A Japanese living in London writes anything about everyday life in UK – cafe, restaurant, design, stores, politics, news, events, art/museums, films, food, fashion, travel etc. イギリス暮らしもかれこれ10年。カフェ、レストラン、デザイン、お店、政治、ニュース、イベント、アート／美術館、映画、食、ファッション、旅行等々、ロンドンでの日常生活や、英国に関する情報を思いつくままに綴ります。
Three days ago on January 15th, UK’s high-society magazine Tatler‘s “office dog”, “Alan TBH Plumptre” or “Tatler Alan” was killed in tragic revolving door accident at the entrance of the publisher’s building. Miniature duchshund Alan was well known within the industry, and his own Twitter account @TatlerAlan has attracted 2,600 followers due to a series of his photographs posted online. Major British media has all dealt with his death including Telegraph, Guardian, Independent, Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Mirror and The Sun, especially Telegraph put up at least three articles about him (1/2/3).
Today I read a related article about office Dog on Evening Standard: according to the article, an office pet in UK is more popular that you imagine. A survey conducted in 2011 found that 55% of those who had an office pet including also “fish, cats and tortoises”, said that by doing so they felt more motivated. When it was published, a consultant clinical psychotherapist and stress expert explained: “Pets at work can help employees to relax, reduce heart rate and lower blood pressure, which can decrease absenteeism and improve staff morale.” Office pets can be destructing, disrupting and needing for care and attention, but I guess it can give more advantages than disadvantages. I want a dog too!!!
It was snowing “a lot” in London today and canal is frozen. It is also predicted snow this weekend, and the cold front will stay during next week. Snow always causes chaos in London, and I am afraid the disruption may last for a while…
1215年に始まったとされるLord Mayor’s Showは、主催者曰く「the oldest, longest, grandest and most popular civic procession in the world（世界で最も古く、最も豪華で、最も人気のある市と市民の行進）」だそうだ。このLord Mayorとは、シティ・オブ・ロンドン（シティ）の長で名誉職であるロンドン市長のこと。現在ボリス・ジョンソンがその任を務める、シティを含む大ロンドンの行政の長である大ロンドン市長とは違う。新しいLord Mayorは毎年選ばれ、11月第二土曜日に、その就任を祝うLord Mayor Showが開催される。宣誓を終えた後、Lord Mayorはシティから約3.5マイル（約5.63km）のパレードに参加、王立裁判所で「国王」への忠誠を誓う。今年は、22のマーチングバンド、125頭の馬、18台のヴィンテージ車、21台の車両、6500人以上がパレードに参加したそうだ。
We saw this gigantic yellow dog near Old Street and we chased it with M’s moped on City Road to take some photos. After a little bit of research, I found out that this was a Dogs Trust’s float, participated in the procession of Lord Mayor’s Show 2012 on November 8th, and I happened to see it on their way back, though I didn’t see it parading.
The Lord Mayor’s Show is “the oldest, longest, grandest and most popular civic procession in the world,” started in 1215. The “Lord Mayor” is the mayor of City of London, and is not the “Mayor of London” which has existed only since 2000 now and Boris Johnson is currently on the position that takes care of Greater London, including the City. A new Lord Mayor is appointed every year, and the this Lord Mayor Show celebrates his inauguration and is held on the second Saturday in November. On the day after being sworn in, the Lord Mayor participate in a procession from the City of London to the Royal Courts of Justice where the Lord Mayor swears his allegiance to the Crown. Over 6500 people, 22 marching bands, 125 horses, 18 vintage cars, and 21 carriages paraded over three and a half miles long on this year’s procession.
This 5m long / 3.2m high / 15okg weight world’s largest nodding dog called “Dogcilla” was made to draw attention to their rehoming centres last year, and you can see it on the Vanguard building on A40 near Hanger Lane, Ealing in West London.
