Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Day Eighty-Seven - Wood Lane, W12

As the nine-to-five shift at BBC TV Centre go home, I'm going in to meet my chum Julian for a farewell drink in the BBC Club before he goes off travelling for three months. We were joined by several other beer-drinking friends and I only just made the last train home. Hic.

On the discman today: AM - Fond Of Tigers Release The Saviours

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Day Eighty-Six - Castle Lane, SW1

The clocks went back at the weekend, so my journey home will be dark for the next few months. Time to really check out what changing the ASA setting on my camera will do...this is the best of a dozen pictures I took of the tree/lamppost combo at different settings and from slightly different angles. It's a learning process.

On the discman today: AM - John Lennon, Yoko Ono and The Plastic Ono Band with Elephant's Memory Sometime in New York City PM - Unrest Perfect Teeth

Monday, 29 October 2007

Day Eighty-Five - Crystal Palace Station, SE19

The wind and rain which put the kibosh on my trip to Brighton yesterday has covered platform one with leaves and stems (insert drug joke here). Everywhere had a slightly bedraggled look today, but by lunchtime the sun was out and it was a lovely autumnal day. Why couldn't it have been like that yesterday? Grr.

On the discman today: AM and PM - Various Monterey International Pop Festival 1967 Discs 3 & 4

Friday, 26 October 2007

Day Eighty-Four - London Bridge Street, SE1

Final day of the I Ching Fortnight here at Commuted to Life and I threw 24, Returning, with transforming lines at 1, 3 and 4. "This is a time of re-birth and returning energy after a difficult time. Go back to meet this returning energy in order to begin anew".

Very appropriate for the end of the fortnight and spookily accurate as, before I asked the I Ching the question (the same one I have asked it every day, "how should I approach my journey to work/home") I had decided to go to Borough Market to get some nice beer for the weekend, the very same thing I did two Fridays ago, the last working day before I started this I Ching thing. By minute twenty-four of this journey I'd got to Utobeer, made my selection (a couple of beers from Bamberg and a Czech dark lager) and was on my way back to the station. I've always liked this air vent for the Jubilee Line tube - it looks like a ocean liner has been buried underground.

Just before I finish with I Ching Fortnight, I'd like to recommend to you Philip K Dick's The Man In The High Castle as both an excellent work of dystopian science fiction but also for its use of the I Ching as a captivating plot device. It's available from Amazon and all good book shops. Probably from a few bad ones too.

On the discman today: AM and PM - Various Monterey International Pop Festival 1967 Disc 2

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Day Eighty-Three - Somewhere between Streatham Hill and West Norwood Stations, SE27

Today's hexagram was 35, Prospering with transforming lines at 1 and 3. 'twas a successful journey as I had four seats to myself (very unusual at this time of day) and caught the bus without having to wait at Crystal Palace station so that I could go up to the triangle and pick up some chorizo for dinner. Sergio's had the one I wanted and I only had to wait about 30 seconds to get the bus back to my door. Nice.

On the discman today: AM - Van Der Graaf Generator The Box Disc 4 PM - Various Monterey International Pop Festival 1967 Disc 1

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Day Eighty-Two - Crystal Palace Station, SE19

Today's hexagram was 50, The Vessel, with transforming lines at 2 and 4. Today's picture sees the ghosts of Crystal Palace's Victorian past ascending the stairs from platform 4.

On the discman today: AM and PM - Van Der Graaf Generator The Box Disc 2

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Day Eighty-One - Petty France, SW1

More spooky mirror-imaging bought about by I Ching indeterminacy.

This afternoon I threw 12, Obstruction, with a transforming 5th line. So what was I doing in my office 12 minutes into my commute? Well, I left my overcoat there. By the time I realised (first day of the winter that I'd needed to wear it) I was three-quarters of my way to the library so I went in, returned my book, and then headed back to the office. As you can see, I was on my way back to my desk during that twelfth minute.

The transforming line changes the hexagram into 35, Prospering. so after the initial obstruction of forgetting my coat, "the obstruction is disappearing. That is the right place for you. it will correct the whole situation".

On the discman today: AM and PM - Van Der Graaf Generator The Box Disc 1

Monday, 22 October 2007

Day Eighty - Clapham Junction, SW11

It's week two of I Ching Fortnight and, like last Monday, we find ourselves at Clapham Junction station, only this time it's on the way home. It's getting dark and the reflection on the window causes a nice "double exposure" effect.

This evening I threw 34, Great Invigorating. "Great drive and great power manifest themselves. Focus this strength through a central are not allowed to completely retire. Accepting this lets you use Great Invigorating".

