Monday 3rd April, 2023

Some cheerful reading in the morning feeds: Paul Taylor behind The Athletic paywall reported that Steve Cooper will be sacked if Forest fail to beat DIRTY Leeds away at Elland Road tomorrow.

No pressure then.

Seeing as though we’ve only won once away all season – and that was against Southampton – then it doesn’t look good.

But would bringing in a new coach for nine games make a difference?

I wouldn’t be happy to go down, but I’d feel happier if we went down and still had Cooper as the coach. It’s unlikely that Forest will stick with him if relegation does happen.

I turned to Late Junction for some sanity. The opening track of Blod’s D​ä​r Ska Barnet Vara hit the right mood for a Monday morning.

And now for something completely different:

Album of the Day: Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA

It’s very difficult to listen to this album in 2023. It made perfect sense in 1985. Even five years later and the world had changed. It’s best approached as a document of the times. Skip the album title opener. It’s a powerful song, but so deeply misunderstood. I love the idea the millionaire rock star living the blue collar dream. But Bruce somehow gets away with it.

There’s some great fun to be had here: Darlington County, Working on the Highway and Glory Days – a song that I relate to more with each passing year. I’m on Fire was a very odd choice for a single. It’s very haunting. Dancing in the Dark is great for Dad Dancing. My Hometown is a wonderful album closer, and a hint as to what was to come.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Buzzed: Dulwich Hamlet women dominate AFC Acorns with a 3-0 home victory at Champion Hill

I cycled off for the Vauxhall swim. It was a stop / star affair with five of us trying to find the space we needed in the fast lane. I was pausing at regular intervals, to allow a particularly aggressive bloke dominate the water.

My Garmin told me that the 1km was completed in my fastest time yet: 18’30”. I don’t believe this. That’s almost forty seconds faster than usual.

The Postman Delivers: my new Olympus lens. It’s an absolute BEAUT. 17mm with an f stop of 1.8. Later in the day confirmation came through that the main camera body has been delayed. Oh.

I cycled to the Rec to try and resolve my new Active Lambeth membership. The Council took the leisure contract back in house on Saturday morning. It’s been impossible to try and transfer over online my existing Better membership with the new Council run provider.

I wasn’t alone. There was a queue of around a dozen users at the Rec having the exact same issue. To be fair, the very friendly Active Lambeth staff member was able to complete the task within seconds by tapping into her network.

The rest of the morning and early afternoon were free for some further explorations. For no particular reason I had The Barbican on my radar.

I cycled along Brixton Road in brilliant sunshine. Pals have commented previously how Brixton Road is the most boring stretch to cycle along around these parts. I disagree. It may be straight and traffic heavy, but here’s plenty of historical architecture to admire as you pedal along.

Destination Barbican was reached. I had also stumbled upon a graduation ceremony for what looked bizarrely like Coventry University.

I took cover in The Curve space. It was most odd. I thought Firstsite was alone in being an art gallery that tries to present art along a bonkers curved space design.

The exhibition was the usual art or arse? It seemed to be leftovers from The Barbican storage space thrown together to make a statement. I refer my reader to the previous art or arse comment.

I wanted to visit the Alice Neel main exhibition. The staff were rather stuffy about taking a small cycling bag in there. I was asked if I would like to offer a £2 donation for the cloakroom. I declined.

They were also very, very stuffy about not having a ticket. The website didn’t advise this. I was told to queue up and see if I could book one. I strolled straight on through and headed for the art.

It was a decent exhibition. It held my attention for half an hour – quite a rarity for me. Neel seems to have lived a life. I loved her self-identified position as an Anarchist Humanist.

The weather was glorious out towards the City. I made the most of The Barbican outdoor space and had a little early spring sunbathing amongst the graduates and the brutalist buildings. Sadly the Barbican Conservatory was closed.

I headed for the public library. The Barbican is home for the most amazing music section. This must be one of the few surviving from around three decades ago. There is a tremendous amount of CD’s up for hire for only 55p a week.

There was also a QUO exhibition on. The Barbican library does these so well. The previous Welller exhibition was outstanding. Posters, artefacts, Quo silk scarves – I left feeling a little love for the band, despite bloody hating their music.

Tucked away in the corner was a public keyboard, hooked up to some headphones. A young female player was happily tapping away on the keys. I doubt she was playing anything Quo related.

I left The Barbican after a very pleasant couple of hours with more love for the place. It reminds me of a big brother of Essex University. Both are heavy on brutalism, both are a little down on their heels. But they’re putting up a good fight with plenty to still enjoy.

The bicycle ride back down to Sunny Stockwell was uneventful. I was without my Beeline Velo 2, and so riding from memory. I took the old Graun work commute, along Farringdon Road, crossing at Blackfriars and then through Elephant.

There was an hour long Garibaldi Red podcast to ‘enjoy’ when I got back to base. Shit, it’s getting real for Forest right now.

BLOGGED: No Moore: Tory Cllr Quits After Breaching Code of Conduct

“The decision comes just a few weeks ahead of the election, which means that she can now walk away from her position without having to face the voters’ verdict. Which is convenient”

I kept the Sunny Colch hat on throughout the evening, following the four hour Local Plan Committee meeting from afar. It sounds dull, but it was actually quite a crucial meet.

Colchester feels where London was on the cycling timeline fifteen or so years ago. This isn’t a criticism – it’s a recognition that the town / city is finally, finally ready to think seriously about sustainable travel.

There’s a huge amount of planning and work to do. A large part of this will involve a positive thought change from some very vocal and very misguided Petrol Heads.

But we’re getting there.

Vroom vroom.

Oh yeah – I watched #lolspurs and Everton as well. We could have done with a Spurs win there.


Links for Monday 3rd April, 2023

Norwood Junction’s Tree Of Beer Cans | Londonist

BBC Breakfast covers the Tour of Flanders… without mentioning the winners 🤦 #shitjournalism