sometimes at the William the Conqueror in Manor Park, but that is a tiny pub... How does that compare to the Ocean in Hackney, which has a lively multicultural social scene?

As for food in High Street North... Again, where? I would rather have a butcher shop where I might buy a decent bacon or ham, or a farmer's market... Do you know anything about food at all?