Sometimes I genuinely think there aren’t enough hours in a day to see what I’d like to see, and these days time seems to go especially fast.
Wolverhampton – Ring Road St. Georges.
Well, here I am yet again after another day of struggling through life knocking on death’s proverbial doorstep.
Or not. In fact, I’ve been having quite a nice time. So nice that I thought I ought to regale my English tales of German markets right now.
First thing’s first: background information. It’ll help deal with whatever confusion you may (or may not) have.
Around this time of year in Birmingham (and around the world if I’m right), a German market is set up from early November through to a couple of days before Christmas. It’s a massive thing, and covers a fair bit of ground from New Street to…well…I didn’t actually get to the end of it. Anyway, the point still stands that the thing’s huge, and contains nearly everything you could want originating from Germany or having some festive roots. Gloves, beer, coffee beans, hats, jewellery, reindeer skins (even I had to do a double take at that), you name it. Everything is for sale, even if at debatable prices.
When I went, it was honestly like stepping into one of the ‘Santa’s village’ attractions you see at theme parks, but with a little more authenticity and size. Aside from that, there was a definite change in the atmosphere of the busy walkway of New Street, with more people taking time to slow down and appreciate the goods on offer before moving on.
I began my slow march at a rather large (and intimidating, if the Santa statue was anything to go by) beer stand, which perfectly resembled an open-air pub, with the exception of the words ‘German Beer’ plastered on a sign. It seemed a rather friendly place if I ignored the looks of apprehension towards my camera, and moving past it the smell of the bakery immediately hit me. Now I remember German bread from my younger days, and anyone who’s ever had the chance to taste and smell it will immediately register how good it smells (and tastes). If anyone indeed can relate, then perhaps you’ll also know how it feels on an empty stomach to keep smelling it almost to the point of nausea. Yeah. Not exactly the best feeling. So I moved on, taking photos here and there, and avoiding a few ‘Did you just photograph me?’ looks here and there as well. I even held a few short but sweet conversations with a few of the stall owners, and was sorely tempted to buy a Christmas hat, but I held back. After lurking about for how many hours the sky finally darkened, and that was when all the lights on the hundreds of stalls really shone. It also brought to light though just how…incomplete it seemed with the constant shadow of high-rise buildings looming over the market and the constant rush of the city slightly dampening the festive spirit. After taking a few photos (seriously, it was really pretty! Check it out!) I was sure nothing else spectacular was about to happen (bearing in mind I was ‘milling’ from 11 till 5), I decided to head home. Overall I felt like the market was definitely representing Frankfurt and Germany well, with a little room for improvement of course, but I suppose that’s how it is with most things.
Perhaps it’ll snow this year while the market’s still on. Perhaps New Street won’t be congested with angry commuters for one day before it closes. Perhaps the prices of the goods will drop (£7 for a tiny toy cat?). Perhaps I’ll actually find someone to go with at some point.
This Alex with wishful thinking, telling you to find the nearest German market ASAP, and urging you to follow the earlier link to see more digital offerings.
Finally finished with the 2014 tweaks for the blog, but this whole ‘permanent’ TypeKit removal is holding me back, though in all fairness I no longer need it with the new theme. Any major speed issues and I’ll see if removing it makes a difference!
First, allow me to vent my frustration at the Windows 8 WordPress application.
Wait for it.
Let me build up some steam.
Awaiting inevitable explosion.
I honestly can’t begin to describe how much I’m beginning to resent this app! It doesn’t auto-save, draft saving is nearly non-existent, it crashes constantly, hell even locking the screen seems to kill the process! I had a rather decent (if I say so myself) post almost ready for publishing when I took it upon myself to hunt for some sustenance in the lower levels of my abode. Lo and behold, when I came back expecting to add the finishing touches, a category or two, and pat myself on the back, it was all gone! All (insert some number between 800 and 1200 here) words of it! Alas, I can’t stay angry for long though, so I’ll just get back to my original post and see what I can remember.
