I did the challenge yesterday and I am doing it again. Seems silly not to, especially as I have taken so many photos with the ‘Up’ theme. This one is taken on New Years Eve.

We were up North at Mr P’s family and looked out of the window and the were hundreds of these balloons making their way over the darkened skyline, as the wind swept them all in the same direction. In London people have started to let these more eco friendly (unless you are thatched) and peaceful alternative to fireworks, but with their being so little opportunity to see any skyline in our manor, the sight quite took me by surprise. It was lovely seeing all these orange glowing balloons floating away into the night. I was reminded of them as the nights are already drawing in and people are talking about how they will be spending Christmas…Eek.

SONG OF THE DAY – The Fifth Dimension -Up Up and Away -Written by Jimmy Webb. I went to see Jimmy Webb do a one man evening a few years ago at the Bloomsbury Theatre where he told funny stories about his life and played songs, old and new, just him and his piano, it was lovely insight into the man. I also have a fantastic book about songwriting that Jimmy wrote, which I must read again.

The wordpress people try very hard to help us in our quest to post a day through 2011. This  photo challenge  is easy, as I seem to be ‘looking up’ a lot, even when I am down. Sometimes you cannot avoid the upward looking. Especially if you are going up! It helps to look up, as there is so much to see. In London most of the best architecture is up there.

Most of my ‘up’ images are as you would expect an ‘up’ image to be. Evidence number one me lud. The stairs…….I think I took this at Greenwich Dockland Light Railway Station, at about 7pm one night, on my way to work. So often I am glad the stairs move on their own and you just have to stand still as you levitate towards your destination.

This next set of stairs is Kentish Town Railway station at about midnight after I had been to see a friend’s choir performing in Brighton. I was probably taking the picture whilst plucking up the courage to make the ascent as I was, by then very tired, having been to Brighton and back , and sat through quite a long choral piece. At times like that you just want to yell ‘beam me up Scotty’ and be at home in the warm.

SONG OF THE DAY – Hold Your Head Up -Argent ( The long version!)

I love the band in this one particularly the guitar, and the organ…and we can all do with reminding to hold our heads high. Even if it is just so watch the view. x

Yesterday we stumbled upon this  installation at the wonderful The Wapping Project..you can just go in for a cuppa. There is a real fancy restaurant, a bookshop in a greenhouse, and really wonderful projects there. I stumbled in there on a walk along the Thames a couple of years ago, completely drawn by the outside of the building and the house at the front. I saw nothing that would have lead me to believe it was open to the public, and just barged in to find this haven inside. It is  the old Wapping Hydraulic Power Station which has been turned into big space… with lots of the original fittings left in. It would be an amazing place for a party if you had the funds. So yesterday we wandered in. Yes the waitress said, the exhibition is still, even though it was supposed to close a few days ago, she pointed to a door at the back of the building.

Walked through the door into almost complete blackness. We were standing on a small verandah looking up and down onto a cavernous area. Only about 6 people at a time can fit on this viewing space. The vast area  is filled below with what seems to be a shallow lake and hanging from the tall ceiling is the lighted dress that then is reflected in the water below.

A minimal soundtrack and the occasional dripping of the water. When the exhibition was open you could pay a fiver and be rowed round the dress  thus ‘making waves’ which would have an effect on the reflection of the image in the water from the verandah above. The atmosphere was magical…I was transported. It was magnificent.

I do not take much notice of fashion design apart from as a historical art form, nothing to do with wearing the stuff though. I was really touched and  my breath was taken away from this piece and am going to have a look at Yoji Yamamoto again.

SONG OF THE DAY – Madame Butterfly -Malcolm Mclaren 

I am glad I found a version of this that did not use the official video which I find a bit too wierd for me…is it supposed to be cool or fashionable or a bit erotic…bit blinking neurotic to me, don’t get it… and what it has to do with the song at all having a load of clone women stolen from Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love, put on rations for a couple of months, massaging each other in a sauna or just sitting around looking very hungry and a bit blinking hot…..

I love the song. RIP Mr McLaren

They have come into town and they want to do all the tourist things. I just want to stay in my  London ‘manor’ and chill with them. But oh no..they are sick of local and want to do touristy things, so I am now tour guide extrodinaire as well as hostess with the mostest (I wish, much to opinionated to ever be that!). I wonder what would happen if I lived in say…Crewe, or Ashby-de-la-Zouch and there was no London Eye or Tower of London or museums…people who came to visit would have to make cakes with me and help me decide what colour to paint the corridor, instead of running round town spending too much money on bad food and beverages.

So we went out yesterday and actually had a really lovely day. I did my best to wear them out, which was easier than I thought as the neighbours had gone away and their teenage offspring sat on their veranda until 2.30am getting roaringly, abusively drunk, so my friends  were quite tired to start with, from  sleep deprivation.

We went to Canary Wharf and the Dockland Museum which is free and immensely informative. There is a section which is done out like an old dockland street with small alleys and houses, and it actually smells authentic too….like someone peed on the floorboards to give it that….latrine-free feel.

We then walked down the Thames Path from Canary Wharf to Tower Bridge which was great, and very quiet until we got to the Tower of London which was MOBBED. Tourist hot-spots…to be avoided at your peril! We then hopped onto a train and went to Spitalfields, which might as well have been closed…by then, they were really flagging, so we went home on a bus ( a 10 hour trip though) But no let up today. They are off to the London Eye, and I am not playing. I am staying at home.

During our day out, we had some ok food  and some really inoffensive food….with no character what so ever. More of that later. One pet hate I have is when places put something on the menu, run out of an ingredient and just replace it with another with out a blinking by your leave! Porridge with Maple Syrup at Browns came as Porridge with some sort of  seriously sugary yellow syrup…which is a completely different thing. Maple syrup is the sap from a tree  and yellow syrup is just  some sort of refined sugar by product. ‘Sorry’ they say when I point out the error, ‘we ran out of Maple Syrup so we are giving you a cheap alternative to it, and we did not bother telling you, because we are assuming you have no sense of taste and would not notice the difference.’ Harsh? I don’t think so when you are paying almost 4 quid for a bowl of porridge, and the difference in price between an egg cup of maple syrup and other syrup would be pretty marked.

Interesting that I am talking about sugar which apart from the occasional treat of a bit of maple syrup, I have not eaten  for 4 months, and feel much better for it.  At the Docklands Museum I saw that in the 1820’s many people in England started to boycott using sugar, because of its link with the slave trade. English ceramic manufacturers responded by making sugar bowls and tea sets inscribed with anti-slavery slogans, though if people were boycotting sugar, I wonder what they put in their sugar bowls?  A Birmingham newspaper in Norwich reported “sugar is now positively banished from most polite and fashionable tea-tables” .

I shall finish today’s post with a funny by Mr P. during our day out, who when comparing espresso to an americano said that he found espresso a really unsatisfactory drink as he liked to ‘form a relationship with his hot drink’, and there just was no time to do that with an espresso. Oh well, it was funny at the time. More on inoffensive food later.

SONG OF THE DAYChromeo – Bonafied Loving

The two childhood friends jokingly describe themselves as “the only successful Arab/Jewish partnership since the dawn of human culture.”

I just really like this track and the video.