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Post-Elizabethan London

I went on a photo-gathering trip to London yesterday, while preparations for the Queen’s funeral were in full swing.

The train station was warning people not to join The Queue.

Shop windows were full of Queen Elizabeth images/merch, and also Paddingtons. It infuriates me how Paddington has become associated with the Queen but more on that some other time.

This is not just public mourning! This is M&S public mourning!

Flowers and flags popping up in all sorts of places.

The Marble Arch area was packed with people. I did get this nice picture of a bird though.

Onto Hyde Park. People and police everywhere, and a load of screens and portaloos set up for the funeral.

(other crowds, cops, & the odd yelling person not pictured.)

Found a weird beehive type thing and an unbothered raven.

Apparently this also happened in Hyde Park:


and I’m glad I didn’t see that because I would have lost my fucking mind. Just a really, really shitty thing to do. (The part of me that still has a shred of optimism about human nature wonders if some of those flowers, the ones unmarked by any Queen pictures, genuinely were for Holocaust victims but I suspect not. I mean, I hope so, I just suspect not.)

On lighter notes…

I do like this pic of the Union Jacks at half-mast, it came out really well.

This shot of a plane going past a statue isn’t too bad either.

Oh look more Paddingtons, Paddingtons everywhere. Wouldn’t it make SO MUCH more sense for these to be given to refugee kids who arrive in Britain with no toys?

So Buckingham Palace itself was closed off but the area around it was MENTAL.

The tributes from children I suppose are touching in a way, but only in the same sense any children’s drawing left out in the rain is.

Those photos probably don’t give the full scale of everything but hopefully this video does.

Absolute chaos I tell you. So were the surrounding areas.

Piccadilly Circus looked beautiful but police were everywhere.

There was a moment of silence for the Queen on the train! ON THE TRAIN! Madness. A voice came over the tannoy asking for a minute’s silence but most people in the carriage were asleep anyway.

Got home and was informed shortly afterwards that my grandmother had taken a turn for the worse. Apparently, she can’t even recognise her family members now. It absolutely sucks. But the country won’t stand still for her, will it.

Cobra Kai season 5

This also doubles as a Chozen appreciation post, what a dude. “Unhinged trained killer who is also pretty much just a weird uncle” is just one of my favourite character archetypes ever.

(Spoilers ahead!)

This was a good season that very much felt like a final one. Daniel and Johnny are finally friends, they’re healing their relationships with their kids, I’m not really sure where else they can go from here. Unless they revisit the plot with Miguel’s biological father, it is a little odd that it petered out so fast.

Some folks are saying that Hilary Swank’s character from The New Karate Kid (I’ve never seen it, sorry!) might be back in the future and I like that idea simply because Hilary Swank is a great actress and I haven’t seen her in anything for a while. Also this season brought back Robyn Lively as Jessica and revealed she was Amanda’s cousin which was the last thing I expected, so it’s not like they couldn’t do it in an organic way if they wanted.

Fundamentally this is SUCH a silly show, all full of big fights and prison breaks and blatant fanservice but I still love it to pieces because it takes itself so deadly seriously. These guys deliver speeches about karate tournaments like they’re deciding the fate of the human race. It’s amazing. Yeah, I reckon they can pull off one or two more seasons.

Sep 11

9/11 has rolled round again. Everything that happened there is still one of the most terrifying things I can imagine, although maybe not for the reasons you might think. Just like, imagine dying in a horrible way and *then* your death is used to justify years of atrocities. Doesn’t matter who you were or what you thought. For the rest of eternity you’d be at best a statistic and at worst a symbol of nationalism and racism. You’d be warped forever without your consent. It haunts me and it could happen to me, to anyone at any time. Even if you *want* to dismantle the systems that made it happen, it means nothing in the face of war. Nothing you ever did would mean anything.

I hate 9/11 jokes.

The Queen Died

What a strange day it’s been. One day before my wedding anniversary actually. I saw “Balmoral” trending on Twitter and it turned out to be a news story about how the Queen was in ill health. Lots of wisecracks scrolling down. (My favourite was “She meets Liz Truss and starts dying the very next day, I respect that.”)

Later on today I marvelled at how much better I was feeling post-breakdown, I’m on some fantastic new meds. I decided to fix the TV box since it had been messing up since pre-breakdown and making the image flicker on and off all the time. I got it working properly and immediately, a black screen and an announcement saying “Stand by for a message from the BBC” like I’ve heard in World War II-set movies.

“Holy crap, she’s actually dead!” I told my husband.

She was indeed Actually Dead. But I suppose the Queen isn’t really what I want to talk about. There’s not a huge amount to say, I’ve never met her (a few members of my family have gone to special Palace events where she was there, but that’s all) and she lived a long, charmed life.

Actually I want to talk about my grandmother. She was born two weeks before the Queen was in April 1926. She went through World War II at the same age the Queen did, but in considerably more danger than the Queen was, because she was working class and from a working class area that was very heavily bombed. She ended up joining the Wrens, I think, though I don’t know what she did there. Here’s a pic of her, clumsily colourized by an app:

I just take a weird sort of pleasure in knowing that a working class woman outlived the Queen, I guess. She’s in a care home now on the other side of the country, I plan to visit her soon.

Thirteen Lives

Man, Ron Howard really excels at making disaster films with “thirteen” in the title, doesn’t he? I feared going in that this would be a Hollywoodized white saviour type movie, but nope, just a matter-of-fact dissection of events. The British rescue divers are portrayed as competent but it’s made clear they wouldn’t have been able to do what they did without the co-operation and sacrifice of people from all over the world.

The fact that everyone going into this movie knows exactly what happens doesn’t make it any less nerve-racking. It does show Saman Kunan’s death up close which I found very hard to watch.

A great film overall, and it also does the correct thing in not mentioning Elon Musk’s “involvement” at all. I’m sure he was longing to be the star of the kind of movie this movie isn’t.

fourteen favourite shots: Moulin Rouge

I was about 14 years old when I first saw Moulin Rouge and it never really left me I guess. Just a beautiful, beautiful movie. Made even the most wretched parts of its setting look like a dream.

You’ll notice that the “Roxanne” scene features prominently here, and that’s because it’s the most electrifying musical sequence ever put to film. I will die on that hill.

Screencaps here.