Friday, March 22, 2019

You Can Keep Your Day Job


London, England is a wonderful city to explore.
No matter where you look, there is something interesting to see.
Many people come to experience its history,
rambling through time along its famous streets.

I find the city's skyline ever-changing and compelling,
a schizophrenic jumble of old and new.



Old and New
A tugboat pulls a barge under Cannon Street Railway Bridge
against a modern skyline
Thames River, London, United Kingdom
September 10, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved



Sometimes, especially when dealing with historical overload,
it's fun to look around and watch people working and playing.



More New Than Old
Thames River, London, United Kingdom
September 10, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved




As Terry and I walked along the Thames looking at the busy river,
my eyes were drawn to The Vase, a striking new skyscraper
that curves continuously.  Its thousands of glass panels
reflect light from above and capture motion from below,
creating a dynamic and shimmering display
that changes with the interplay of sun and clouds and moon.

To preserve the gleam and sparkle and luster and glitter,
those thousands of glass panels have to be cleaned,
and that was the action that drew my eyes to One Blackfriars:  The Vase.



Window Cleaners
One Blackfriars (The Vase)
 London, United Kingdom
September 10, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

   


For those of us who struggle with acrophobia,
the sight of window cleaners dangling from the top of a skyscraper
can be a mesmerizing, palm-liquifying, and chilling event.



Cleaning Windows
One Blackfriars (The Vase)
 London, United Kingdom
September 10, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

   


Whenever I see window cleaners suspended from a high-rise,
I come to a full stop, heart pounding, breath frozen.
I could not do it. 

As someone who has been plucked sobbing and shaking
from trees, poles, fire lookout towers, cliffs, and skinny ridges,
it would take one powerful motivation to make me pick up a squeegee
and sky walk at One Blackfriars or any other structure: 
life or death ~ maybe
one hundred million dollars ~ maybe.
I'd likely die of fright.

This is definitely not for me!
You can keep your day job.




Checking Lines Before the Drop
170 meters (558 feet)
One Blackfriars (The Vase)
 London, United Kingdom
September 10, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved

   

Would you sky walk with a squeegee?
What really scares you? 






Till next time ~
Fundy Blue


Along the Waterfront
Brighton, England, UK
September, 2018
© M. Louise (MacBeath) Barbour/Fundy Blue
All Rights Reserved










Note:
The modern glass-clad skyscrapers that have sprouted in London's skyline are not without controversy.  One Blackfriars, nicknamed The Vase, joins other iconic buildings such as the Shard, Walkie Talkie, Cheesegrater, and Gherkin which rear above the lower layer of historical and contemporary structures. 

One Blackfriars has been described with a range of adjectives from atrocious to monstrous and stunning to striking.  It is less affectionately known as The Tummy.  People love it or hate it.  Count me among those who love it.

Ian Simpson is the architect who created the vision for One Blackfriars. His inspiration was a 1952 sculpture by Finnish artist Timo Sarpaneva, the asymmetrical Lansetti II Vase.

Sadly, the interior of the building is largely off-limits to the public.  Its primary function is to provide exclusive and luxurious apartments for the super rich, and the public viewing platforms were essentially scrapped.  

If I won a kabillion dollars in a lottery, I might be tempted to buy an apartment, despite my acrophobia.  However I'd likely never summon the courage to walk into my private sky garden between the inner and outer layers of the building's double envelope facade.

metmuseum.org  (Lansetti II Vase)

simpsonhaugh.com  (Architects)

theb1m.com  (Details and Schematics)

arabianknightonline.com  (Building Details)

  


For Map Lovers Like Me:
Location of London, United Kingdom





Location of London, United Kingdom 





Location of One Blackfriars (The Vase)




One Blackfriars
London, United Kingdom






32 comments:

  1. There is not enough money in the world to induce me to do that job.

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    1. Haha! I get it, Debra! In an attempt to decrease my acrophobia, I once rappelled down the face of a 200-foot cliff near Cedar City, Utah. On my first attempt to lean backwards over the edge of the cliff, my gear malfunctioned, and I smacked upside down into the cliff. My climbing guide quickly dragged me up and immediately sent me back over the edge where I rappelled down an inch or so at a time. It was one of the most terrifying and exhilarating experiences in my life, but it set my plan to overcome acrophobia by years ~ LOL. Have a great weekend!

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  2. Not a chance. Glad someone is willing to do it.
    You could spend a year exploring London and still not see everything.

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    1. You're right about London, Alex! And here your alter-ego is a Cosbolt fighter pilot and jumper in space battles ~ You should see my alter-ego ~ LOL! Have a good one!

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  3. I love roller coasters and thrills, but I'm not sure I'd be willing to shimmy down a rope to wash a window.

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    1. You'll have to enjoy those roller coasters and thrills for me. They scare the heck out of me! Enjoy your weekend, Diane!

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  4. Louise! You are looking good! I am amazed at the window cleaners in England, like you I just could not do that!! That Vase building, that is new to me, not been to England since 2016!

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    1. Thanks, Kay! I'm feeling so much better. You are overdue for going back to England. I hope you go soon! Have a great weekend.

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  5. Replies
    1. I think a lot of people feel that way. Wishing you and Daisy a happy weekend together!

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  6. Anything taller than 2 rungs up a step ladder is too much for me. I would probably have a real heart attack up there, brave people. Swinging bridges are the other. Hugh tried SO hard to get me onto a swing bridge that looked over a huge ravine. TWO steps, it swayed, and I froze. What differences between old and new.

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    1. Hi, Jean! I so hear you! I have literally belly crawled off a swinging bridge. I hope all your renovations are coming along well. Enjoy the weekend with Hugh!

