Earthquake? Zzzzzzz…

February 27th, 2008 by matt

I see this is making some news. There was an earthquake about 200 miles north of me. Did I notice it? Well, no. I was sound asleep 🙂 Ooops!

Carolyn and Anna Will Soon Be Re-united!

February 26th, 2008 by matt

Soon, I’ll have more pictures of this again:


This is a short little post to point out the fact that, in 17 days, Carolyn will begin the move to London. I say begin because even when she flies here on 14 March, it’ll only be a temporary trip. She will not be living here for real until after the wedding. But that’s pretty soon too! In the meantime, I’m not complaining. I’ll be very very happy to have her in my direct world again. It’s been a long year and I’m glad we’re near the end of it.  🙂

Abney Park

February 24th, 2008 by matt

I’ve mentioned a trip I made to Highgate Cemetery before. It was one of the Magnificent Seven, a group of privately run cemetery’s that ringed what was, at the time, London. They were set up because the inner London burial sites were filling up and the dead bodies in the middle of a dense city were causing health problems. The British of the 19th century loved their burials and business in these new cemetery’s was good. As the Victorian fascination with death gave way to more of an interest in things like cremation, they ran into trouble. First they cut back on landscaping and maintenance and eventually, they shut down. Today, I checked out Abney Park, which is one of the other shuttered cemetery. Unlike Highgate, this one was taken over by the local council (Hackney) relatively early, although they didn’t do anything with it to keep it from becoming overgrown. However, it has recently done quite a lot to turn it into public park space. So, unlike Highgate, you can easily just go in and take a stroll around and take in all the impressive sights to see. And, it’s only about a 20 minute walk from my flat. Here would be some highlights:


I think this gives a good impression of the state of things in this burial site. It’s been overrun by this lush greenery which makes it pretty cool looking and feels very relaxing, especially since it’s surrounded by the hustle and bustle of Stoke Newington.


There’s something about the way these graves have all lilted in various directions that I liked.


A unique part of this cemetery is the remains of this old church right in the middle of it. You might notice the supports holding it together as it’s in very bad shape. You’ll also notice the beautiful blue sky today (I was not even wearing a coat). 😛


This is the interior of the church. I love how, in the middle of London (this isn’t the very center of the city, but it’s still central London), you can have this wonderful piece of history and greenery and have buildings like this as a reminder of how old everything is around here. Hackney has done a great job of keeping this space a beautiful combination of history and park space while respecting the fact that’s thousands of people’s final resting place is right here.

Some London at Night

February 16th, 2008 by matt

For those of you with good memories, you might recall my triumphs last year in both lawn bowling and American bowling. Well, I was heading home one night and ended up catching my bus home in Finsbury Square, which has the lawn bowling pitch in the middle of it. The architecture around it is a mix of 1920s, 1950s and contemporary architecture. This building isn’t that exciting looking, but I do like the colors on it once the sun goes down:

Since it’s a winter lull in the interesting part of my life :), I’m shooting just to capture some of the fun little things in life. Hope you enjoy. And mom, if you’re nice, I might take some pictures of skinny Anna and fat Chewy.

London Fog

February 13th, 2008 by matt

The last couple of mornings have been extremely foggy. However, the fog has burned off and it’s become very lovely. As luck would have it, I thought about an interesting compare and contrast photo and whipped out my camera on my way to the bus stop yesterday morning. Let’s compare shall we:

Normal (slightly overcast and rainy) weather


Slightly foggy 🙂

I saw a picture in one of those horrible free dailys always floating around town where someone managed to get a photo from an airplane in which the entire city was socked in except the tall buildings in Canary Wharf. Pretty cool.

Camden Market Fire

February 11th, 2008 by matt

This is unfortunate. It looks like there was a nasty fire at one of the Camden Markets on Saturday night. I’ve written about one of my trips there before. The first picture is inside the section that caught fire, I believe. It’s a bit of a hipster area with a lot of funky shops that are fun to peruse. The part of the market affected is built into an aqueduct which creates a very cool environment. Here’s hoping the local shops are able to recover and rebuild after this. The details still seem to be spotty, so we’ll see what happened and to what extent the damage is soon.

Well, you asked for it

February 6th, 2008 by matt

By popular demand (aka. my mom’s request), I give you Dina’s dish:


(and the garden below her flat in the darkness)

Now, let’s get a little mundane. We have two things at work here. First, I have a TV now. One thing you learn about having a TV in the UK is the licensing scheme. Like all things in life, the BBC is not free. It gets paid for by a yearly fee you pay. If you own a TV, you pay about £11 a month. This alone is no big deal. Why they just don’t deduct it out of a payroll tax is beyond me. But, regardless of that, it goes to a worthy cause as the BBC has come out with some great shit and most of the quality programming in the UK that isn’t Simpsons syndication comes from the BBC. My issue is the collection method. The BBC has paid a bunch of companies to act as Big Brother, checking address databases with who has paid the fee and who hasn’t and allegedly roaming the streets and looking for signals from places that haven’t paid. Earlier this fall, they had adverts up with things like “We’re watching you so pay up” all over the city. It’s creepy and overkill. On top of that, there is a presumption that everyone has a TV and if you haven’t paid, they assume you’re hiding something and harass you and threaten so show up and inspect your home. I have no idea what authority they have, but my colleague, who really doesn’t have a TV has had to call repeatedly to get to stop sending threatening notes about their obvious guilt because everyone has a TV.

Anyway, the point is, I have a TV and I wanna get a real signal, so I’m paid up on my license and I’m looking at the two big TV providers Sky and Virgin. As I started trying to sign up for Sky, they asked about installing a dish which confused me because i thought they were terrestrial cable. So I asked Dina who mentioned it and I realized I had some sort of dish outside my window so I asked what hers looked like so she sent me a photo. I’m obviously ignorant because Sky is satellite TV. Very exciting, no? 🙂

Here ends a daily mundane post. Was it boring as shit?

Yeah yeah, I’m lazy

February 4th, 2008 by matt

OK, this is about the longest I’ve gone without posting. It’s January and I’m basically working and doing the usual day-to-day things. If you’d like me to write about the mundane, I can try 🙂

In the meantime, the first Super Bowl in ages that was actually a game (well, I guess lately they haven’t been total jokes) and it starts a little before midnight my time. Not only that, but the Giants freaking ruined the Patriots perfect season. How cool is that?!?!

Anyway, I need to figure out what to do with this blog when there isn’t tons of exciting things to be written about/photographed. In the meantime, I’ll jump in with whatever random I can come up with.