Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Tuesday Was Another Quiet Day For Us,

in the afternoon Alex called by for a soft drink and a chat,

it was supposed to be cooling down with the onset of the cool season next month, running from November through to the end of February, but there was no sign of the weather getting cooler today, far from it, 

in the evening after our evening meal it was feet up for the evenings film, tonight Siberia, it looked so good, the story is about an American diamond merchant who travels to Russia to sell rare blue diamonds of questionable origin, as the deal begins to collapse he falls into an obsessive relationship with a Russian cafe owner in a small Siberian town, the treacherous world of the diamond trade from which he is unable to extricate himself closes in around him, the American desperately looks for escape in a world with no exit, it looked so good, diamond double dealing with Russian, South African and other violent parities all viciously trying to steal the diamonds, well it looked good, but as for the action? let me think of an example, I know, three years ago I bought some black paint for the front gate, the excitement I received watching the paint dry all afternoon was so more intense that the action in this film, and it was not only me, as the end credits started to roll, even Diana for the fourth time whilst watching, asked where the action was!

still all was not lost as we watched a few more installments of The Last Ship, and with a laugh and a chuckle at some of the clangers we were off to bed.

One Of The Many Fascinating Things About Japan,

is the confectionery that is available there,

but nowhere else in the world, we first mentioned Kit Kats way back in 2015, then again three times in 2016, in JanuaryMarch, and November, and more recently in February and August 2017

and they are looking forward to 2019 with a competition for new flavours, but back to now, Japan seems to have a unique thirst for Kit Kats, and from Nestle Japan, here are a few new flavours for 2018,

 with various Western Japanese Kit Kat flavors in a single set, the Kit Kat Gotochi West Japan Assort Set features 12 pieces of mini Kit Kat in 6 different flavors,

 limited-edition Wasabi Kit Kat features wafers covered in wasabi-flavored white chocolate, recommended for wasabi lovers everywhere,

and they just had to make one of my favorite ice creams, with this special limited-edition Tokyo Rum Raisin Kit Kat, it features wafers smothered in rich, rum-raisin flavored white chocolate,

 another classic in the Otona no Amasa adult-oriented (but not only) Kit Kat flavours, dark chocolate! 

 if you thought Nestle Japan were short of ideas regarding their Kit Kat variations, you were wrong, as here is their new Hokkaido Mascarpone Melon flavor,

and just in time for Halloween, now they are releasing their new Halloween Caramel Pudding flavor, and no I am not on commision, but please feel free to send samples!

Many People,

including us,

 like looking at conservatories, but can not travel to every location to see many of them, well you can now look at many of these cathedrals to gardening from your own home, photographer duo India Hobson and Magnus Edmondson (known collectively as Haarkon), celebrate the universal beauty and rich history of glass greenhouses in a new book, Glasshouse Greenhouse, above from the book, Gardens by the Bay, Singapore,all photographs © Haarkon,

 Tropical Display Dome, Brisbane Botanic Garden, Mount Coot-tha, Queensland, Australia

 The Kibble Palace, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Glasgow UK

 University of Oxford Botanic Garden, Oxford UK

 and not that we have been to many, but our favorite Kew Gardens, which we have visited a few times both in May 2016, and March 2018,

 filled with verdant images of greenhouses from around the world, the book is divided into seven thematic chapters including History, Research, and Pleasure, Haarkon complement the visual storytelling with written reflections that explain each location and their experience in discovering it,

the UK-based pair travels widely for their editorial and commercial work as visual storytellers, and seeking out greenhouses has become a touchpoint in their explorations of new places, in an interview with the Telegraph, Hobson shares, “It’s a fusion of both botanicals and architecture, an odd but extremely satisfying mix of the organic and engineered which I think appeals to a broad range of [people]. To me, they are a universal language in some ways: the fusion of many cultures and countries all under one beautiful glass roof.” freshly published by Pavilion Books on October 4th, Glasshouse Greenhouse is Haarkon’s debut book and it is available on Amazon, You can see more from Hobson and Edmondson on their website and Instagram, and no I am not on commission, we just love going to look at plants from around the world.

Thank Goodness,

for Sat-Nav,

as I think it would be the only way I would find my way through or around the Qianchun interchange in the mountainous province of Guizhou, in China, construction on the Qianchun Interchange began in 2009, but the massive road knot was only completed last year,

it consists of 18 different ramps, in 8 directions, on five different layers, with the highest one standing 37 meters above ground, like the nearby Huangjuewan Overpass, in Chongqing, this incredibly complex infrastructure project has been labelled a nightmare for motorists trying to find their way around, but wait a second would my Sat-Nav be confused by the five different layers of road? officials claims that the directions and exits on the interchange are clearly marked and that even if you make mistakes, it’s always easy to turn around, well that's a relief then!

