Tag Archive: Rant


Cycling Rant

I’m a traffic officer

I headed out to Richmond Park last night on my own but thought I’d add a few km’s round Regents on the way. I started off fairly gentle and then warmed up a bit on the second. I bumped into one of the guys from the Thursday morning Rapha rides and had a bit of a chat for the rest of the lap, two abreast. We then came round the bottom corner (clockwise) heading back towards the Royal College of Physicians when a grey VW Golf came past quickly and then pulled in to push us into the kerb. I little evasive action was required but no great shakes and nothing out of the ordinary.

What I wasn’t quite prepared for was the guy behind me on a bike, who we had passed earlier riding two abreast, come to the right of me. I was expecting him to give the usual “I hate it when that happens” and the usual exchange of rolled eyes and a smile. What I wasn’t prepared for was the verbal abuse this guy dished out.

Guy on bike: You’re pissed off with that car aren’t you?

Me: Yeah a bit. He came a bit close and could have waited really until it was safe to pass.

Guy on bike: Well it’s entirely your fault.

Me: I’m sorry?

Guy on bike: Yeah it’s your fault for riding two abreast.

Me: But it’s legal to ride two abreast when safe to do so.

Guy on bike: You’re not allowed to ride two abreast where there’s double yellow lines.

Me: What?

Guy on bike: I’m a traffic officer.

Me: Shouldn’t you know know the highway code then?

After this I had got pretty wound up and told him to do one. It’s pretty shit being cut up by a car but we all get used to it. Being berrated by someone else on a bike is just maddening though. Now I’ve put myself in stupid situations before, accidentally and also through adrenaline, or just being a bit stupid when I was younger. I wasn’t being stupid on this occasion, just riding along, chatting, minding my own business in what should be one of the safest places in London to cycle. It’s a park with a 20mph limit and wide roads. I don’t think drivers are always at fault but in this occasion the driver could have waited 5 seconds before carrying out a safe pass.

This whole incident shook me up no end. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t a traffic officer and I’m pretty sure there’s no such rule about riding two abreast on double yellows.

Riding round Richmond was far more pleasnt, if a little un-nerving in the pitch black with the deer!


Cycling Rant

I’d rather be riding my bike than crashing into people

On my ride home on Friday a woman stepped out in front of a bus and I ploughed straight into her. Fortunately I didn’t injure her at all. This was on a road which consisted of a bus lane and two lanes of traffic in Holborn. I’ve come so close to knocking pedestrians down through them just stepping out into the road a number of times – either not looking or being engrossed in their phones. I’ve always slowed down or managed to flick the bike to the side to escape damage to either of us previously.

Clearly it’s easy to do and pedestrians have right of way, but stepping out in front of the bus you have just got off and walking into a further two lanes of traffic is madness. Especially when there’s a signal controlled crossing a few metres away.

The woman was clearly shocked and started to have a go at me. The driver of the bus also had a pop and then the mini cav driver adjacent also put his bit in. I still believe it’s not my fault as you should look when stepping out. If it had been a motorbike or even car then things would have been a lot worse. She walked off and I went home after straightening my bars out.

I woke up yesterday with a bit of a stiff neck but didn’t think anything of it. By the end of the day I was in a considerable amount of pain and couldn’t turn my head or swallow properly. I woke up this morning with even worse symptoms which meant I couldn’t do the ride I had planned after a photo shoot. What’s worse is that I’ve seen so many other people out there riding their bikes, having fun. Roadies, families, couples and just people who’ve dusted their bikes off for the day. It makes me so angry to not be one of them enjoying the freedom of two wheels whilst also being in so much pain. Today feels like a completely wasted day. Just lying down and eating pain killers.

What’s further frustrated me is that my ‘stupid little cup’ target of 1250k this month on Strava is now probably completely out of the fucking window. I’ve done 1050k and short of a miracle tomorrow morning won’t be getting 200k done in the next 4 days.

More pain killers then.



I’ve given up on humanity

I took the long way home tonight. Three laps of Regents Park, down the usual route over Waterloo Bridge and then up over Denmark Hill and a left up to East Dulwich. I thought I’d get two nice bottles of beer from Boss Man on Lordship Lane. I parked my bike outside and turned around after hearing a crash.

I turned round to see a pedestrian on the floor and a motorbike on its side. There was a massive Range Rover behind and the driver leaned out of the window to tell the pedestrian (who was still on the floor) what a “stupid fucking idiot” he was and how “he should have fucking looked” before speeding off. No one asked the guy on the floor if he was ok.

Again, no one asked the person on the floor if he was ok!