Anyway. Dropped scones. Such an odd concept to think about. When I first heard of it, I immediately thought of a scone dropped or flattened, then being pronounced as edible, but it appears I was way off the mark. It was brought to my attention not long ago what they actually were, and the fact that people were labelling pseudo-pancakes as some relative of the scone seemed even weirder than the theory that the government control the weather (which I’m beginning to buy into. Come on guys, clouds aren’t meant to last this long). I tried to find a link between the scotch pancake (which I enforce is its rightful name) and the scone. Suffice to say I came up short, and could see no link between the edible bun-like object lined with jam or other fillings, and the small round almost flat object that could be considered a pancakes younger sibling. I was severely stumped. Another question is why is it so small? Why not go the full length and create a large pancake instead of multiple ‘not-to-scale’ copies. Do they stretch further? Is it the calories? Are they the alternative if you don’t have enough batter? Perhaps I’ll never know the reason for their initial creation, but what I do know is that they are not in any way close to scones, thus their secondary title claiming to be the dropped variant is completely redundant. Sometimes I wonder how exactly things are named these days.
Moving off scones though, I feel as though I need to get back to what really matters. Rambling. You know, the ordinary (or in some cases not to ordinary) questions and thoughts that seem to bombard your mind without a moment’s notice. The kind of questions that I myself have thought of like ‘What orientation is the universe? Does it have an axis? Does it turn?’ which links to ‘Is the world upside down yet still round?’ (does that even make sense?) or ‘Is our universe within another?’. Of course not all my thoughts are about such topics like the universe, the meaning of life, and sophisticated things (such as the frequent revelation that I am indeed a separate living soul/entity/insert name here), with the occasional ‘Am I prepared for the zombie apocalypse?’ and other less-educational thoughts paying me a visit. Seriously though, which way up is the universe? Does it even have an up? Is it even 3D outside our borders? Are there more dimensions right here that we just can’t see?
Would a Fez allow us to communicate with the sacred hexahedron?
Okay, perhaps that was a bit too off topic, but those who link Fezzes to dimensions will see what I mean.
Another completely unrelated topic that I feel I need to address is the apparent lack of winter here in the UK (international visitors may skip this section if you wish). Yes, it’s November I know, and yes, it’s cold, but a few years ago there was actual snow! We had down to -8 in my area, and it just seemed like the run up to Christmas (I even got my first Christmas card today, but even I’ll admit it’s a tad early) actually seemed like it. Now it seems that winter consists of January to March, and October to December is riddled with temperatures between 6 and 20 degrees with grey clouds and chance of frost (before you comment, I believe that every tale deserves embellishment…and though this may not be a tale, I shall embellish it regardless). It seems like a millennia ago that when snow was forecast, snow was…well…forecast. I’m talking one news reporter would predict snow not just for the hamlet beyond the rolling hills down yonder, but an entire county, or even a blanket across most of this floating (I actually did believe this at one point) lump of rock. Gone are the days of waking up on the 25th of December to flakes of frozen H2O falling from the sky, with a warm hearth providing all the heat you need to stay warm as you unwrap lump after lump of coal.
Or presents. Hopefully presents.
Nowadays it seems to have changed, with the usual routine being to wake up to the central heating off, grey clouds lazily dragging themselves across the sky, and then unwrapping a new t-shirt guaranteed to keep you from sweating in the now standard 10 degree weather.
In my opinion, I’d rather it be summer.
Oh wait, we haven’t even got that either, but that’s for another post.
This is Curly Tops Ale Jolly J-
This is Alex signing off, leaving you with a reminder about those clouds.
There was one stage where I willed myself to be older, and even now I still do! Though…not as often. Anyway, the point still stands that we tend to will ourselves to be older, and then wish we had stopped ageing at the good age of 10. That is, if 10 was a good age for some. I know 10 was the best year ever for myself…
Anyway, I myself have just turned 17, and if you’ve been there, you can probably relate to the feeling of it quite being an adult, yet not being sixteen either. It just seems to be one of those ages that don’t belong. I suppose it doesn’t help that I’m not one for birthday’s either. I enjoy them yes, but I’m one of the ‘abnormal’ who tend to keep it low key, with no real celebrations and such. My 16th ‘low-key’ was thwarted by my mother though, but I can’t say I would’ve liked it any other way.