Origami And Dresses,

seem like a strange combination,

 but the idea seems to work,

 Montreal-based artists Melika Dez and Pauline Loctin met in January 2018 and decide to combine their imaginations in a creative collaboration,

 he result, PLI.Ē Project, fuses Dez’s skills as a movement photographer with Loctin’s expertise in paper art, and showcases dancers around the world wearing hand-folded paper costumes,

 Loctin specifically formed each dress’s shape and color palette to the dancer who would be modeling it, and Dez worked to situate her models in iconic settings from the streets of New York City to the Louvre Museum in Paris,

 Dez shares that the project came together in two phases: first as a studio shoot with professional ballet dancers wearing Loctin’s creations, and later as a worldwide endeavor photographing dancers and costumes outside. “Paper can be a fragile material to work with and that is exactly why we decided to make the impossible, possible. No matter which element we would be confronted to, water (rain), wind, we wanted to show that we are limitless.”

 the PLI.Ē Project photographs are on view in Montreal through November 4, 2018, and the duo hopes to shoot a second series of the work and eventually publish a photo book, 

You can see more from Loctin on Instagram and Facebook and from Dez on Instagram, paper origami and dresses, what a strange but winning combination.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Monday Dawned,

bright and blue,

but we did not go out, as usual it was a quiet day for us, in the afternoon we caught up with a few from Bargain Hunt and the Antiques Roadshow, after our evening meal a film, 

Gotti, which was sort of interesting, but it jumped between so many storylines and timeframes it was a total mismash, it was almost like looking a 5 or 6 films made by different people from different viewpoints, then spliced together to give you the film called Gotti, it is a pity the writer did not watch say Casino and learn from that, we rounded off the evening with another couple from The Last Ship, the storyline so full of holes I am surprised the ship did not sink, but fun to watch for light humour, and with that we were off to bed.

Not Only Did Christopher Columbus,

find the Americas,

as depicted in this painting above,

 but he also found mermaids, on January 9, 1493, Christopher Columbus is sailing off the coast of the Dominican Republic, when he sees what he believes are three mermaids, He was absolutely serious in this conviction and reported that they were “not half as beautiful as they are painted”, according to History, mermaids are said to be beautiful women from the waist up and have the bodies of fish from the waist down, while it’s not too far a reach to understand how lonely sailors who have been months away from home might imagine such a creature, 

 it’s far more likely that what Columbus actually saw were manatees which are are large marine mammals which have flat tails, flippers, and egg-like heads, which are also known as sea cows, are more closely related to elephants than cows, according to Live Science, the creatures, mermaids exist in the mythology of Japan, in the Arabian Nights, and in the British Isles, they’re usually of the “siren” variety, singing to men on ships or shores and luring them to drown or be eaten,

it really wasn’t until the 1837 publication of Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Little Mermaid” (on which the Disney movie with the same name was loosely based) when the modern imagining of the mermaid as something sweet and friendly came into fashion, the painting of The Little Mermaid by E. S. Hardy (circa 1890), above, even today, there are occasional “mermaid sightings”, Live Science also noted that in 2009 there were reports of a mermaid sighted off the coast of Israel where she performed a few tricks for those watching, just before sunset, and then disappeared into the night,

as an aside, 

 starting this post about Christopher Columbus, 

 it is possible even his own parents would not have recognized him, looking at paintings of him, apparently nobody thought of actually painting a portrait of him, 

every artist that painted the Italian born explorer had never met the man!

No Tea Breaks, No Holidays,

no unions, no sick pay,

well except for maintenance, welcome to Japanese retailing giant UNIQLO, who opened their Ariake offices back in 2015 but the warehouse was plagued with problems and was not as efficient as it should be, answer? get rid of those pesky humans, with their demands for sleep and working hours, the company committed to overhaul the warehouse, which was unveiled last week, the result, in which 90% of the warehouse workforce was replaced by robots, in the video above that was produced in the warehouse, crates get lifted from ceiling-high shelves by robotic cranes; boxes zoom down conveyor belts getting sorted left and right, 

in fact, from the moment that trucks arrive at the warehouse with merchandise, to the time the boxes are shipped out to customers, there seems to be only 1 instance of human interaction: the act of placing the merchandise into the box, everything else from inventory management and storage to box assembly and distribution is done by robots, the Ariake Warehouse overhaul is part of a broader agreement between UNIQLO and Daifuku, a provider of customized inventory solutions such as this one, together, the companies plan on automating all of UNIQLO’s warehouses and work has already begun in factories in China, Thailand, Australia and the U.S. the future is here, now.

