scribbles tagged ‘USA’

Sunday afternoon

Monday, June 12th, 2017 | tags:  |

Pulled up at the 4-way. No cars behind, either side, approaching. A pedestrian is steadily sauntering down the centre of the road directly toward me. I fix my eyes on his black sunglasses as I decide to drive around him on the wrong side of the road. He keeps pace and direction, I glance at him in my reverse view mirror, walking directly across the junction without looking for traffic approaching from either side. He disappears over the brow into the wealthy residential district and I wonder if that focussed direction is accompanied by a gun.

Sunday afternoon
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Online by-passed the physical lines

Monday, May 29th, 2017 | tags: , ,  |

Ford Museum ticket line
The Henry Ford Museum entrance was just as confusing as the car parking. My first shot at parking my car took me right through the complex and spat me out onto some interstate. I had to find a place to get out and reset my Satnav (USA = GPS).
Walking into the entrance hall, I found a docent and asked if I needed to stand in line because I already had a ticket purchased online. I didn’t.
Throughout the Ford complex there were many lines and I got to flaunted straight passed all of them because I’d picked up tickets online.
Looks like a lot of local Americans are not using online purchasing…

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Lunch in America

Sunday, June 5th, 2016 | tags: , , ,  |

St Pauls International Children's festivalSt. PaulsDotted around the international children fair were food vans featuring varied cultural delights. As I waited for my pseudo Cornish pasty to warm by this one, I watched another couple waiting patiently. Her arm loosely draped around his waist. She murmured a few words occasionally glancing up to meet his eyes

They looked very much in love

Lunch in America
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Breakfast in America

Saturday, June 4th, 2016 | tags: , ,  |

 Egg cups
Do you have any of those things that you put a boiled egg in to eat it?”

I have about 15 egg cups

Do you cut up bits of toast and dip them in the egg while its in the cup


(Laughter) “why not put the egg on the bread?”

That would be a completely different experience… equally edible

Breakfast in America
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1614 Stakeholder Mapping

Sunday, May 15th, 2016 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

John Speed atlas of Britaine front piece. Estate sales in the USA are rather like having an open house to sell your house contents. An Estate Sales company manages promotion and financial logistics and people come fro all over to buy anything from cutlery, screwdrivers to dining room suites. They seem to happen as standard for middle-class-wish homes. A way of downsizing before moving into retirement homes, following an elderly person’s death.

I picked up this 4ft x 2ft scaled-up reproduction of a front-piece to a 1614 map by “John Speed” for $20. Bargain! The glass and fame are probably each worth more than that!

The border shows heraldic symbols for key Stakeholders in a United Kingdom of Great Britain, from top left, clockwise:

Romane Empire
Heath Britaines
Chritha Britaines
Kentish Britaines
Heathe west Saxons
Christa west Saxons
First Saxon Monarks
Later Saxon Monarks
Norman Kings
Andegavion Kings
Kings of France
Kings of Scotland
Kings of Ireland
Welsh Princes
Later Kings of Wales
First kings of Wales
Cornith Kings
King of Man
Danith Kings
Mercian Kings
East Angles
East Saxons
South Saxons

1614 Stakeholder Mapping
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Purse pack

Sunday, May 15th, 2016 | tags: , , , ,  |

Not a wallet so full that it’s packed. A purse is a handbag. A pack is a package. A package made to fit in a handbag. I am still learning words here in the USA and still using old world words in the wrong place

Wendy called my yard a garden!” a colleague gleefully announced. What’s the difference between a yard and a garden in the USA? She had plants carefully placed, a rocketry that would have impressed the knights that say “Ni”,  it was sculpted, not just a space with a boundary measured in feet and yards.

Purse pack
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I want to bonsai a wisteria

Sunday, May 1st, 2016 | tags: , , , , , ,  |
Bonsai'd wysteria

Bonsai’d Wysteria

The light spring breeze danced with his loose, sparkling, Celtic curls “Can I interest you on some gravel Mam?

The earnest delivery by a boy untouched by razors was enough to make me laugh. Laugh out loud in the old fashioned, diaphram-shaking nature of the emotion. “Thank you, but no thank you, I’m looking for a wisteria in a pot, do you have any?”

