But, what´s going on in London?
Saturday, October 29, 2005
  38 forever
Yesterday was the last night of bus 38.

The image has been highly compressed, click for a full quality picture

The last night of bus 38.
From sunday the 29 on, bus line 38, the most beautiful of London Bus routes, will be operated by new bendy buses replacing the old Routemasters that have travelled the streets of London for more than 50 years.
So we stepped on a 38. It was past 10PM, at the gate of Hackney Central Bus Depot there were literally dozens of people gazing as shiny old buses left the station for a final trip through the London night. There was Simon, the conductor*, there were the girls with the funny crowns and the chapagne bottles, the entire upper deck was packed with happy people. People taking pictures, people drinking and laughing, people furiously cheering at other 38's passing by. Because yesterday there was nothing on London streets but 38's. They even got confused and followed routes that they were not supposed to. Pedestrians shouted and waved with their hands and a smile.
We were lucky, we travelled on a really old one. The man on the next seat claimed he had seen that bus on the factory line, in 1959!!, when the buses for London were actually made in London. I sat by another man who had driven that bus for 15 years. Last night London just showed off the oldest and most beautiful of the 38 breed.
We went all the way down to Tottenham Court Road, listening to the stories of the people, and to the music of the harmonica man. And there were more photos and laughs, and we took bus 38 again, back home, one last time and forever. There was Konrad, a guy who explained us how to lose the Roadmaster in London was like losing the Eiffel Tower in Paris (he introduced us to SavetheRoutemaster.com, and there were the French who just didn't stop uncorking wine bottles. They had brought it white and red. One of them was phoning all his friends and inviting them to come along and take the last 38, he had already completed 4 journeys so far! At every stop we could hear the bell ringing twice,ring-ring, before the whole thing shook a bit, trembled another bit and started running again, the old Routemaster. At the end of our route, the little yellow light bulbs (because that was an old Routemaster with lightbulbs on the walls) went on and off repeatedly, and we knew our time had come to leave bus 38 and let it go by, slowly, beautifully and forever.

*Conductor:(Cambridge Dictionary): The person on some buses whose job is to take your money and give you a ticket. It's sad how some words just disappear.
Friday, October 28, 2005
  Beside the sea (Day out in Sussex)

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside,
I do like to be beside the sea,
I do like to stroll along the prom, prom, prom,
Where the brassbands play

So just let me be beside the seaside,
I'll be beside myself with glee;
And there's lots of girls beside,
I should like to be beside,
Beside the seaside, beside the sea.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
  Strictly speaking, the tomato is not a vegetable

This is a little sample of the new book by Andy Riley, "Great lies to tell small kids". Riley is also the author of the Bunny Suicide book series. His comic strips are just awesome.
This other one is just perfect.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
  My Gromit thermo-nose mug!

It turns red when you fill it with hot tea!!!
Yes, it has to be tea, PG to be more precise.
Friday, October 21, 2005
  My Photographic Encyclopaedia W-Z

Thursday, October 20, 2005
  My Photographic Encyclopaedia S-V

Monday, October 17, 2005
  My Photographic Encyclopaedia Ñ-R

Friday, October 14, 2005
  My Photographic Encyclopaedia J-N

Thursday, October 13, 2005
  My Photographic Encyclopaedia E-I

Wednesday, October 12, 2005
  Dan Lepard's hands - Meet the man

Yesterday I was incredibly lucky. I had the opportunity to attend a baking demonstration by Dan Lepard (maybe you have remarked the link on the right column or his name on previous posts). He is the man. He has written The handmade loaf, one of the most beautiful books I have ever read where he speaks with unmatchable love about bread and the way things were done, should be done, and could be done.
I don't know exactly how they arranged it but there was an almost 2 hour free demosntration at John Lewis (a famous British department store) and you could be there, one meter away from Dan Lepard, learning all the kneading tricks and asking him all sort of questions. Obviously, I got my book signed...not that I'm particularty fond of those things, but the opportunity whas unique.
Dan is a very nice guy, amazingly "normal" I have to say. He answered all my questions with incredible patience and even agreed to pose for my with 2 of his loaves.
He baked a milk bread, an olive oil flat bread (he just wouldn't call it Focaccia), two ale barm and potato traditional English loaves...and showed us the secrets of sourdough.
Yesterday I discovered 2 amazing things.
1. He shot all the beautiful pictures of his book with an old Canon A-E1 50mm(and got the films developped at Snappy Snaps, WOW).
2. Dan Lepard's hands (see picture below)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005
  My Photographic Encyclopaedia A-D
Maybe because of my inclination to order the chaos (The Cuckcoo) I have decided to start a new little project: My visual encyclopaedia.
I'm going to show you my world from A to Z. I have chosen the images for its evocative power, not for its quality or brightness. Thus, you will find some nice images but also photographs taken with a mobile phone camera, or with my old Rollei 35 or even my late Lomo.
I hope you like it. As always, your comments are more than welcome.

Monday, October 10, 2005
  Life by the canal

You sit down by a bridge, letting time go by, watching the boats go by. They come, close the lock's gates and fill them up with water in order to go up or down. Then they just disappear amidst the unique Eastend landscape.

On the left you can see Acton´s Lock that has just been emptied and two boats resuming their way eastward.
On the right you can see the two boats slowly going away. You can even reach to see the skycrappers of Canary Wharf between the beams of that old amazing metal structure.
Saturday, October 08, 2005
  End of summer

Yesterday we turned on the house heating. It´s the end of another season here in London. Looking out of the window now, it´s hard to believe that there was ever a nice sunny and warm summer full of the things summers are supposed to be filled with.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
  Welcome to my sourdough world

This image has been reduced in size and quality, click on the picture for a full size view

It doesn´t seem to me that long ago, but it was actually early June when I started this adventure. My sourdough universe has been baked weekly ever since. It´s made mainly of wheat and rye, but also spelt, chickpea and even double cream!!.
Nothing can compare to the joy of eating your hand made wheat, water and salt loaf. And nothing is more rewarding that the feeling of being continously learning with every single loaf baked.

Elizabeth David's and Dan Lepard's wonderfully written books about bread will be forever among my favourite ones.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
  Teapot me

Old teapot, new teapot... Teapot me!!
Sunday, October 02, 2005
  Go further - My new bike

This is part of my new bike's stem. I like the saying. It reminds me of the cheering up expression Ultreia! used formerly by the pilgrims going to Santiago the Compostela (Spain). They would shout that in order to get the strenght and spiritual help to go further, to complete their epic journey of hundreds (if not thousands) of kilometres to the burial of the Apostle St. James (on the western most part of Europe) or far beyond to Cape Finisterre (literally, the end of the world)

I like these metaphores that life gives you all the time. These lessons hidden in every little object and detail.
Saturday, October 01, 2005
  All other traffic

Finding new roads.
Driving the right/wrong way.
Taking decisions/directions.

*Don't forget to check the archives for more images and stuff*
Everyday images and accounts of the city.

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