India and Covid-19: The Harsh Reality

Thanks to Australian blogger, Lloyd Marken, I have been following his reports about the pandemic all around the world.
https://backtothedrawingboardproductions.com/2021/06/26/covid-19-diary-one-in-three/

His latest post features a You Tube video clip from the news programme, ‘India Today’. This 4-minute clip shows the devastating effect of Covid-19 deaths in that country. Poverty is so severe that many cannot afford the wood to use to cremate the bodies of their loved ones. As a result, many corpses are simpy floated into the River Ganges instead.

On the sandy banks of the same river, thousands are being buried in shallow graves in the sand, covered by prices of cloth. Unknown, and unmarked, these graves are increasing daily, and when the river floods after expected heavy rains, most of the bodies will simply be washed away into the river.

This is not the sort of thing we see on nightly news bulletins in the west. But it is exactly what we should be seeing, when we still have so many people convinced that C-19 is a conspiracy, and are refusing to get innoculations. This is the reality of life in a poverty-stricken country, facing an explosion in numbers of deaths from the virus.

Exploring London’s Pubs: A Video Guide

Robert Lordan is a licenced London Black Taxi driver, and a great blogger and writer too. He has a love of London, and wonderful knowledge about the history of that city too.

He has produced a 13-minute video on You Tube, looking at ten famous London pubs. In his London accent, he describes the buildings, the history, and the often quirky details concerning each pub.

I am pleased to report that in my 60 years in London, I have had a drink in nine of the ten pubs featured. Only the one in Brixton escaped my patronage.

He covers a wide variety, all over the capital, and some of them were also featured in my own blog post about historic London pubs.

If you live in or near London, or are thinking of visiting the city as a tourist, this is an essential guide to some fascinating places to have a drink in while you are there.

Exploring London’s Pubs

Pygmy Music: A Video

My good friend Antony sent me this fascinating clip. Cameroonian musician Francis Bebey is playing a one-note flute, explaining how it served as both entertainment and a form of musical communication for pigmy tribes in Africa.

To bring it up to date, he is accompanied by another musician using a modern drum and bass machine.

It is a magical sound, full of history and culture.

London Walks: Bermondsey And Rotherhithe

Two more of Joolz’s Guides London walk videos. This time with a very personal connection to beetleypete!
(Each short film is around fifteen minutes long)

The first is a tour of Bermondsey, the district just immediately south and east of Tower Bridge, on the banks of The Thames. We see how the former leather-making district has becme ‘gentrified’ since the 1980s, but all the historic buildings remain. I was born in Bermondsey, and lived there until I was 15, when my parents moved us away to the suburbs. In my youth, the leather industry was still very much in evidence, and the modern-day food markets and smart delicatessens were traditional street markets, and cheap cafes.

The second film features Rotherhithe, which is a continuation of the walk from Bermondsey, along the riverbank to the east. Once again, we see the preserved history, and how docks and warehouses, where my grandfather and my mother worked during WW2, have now been converted into smart (and very expensive) apartments and restaurants. Joolz continues to the famous riverside pubs The Angel and The Mayflower. I moved back to Rotherhithe in 1985, and lived not far from The Mayflower. In fact, I had my second wedding reception in the upstairs restaurant of the pub, in 1989! It has famous connections with The Pilgrim Fathers, and the founding of America.

If anyone is planning a visit to London, watch to the end of the second video. You will see that you can book Joolz for a personalised tour of London, and contact details are shown. I couldn’t think of anyone better to show you around, except me of course!

Video: Another London Walk

My friend Antony has sent me another very interesting video from Joolz, the London tour guide. This time, he walks around Fitzrovia, delving into the fascinating history of the area, and some of the quirky shops and buildings too. I often walked through those streets to get to work, and as I lived close to the Post Office Tower which is seen in the film, it brought back a lot of memories for me.

If you ever visit London, you might never see this district, but it is so close to some of the traditional tourist sights, it is worth a short diversion.

The clip is just over twenty minutes long.

Tourist London: A Walk In History

My friend Antony sent me another of the You Tube videos of Joolz presenting one of his very informative walks.

This time, he is walking around some very famous Central London tourist areas, and giving a detailed history in his inimitable style.
(The film is just under 30 minutes long.)

If you have ever wandered around the same places, you may well be interested in the background to them.

Thinking Aloud On A Sunday

Clocks forward.

We had our summertime clock change at 02:00.

So when I woke up when it as still dark at 6am, it was actually 7am.

That still felt to early and dark to get up, so I managed to get back to sleep.

I must have needed that sleep, as I didn’t wake up again until 9:45am.

Which of course was now 10:45am. Confused? I was.

It all reminded me of this old song, from 1969.

Edward Hopper: A Tribute In Photographs

American artist Edward Hopper (1882-1967) created stark images on canvas that were powerful enough to tell the story in your head. You may not have heard of him, or like me, you might well be a fan. These are some examples of his work.

An American photographer, Richard Tuschman, has been experimenting with recreating some of Hopper’s images, using a digital camera. My friend Antony sent me a link to a short (six-minute) video presentation of his photos, which are quite simply stunning.

All you photographers out there are going to appreciate this video, I am sure. And also many of you who never take photographs, hopefully.

(The video link looks blank, but it does play when you click on it.)

Happy Lockdown Birthday To Me!

Today is my 69th birthday!

(No sixty-nine jokes, please. This is a family blog. 🙂 )


(Not my actual cake.)

Regular readers will know that I make a big deal of my birthdays. I usually string them out over a full week, and on the day I take a trip to the seaside, followed by a nice restaurant meal in the evening.

But in 2021, none of that can happen.

Instead it will be the usual walk with Ollie, opening cards and presents, then a nice takeaway meal this evening.

I would like to wish a happy birthday to any fellow Piscean who shares this day with me. I hope to be able to post something similar next year, when I will be 70.

That’s a nice round number.

Okay, all together now. Sing along with Clare!