Pale as his completion was, this question still managed to still further bleach colour. In seconds,  self-disappointment showed, more effectively than words, across his face. “it’s my second day, I’m only really familiar with the gravel, but I know someone who can help us

He walked me towards another member of staff  “that’s a lovely accent you’ve got, where are you from?”

England, do you have a garden?” Oh dear, I’m interviewing him for his job, must stop being so judgemental…

He introduced me to the next assistant, a boy who looked young enough to still be in high school with the heavy black loose curls that I associate with Italians. I asked about Wisteria. The Celtish boy quickly added “She’s from England, that’s the accent

I suspect they don’t get many people from outside this city district of South Minneapolis. The Italian looking boy replied with a ‘Whatever’ nonchalance “It’s my first day, I don’t know” By now, the store manager had noticed the flocking of her new employees and made a very personable b-line for me. She found out about my general gardening requirements and the boys hovered in the background, witnessing an excellent role model.

No wisteria yet, but I’ll be back. I could even put in a personalised order for the wisteria of my choice. I left empty handed and happy

I want to bonsai a wisteria
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sockets and plugs are made for each other. literally

Friday, November 6th, 2015 | tags: , ,  |

floor socketI walked into a crowded room, at my USA workplace. People milling around and chatting. A attractive colleague I hadn’t seen for a few months strode up to me and gave me a big hug. I’m not used to being hugged in American workplaces, it’s unusual, people tend to be cautious about potential harassment. A most pleasant experience. I was a little flabbergasted by this very public display of affection, and quite flattered. Ego inflation.

15 minutes later I was sat on the floor discussing floor plug design, as an aside to work, with a British colleague. For me, a fascinating discussion. We described our home fixtures and how they worked. His are brass, and cost a fortune to install. Mine are plastic, were there when I moved in.

As I described how to open mine “I have to take the top right off”
The attractive colleague was walking behind and exclaimed loudly  “Oh! Should we leave?”
The Brit I was talking to started giggling uncontrollably.

Double entendre? From an attractive American? In the work place!

Later at lunch, during a group conversation the attractive American used touching my arm as a way of indicating that he had something to say to me. I’d forgotten about this type of way of being.

Feels like flirting. I like it. I suspect I have a crush on this boy.
Flirting is fun, I need to brush up on my very rusty skills.

sockets and plugs are made for each other. literally
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Seasonal Affective Disorder

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015 | tags: , , , ,  |

Autumn 006

At first,

I thought a new collective noun had been created for the process of “unfriending” someone when I overheard an American say



Seasonal Affective Disorder
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Dinner with strangers

Thursday, October 15th, 2015 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Chicago trip (15)You have to book a table in the dining car on the Amtrak “Empire Builder”. You wait at the carriage door to be seated and the waiter places you with 3 other passengers, who embarked and will disembark at different stations. Forced socialness.  I was placed at a table with Betty and John, a couple with silvering hair, and Glenn. A fat, balding  realtor with 5 daughters.

Glenn: I detect an accent, what bought you to America, what’s his name

Wendy: (named my employing Fortune 100 company and it’s male CEO)

John nearly spat out his food, and barely managed to subdue the smile. As the meal progressed Glenn changed from domineering, leading the conversation to quiet. I felt a bit mean, but such overt sexism tends to quell my ability to empathise with a person.

Also, Betty and John’s story was very interesting. Glenn’s story was also interesting… but…

Dinner with strangers
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Autumn Amtrak

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015 | tags: , , , ,  |

Riding the “Empire Builder” from Minneapolis to Chicago and back. Over 7hrs each way. Big seats, even bigger luggage allowance.

By accident of fate the retired gentleman that sat next to me on the first journey was a real gem, great company. The time flew by. As he left, he thanked me for being a “great conversationalist”. A compliment I really value, especially now that I spend so little time with people in conversation on anything other than work. What a treat to talk of politics, buildings, the education system, family, climate, anything and many things. In-between our conversations I photographed the fantastic Minnesota and Wisconsin emerging autumn colours.

