I know I love the Notting Hill carnival, but every year I am reminded of how much I do. It is an authentic slice of London. This painting expresses it better than I can:
I also like modernism, and am sitting in Meanwhile Gardens, in the shadow of Goldfinger's Trellick Tower, on a perfect hot day, and the sound system is playing a reggae version of Knocking on Heaven's Door, the song the busker in the Greenwich foot tunnel was playing. A good tune is a good tune, I suppose. Previously, it was playing a version of this one:
It's remarkable that a great architect was commissioned to build homes and schools for the poor. Too bad that's not the zeitgeist these days, but it's cyclical and London will always attract greatness.
they should be making living wage jobs available for the poor.
Relative poverty now afflicts almost a fifth of people living in working households in the UK. That is an increase of 40 per cent from the mid-1990s, driven in part by higher rents in private and social housing, according to research published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)
unfortunately poor will always be poor. thats life. all you can do is give them chances if they want to work to make more money and bring themselves up .
most do not have the initiative or ability so they are stuck with what they have. cruel but true.
handouts only give hope of more handouts so no reason to get ahead. if apples keep falling off the tree why go climb up and get them.
Mathematics is my talent in life, and probability was always a favourite topic. As a teenager, I was fascinated by whatever gambling books I could get hold of. Like Total Poker, by David Spanier. I must have been one of the first in the UK to have heard of Sklansky. "For Sklansky, read tight." (I don't recall Ray Zee being mentioned in any of them.) I like Americana.
Then, later on, I got interested in blackjack. I read Ken Uston's book from cover to cover, and tried applying his system in various London casinos, until I realized that there must be easier ways to make money.
Fast forward to 2005, and I discover online poker. Eureka! Life then gets in the way, but for 16 months consecutively from 2010 I make £1200 a month, playing weak-tight, 3-table, $100 NL for two or three hours a day.
Then, in 2012, I run like a **** all year. I am of above average rationality, some of which I have learnt from this site, but still I can't get through it. I had assumed there would be an endless supply of fish, like all the people I encountered in London casinos who have more regard for rabbits' feet than mathematics, but too many people are getting good. If you read this site and pay $30 a month to watch DeucesCracked videos, it's not difficult to beat me.
But really, my passion in life had already been spent elsewhere, on other aspects of mathematics, and I gave up on the gambling path.
if math is your specialty why would you be a weak tight player. and i believe i was the one who coined the term weak tight.
in slightly older times just doing no more than counting cards and proper play of such you could plan on making one big bet per hour. that was actually an easy way to make money.
many good players made 100,000 a year just counting and playing only say 20 to 100 when you could bet like that.
not easy but many physical skilled jobs can be made. much better than having people on public welfare that can work.
help the truly needy though. and most for a short term that have had a situation. no long term gifts for those that can help themselves.
I am partial to impromptu arrangements, and am unexpectedly at an 80th Birthday party at a pub in Great Yarmouth of the dad of a friend from school. A family I know well enough to be a part of, but have not seen for many years. They have expanded, and it is a good night.
Following school, my friend went to prison for desecrating the grave of the Duke of Beaufort. Now all he wants is to go to the casino. I tag along, and the normalcy of the clientele feeding money into mindless, -EV games is disturbing. They are hooked in a profound way. I don't want to be there so I go for a walk along the seafront. Happily, when I return my friend is winning, so is able to leave, and my autonomy doesn't get caught up yet again in someone else's addiction.
A dishevelled guy gets in on Tottenham Court road.
"Montpelier Grove. Off Lady Margaret road, in Kentish Town."
Okay. First part of the journey is unequivocal. Then:
"Is it best to go via Brecknock road, sir.?"
Yes. Indeed. Camden road then Brecknock road. I take the professional route. I'll have to get the microphone in the cab fixed, because I don't mean to be rude, but there is something I'm curious about when we arrive. He's wearing but exactly the jacket.
"Excuse me, sir, I don't mean to be rude, but are you a fan of the TV show The Prisoner?"
No and yes, but I get a "that's very good" off him.
I have watched Fall Out many times over the years, and it is a masterpiece, and it is what it is like to be me.
I hadn't thought about the Prisoner in years. I once spent 5 minutes trying to explain to my future brother-in-lay that a Lotus 7 wasn't a Volkswagen. After I failed, I knew everything about my future in-laws that I needed to know.
My grandad ran an engineering firm of some kind, and had dealings with Colin Chapman. He and my grandmother had a nice house in Hoddesdon at one time. I'm not sure what happened, and I don't care, and I'm the only one who keeps in touch with that side of the family.
Day off. Some mad guy at King's Cross keeps trying to sell cab drivers some like 80-page essay he's written, entitled Work/Life Balance. I've seen him there twice, the most recent being when I start ranting at him about how I'm a cab driver and not a book publisher. No problem, brother. I hereby resolve to buy a copy if I see him again, provided the price is within reason. Maybe he's my guardian angel.
So I pick my mother up from Highbury & Islington station, and we drive over to Chrisp Street market in Poplar for some quality pie & mash at Eastenders. For the first time, we have eels with it. You have stewed eels, not jellied eels, with pie & mash, and the trinity is evidently meant to be. Jellied eels is another matter entirely.
The Victorians had a genius for town planning, and they built parks so large and pleasant as to be permanent and indestructible. Although I'm not from there, the East End somehow captures effortlessly the true essence of London, and to my mind, Victoria Park exemplifies it. I taught in a school in Stepney for five years was my induction. All front and no brains, that's the East End.
A nice walk in the park and a pint in a pub and it is the perfect September day that reminds you it is still technically summer.
My brother is very unwell. He has been an alcoholic for the entirety of his adult life. I wish I could just put him in a caravan somewhere and give him a stipend to buy enough beer each day, and I hate myself for not being able to do that.