A look at the construction of Dubai, 40 years ago was desert.
Archive for June, 2013
I was at Farnham Carnival a couple of years ago, Then it was in Castle Street and quite good, certainly worth making the effort to attend again. A big stage at the top of the street with straw bales to sit on and lower down the street, an acoustic stage where I saw Mike Dawes and Amy Turk play.
This year it was held in Gostrey Meadow. Had I gone to Castle Street, I would have assumed it was not on, though maybe there were signs (not that I saw any).
Gostrey Meadow was packed. Either Farnham Carnival has got bigger or Gostrey Meadow is not big enough.
A disappointment compared with a couple of years ago, and very big disappointment compared with Staycation Live in Godalming.
Tacky food stalls, beer stall selling commercial brands eg Carlsberg, the music was not good and badly distorted.
I was none too happy seeing food served in polystyrene boxes, especially as they were blowing around on the banks of the river and no one was clearing up. Indeed there was rubbish all over. I spoke to one of the festival organisers saying there was no excuse for the use of polystyrene boxes and they should be using biodegradable boxes. He was an ignorant idiot, bloody rude, did not want to know. He said they were commercial stalls (which summed them up). I said they are the organisers and should set standards.
Staycation is a Town Council event in Godalming and they take a pride in what they are doing, quality food, local suppliers and good music. A complete different atmosphere to Farnham. Farnham Carnival is organised by the Lions. Says it all really.
Across the river a house had a Mad hatters Party.
The one thing I was very impressed with, teaching young kids First Aid.
The best entertainment was a couple of dogs leaping into the river after a tennis ball. One of the dogs then dived through a man’s legs and tried to steal his food. He was not amused and sat there with a sour face.
Farnham Carnival takes place in Farnham on the last Saturday of June.
Top Story in Digital Mission Daily (Monday 1 July 2013).
We’ve been doing this for 50 years or something. And if this is the first time you’ve seen a band, please come again. — Mick jagger
50 years in the business and still the World’s Number One Rock n Roll Band.
An estimated 100,000 in the crowd.
It should have started at six and gone on until seven. It did not start until nearly seven.
An extremely irritating man on the tannoy.
Compared with a couple of years ago the procession was poor, compared with the Grand Parade that ends the Carnival in Puerto de la Cruz very poor.
In Puerto de la Cruz, they used to have bigflat bed lorries, now trailers pulled by tractor units, sound systems blasting out, dancing in the street.
The carnival was led by a couple of vintage cars.
In Puerto de la Cruz flat beds with sound systems, followed by hundreds dancing. In Farnham a 4×4, a trailer and a dozen or so trying to dance.
Where are the samba bands. You cannot have a carnival procession without samba bands.
Sat by me was a little girl with beautiful goldilocks curls. She had with her a little bear, it was photographed with the carnival as the backdrop. It reminded me of my Japanese friend Mio. I asked. The little bear did not belong to the little girl. It belonged to her school. Each weekend a different child takes the bear out on an adventure and records where the bear has been.
The Carnival Parade is part of the Farnham Carnival which takes place in Farnham on the last Saturday of June
In The Valkyries, Paulo Coelho describes how a guide had forgotten something, went back to collect it. Paulo could not understand why they did not immediately set off. The guide explains, that when that happens we should pause and reflect, the delay may have been for a reason.
I experienced that today. Morning it had been cool, I thought better take a warm jacket, as it is only going to turn cooler later. When I left the house it was very warm. I returned to the house and swapped for a light jacket. As I walked to the bus stop, the bus passed me by. But I saw St Mark’s, which is rarely open, was open. I popped in, and as a result missed the next bus, and the next, and thought I had missed the bus after that.
No sign of the bus, wait for the next one. It was running late. Sitting on the wall, waiting for the bus, the girl sat next to me on the wall said: I see you have The Alchemist, a very good writer, I have many of his books. I explained I had read The Alchemist, and was leaving it in a church for a lady who I had met a couple of weeks ago, and also showed her The Vicar of Baghdad. On the bus I told her of two other books she may not know of, Manuscript Found in Accra and Aleph. She said she was not aware of these two books, I said I was not surprised as the bookshop chains are pretty abysmal. She said she had experienced the same problem with the latest book by Haled Hussein, author of The Kite Runner. I said I had, but had not read. She had gone into a bookshop and they had one copy of And the Mountains Echoed. As I was leaving the bus I suggested she did a search on Paulo Coelho Athens.
On arrival in Farnham, I realised it was the day of the Farnham Carnival, their annual carnival, last Saturday in June. I had forgotten all about it.
I walked through Gostrey Meadow by the River Wey. I was surprised to find that was where the carnival was being held, as on my one and only visit to the carnival, it was held in Castle Street. The park was packed with people, I could hardly move.
I walked through the park as I had two books to drop off at St Andrew’s. To my surprise, Downing Street too, was busy.
Two books left in Farnham Parish Church: The Alchemist and The Vicar of Baghdad. These for a lady I met a couple of weeks ago who was preparing lunch for the next day. I also left a DVD of a talk by Canon Andrew White at Guildford Baptist Church.
Candle lit, prayer card writ.
The Borough was busy too. I looked in Castle Street, but no carnival, it had relocated to Gostrey Meadows, but with so many people on the streets, I thought maybe they were moving between the two locations.
I returned back to the park. Had a burger, which was not good, and at five pounds, poor value for money. Wandering around, a lot of tacky stalls, the music was not very good either. The sound system awful, overloading and very high distortion levels.
