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#UAE @HHShkMohd in the spirit of tolerance use #EAFOL16 to return passport of @Ahmed_Mansoor - ht @EmiratesLitFest

This is addressed to all participants of #EAFOL16  #Dubai, #UAE, whether audience or authors.  2010 was the second year of #EAFOL and I...

Friday, 29 August 2014

Rain called off further #Bristol exploration, but shops beckoned!

What a loathsome day, weatherwise, so instead of developing my knowledge from last Saturdays activities I popped down to #Bristol city center to spend a gift voucher.

I recall from my student days, mid-1970's, that the center was a featureless post-WW2 development, and windswept.


Not much change from my earlier thoughts, with pedestrianisation and only buses/taxis permitted it is easier to get around, just so long as you do not burst a blood vessel with the execrable human manners, whether in the pushing street, or the trying on of clothes and not placing back on the hangers!

John Wesley's New Room

I will leave it to the reliable Wikipedia to introduce #JohnWesley and his #NewRoom, in essence: 

"It was built in 1739 by John Wesley and is the oldest Methodist chapel in the world."

The Arcade and blue balls of Broadmead, Bristol
 #Broadmead and it's history is well covered by Wikipedia:

"Like most 1950s buildings in Britain, affordable and architecturally interesting utilitarian buildings form the bulk of the Broadmead area."

Hopefully on Monday I will further explore "Downs Haven", until then have a good weekend.

Downs Haven

Sunday, 24 August 2014

#WW1 and the triangle at #BlackboyHill #DownsHaven #Bristol - to be updated within seven days!

I am not too sure if righteous indignation is the correct term for what I feel about the following composition!

On Saturday, 23rd August, 2014 I alighted from a bus at the top of #BlackboyHill, and spread before me was #DurdhamDown.

Durdham Down, Bristol

Behind me was a triangle of land surrounded by roads and the inevitable flow of traffic. Looking across I could see the renovation and conversion of an old school into residences.

School undergoing conversion
Located at the north-east corner is a drab-green shelter, which upon touching I realised was decorated with cast-iron, and it could be walked around, with covered seating on all four sides.

Moss covered roof in the lee of a tree,
with a cast-iron cornice

Original guttering

East side
 Note the white rectangle mounted on the 3rd from right panel.

Restored in 1999, and apparently ignored
on the 100th Anniversary of #WW1
Walking a few yards down the side of the school wall, I crossed over #Cabstand Road, definitely no longer it's current purpose!

Plaqueless cast-iron building
I have read about the Victorian-era cast-iron lavatory facilities in a couple of locations in #Bristol, here were (and I am going to make many assumptions) the urinals built for users of #DownsHaven, again all cast-iron, drab-green paint, pierced for ventilation, with a glass roof!

Constructed to meet requirements of invalids
 using #DownsHaven?

Six urinals with a further six on opposite side.

Twelve stand-up male urinals, no sign of female!

Air-conditioning and ventilation
 from nature.

"Oh dear!" I hear the more hygiene conscious readers exclaim, at the lack of hand-washing facilities!

Google maps kindly provide a street view of the washing facilities, if that is what the following images are!
Are these the rather extravagant
grooming facilities to
complement cast-iron urinals?

Or are these facilities pre-existing
to urinals?

Surely steps would impede
invalid access?

Before I lay myself open to criticism for too many assumptions I will re-visit and hopefully clarify the situation, so within seven days I will have the answers.

Of course if there are any knowledgeable folks reading please do not hesitate to fill in the gaps in my knowledge!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Eviction Threat for Istanbul's Iconic Kaymak Shop | Culinary Backstreets

My happiest times were when I was leading a solitary life in #Istanbul in 2003; I delighted in the way history, city and country were combined, please let that continue - Rupert

Eviction Threat for Istanbul's Iconic Kaymak Shop | Culinary Backstreets:

