(no subject)

Sep. 26th, 2017 07:51 am
bitterlawngnome: (Default)
[personal profile] bitterlawngnome


Nagymező utca 19, Budapest; 6797
© Bill Pusztai 2017

This sort of apartment block built around a central courtyard is very common in the older parts of Pest. You'll look in the front door of an apartment block apparently crumbling and neglected, blank and undistinguished from its neighbours, and see hints of a lush and well-kept inner courtyard garden, prettily painted walls and shutters, and every sign of a place well-loved and cared for. It's a metaphor for how the culture works actually. Public faces are allowed to be barren and brutal, partly because you don't want to look wealthy and therefore become a target, and partly because public life was so ruthlessly brutalized under the Russians. You see it in many ways overt and subtle, and it makes the city intriguing and many-layered.

In a commercial building, sometimes every apartment on the first, second and even third floor will be occupied by a different small business, sometimes exceedingly specialised. Luggage zipper repair, a maker of shopping bags and backpacks embroidered with cartoon figures, a shisha bar with two small tables and an espresso machine, the office of bicycle tour guide, a record store that's clearly been there for 50+ years, a seller of nuts and seeds for making pastry (who grinds them for you on the spot), a tailor who specialises in clothes echoing late Habsburg styles, a tattoo shop with one chair and no obvious sterile facilities.

more, and some notes )


Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof (Main Train Station); 2751
© Bill Pusztai 2017

Now we are back in Frankfurt, and the unpacking starts for me.

Well...

Sep. 22nd, 2017 12:38 pm
johnny9fingers: (Default)
[personal profile] johnny9fingers
It appears that Madame's operation was successful so far.
Fingers crossed.

And some more good news:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41351159


Today looks to be a herald of a small victory for Madame, and one potentially huge one for millions of other folk. Fingers double-crossed.

Update.

Sep. 20th, 2017 11:12 am
johnny9fingers: (Default)
[personal profile] johnny9fingers
Fred has her surgery tomorrow.
Fingers crossed.

She's told the kids she needs to have an operation in hospital and won't be around. Her mum is staying with her in Dulwich. I have the kids over this weekend and from Thursday next. It's all been a bit hectic, and, as with our separation, we've kept the kids in the dark about stuff. Who knew that parenting entailed such subterfuge and moral equivocation? But it seems that some information is best kept on a "need to know" basis, as we protect the kids from stuff they may not need to know if everything works out fine.

Stage 1 (b). Radical surgery and a lymph-node-ectomy, and maybe some radio and chemo. They got it early, thank the gods. Madame of course is caught in the bureaucratic void between private patients and the NHS. They don't talk much to each other. Paperwork isn't shared. Stuff can slip between the cracks. And it's just more hassle when she doesn't need it.

Anyway, I'll know more in the next few days.

(no subject)

Sep. 19th, 2017 04:14 pm
bitterlawngnome: (Default)
[personal profile] bitterlawngnome


Budapest / Bullet Holes; 6774
© Bill Pusztai 2017

(no subject)

Sep. 19th, 2017 11:41 am
bitterlawngnome: (Default)
[personal profile] bitterlawngnome


from the train window between Munich and Saltzberg; 6553
© Bill Pusztai 2017


from the train window between Munich and Saltzberg; 6629
© Bill Pusztai 2017


from the train window between Munich and Saltzberg; 6722
© Bill Pusztai 2017

Went to Charlie's funeral today...

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:44 pm
johnny9fingers: (Default)
[personal profile] johnny9fingers
Lots of folk there. Chaps from the Popes sent messages. Lots of musos, folk from Upland Road, and friends and rellies from all around.

We'd talked about putting a band together last year. Instead I moved out to my flat, and Charlie, who was only fifty-three, found he had Cancer. He fought against it, of course. He is survived by his wife and son. May their grief be short, and their memories everlasting.

Also saw someone else pertinent to my life has died. Pertinent to all of our lives, actually.

www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/18/soviet-officer-who-averted-cold-war-nuclear-disaster-dies-aged-77


Honour to Lt Col Stanislav Petrov, and to his memory, and to his shared humanity.

hurricanes, bricks, and civilization

Sep. 18th, 2017 02:13 pm
chromakei: Chroma Key smiling mountain Kirin icon (Default)
[personal profile] chromakei
This is taken from a web forum conversation this week in the wake of the hurricanes. I found it to be interesting and thought I should preserve this moment in US society.

Me:
Why would you buy something in 2017 (let me guess: no-bids contract?) and then liquidate it for pennies on the dollar just before its intended service is required by the public? Is this some longhand form of embezzlement?

(anon):
When has your wonderful big government ever made economically wise decisions with our money? You are pretty naive.

Me:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_library
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_school
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARPANET
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Environmental_Protection_Agency
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superfund
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Agriculture
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WIC

What I do not understand is how someone can actually sit inside a civilization while picking away at the bricks that are there to keep it from collapsing in upon us all.

Isn't it such a wickedly perverse thing to do? Do you not apprehend the function of these bricks around us? Are you with us or the barbarians? Or have you gone mad, sir?


(anon):
This country isn't held together with bricks anymore, it's held together with bullshit... You keep believing these bricks of bullshit are holding us together and you become part of the problem... You think these are bricks that hold us together... eventually ... all ... the world won't be enough to keep them from collapsing...


Me:
Well, at least we're speaking plainly. I don't believe that you can defend most of your conclusions in a manner that would convince me or those who share in my apprehension of this situation.

My analogy holds strong as the most apt. When you denigrate those 'bricks,' not only do you degrade The People and the country as a bedlamite and literal anti-conservative, but you also lay siege to urbanity and the upward progression of mankind out of the wilderness and low beastly squalor. You interrupt the journey out of the darkness and toward the light of God and you divert us back to the stone age.


Me:
I understand now intuitively how entire civilizations spiritually and materially decline to ruin. How can you not see it for yourself? History is our guide and our warning. The patterns of humanity and civilization have not changed in at least six-thousand years.

(no subject)

Sep. 17th, 2017 06:45 am
bitterlawngnome: (Default)
[personal profile] bitterlawngnome


the Aspark Owl; 1396
© Bill Pusztai 2017

Well, I'm in Europe. Frankfurt right now. It's all a bit overwhelming, largely due to the jetlag which is really kicking my ass. We have completed shooting the auto show and spent some time yesterday sightseeing.


Frankfurt, pollarded sycamores by the river; 6350
© Bill Pusztai 2017

More later.

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