On the discman today: AM and PM - Various Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970 Disc 4

Friday, 19 October 2007

Day Seventy-Nine - near Battersea Park, SW8

The I Ching must have been giving me a second chance or something, as I threw 42, Augmenting, again. The train was late so rather than being near Little Ben I was still in transit, just on the south side of the Thames and opposite the QVC building, formerly the ON/ITV Digital building and before that the home of British Satellite Broadcasting. It's called Marco Polo House and I'd never want to work in it for two reasons: it's a horrible example of eighties toytown architecture and is obviously jinxed. Sell your QVC shares now!

On the discman today: AM - Oranger Shut Down The Sun PM - Jesus Lizard Bang

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Day Seventy-Eight - Victoria Street, SW1

I forgot my camera this morning. I'm going through a very forgetful phase and seem to leave one different thing at home every day. This is a picture of what I was walking past during the forty-second minute of my commute, borrowed from here via Google.

I had thrown 42, Augmenting. "This is a time of increase, advance and development." It was also a time for me to augment this blog with someone else's photo.

On the discman today: AM and PM - Various Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970 Disc 3

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Day Seventy-Seven - where SW2, SW12 and SW16 meet

On the map it's hard to tell exactly which area I was in as the train line flits between the three in a very short distance.

Today's hexagram was 29, Repeating The Gorge. "This is a time of danger that you must confront. Take the risk without holding back. You cannot avoid the obstacle. It will repeat itself again and again. Practice, train, accustom yourself to the have a connection to the spirits and they will help you...a danger confronted is both a accomplishment and a defence. Now is the time to concentrate and take risks."

Well, I didn't narrowly escape death on the way in, or home. This one puzzles me. What is the danger? Something tangible, or my attitude towards something? I decided to look at the hidden possibility, the inner hexagram using lines 2-5 of the original. This is 27, Jaws, and suggests that "Confronting danger and taking risks contain the hidden possibility of providing nourishment for yourself and others". This chimes with my longer term plans, as they certainly are a danger - giving up my safe job and going to the other side of the world. And the book I was reading on the way to work is about Australia...

On the discman today: AM - Francois Tetaz Wolf Creek OST PM - Tisha Mukarji Miscellaneous Recordings from 2005 (show 20 - scroll down)

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Day Seventy-Six - Petty France, SW1

Ha! What did I say yesterday? Well, The coins gave me 64, Not Yet Fording for today.

As I said yesterday, my normal commute lasts about 55 minutes. Today's was blessed with lightning connections and no delays and I was at my desk 47 minutes after leaving my flat - about as fast as it's humanly possible to do. So today's picture shows my desk, taken 17 minutes after I arrived, made a cup of green tea, and while my colleague Steve (not pictured) was talking to me.

Trivia Dept: I bought the mug from Jerry's Home Store in Fulham (not there any more) to take with me on my first day at HQ in 1998. It has probably had no more than a dozen cups of coffee in it in the subsequent nine years as I'm a confirmed tea drinker, but when I bought it I'd not long come back from the USA and was strangely attracted to their diner crockery. It's proved to be very durable.

We moved in to Clive House in April 2004 and it's worrying to see from the telephone list how many people have moved on from my division in that time. Still, I'll be crossing myself off that list before too long.

Oh yes, the reading. "You are on the verge of an important not do it yet. Gather your energy and make sure your plans are in order so you can make the crossing without getting stuck. This will bring you success...imagine you are the small fox and make yourself ready to adapt to whatever might happen...there are forces moving you into the right position."

This all chimes with current changes at work (not going into that here just yet, if ever) and my long term plans (I'm moving to Sydney with my beloved in late summer next year, assuming they'll have me). Hmmm.

On the discman today: AM - Miles Davis On The Corner PM - High Llamas Santa Barbara

Monday, 15 October 2007

Day Seventy-Five - Clapham Junction, SW11

Welcome to I Ching Fortnight on Commuted to Life!

I was beginning to feel that I was getting into a bit of a rut with these pictures. You may not see the patterns but I can, like the amount of pictures I've taken on the way home far outweighing those taken on the way to work. So I was wondering how I could freshen things up and, as is often my way, I started thinking of how musicians escape from the shackles of convention. It didn't take long for me to think of John Cage and his use of the I Ching as a framework for chance in his compositions, and as a method of determining how long each of the three movements of 4'33" should be. How could I use it to bring indeterminacy into my photographic process?

Well, I've done something simple. Each night I will consult the I Ching about my journey to work. The hexagram I end up with will inform that journey and the picture I take, but crucially the number of the hexagram - between 1 and 64 - will denote the minute of the journey when I take the picture. For the first week I'll take pictures on the way to work, on the second week I'll take them on the way home (and throw the coins at work, prior to departure). My journey normally lasts about 55 minutes, so you may end up with some pictures of home or work - contain your enthusiasm, please. For those of you who are interested, I use Stephen Karcher's translation.

