An aimless day of flaneuring (that's probably not a word) around St. James and Victoria. With some good cafes through in.
Starting with a look around the new asprey store on Bond Street. Didn't like it much, they're doing a similiar thing to Ralph Lauren around the corner - a stately home where everything's for sale - but it's much less appealing. I do like this bike though. Where would you have to live that you could just ride around town on one of these? Monte Carlo?
Then I went to see the FIFA 100 thing at the Royal Acadamy. Wasn't expecting much. Interested to see it as a further demonstration of football's complete cultural dominance. But it was actually pretty good. Big rooms. Big art. Nothing overly clever.
There was quite a lot of constanation when I was there because someone had just vandalised the Beckham shot. (I particularly like this report in the Mirror - speculating that the scrawl of 'you loosers' was a reference to Rebecca Loos. Yeah right.) All the guards/attendants were glaring at me most suspiciously. Perhaps they realised that my spelling ain't that great either.
Then down to Victoria and lunch at the delicious Wilkins vegetarian cafe. There are load of great untouched cafes in Victoria. It must be because the place never changes - all those institutions and government departments mean that the same kind of people have always lived and worked there. So the patterns of need and demand don't change. And there's not huge gentrification booms and rent hikes and stuff. Or not. I dunno. I just know that I'm going to be exploring the cafes of Victoria/Pimllico.
Then to Tate Britain and the brilliant Michael Landy house. I love the way this looks in the venerable old Tate.
I went around the Art Of The Garden thing too, which was alright. This was the best thing - The Gerrard Winstanley Radical Gardening Space Reclamation Mobile Field Center and Weather Station (European Chapter) 2000 by Nils Norman. What's happening to me - vegetarian cafes and radical utopian art? I work in advertising for God's sake. This sabbatical is lasting too long.
Then off to the Regency Cafe - a fantastic art deco place. Then we dropped Arthur off at Alfie's because me and Anne both went to the launch of the same thing - We Are What We Do - which we've both been contributing our efforts to. Anne more than me.
Then, as a treat, we took Arthur for tea to Yo Sushi! (which he calls Lunch Go Round and Round, which is a much better name.)
Started the day with a delicious bacon roll at Bar Italia.
Outside the chippy on Old Compton Street. Looks somewhat disreputable, more like a Dutch chip enjoying a joint. And the severed limb doesn't help. Still, I think there should generally be more large scale personifications of your product.
Then to Bon Appetit on Cleveland Street which is fantastic.
That's basically what I need to know. Hangovers and heart health.
I'm a big fan of RAF information design. More businesses should try and get lots of information on one big board that everyone can see. Too much crucial stuff is hidden in Powerpoint documents on hard-drives. Big, phyiscal information display. That'll be the saviour of British industry.
A bringing a helicopter in to land. Got a little dicey up there for a while.
Sometimes it must have been hard for the RAF to look impressive. Especially if there were Americans looking.
Fun catching parachutes.
Ace cafe on the way home.
We started the day with a drive around the living room.
Then off to the Derbyshire County Show, traditionally a huge disappointment. Not so bad this year. There were some tractors.
And the JCB dancing diggers. Arthur liked them afterwards, but at the time he was worried by the bangs.
Czech Republic 3 - Denmark 0
Drove up to Manchester to visit an agency called Love Creative. Some of them saw me talk at the MPA and asked for a copy of the presentation. I thought it'd be more fun to go and see them. And it was. But I think we were both slightly puzzled by my presence there.
Nice drive back to Eaton Barn through Buxton.
Had to go to Church Street to get a parking permit, so I decided to just wander around Marylebone and that. Went past E. Gandalfi on Marylebone Road. What a great sign.
And this is the archive bookstore on Bell Street. Closed when I went by, but I must return.
This was a great thing to see inside this fire station. On Chiltern Street I think. Which is a great place, a street of specialists. Recorder shops. Shops for tall women. And right around the corner from the Widescreen Centre.