Chicago trip Chicago trip
Chicago trip Chicago trip (13)

Chicago trip (12)

Autumn Amtrak
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Party lift

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015 | tags: , , ,  |

A creature of habit, on Sunday morning I carry my empty bottle and glassware to the recycle bin in the garage. I rarely meet anyone in the lift. This week, the 5 people in the lift chuckled when they  saw my collection of 3 bottles and one commented that my Saturday might looked more fun than his.

this is a week’s worth of bottles… honest…. ……that didn’t sound very convincing did it”

Chorus “No

stairwell only in emergenciesThe stairwell in the lofts is currently out of bounds, except for emergencies. It’s full of paint fumes. People would get high on the stairs if they accidentally used them.

lift out of orderOne of the two elevators is not working, due to be repaired within 2 weeks.

Can you guess what’s happening?

Sociability enhancements! I’m loving it.

Long waits for the elevator to arrive mean people meet each other while waiting. Frequent stops at each floor mean the elevator quickly fills with people, packages and puppies. We talk, smile, laugh.

It’s jolly nice.

I hope the elevator stays broken for more than 3 weeks.

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Big white balls on the ceiling

Sunday, August 9th, 2015 | tags: , , , ,  |

Bare bulbs in basic ceiling fixtures provide harsh and inadequate light for the Wendy loft. At the moment.

Lighting6 months after moving in  I’ve gotten around to ordering lighting fixtures from ‘Lightworks‘ an awesome little family company that renovates old fixtures, designs and makes new fixtures and just loves lighting. I’ve spent several visits just sat on a bar stool in the shop talking to Charles and Kathryn while Wes walks through and the new puppy tries to get into the showroom.   They are lovely people.

LightingI’ve bought some plain pendants with 18 inch hand blown glass globules ‘shades’ that will cover two bulbs. The photograph is of the shop demo with an 8 inch globe. I’ll have bigger balls, in each room.

I’ve also commissioned them to renovate a standard lamp (circa 1920s) that mum and dad bought as a housewarming gift when I moved to Seattle in 2000.

Charles and Kathryn loved this and told me that if it was being sold today they’d expect about to get about $2,500 for it. WOW, that’s added a couple of zero’s onto what mum and dad paid for it!

By November the loft should have adequate lighting…

Big white balls on the ceiling
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What’s the home of the Vikings?

Monday, August 3rd, 2015 | tags: , , , , , ,  |

Rendering of US Bank Stadium (currently under construction)

A new stadium is being built for the Minneapolis Vikings American football team. The stadium will actually be called the “US Bank” stadium. The home of the Vikings is the IS Bank stadium.  I guess both Vikings and Banks have a reputation for collecting money from other people….

The US bank sponsorship team haven’t come up with a stadium name that inspires fun, images of fabulous things, aspirations and warm feelings for the local customers. It’s the name of the bank. No creativity or imagination involved.  To me it says, we’ve got lots of money and we want to you see and say our name every time you’re thinking of the local football team. A succinct message that says a lot about the culture of the IS Bank and the needs of the organisation providing the stadium (Minneapolis city?).

When I lived in Seattle the new Baseball stadium there was named “Safeco field”. Safeco is a huge insurance company in the USA. I understand that these fabulous buildings, cathedrals of our millennium, do need funding and that financial companies have the spare funds and the motivation to get their names known, seen in places associated with positive emotions. The new Baseball stadium in Minneapolis is called the Target field. Target is a large American retail chain. Somehow this name works for me beacuse pitchers target their baseball to be in play, the name is still meaningful if the company ceased to exist…

The trend to name stadiums after local corporations has produced some really poor names. In 2013 daily finance listed unfortunate American stadium names:

  1. Enron field
  2. Northwest Delta Dental Stadium
  3. Save-on-foods memorial Centre
  4. KFC Yum! Centre
  5. Amway Center
  6. coliseum
  7. CITI field
  8. Candlestick/3Com/monsterpark (I don’t understand this, what is the stadium called?)
  9. Whataburger field

‘Field’, ‘Coliseum’, ‘Stadium’ do at least refer to the sports, games, role of the place. This website lists the best NFL stadium names as:

  1. Lambeau Field
  2. Soldier Field.
  3. Arrowhead Stadium
  4. Ralph Wilson Stadium
  5. Paul Brown Stadium.
  6. Ford Field.
  7. Lincoln Financial Field.  Everybody calls it “The Link.”

