Archive for May 11th, 2021|Daily archive page

Coincidences No.s 344, 345 & 346

No. 344 Magdala

16.4.21

I meet documentary filmmaker and Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab Sheila Hayman at Parliament Hill. We talk about the Magdala pub, a short straight walk from where we sit sipping tea, infamous for being the site of Ruth Ellis’ shooting of her nogoodnik lover. I ask Sheila “What’s a magdala anyhow?” She also doesn’t know.

The next day I am reading a pulpy detective novel whose plot kicks off in the Holy Land in the 20s. The second chapter ends:

” ‘It appears to be a letter,’ I said slowly, ‘from a woman named Mariam, or Mary. She refers to herself as an apostle of Joshua, or Jesus, “the Anointed One”, and it is addressed to her sister, in the town of Magdala.’ “

Mystery solved. A town in the Holy Land which gave Mary Magdalene her name.

No. 345 Suze

9.5.21

I am reading the biography of Jerry Rubin by Pat Thomas, having enjoyed ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7‘ very much. An interesting fact that emerges is that Suze Rotolo, Bob Dylan’s girlfriend featured on the cover of the ‘Freewheelin’ ‘ LP, went on a visit to Cuba in June 1964 organised by the Fair Play for Cuba Committee based at Berkley. Jerry also happened to be on the trip. 

About two minutes before opening the book, I am looking at the contact print by photographer Don Hunstein on my living room wall (a limited edition of 25). It is the shoot for the cover of ‘Freewheelin’ ‘. Most of the time it is part of the furniture but the night before I was having a text exchange about Bob Dylan’s art and photos of him with a friend of mine after listening together to the Van gig at Real World and so today I am actually seeing it and looking closely.

No. 346 Prince

9.5.21

I am meeting the new Digital Experience Design MA student I am supervising, in Old Street. We walk around Shoreditch coming back via Leonard Street where I used to work when Little Dot Studios were based at No. 100. She asks me what my best ever gig was (The Clash at the Electric Ballroom). Then she tells me hers – Prince at some festival in her native Switzerland.

Exactly as she utters the name Prince we are at the window of Pure Evil’s gallery at No. 98 and facing us is one of Pure Evil’s tear pictures of …Prince.

by Pure Evil

A Thing of Beauty

by David Speed @davidspeeduk in Shoreditch, London 9.5.21

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness

John Keats – ‘Endymion’ (currently featured in Poems on the Underground to mark the 200th anniversary of Keats’ death)

“Our first set of poems for 2021 is now on trains. Poems on the Underground is marking the 200th anniversary of the death of the poet John Keats, and features six poems written or inspired by Keats and his love of nature. These poems are:

An excerpt from Endymion by John Keats
An excerpt from Adonais by Percy Bysshe Shelly
Wish You Were Here by Julia Fiedorczuk
rising by Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze
I go inside the tree by Jo Shapcott
When I have Fears That I May Cease To Be by John Keats”

David Speed on Insta

Story snippets

7.5.21

While scouting a location for the music documentary we began shooting today in London, I crossed paths in Alan’s Records in East Finchley with the owner of the Terrapin Trucking Company record shop which was a key fixture in the Golden Age of Crouch End. It stood a few yards away from Banners, run by Juliet and Andy Kershaw, another key part of the picture. Here it is as preserved by the British Record Shop Archive.

And here’s Simon, the man behind Terrapin. (He doesn’t work for London Underground, just trying to stay warm and likes the gear.)

9.5.21

After a peaceful reading session by William Blake’s grave in Bunhill Fields, I emerged onto City Road to be met by the sight of an elderly lady, dismounted from her bicycle, clearing up two broken bottles she had cycled past – for the sake of dogs and fellow cyclists. There was no bin in sight so I offered to guard her bike while she popped into the park to dispose of the now wrapped glass safely. She was very grateful but I was even more so because it’s nice being nice, service is a key to happiness. 

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