Then around to the Brunswick Centre. That bastion of fiercely concrete architecture. I love it, especially the way the tenants try to make it look like another cute bit of Bloomsbury, so you get Skoob and the Renoir and the Cartoon Art Trust. Went to look at the McGill thing but I didn't really like it. Too crude, in all senses. I was, however reminded how much I like the Carl Giles's stuff. Not especially funny. Don't like his politics. But the cartoons are so full of life and colour. Even the black and white ones. My mum used to get the Express and I used to pour over the Giles cartoon for ages, while somehow knowing that the rest of the paper was horrible.
Then into the Panino D'Oro for a cuppa.
Then home and saw the best rainbow I've ever seen. Complete. Bright. Enormous. The pot of golds clearly somewhere around Oxford Circus and/or Warren Street. Probably put up by BT engineers.
Whatever those flowers are we've got in the window box. They last forever.
We lose to Portugal on penalties.
This is a bad sign. I can't remember what I did on June 23rd. That's bad. Except I remember getting Arthur early from nursery and we went to get a copy of Disney's Peter Pan, which he'd expressed an interest in. I was very fond of this film as a kid and was really exciting. It's still pretty bloody good. Apart from horribly racist portrayals of 'Red Indians'. Arthur kept asking who those animals were? It was hard to explain. Ah the perils of modern parenting.
Germany 1 - Czech Republic 2
(UPDATE: All the links below are broken, but, should you want to, you can hear all the same stuff here.)
I wasted almost all of today fiddling about online, backing up files and doing general digital tidying up. I did come across some files I'd forgotten about though, which I thought I'd share. At the turn of the century, 1999-2000 W+K, where I work, ran a thing called the Slime Mold prize.
Everyone in the company was asked to submit a proposal for an art project and a few were selected to be funded. I was one of the lucky ones. My project was simple on the surface, and a nightmare to execute. But a good nightmare. I sent a blank audio cassette to everyone in W+K (about 500 people at the time) and asked them to record anything they wanted to on it. I was then going to take all their bits, mess around with them with a sampler and create a bit of music that 'felt like' W+K. The Slime Mold fund helped me pay for some software and a sampler. I made about 20 tracks all together, made a CD (called Found) and sent it to everyone in the company. Got some favourable reactions but mostly blank incomprehension. Listening to it again I can understand why. It's very 'of its time' - you can spot the Norman Cook influences, very very self-indulgent and way too long. But there's the odd moment that's not totally humiliating. Here are some examples if you want to have a listen. They're built almost entirely out of sounds contributed on the tapes ( I was very lucky in that a couple of W+K musos recorded some great drum loops for me.) The only additions are Portland/W+K related things like movie soundtracks and sounds from ads.
Welcome to Wieden and Kennedy. A bit predictable, but I like the movie soundtrack opening and it bounces along. About 5.5MB.
Eat That Egg Fast. A quicky. Strange atmospherics and tale of grandmotherly spooking from Joe Shands. About 2 MB.
Significant Acid. A story about a Grateful Dead gig in Oregon. With nice drums and sounds built entirely from a sampled violin. About 5MB.
Il Gato Blu. Italian soccer fans singing something with some mad drums underneath. 2.3MB
Boogers. Bob and Susan Moore sing to their kid. Then it goes a bit crazy. About 4.8 MB.
Do I Know You? Not as Big Beaty as most of it. Almost predictive of the technoclash influx. It's got Bill Gates on it. And lots of Windows desktop sounds. About 5.3 MB.
Hands In Your Pockets, Pockets In Your Pants. Very long, very self-indulgent. But I like the mood of this one. This has got lots of David Kennedy bashing bits of wood and metal in his barn. And some monologue from one of his ancient relatives. About 7 MB.
An Amazing Number Of Jennifers. Probably only listenable if you've ever worked at W+K. Jed ALger, drunk, late at night, muses on the phone list. About 7 MB. Enjoy. Or rather. Tolerate.
Spent the day with Gary and Toby, doing some stuff about brands and communications strategy. Managed to get burned in the Derbyshire sun. That's never happened before. Then motored down to London shouting along to Seconds Out. Are we due for an mid-to-early Genesis revival?