Things started getting pretty nasty from the biker and his friend, also on another motorbike. I got my beer and then then both looked at me to see if I had seen anything. I went over to see if the guy who had been hit was ok, and also partially to make sure he didn’t get a bad deal – marched to a cash machine etc. There was no damage to the motorbike but the guy was still mouthing off about it. The pedestrian was clearly in a state of shock and had no idea how to resolve it. I suggested he call 112 and ask for police. As he made the call the operator asked for the index of the bike. At this point the biker ripped off his number plate which was held on by velcro! He also grabbed the phone from the guy and started berating the operator. The police were going to take 30 mins to get there so he got the biker got frustrated at the lack of progress and said he had to collect his kids! Off he went, not before making more threats to the guy. His friend arrived again and was wearing a ski mask under his helmet. They both drove off aggressively down the road and that was that.

I’m amazed at the lack of consideration shown to someone who had been injured by not only the driver of the bike but others around. No one offered to help at all. It makes me so sad to think how selfish so many of us have become, being more concerned with our own property than of others and their welfare.

What a day. Hopefully tomorrow is better.


Apple Rant

Bitten by a bug

I love computers but hate them in equal measure sometimes. The sense of pure frustration and hatred is so maddening when you come across something that stops you doing what you wanted the machine to do for you, aka a computer bug.

In this instance I’ve been merrily sending emails from my photography account to clients and others and have now only found out that a lot of them haven’t been sending or even filing in the sent items. They just disappear into the ether. Fortunately I’m not the only one as this thread on discussions.apple.com bears witness to, beware it’s filled with despair, hatred and frustration. There appears to be no reliable fix as such with a few edge cases saying delete all mail accounts and so on.

Ahh well a fun evening of deleting and re-adding mail accounts waits. The most maddening thing is that my iPad works just fine.


Architecture Rant

Architects moaning over ARB fees

Inspired by Mathew’s post, karma neutral, I’ve decided to offer a little more critique and voice an opinion rather than the usual ‘oh my god these images are amazing’ posts.

First on my list is Architects moaning. Now we bloody love to moan – subjects include, but not limited to; the world hates us, we don’t get enough recognition, Doctors earn more than us, it’s not like the old days, we don’t have a design champion, our voice is being diluted and so on.

So I was amazed to read a piece on the Architect’s Journal this week about the ARB throwing Architects off the register for not paying their fees. The title Architect is protected in the UK and you have to be on the register to use the title legally. Arguments about the role ARB plays vs RIBA aside, it’s clear that this is the only thing you need to do each year (and some CPD etc) to stay practicing. You know, doing your job still after all that studying and working your nuts off.

According to the board, almost six per cent of the UK’s 34,000 registered architects did not manage to cough up the £105 fee before the 31 December 2013 deadline.

The number marks a 57 per cent rise on the 1,300 architects booted off in 2013, and is equivalent to almost half the architects employed by AJ100 practices.

The tone of the article clearly implying that the ARB was being nasty and charging a fee for people missing the deadline. Then cue quotes from people who missed the payment and wanted a moan.

Fran Balaam of Pie Architecture, said: ‘The £65 charge is ridiculous. And for what? It’s costing more [to be reinstated] than when I joined first time.

You could have saved the £65 by paying it on time surely?

I’m reminded of the blog youhadonejob.org. The only thing you have to do was pay your fees and stay registered as an Architect. You get an email reminder too telling you to pay. But instead of phrasing the article as “Architect’s too lazy to pay professional fee to allow them to continue their job” it’s all “woe is me we’re put upon even our own professional body hates us”. The AJ weren’t the only one’s to take this angle. Please man up Architects. Anyone outside of the profession seeing this article would surely think we’d all lost the fucking plot and were a bunch of moaners.

And as Vinesh reminded me, you expect clients to pay you on time (and moan about that too) so why haven’t you paid your fees?


Architecture Photography Rant

The @RIBA would like your images for free

Felt pretty stressed today. Lots to do and try and achieve before a meeting tomorrow and then I get this in my inbox.

Hi Andy

I am including a case study on the **project** in a book on domestic refurbishment projects to be published by RIBA Publishing in spring next year. Around 30 projects will be featured and the book will be a well-designed hardback with an initial print run of 2,000. I do not have a budget for the reproduction of photographs so I am having to rely on the architects concerned to supply illustrations free of charge. I don’t know what your arrangement is with **** Architects but I am hoping you can supply the shots included on their website. You will be properly credited, of course. The book includes the best work of the leading young architects in London and the rest of the UK and the photography I have received so far is by well respected architectural photographers so you will be in good company.

The book is soon to go into production so I would need to receive the material as soon as possible.


********* RIBA

First impressions, wow…

As a fully paid up member of the RIBA it’s pretty crap that they don’t even think that paying for photography is necessary. Would they suggest Architects work for free? Now I’m sure they’re not giving this book away as it’s “a well-designed hardback“. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe it is going to be free? So if they don’t have the budget to pay photographers then they don’t have the budget to publish a book surely? I’m sure they’ll be charging a decent fee and making a profit of some form. In addition Mr RIBA is suggesting that a credit will suffice and that it’ll probably get me more work. I’ll also be surrounded by the best of the best, all of whom are giving their work for free.