Moving on though, now that my introduction is finished, I can happily say that today has indeed been very good indeed! So far I’d say the highlight of the day would be my good sister/mother (it’s complicated, please don’t ask) Zhané Simpson, who has been…well…her usual self! Which is of course fine by me…any different and I’d have to call in external forces to deal with her. Aside from her abnormal tendencies, I’m not going completely lie and say I feel the same either. My joints seem to creak more, my allergy to sunlight has definitely increased, and my mind just seems to be grinding to a halt (hence no recent updates). All in all, I just feel…well…older!
That brings me to the title though! Age really is just a number! Obviously we all mature (some slower than others, and some…well…extremely slow) in the end, but in essence age is simply the act of gaining life experience and the ticking of the biological clock. I, of course, am hoping to pay this clock no heed…and still pass as 15 on the bus in several years (though I can’t even do that now).
Perhaps the drivers by then will be visually impaired…I don’t really know…
In closing, all I can say really is…well…bye!
It honestly looks like it’s time for me to hit the real world. You all know what I mean. Get some work, and in turn, get some cash. It all pays in, in theory. These past weeks after finishing college for the year have just proven how lazy I can honestly be. The most I’ve done is game and sleep, with a little social interaction and writing on the side. I have re-kindled my interest in writing, but it only really happens wan inspiration hits me, which lasts around an hour every night. That leaves my days totally free to just mill around, gradually becoming more sloth than human. That brings me to today, which has become a serious milestone. I’ve finally succeeded in putting an action plan together which should help me in terms of getting work, whether it be just for experience and money, or a proper photography project. Hopefully it’ll pay off, but even if it doesn’t at least I’ve done something with my time today. I’ll eventually get back to posting here, but I’m just sorting out what exactly I’ll be using this for. My mind is leaning towards the idea of purchasing the ‘profile’ theme once I’ve got enough money, and using it as a half portfolio/blog, with Flickr and deviantART as little extensions. Honestly, I’m not too sure… whatever gets the biggest base I suppose.
Speaking of deviantART, I’ve finally become an active member after a year and six months! My last piece of work consisted of an extremely poor piece of typography which was meant to inspire me more than anything. Now I get the feeling it did more harm than good. Anyway, I’m uploading some photos there as we speak, and I’m trying to get back into typography and the like. Perhaps I’ll find a better source of inspiration there instead.
Anyway, I’m probably boring you with my life story, so feel free to head over to my photostream or ART page linked on the side here. My portfolio is more dead than anything, though I will be attempting to bring it up to date today, depending on the speed I can be bothered to organize my work. I’ll get back to posting some of my Flickr contacts photos here too, and I tell you now, the amazing ‘Masa :D’ has honestly become my all time favorite Japanese urban photographer. No questions asked.
This is Alex, rambling on as usual, and about to finish updating his sites before playing some well-earned Far Cry 3.
As kids, and even adolescents, we are told to be grateful for what we have, because there is always someone worse off that us.
This phrase comes up a lot when we seem to be absorbed by our own problems in life, and we are told to, in simple terms, get over it and realise there are people worse off.
Is the saying used in context though?
When we have problems, are we automatically ungrateful? Are we automatically disregarding all the things one has done for us if they have one trait that annoys us? I wouldn’t think so. When we have problems, we are still grateful to be able to sleep after a long day, or have a good meal, though we may not vocalise it as much as the provider would like.
What appears to be the problem is the way in which we deal with our problems. We all have our different ways, with some becoming extremely overt, and some very closed and silent. Those who take the latter approach and similar to their issues often find themselves on the end of the ‘grateful’ talk as minors, and as adults, well, if only you could read the minds of your colleagues. It isn’t the fact that they are ungrateful, or that they believe they are the ‘be all and end all of the universe’ and disregard other people’s problems at all.
It is just that way they deal with theirs.
This is Alex, typing on the train at 8:10, giving you thoughts straight from the head (sorry if they’re a bit disorganized).