If these are the best, I’m not impressed.

Stadium names that have impressed me are not listed anywhere, except here:

  1. Stadium of light. Sunderland FC. Wikipedia says the stadium name was chosen as “as an ever-lasting tribute to the region’s mine-workers and proud industrial heritage and in the expectation that the stadium would be a guiding light in the future. The name is very much a symbolic link to the thousands of miners and Sunderland supporters that emerged from the darkness and into the light every day when they returned to the surface after working in the mine.” Compared to the NFL stadiums this is small, but the thought and specialness of this stadium shown in design detail (the Davey lamp at the entrance) is deeply moving.
  2. Pride park. Derby city FC. Officially this is the “iPro stadium”, the sponsored name came after the stadium had developed it’s own name within the community. The sponsored name will not have sufficient ‘appeal’ to replace the commonly used name. The sponsor does get associated with the Park by being the official name.
  3. The Den. Millwall FC. I like this name because of the enthusiasm of a class mate (age 7, in Bristol) who explained to me what “the Den” was, he was so happy, this was clearly a very special place. That Millwall have managed to keep that link with thief original stadium name is impressive.

I have strong affections for the grounds I’ve attended regularly, supporting local teams. The common naming theme here is the location of the stadium. It’s relevant to ‘place’ which makes a lot of seen to me and could outlive any renaming strategy from currently existing stadium:

  1. Ashton Gate, the home of Bristol City, my local team as a teenager.
  2. Fratton Park home of “Pompey”, Portsmouth City FC since 1898! The wendy house was located about 1000yrds from the ground 1993-1996, I regularly went to games

I’d like these companies to think about the aspirations and values of the stadium customers, I’d like corporate naming strategists to come up with something attendees can be emotionally attached to, relevant to them in a positive way. Ideally with at least a nodding reference to the name of the main team that is based there. The team name “Vikings” refers to the roots of the European settlers here and evokes images of aggression. The state is informally known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”, a strap line placed on most car license plates. The stadium is near the banks of the Mississippi.  There are cultural cues that could be used to generate a name that could be linked with the banks name.

In 2013 Joe Loveland wrote an article exploring the ores and cons of possible names for the Viking’s stadium:

  1. U.S. Bank
  2. Land O Lakes Stadium.
  3. Wheaties Stadium.
  4. 3M Stadium.
  5. Matt’s Bar Stadium.
  6. OmniSynCorp Stadium.
  7. Target Stadium.
  8. People’s Stadium.

Cathedrals are traditionally named after Saints, if stadiums are our new cathedrals, then corporations are our new saints. It doesn’t sit well with me.

I look forward to the day when corporate sponsorship for naming steps out of bland placing of one companies name on the building to inspiring naming strategies. Take a risk.


What’s the home of the Vikings?
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Puritans and Prisoners

Saturday, August 1st, 2015 | tags: ,  |

An American calmly announced that if the people who had taken the candy bowls from the meeting room, yesterday, returned them within 24hrs, no more action would be taken.

A moments silence.

Silence broken by an Australian announcing that the dishes went with the one’s he collected last time he visited America.

I giggled.

People left England, for America or Australia, for very different reasons. Those reasons have influenced the nations culture. Beautifully illustrated by this theatre. Like the other Brits and Indians in the room, I said nothing. No haul of candy dishes in my possession. Innocent, of some things. Meanwhile, the Scott passed the Australian some candy…

Later the British contingent admitted they’re going on a shooting trip…


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Summer cabins

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015 | tags: , ,  |

DSCF5517Vacation allowances in the USA are not as plentiful as in Europe. One weekend a friend leant me her lakeside cabin.

A mini holiday!

The cabins I’d visited in Scandinavia had no running water, no gas, no electricity. We had to stock up on water, candles, and collect firewood when we arrived. Half way between a holiday home and camping, like staying in a shed. A shed in a fabulous location.