Today's hexagram was number 32, Persevering, with a transforming line at the initial six. Quite an apposite one for a commuter I'd say. "This is a time to continue on, to endure on your path and do what is constant, regular and stable. Persist in your way of life or the thing you are doing. This is not a mistake...If you contemplate where and how things persevere, you will see the deep purpose of all the myriad beings." The transforming line suggests that I am going too deep and "must let the situation grow and mature". Fair enough.

The picture, taken during the 32nd minute of my morning commute, shows the platform of Clapham Junction station and, yes, I am heroically, horrifically late. But I've got to keep on keeping on.

On the discman today: AM - Brian Eno Here Come The Warm Jets PM - Brian Eno Another Green World and yes, I have considered an Oblique Strategies week at some point...

Friday, 12 October 2007

Day Seventy-Four - Borough Market, SE1

Went home via Borough Market today, as I fancied some nice beer to drink on my night in alone. Utobeer has a fantastic stall there, probably the best selection in London, and they have a small pub just around the corner too (but that way madness lies).

I was going to take a picture of the shelves but the ginger-bearded owner was a bit on the grumpy side and I didn't want to look too much like a tourist, so you'll have to put up with a picture of this trolley, six-eighths of which I'd happily drink (never drunk Tui but if it's anything like any of the other NZ beers I've tasted I wouldn't expect much. And Toohey's Extra Dry? Surprised they bother with that).

On the discman today: AM and PM - rough edits of tracks for this Sunday's show. Picked up a couple of clangers, so glad I listened!

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Day Seventy-Three - Maberley Road, SE19

This nub of a milestone denotes the boundary between the London Boroughs of Bromley and Croydon. Auckland Road gets shiny metal signs, but Maberley Road is left with this historic but virtually invisible marker.

On the discman today: AM - Neu! Neu! 2 PM - Lol Coxhill/Steve Miller Coxhill/Miller Miller/Coxhill

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Day Seventy-Two - Victoria Street, SW1

The bus stop outside Selborne House - starting point for many a trip into the West End after work. This time I was going for dinner with some Australians.

On the discman today: AM and PM- more unreleased stuff, if I tell you what it is I'll have to kill you

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Day Seventy-One - Anerley Road, SE19

Rainy morning. Nice to see that the white goods have got their raincoats on.

To see what I got up to in the evening, see here.

On the discman today: AM and PM- Boo Radleys Giant Steps

Monday, 8 October 2007

Day Seventy - Victoria Street, SW1

I don't normally crop pictures here: you usually see what the camera saw, unmediated by any postproduction jiggery-pokery. However, today's attempt to capture "corporate art" (a facile neon sculpture) through a window went horribly wrong. You could even see me taking the picture!

Hang on. You could even see me taking the picture. Hmm. And I also like the way the guy breaks through the reflection of the lights on the floor. Crop crop, and while we may not have a silk purse it's a lot less like a sow's ear than it was before.

On the discman today: AM and PM - some great live recordings which may turn up on audition in the next few weeks. Thanks Graham!

Friday, 5 October 2007

Day Sixty-Nine - Spenser Street, SW1

Bet you didn't know that the six-time World Snooker Final loser is now sponsored by A3 Car and Van Hire, did you? How the mighty have fallen, etc. He couldn't half play some shots though. And at least he didn't take part in this atrocity.

(bit of a cheat as I took this at lunchtime, but it was on one of my routes to the station so counts as far as I'm concerned. Nyah!)

On the discman today: AM - Peter Hammill A Black Box PM - Fred Frith Guitar Solos

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Day Sixty-Eight - Victoria Street, SW1

You don't see people painting in oils on the streets of London every day. He's painting the armadillo-like Cardinal Place and was friendlier than he looks when I discussed it with him after I took the photo.

On the discman today: AM and PM - Charles Mingus The Young Rebel

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Day Sixty-Seven - Victoria Street, SW1

If they have a smug sign printed and ready for window breakages, does that mean that Pret experience this kind of behaviour on a regular basis across the country? Could it be because, despite being founded by "College friends, Sinclair and Julian", Macdonalds now own a third of it, with an option to acquire the lot?

On the discman today: AM and PM - Michael Prime Borneo

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Day Sixty-Six - Crystal Palace Station, SE19

Moody and misty morning at the station. Autumn is here.

The floodlight you can see is from the athletics stadium.

On the discman today: AM and PM - The Moles Untune The Sky

Monday, 1 October 2007

Day Sixty-Five - Anerley Road, SE19

Back from a week off, mostly spent in Paris (very nice, thank you), and still slightly blurry, apparently, but not blurry enough not to notice that H A Marks, shadowy construction firm, have given themselves a new sign. It's like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory - no-one ever goes in, no-one ever goes out.

On the discman today: AM and PM - Soft Machine Out-Bloody-Rageous: An Anthology 1967-73