mr. zilla goes to town

Monday, March 15, 2004

london calling

Let me just get this out of the way and blow the profanity quota for the month:

Holy fuck, some fucking fuckers blew the fuck out of some goddamn trains in Madrid and killed so many fucking people I want to vomit.

I stood in Waterloo Station this morning with a thousand random strangers on their way to a thousand different places, to observe 3 minutes silence for the victims of aforementioned sickening fucking violence. (Oops, there I go again).

The BBC TV News (London edition) is headlining the police urging people to break out of their characteristic English reserve and get talking on the Tube and collectively suss out any random pieces of luggage lying about. Announcements that suspicious parcels will be blown up have migrated from airports to the train concourse. What will be the next horror that forces the warning to move onward and outward again? Ask the folks in Israel I guess...

Today's papers here are completely ballistic over the caning handed to conservative Spanish government in the wake of the attack. For better analysis that this rabbit headed foaming response I suggest you head over to Road To Surfdom as my Washington neighbour Tim D is a sharp observer.

Apart from that everything is peachy keen, I've spent the last 48 hours caning around many of central London's tourist traps, out to Greenwich to the 0 meridan, Royal Observatory, and the National Maritime Museum. At the NMM I fluked into being one of just two people in a 90 minute long hands-on look at a range of sea charts and altases from a 15th century copy of Ptolemy's Geographica, to Dutch maps of the English coast to a first edition of Matthew Flinders' maps of the Australian coastline, with two of the NMM's boffin carto-historians on hand to answer anything and everything. There's something about maps that just tweaks my nipples. I love to come across political maps of years gone by and hunt out all the clues and combinations that let you pin down the date of production. All brilliantly entertaining and diverting.

And while on the subject of diversions, went to Fabric last night (Sunday)after getting in too late on Saturday to get out there. A completely unflyered unbilled unhyped night, and yet the music quality was first class. In the main room: big techy progressive arcs of aural fire. In the back room: hard trance accompanied by a massive unit of a solo live drummer... I think I just about dropped my knitting. The venue has to be seen to quite understand how they've just got it so right. Stoinkingly awesome.

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