Save Pando: Eviction Threat for Istanbul's Iconic Kaymak Shop

Pando, owner of Beşiktaş Kaymakçı, photo by Yigal Schleifer
It was at a dinner at Mikla, one of Istanbul’s fanciest restaurants, that we identified a turning point in this city’s restaurant culture, one which might finally favor the informal, traditional and often overlooked local eateries that are the heart, soul and lovely underbelly of this city. In one brief description of an appetizer it was noted that the butter used was sourced from Beşiktaş Kaymakcisi. Pando’s butter at Mikla? Worlds collided.
Reading those words, we pictured a future when heavily endowed chefs, like Mikla’s Mehmet Gurs, champion small, local producers like Pando – a dairyman who is one of Istanbul’s most celebrated makers of kaymak – and by doing so ensure the longevity of those small, fragile businesses. At that moment, we were sure that Pando, at least, was protected.
Though Pando, who has earned the love and respect of generations of Istanbullu with a full lifetime of slinging dairy goodness from the same shop in Beşiktaş, may be an institution, he is also a renter. His father was a renter before him, since 1895. The secret to a good kaymak business might be the wealth passed down through generations of his family, but the inheritance included the burden of a landlord-tenant relationship. And this summer, an eviction notice came.
The counter at Beşiktaş Kaymakçı, photo by Yigal SchleiferWe recently visited Pando’s little shop in the Beşiktaş market to learn more about the situation. We found 92-year-old Pandelli Shestakof, better known as Pando, sitting near the service counter and reveling in memories of the place he spent his entire life, the neighborhood he was born and raised in. “As a boy, I met Ataturk here in Beşiktaş once. He spoke to me,” said Pando. Fast-forward 30 years. He patted the shattered corner of a marble counter, “This is my reminder of September 6 and 7 [1955 when nationalist violence aimed at minority businesses raged through the neighborhood].” Pando’s shop was looted, the counter broken. He cleaned up, glued the broken pieces together and life went on. Even after it became impossible for him to keep his herd of water buffalo, which had been kept by his family in a pasture in Emirgan since Ottoman times, Pando kept making kaymak from the water buffalo milk of others. His shop was always full of approving customers. On the walls of the shop are photos of Pando’s befezzed forebears and drawings of his cows, framed newspaper clippings featuring Pando sent in from around the world. The interior space of the shop is as much a part of the legacy as the delicious clotted cream covered in honey or even the man himself. The three are inseparable.
Accompanied by lawyer/journalist Berk Çektir, who writes a legal advice column for the English-language paper Today’s Zaman, we quickly got down to the day’s news. The owner of the narrow two-story shop where Pando’s business has been located for almost 120 years wishes to evict and turn the space into a fast-food snack shop (or büfe). Pando has been given until August 15 to vacate. At a quick glance, Berk bey regretfully admitted that the eviction looked legal. “This is not a pure legal issue,” he said. “This is a question of preserving cultural heritage. This place must continue, somehow.”
Pando shrugged and grinned. Yuana, his wife and business partner, laughed cynically and moved on to a story about pretty young tourists posing for pictures with Pando that morning. Pando chuckled and waved her off. They’ve now seen it all, it would seem.
Pando’s eviction is not one of those messy municipally sponsored projects that have shuttered other Istanbul institutions, like Inci Pastanesi. It is the will of one landlord to replace Pando’s kaymak shop with an enterprise selling gum, cigarettes and hot dogs swimming in red goop. According to a representative from the family, E.M., who has requested that the family name not be used at this time, the evacuation of Pando’s shop stems from an urgent need to renovate this 19th century storefront. The family’s ultimate concern is with saving the structure, and not necessarily Pando’s business. “After the renovation, we can sit down with Pando and discuss it,” he said. On the deadline of August 15th, he said, “I will not send trucks over to empty the place. This is not our family’s style.” But about the chance of an extension, E.M. stated that renovation plans were already in the works and could not easily be postponed. “We are at the end here,” he said.
Kaymak, photo by Yigal SchleiferPando and his wife are not getting any younger, and there is no next generation to take the family business over, so the kaymak shop is likely going to die with him. But considering everything Pando has been through and what he has offered the neighborhood and beyond, he should be allowed to finish up on his own terms (not that Pando had any plans to go – in fact, he told us that if given an extension on his lease, he would happily keep running the place as is). We believe there is still time to persuade the landlords that their büfe may be a worthy venture – but not at the expense of this Istanbul institution. If you’d like to join us in support of Pando, by all means, come on by for a kaymak as soon as possible.
Address: Köyiçi Meydanı Sokak, Beşiktaş
Telephone: +90 212 258 2616
(photos by Yigal Schleifer)
Interested in diving deeper into Istanbul’s Culinary Backstreets? Check out our small group food walks or try our Eatinerary custom food itinerary!
Sorry, we have no imagery here.
Sorry, we have no imagery here.
Map data ©2014 Basarsoft, Google
200 m 

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Sunday, 3 August 2014

BBC News - French and German leaders mark #WW1 anniversary

BBC News - French and German leaders mark WW1 anniversary:

President Francois Hollande: "A mechanised madness was set in train... and a hellish exercise begun"
The French and German presidents have been commemorating the 100th anniversary of Germany's declaration of war on France on 3 August 1914.
Francois Hollande and his German counterpart, Joachim Gauck, made a joint tribute in Alsace to soldiers killed during World War One.
They were to lay the first stone for a memorial at Vieil Armand cemetery.
On Monday, events will be held in Belgium to mark the UK's declaration of war on Germany.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron will take part in that ceremony in recognition of the day that the UK went to war.
Some 30,000 men were killed in the mountains around Vieil Armand, known in German as Hartmannswillerkopf.
The cemetery there contains the remains of 12,000 unidentified soldiers.
Mr Hollande and Mr Gauck have been paying tribute to the sacrifice those men made and celebrated the importance of the modern Franco-German relationship in Europe.
They were to lay the foundation stone for a Great War memorial and exhibition centre on the site, which is due to open its doors to the public in 2017.
The two leaders will meet again on Monday in the Belgian city of Liege, where heads of state from across Europe will mark the escalation of the war after Germany invaded Belgium.
The Vieil Armand cemetery, formerly called Hartmannswillerkopf, in the Alsace region of France - 24 October 2013The Vieil Armand cemetery ontains the remains of 12,000 unidentified soldiers
President Francois Hollande stands next to German President Joachim Gauck in the crypt of the the National Monument of Hartmannswillerkop, in Wattwiller, eastern FranceThe two leaders paid their respects in the crypt of the National Monument of Hartmannswillerkop
German graves in cemetery at Vieil ArmandSome 30,000 French and German soldiers died during WWI on the Vieil Armand site
View of a trench at the Hartmannswillerkopf battle site A trench network at the Hartmannswillerkopf battle site
French infantry memorialThe French and German presidents are marking the 100th anniversary of Germany's declaration of war on France
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