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  7. Don't you look so pretty in that photo Louise??? :) OMG...they can keep their day job FOR SURE....I'm not afraid of heights but that is a little too much for me. Well...that's not true, I was afraid of heights for a while. But when I lived in Orford Qc, I climbed the mountain, then took the ski lift down (it was summer). I was TERRIFIED....but the more I did it, the less I cared and finally I'm not afraid of it anymore. Pretty cool and pretty insane what the mind can do to a person!!

    I visited London in the late 80's. When I was 19 I went with the bf at the time and we did the backpacking across Europe summer together. It was fun. My best memory was visiting the places where the Sex Pistols frequented, including bars, shops and hotels. I was a big punk fan back then and I had a great time stepping into that history!

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    1. Thanks, Rain! I think it's possible to desensitize yourself to heights and other phobias. Kudos to you for doing so. I'm much better than I was with heights, but the moment my mind skitters, it's all over. It's definitely a mental game. You did what you needed to at 19. A friend of mine, June, and I brought a used Volkswagen van in a back alley of Amsterdam and drove through Holland, France, and Spain in late 1972. I'd never do that now ~ LOL All the best to you!

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  8. I don't know how much those window cleaners get paid but it's not enough. That looks so dangerous. I don't like heights either and I could never be a contestant on The Amazing Race where they always seem to have to tightrope walk across high valleys or buildings. When my son was young he took up rock climbing and repelling. I held my breath every time he went out. Love that picture of you sitting in the sun. Your hair looks lighter. Wowee!

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    1. Thanks, Peggy! I don't think I could do The Amazing Race either, although my competitive side pushes me into doing things that I sometimes have to be rescued from. The things mothers have to endure! I don't know how you and they do it. Have a relaxing weekend with Don!

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  9. I wouldn't do it for any measly minimum wage, but if they paid me a crap load I'd do it. I just look at it like that would be a lot of cleaning with all those windows, ugg. Heights never bothered me. Not afraid of anything much these days.

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    1. Not even the thoughts of your mind, Pat? LOL You come up with some pretty scary stuff! Have a good one, my friend!

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  10. Oh my gosh, Louise! I could never do that. I think I'd freeze and have to be rescued! LOL

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    1. LOL indeed! Speaking as someone who has had to be rescued a number of times! Have a good weekend with George!

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  11. London tops my favorite places to visit. I am not a fan of heights at all, so much respect goes out to the window washers. It is not a job that I would take for all the money in the world.

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    1. Happy Saturday, Theresa! I hope that you and your family are enjoying the day! Isn't London a fabulous city to visit. I've barely scratched the surface, and yet I keep going back to the British Museum. Wishing you a trip back there soon!

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  12. This is really interesting post dear Louise !

    first of all THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    MUCH for this so beautiful image of your's ,i stared it for looong with smile that deepened each moment with love for your kind lovely face and elegant smile :)


    i used to be scare of depth of water ,much height and dark when i was young.

    But specially since my parents died a weird change appeared in my attitude ,i am so much attractive to all things i used to be afraid of before

    unlike my weak shaky body my mind is ready to face every fear deliberately

    walk beside the river is such a great privilege

    i feel uncomfortable when such huge skyscrapers undertake the natural phenomena though they have their own beauty and purpose that is fine in today's world

    LOVE
    Hugs!

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    Replies
    1. Hi, deal Baili! Your lovely comment filled my heart this Sunday morning. You have been so much on my mind, but I haven't gotten by your blog; and I have been feeling terrible about it.

      We accomplished two time-consuming, complicated, and critical goals this past ten days or so, so a lot of weight and frustration has been lifted from my shoulders. We have a huge decision coming up in the next few weeks, and resolving that will be a relief. Meanwhile I have barely been keeping my head above water and failing woefully at doing things that are personally important to me, like blogging and staying in touch with friends.

      I have been saying prayers for you, Ali, and your sons every day since the horrible attack on Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand. My heart breaks at the hate some individuals act on to terrorize others. I'm sure that you were shocked as I was. I prayed that God would comfort you and ease your hearts and keep you close. When such horrific things happen, I find solace in my fundamental belief that there are more good and kind people like you and me in this world of ours. It gives me hope. Despite all the awful things that seems to be happening, I focus on remembering that there are many positive things happening that are improving the lives of people on our Earth. I know we face daunting challenges in the near future, but I have to believe that we will meet them. I can't tell you how much I appreciate all you have done to show me and others your faith and culture. I think people around the world can help overcome hate by building meaningful relationships with other people around the world.

      You are always growing, Baili, and it doesn't surprise me that you are facing things that you feared.
      You have a strong and determined mind, and you seek to better yourself intellectually and spiritually. This are positive qualities that I admire in you!

      When I was very young, from my earliest memories, I had terrible nightmares about tidal waves, of all things. There was nothing in my background to explain why I should have such dreams. Even today, I occasionally get them. Big waves draw me, and I will stop and watch them until I'm dragged away. It's something that makes me wonder about reincarnation. Whenever I'm on a beach, I will always watch the water level to make sure it isn't dropping and the water isn't receding. So what am I doing about those fears? I took up paddleboarding on smaller waves in Hawaii ~ LOL But, if I ever see water dropping and receding, I will run as fast as I can to the nearest high building or high ground that I can reach.

      Sending you love and hugs!

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  13. I've always wanted to go to London but I could definitely never do a job like that. I have problems enough just flying in an airplane. The idea of dangling by a rope to wash a window is just...no.

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    1. I think a lot of people agree with you, Robert! Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. It is amazing what people can build.

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  15. As long as I'm moving up, I'm fine with heights. As soon as I look down... well lets just say I'd be the same hot mess you confessed to. Love city skylines though. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  16. No thank you!!! No money would make me do this job! LOL!

    ReplyDelete
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