Talking to the locals here, many have family cabins, their family will travel from all over the country for gatherings in the cabin. In my friend’s cabin, I stayed alone, watched the sun rise and set.

I listened to the birds and completely failed to be bitten by any tics or have any wildlife encounters. No bears emerging from hibernation, no swarms of mosquitoes… almost like civilization in the wilderness. Wilderness? There was good cell phone reception but my Satnav didn’t want to play, it announced that it wouldn’t give me turn information them did that passive-aggressive ‘silent’ treatment thing.

This Minnesota cabin was luxury. A fully equipped kitchen, light switches, flushing indoor toilet. Best of all, a fabulous lake view, the sound of children laughing in the distance and the timelessly beautiful ambiance.


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Smell the potatoes

Sunday, July 26th, 2015 | tags: , , ,  |

Farmers MarketDriving back from my weekly shop, I took a new route, ignored the Satnav and explored the back ways. Near home I passed a huge outdoor market. The traffic moved slowly, nowhere obvious to park. I parked at home and walked 10mins to the market. A treasure.

According to the signs its the biggest farmers market in the North Midwest. Size matters. I could smell the potatoes and beans. Everything liked good. From now on I’ll be visiting here for all my grocery needs.

Store holder vans reverse up to covered, raised, walkways. Their stock remains in the van behind them while they arrange a display of goods on the table in front.

At the western side the market changes nature as local artists display their wares, pottery, carving, stonework, garden ornaments made from rusting metal. A huge freeway sign overlooks the whole event. City life.
Farmers Market

Smell the potatoes
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Forgetting to remember

Saturday, June 27th, 2015 | tags: , , , , , , ,  |

City HallTo enrol for automatic payment of Wendy loft property taxes, I had to find the right website, print a form, find a pen to write on it, find an envelope to put it in, find a stamp to put on the envelope, then it get it to a snail mail address at the Gotham city style country treasury office

They send an annual invoice with a 2 date payment schedule. The first instalment is due 6 months after the invoice

I forgot to remember to pay my first instalment

The county has a reminder system, but you need to know that you have to sign-up for the reminders. I didn’t sign-up, I assumed I would be reminded

They’re not making it easy for me to give them money on their schedule

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The other side

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 | tags: , , ,  |

Wendy Will it take about an hour to drive to Duluth?

3Sisters landlady: Depends if you go on our side or the other side

Wendy: the other side?

3Sisters landlady: You can drive in Wisconsin, or the other side  

Wendy: oh, Wisconsin, it’s so pretty here 

And I did, because it was…

The other side
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SatNav desertion

Monday, May 25th, 2015 | tags: , , , , ,  |

SR 70 WISt Paul’s, Minneapolis, Duluth, the bigger cities of Minnesota, appear deserted during the spring weekends.

This Memorial holiday weekend I decided to drive ‘Up North’, a local spring tradition, in search of the populous. The Interstate out of Minneapolis was full of pick-up trucks loaded with, or trailing, ATV’s (All Terrain Vehicles). The smaller, State Routes, had signs for ATC crossings with mud tracks leading to and from them.

I left Minneapolis after work, with a B&B booked about 2.5 hour’s drive away, according to the land lady and my SatNav. I should get there before sundown. Traffic, and having to slow down to avoid hitting the deer who jump out from the forest to wander across the road meant the journey took longer than planned.  I learned that many ‘Roads’ in the wilds, of Minnesota and Wisconsin, are not ‘paved’, ‘tarmaced’. They’re mud and gravelled. They look like roads on the SatNav, but really they’re ‘tracks’. I guess keeping them in decent condition isn’t worth the expense for the local city. Those ATVs are useful.

As darkness fell my SatNav announced that it would no longer give turn by turn guidance.


It bailed on me, in the dark.

I have no map of the wilds of Wisconsin.  I panic’d, pulled over into a soft verge and reached for my cell phone. No reception. Bugger.

ThreeSisters B&BI grabbed my Surface 1. It still showed the Bing-delivered route directions that I’d checked before leaving. Phew. I worked out where I was, memorised the distances, road names and turns then drove on.