One New Changeの1階で見かけた、頭やお尻、そして着ているコートにたくさんのキスマークのついた黒犬の像。これは、メンタルヘルスのチャリティ団体・SANEが、うつ病やメンタルヘルスへの認識を高めるため、「Black Dog Campaign（黒犬キャンペーン）」の一環としてロンドン各地に設置した40体の黒犬の一つ。団体の設立25周年の年に合わせ、昨年7月から今年7月まで行われるこのキャンペーンは、精神疾患の持つネガティブなイメージを払拭し、身体疾患のように誰でもかかる可能性のある病気として一般に認知されることを目的とし、スティーヴン・フライやレイ・デイヴィスなど、自らも精神疾患に悩むセレブなどもサポートしている。
ローマ時代の詩人・ホラティウスによって最初に記されてから、古代から現代に至るまで、黒犬はうつの隠喩として使われており、第二次大戦時の首相・ウィンストン・チャーチルも自らの陰鬱な気分を「黒犬」で表したという。これらの黒犬像は、セレブやアーティスト、一般人がデザインした各々違ったデザインのコートをまとい、首には「collar of hope（希望の首輪）」と呼ばれるSANEのメンタルヘルス・ヘルプラインの情報が記された首輪を着けている。上の写真のキスマーク入りコートは、昔ボンドガールを演じた女優で、最近ではグルカ兵の権利保護を目指したGurkha Justice Campaignで有名な人権運動家・Joanna Lumley（ジョアンナ・ラムレイ）がデザインしたもの。
キャンペーンは「black dog parade（黒犬パレード）」で幕を閉じ、その後犬たちは、メンタルヘルスへの資金集めのためにオークションにかけられる予定。
I spotted this black dog statue, wearing coat with lots of ‘kisses’ (also on his head and buttock), on the ground floor in the One New Change shopping mall. This is one of the 40 black dog sculptures placed across London by mental health charity SANE, as a part of a “Black Dog Campaign” to raise awareness of depression and mental health, running throughout the organisation’s 25th anniversary year from July 2011-July 2012. The goal of the campaign is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness and to normalise it to be perceived like any physical condition. The campaign is backed by celebrities including Stephen Fry, Ray Davies, Clive Anderson and Rory Bremner.
First coined by the Roman poet Horace, the metaphor of the “black dog” for depression has been used from ancient time to the present day, and is adopted by Winston Churchill to describe his darker mood. Each black dog wears a ‘coat’ designed by celebrities, artists and members of the public, along with a ‘collar of hope’ that gives details of SANE’s mental health helpline. The coat in the photo above is designed by Joanna Lumley, British actress and also known as human rights activist who recently involved in the Gurkha Justice Campaign.
The campaign will culminate in a ‘black dog parade’ this year before the dogs are put on auction to raise funds for mental health.
We saw an Italian movie, “Le Quattro Volte (The Four Times)” at Renoir Cinema near Russell Square. This is a documentary style movie about cycles of life and nature, set in a remote mountain village in Calabria in Southern Italy.
Calabria, located at the “toe” of the Italian peninsula, is a region with beautiful coastline and the mountains. The movie starts with a story of an old shepherd, who lives in a quiet village perched high on the hills and herds goats traveling around mountains. He is sick, and takes the ‘sacred’ dust collected on the church floor everyday, believing that it will cure him (actually it is an old Sicilian tradition, not Calabrian). One day he loses the dust and can’t take it, and dies the day after. Then screen changes to a scene of a birth of baby goat. One day the little goat goes out to a mountain with other goats, but falls behind the group by being trapped in a ditch. The goat desperately cries for help, wandering the mountains, but can’t find the group. Exhausted, the baby goat sleeps under a big fir tree. Winter passes and spring comes. The tree is cut down and trimmed, and is dragged by villagers to erect in a square for a 800-year old festival. After the festival, the tree is cut in many pieces and is transformed into charcoals in a traditional Calabrian charcoal kiln.
There are no lines, no narrations. All you hear is the sounds of nature, undistinguishable voices of the villagers, and barking of a dog (and it is quite loud). Everyone in the movie is a non-professional local, except a professional actor dog Vuk, which won the Palm Dog award 2010 (he did an excellent job!). The film, using a lot of long shots, portrays a simple life of the villagers and animals and great landscape of the region without any special effect, and is absolutely beautiful and poetic. The lost world where humans coexist with nature without trying to control it. The movie makes us believe that it still exists somewhere even in a developed country such as Italy. But the truth is different, unfortunately. I see the latest cars parked everywhere and young people in trendy fashions with smart phones in any Italian countryside. Even grandmothers can enjoy satellite TV and internet. I don’t think Calabria, one of the least developed region in Italy (according to M), is an exception of materialism. However, the movie meticulously eliminates the ‘ugliness,’ and succeeds in satisfying non-Italians with a stereotypical image of Italian countryside, including intellectual and cultural British film critiques (see Rotten Tomatoes) – and me…