It Is Bad Enough That Clowns Are Demonised,

but now The Joker is getting in on the act,

 a wannabe ‘killer clown’ who dressed like popular Batman villain The Joker was recently jailed for terrorizing the people of Nottinghamshire, in England, for three months, 29-year-old Damien Hammond, a homeless and jobless man who styled himself like Heath Ledger’s character in the hit movie The Dark Knight Rises, has been jailed for 22 weeks and banned from Nottingham for three years, after going on a three-month crime spree just a few miles from the real-life Gotham village, Hammond, who is well known around Nottingham for his obsession with The Joker, reportedly pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct towards staff in various retail stores, waving a gun-shaped cigarette lighter while standing in traffic, and striking a police officer, among other charges,

“It is very rare for someone to be banned from the entire city centre but when necessary we and our partner agencies will take all steps available to us to prevent this kind of behaviour,” Inspector Anwaar Ahmed, of Nottinghamshire Police, said, as he was being led to jail by police officers, the real-life Joker of Nottinghamshire shouted “See what you have done, I will kill today!”, vowing to stab prison officers and fellow inmates once his jail sentence began, Holy Catfish!, where’s a real-life Batman when you need one?

Once Used To Just See In The Dark,

light has become a light form in itself,

 I just love pictures of neon signs like these that in Walking Street,

 I took some time ago,

 but now things have moved on a pace regarding lighting, in her book Lust for Light published by Gingko PressHannah Stouffer culls the practices of a variety of artists such as Liz WestMiguel ChevalierJames ClarJun Hao Ong, and Yayoi Kusama to present a wide selection of more traditional and daring examples of light-based work, photograph above by Liz West,

 James Clar

 Phillip K. Smith III

 Signe Pierce

Yayoi Kusama, Liz West has been working for the last year and a half on the 376-page collection, she was overwhelmed and humbled by the impact of light, while also fascinated by what it represents, “All of the artists in this book are working to recreate its likeness, utilize it as a source of their work, and capture the inspiring glow that it produces,” she continues. “There is both a fascination and familiarity with this elemental, undeniably appealing form of energy, which is both tangible and completely uncontainable.” there will be a release party with art installations and projections at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles on October 25th, 2018, and no I am not on commision, I just like the photographs.

Monday, 15 October 2018

It Had Stopped Raining,

at just the right time for us,

 as we were out for our Sunday lunch, so glad rags on and we were off,

 as we walked through the car park, I noticed this plant growing, back in the late 1950s it was a popular house plant, called a rubber plant, (Ficus elastica), I remember Mum used to polish it's leaves with some sort of commercial leaf shine product, it just seemed so strange seeing one out here growing in the wild,

 and 10 baht later here we were,

 looking up at the Robin Hood Tavern,

 it is located in the Avenue on Second Road,

 just walk upstairs,

 and there we are,

 looking down onto Second Road,

 and at the rear, a beer garden with some nice water features, 

 for our starters Diana chose spring rolls,

 for myself a prawn cocktail,


 on to our main courses, 

 we both choses the same, the 199 baht mixed meats roast,

 and another 'Cheers!',

 we both decided against a dessert, we were so full, the price of the meal including 4 large glasses of wine came to just a tad over 1,500 baht, thankfully the rain storm that engulfed Pattaya as we were eating had stopped,

so downstairs we went, looking down on the front water feature,

 we made a move for home,

we walked past Ripley's,

 looking back the traffic was bad,

 moving, but so slowly,

 but not on the other side of the Pattaya Tai traffic lights, clear roads,

 and a waiting baht bus for the 10 baht ride home,

 as we walked towards the condominium, this little chap made Diana jump, 

 a small frog, that I guess the rain had brought out, 

 it does not look it, but as we approached our building,

and arrived inside it, the sky was starting to cloud over again, but no worries for us as it was feet up for the crop of this week's Crime and Investigation episodes, 

in the evening we put a film on, The Mummy, the 2017 version, which was quite watchable, but in fairness we preferred the 1999 version, note to film crews, if you are going to feature the London Underground, in the UK it has a 4 rail system, not the 2 rail system that is used in American subway rail systems, a common but laughable mistake, next more comedy from The Last Ship, and with the end of two episodes of that we were off to bed.