Now I feel slightly conflicted as I’d love the Architects I shot for to be published and gain more work for themselves as well as wider recognition. So I do want them to be published but why should the RIBA make money off them and me without giving anything back? There’s not even the offer of a free copy of the book!

And to top it all off.. can you get us images as soon as possible please? Not only are they free but they’re very urgent. Unbelievable. I wonder if the RIBA will give me my 2014 membership for free? I don’t have a budget for it and it’s urgent as 2013 is almost over.

Now I’m not the sort that objects to free work of any kind. I’ve done free designs, sketches, photos, in fact entire days of photography for free. But they are all done for a reason, whether that be PR and exposure, friends, a charity or just because I’ve offered to waive my fee. But this stinks, really stinks. I wish the RIBA had a bit more respect for their own professionals as well as photographers who are trying to make a living. It’s not very easy paying the rent with a credit.

So I’ll probably give them the images anyway as I feel for the Architects but holy hell it’s one more nail in the RIBA’s coffin for me.

EDIT: As pointed out on Twitter by Steve Parnell the RIBA and RIBA publishing are two different entities. The RIBA is a registered charity which I’m more inclined to support – as above comment on working for free. RIBA Publishing is a fully fledged business though.


Cycling Rant

Lets all be nice to each other on the road

I see so much crap towards cyclists people who choose to travel by bike online. I follow loads of pro cycling people on Twitter and plenty of people post shocking and dangerous clips, as well as the odd idiot copper. I’ve also spent plenty of my time being on the receiving end of this crap too. There’s also these bullshit campaigns, the Nice Way Code being one of them recently. I try and not post about that stuff here but then once in a while one of them tips me over the edge. This time it’s the city of London and this bullshit film.

Lets all share and be nice. How about the driver doesn’t drive on his phone, doesn’t go in the ASZ, uses his indicators and doesn’t drive aggressively? No we have to be nice to each other. For fucks sake this shit makes my blood boil.

There’s no room for proper cycle infrastructure in our medieval streets… pans to wide boulevard. Just a fucking joke all over. Try again City of London.

Via @veloevol



I think I’m turning into Victor Meldrew

I feel like I’m turning into a miserable old git and seem to find more and more things that annoy the shit out of me in daily life. Most of them are entirely inconsequential and I’m sure I probably tut too but perhaps I’m turning into Victor Meldrew.

Wilson 1

Maybe it’s weird but I think some of this stuff is important, it’s manners and little things like this have the opportunity to make the world better for others. So lets think of all the things that annoy me in an old man style. Maybe I’ll come back and add to this soon.


People leaving their engines on whilst waiting outside shops.

People who don’t say thank you when you hold the door open for them – East Dulwich mothers I’m looking at you!

Middle lane drivers.

Waiting staff clearing plates before everyone has finished at the table.

The downstairs neighbours who bang the door every fucking morning.

The people who climb up your arse in any queue– come a bit closer mate and you read the rude Tweet I’m composing about you.

People who hog the pavement in a line of three – no worries we’ll get out of the way.

The playing music on the crappy speaker in your phone thing – leaky headphones also included in this.

The person who keeps their bag on the seat on the train when it’s packed.

Not indicating.

Dropping litter – makes my blood boil!

Staff in shops just holding out their hand – you wanna tell me how much it is buddy?

That’s it for now.



It’s not the critic who counts

I’m bored. I’m bored of Twitter. I’m bored of negativity. I’m bored of people sniping from the sidelines. I’m bored of people sitting there and commenting without holding up their own work for comment. I’m bored of jeering “It’s shit”.

Whilst I don’t believe everything should be all roses and sweetness and ooh I like your work, I’m growing increasingly tired of those who don’t do. I’ve gone to great lengths to rid negativity in my life to date and avoid it at all costs. I’d rather be constructive in some way or think about achieving something in a pragmatic and honest way. This armchair sniping is bollocks.

Earlier today I was sent this quote from a speech by Theodore Roosevelt at the Sorbonne in Paris, France on April 23, 1910. I think it sums it all up quite nicely.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.


Flickr Photography Rant

Flickr launches T-shirts while platform dies

T-shirts, they’ve launched fucking T-Shirts! They’re letting an amazing platform die and the only news that comes out of Flickr in recent memory is T-shirts? They have to be shitting me. How about better features like smart sets – based on tags to organise your content? Smart geo-tagging features? A decent mobile app that allows better engagement with your content? Notifications on your phone when someone comments that isn’t via email to further that engagement?

Actually that’s not fair, they changed the individual image page to show the ISO, ƒ stop, lens and shutter speed of the shot. Big whoop.

Screen Shot 2012 11 28 at 22 06 39

There’s loads they could do to improve the platform and see off or even engage with competition such as Instagram.

But no, we’ve got FUCKING T-SHIRTS!

Screen Shot 2012 11 28 at 21 43 32

RIP Flickr.