A pleasant surprise to find my pre-SatNav skill of memorising maps and directions was still in good working order. I pulled up at the Three Sisters B&B just before the tavern opposite, Gliders, stopped serving it’s hunger quenching pizza. Just in the nick of time. Pizza to the sounds of ABBA and a host of frisky frogs. Cheerfully surreal.

The landlady joined me for Pizza and told stories of her life, those of her 2 husbands & 4 children. Awesome, such a friendly and open hearted place.

SatNav desertion
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Spring Garden Lutheran church

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 | tags: , , ,  |

Spring Garden Lutheran churchWhile wandering around MN, I stopped at the Spring Garden Lutheran Church, founded in 1858. It’s white wooden construction, wrought iron railings, and graveyard intrigued me.

The church itself was locked. Sadly, passing travelers like myself do not feel welcomed.

I wandered through the graveyard and admired the many Scandinavian family names, the old (1870’s) gravestones and the lush grass that gave the church it’s name.

graves, trees and sky

Spring Garden Lutheran church
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calling a spade a spade

Sunday, May 10th, 2015 | tags: , , ,  |

Northfield HotelNorthfield, MN.  a city about 40 miles south west of Minneapolis, has maintained much of it’s downtown (1870’s) brick architecture and attracts day tripping tourists from nearby big cities. Like me from Minneapolis.

It’s named after Mr. North who decided to found the town there when the Dakota tribe ‘ceded’ the lands in 1855.  There seems to be a particularly descriptive tone to city naming in MN.  I suspect you can visualize some of the characteristics of these cities:

  • Plain View
  • Still Water
  • Lake city

Feel’s very “Yorkshire” to me. Both influenced by the settling of people from Nordic regions.  The local college is called St. Olaf’s. There are many other names that point directly to their Nordic heritage and Danish, Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian flags hang outside the main, division Street, hotel.

Police CarDespite some impressive flour-milling-related achievements the town is best known for a bank robbery by the James-Younger gang, where 2 locals and 2 gang members were killed. The town re-enacts the robbery annually (Sept 7th) to celebrate the courage of the local townspeople.

Thinking about the law, I was fascinated by the opportunity for a close-up look at the city’s police vehicles, major protection for hitting things, cage barriers for the people in the back…


calling a spade a spade
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Over dramatic

Monday, May 4th, 2015 | tags: , , ,  |

Freak hailstormOne minute everything is sunshine and light, the local dogs on the balcony are checking me out

Within the hour there are swirling winds, rain and dramatic hail.  Beating the coating off my hare and giving my guests cause to whip out their iPhones.

Wisely the guests hold on to their beers to prove my camera isn’t set on monochrome…


Over dramatic
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Low flying sofas

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015 | tags: , ,  |

SpringSpring sunshine brings out the flocks of low flying sofas. Bald Eagles, fine arctic white feathers around their shiny white bald crowns and well groomed sofas freshly woken from winter hibernation

Slightly reminiscent of the UK summer flock to Matlock on lighter, faster, bikes

Low flying sofas
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More ceilings

Thursday, April 30th, 2015 | tags: , ,  |

ceiling decorationAs the sun comes out and the youngsters start getting frisky in public places, I find myself receding into the shadier places and looking at the ceilings. I like ceilings, they keep me warm, dry, entertained, protected from sunburn – Happy. This is only my second ceiling post, but there will undoubtedly be more, I felt a fetish coming on…

In this old  (1880s?) brick building the bare bricks support and ornate plasterwork(?) ceiling with directional lighting cunningly worked into the symmetrical ceiling pattern.

Black ductingBelow this modern, uncovered, wooden ceiling the ominous black ducting contrasts with the white glass shades. The fans were silent and motionless. Are they decorative of does it really get that hot, even with big-ass ducting to help out?

More ceilings
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Hey! look at ME!

Monday, April 27th, 2015 | tags:  |

Flourescent Orange brideThe bride wore fluorescent orange

The groom was engrossed in his cell phone. Their clothes don’t fit. Her dress is too small, his suit trousers too long and jacket shoulders too wide.

I wore sunglasses. My clothes don’t fit, I’ve been steadily loosing weight for a couple of years now.