Just across the River Wey, a house with a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in full swing.
Then time for the Carnival Parade. It was supposed to be 6-7 but I do not think it started until nearly seven. It was led by a couple of lovely old cars. It was a disappointment compared with a couple of years ago, and a very big disappointment compared with the Grand Parade that ends the Carnival in Puerto de la Cruz.
In Puerto de la Cruz, they used to have big flatbed lorries, now trailers pulled by tractor units, sound systems blasting out, dancing in the street. In Farnham trailers pulled by 4x4s.
Back into the park.
I talked to one of the organisers about the use by one of the food stalls of polystyrene containers for their food. This is totally unacceptable, they should be using recyclable, biodegradable containers. He was bloody rude, did not want to know. Said they were commercial suppliers, which summed up all the food stalls, and the bar but that was no excuse. As organisers, they should set standards. What was of concern, the banks of the river was littered with this rubbish, at least if biodegradable, will rot down.
The bar was serving Carlsberg and similar rubbish. It was a mobile bar company, which no doubt does similar events. Tacky ice crams vans
Very poor compared with Staycation in Godalming. If Staycation can have good music, good food, local suppliers, then I see no reason why Farnham Carnival cannot. The big difference seems to be Godalming takes a pride in what they are doing and it is a Town Council event, whereas Farnham it is the Lions who run it, hence the commercialisation (same happens at the Donkey Derby in Farnborough).
I stayed for an hour or so, then left. Not sure if I had missed the last bus, and so caught the train.
A very warm evening. The first warm evening this year.
Nearly half an hour to wait for a bus in Aldershot. I wandered into Aldershot. The town centre dead apart from drunken scum wandering around and hanging outside bars. The sick joke is the local council is promoting Aldershot as a night time attraction. You got to be joking!
Top Story in Digital Mission Daily (Monday 1 July 2013).
Set on the 30-acre Burj Khalifa Lake, the fountain shoots water jets as high as 500 ft (150 metres), equivalent to that of a 50-storey building. The fountain is 900 ft (275 metres) long and has five circles of varying sizes and two central arcs. It has been designed by California-based WET, the creators of the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas.
The Dubai Fountain performs daily, with the performance repertoire including Sama Dubai; Baba Yetu, an award-winning song in Swahili; the Arab world’s top-selling dance number Shik Shak Shok; and the signature piece of world-renowned Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, Con te partiro (Time to Say Goodbye).
Over 6,600 WET Superlights – the most advanced incandescent large fountain lights available today – and 25 colour projectors create a visual spectrum of over 1,000 abstract attractions. The beam of light shining upward from the fountain can be seen from over 20 miles away, and will be visible from space making it the brightest spot in the Middle East, and quite possibly in the entire world.
If you have the bandwidth, watch in HD.
Top Story The New Musical Express (Sunday 29 June 2013).
1830 Guildford-Ascot train, the stench from the toilets unbearable. I felt sorry for anyone who was forced to use the toilets.
For more than a decade the train fares have been rising at more than twice the rate of inflation. We are told the service is improving, but those who use the trains see no sign of improvement in service, they cannot even keep their toilets clean.
A strange day. Late morning cool and autumnal. An hour or so later, very warm and humid.
A Craft Fair all week in Guildford High Street (ends Saturday). Part of the Guildford Festival, which started last weekend with Mass in Blue in Guildford Cathedral.
The bullet has finally been bitten. Instead of patchwork quilt repairs of the cobbled High Street, it is to be dug up and the entire street repaired. Cost £1 million.
Looked in Holy Trinity, which was open. It was laid out for a Leaving Ceremony for Guildford Grammar School, a boys school which now admits girls. I assumed this was some ancient tradition for an ancient school. Maybe it is, but now apparently it is something every does.
But as a result of the Leaving Ceremony, no candles. I spoke to one of the ladies guarding the church. She apologies and said, you can light one of the big candles on the altar, which I thought was very kind of her. She went off to get matches, then went off again and came back with a couple of prayer cards.
Lunch at Guildford Institute. Only myself an elderly couple I know.
Pastel water colours on the wall. They were quite interesting, but once again, glass in front. When are artists going to learn, it is impossible to see your work when you put glass in front?
In one of the art galleries top of the High Street, they have a Ronnie Wood painting of the Stones filling the window. Saturday night The Stones are playing Glastonbury. After much hassle, Mick Jagger is going to let the BBC broadcast one hour live, ie not the entire set. [BBC Two live Glastonbury feed]
The Star Inn, bottom of the High Street in Quarry Street, are this year running the Guildford Fringe, which is quite an ambitious undertaking. Tickets and programme from the Tourist Information, Guildford House, halfway up the High Street on the left (opposite Sainsbury’s).
Walking back down the High Street, I had a chat with a Chinese artist who was exhibiting his work. I suggested to him the Guildford Institute in North Street and The Barn in Farnham may be good places to exhibit his works. He could not understand the mentality of No Photography, as he said it is good publicity. Exactly!
I do not know what has happened to Milk & Honey. They were closed for two weeks for refurbishment. That was four weeks ago, they are still closed.
I sat in the Castle Grounds for a while, but it started to get cool.
Catching the train to Aldershot, the stench from the toilets was very unpleasant. What is it with train companies, is it too much to ask that they keep their toilets clean?
A strange day, it started cool and autumnal, lunchtime and during the afternoon, very warm and humid, by early evening, cool and autumnal.