April in Minnesota is beautiful, wedding season is in full swing here, it’s a youthful, colourful affair. This wedding party acted out poses from “Charles Angels” very cute. Smiles all around. April may have just become my favourite month

Wedding grouphoto

Hey! look at ME!
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Antiques theme park

Saturday, April 25th, 2015 | tags: , , ,  |

You know those permanent, indoor, antiques markets dotted around English cities and towns? They have them in the USA. The riverside city of Stillwater is full of them. It looks like whole families make day trips to Stillwater to browse through the many antiques markets. I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the archaeology of different decades. The wood burners and red glassware were particularly beautiful.

Red glassware

Red glassware set and stained glass window


Wood burner, fender, vases and oil lamps


Stuff on shelves


Furniture and paintings

The British version of antiques roadshow is broadcast on the local Public (free) TV

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Honeywell hill

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 | tags: , , , ,  |

Honeywell HillI took Holly’s advice and went in search of the locally named ‘Honeywell hill’. It was easy to find because Minneapolis is relatively flat. People had posted pictures of views from the hill on Flickr, which helped me to find it.

At the bottom of the hill is an old, neglected looking, Honeywell building with a brick tower announcing it’s name. I followed the tower, then drove into the cemetery next door.

Apparently people come here to court. In the quiet company of the dead they watch the city’s profile, cuddle and kiss.

Honeywell hill
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Gotham city (hall)

Sunday, April 5th, 2015 | tags: , , , ,  |

City HallMy brother renamed Minneapolis to Gotham city, as lightening danced across the black cloud encased sky. Gotham city. The city hall, with mayor, fire department, courts, CSI, District Attorneys and other city administration would have existed when Batman first appeared on the dark streets of Gotham.


The sunshine of day leaves a taste of the electric night. Surreal juxtaposition of city hall from last millennium and a skyscraper thrusting upward with no ‘twiddly- bits’ to distract from it’s line of action.


City HallCity hall has been beautifully maintained, restored. It’s a living museum that still works for it’s original purpose. The civil rights office is empty today. Letter boxes on the doors half frosted with glass to borrow light onto this big building, giving us a shadowy glimpse of what might be going on behind those doors. The lady Major’s name is painted on the glass of her door ‘Betsy Hodges’. I like her already.


The long corridors are lined in white marble and pews provide rest places for those who have to wait. I saw no one waiting, the city staff must be doing something right! City Hall


Stained glass lights the marble coated entrance hall. Statues, plaques, column all attest to it’s significance. I’ll definitely be visiting again to find out what happens behind the court doors, where my camera cannot go.


Quite right to leave the people in  courts to focus on the serious business of legal things.City Hall foyed

Gotham city (hall)
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street walking

Monday, March 30th, 2015 | tags: , , , , ,  |

Deco sky scraper reflected in modern glass sky scraper


Forshay tower (circa 1927) seen from nearby street level

but where are the people? Where are the shops?  It looks deserted and there’s nowhere that looks like a place I’d want to stop and shop

Mum was a bit baffled by a drive through the heart of downtown Minneapolis, in December.

Downtown shoppers don’t walk on the streets, sidewalks. It’s too goddam cold! Why have a shop-front onto the street if there are no people to be lured into your store by that view? There are shop fronts. I’ve learned that you have to read the shop fronts in a different way. I’m not sure what I’ve learned, but I’ve learned something because I see more than mum.

Wandering, on foot, downtown in the warmer, above-freezing, temperatures of the Spring revealed some beautiful views of the city. Still no people on the streets.

The walk from my apartment to downtown passes a host of sex bars/shops, I counted 6 on one route…A depressing story that there is demand for this and women find it’s the best way available for them to earn a living. I wonder if mum noticed these places?

This area was clearly a seedy part of town, still is. The seeds of change are showing as restaurants, hairdressers, and other ‘local’ services start to emerge between the sex bars. Anyone for chargrilled Pizza?

Dreamgirls bar on the walk downtown from home

Dreamgirls bar on the walk downtown from home


Augies topless bar/nightclub seen on the walk downtown from home


SexWorld, 24hrs, seen on the walk downtown from home


street walking
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