Colourful squalor

This week we had a visit from a researcher looking for locations for a television crime drama. She told us that our flat has ‘gritty’ views associated with inner city squalor, and took photographs of the view from our windows. She said our living room was probably too small for the interior shots but she took pictures of our sitting room just in case. And then asked if we’d mind them trashing the room to make it look like a squat. I thought, on reflection, that I probably would mind that, yes. I didn’t invite her upstairs, where the view encompasses a bit of Tower Bridge, City Hall and, in the distance, Canary Wharf, as I couldn’t work out if that view would be more ‘gritty’, or qualify us for the penthouse exterior shots as well. She also seemed to miss the gorgeous Autumn leaves on the tree outside the kitchen window. I suppose I can understand how she saw past that to the burnt out shell under the railway bridge, but I think she missed something wonderful.

Watching the Autumn leaves go through their shades was probably one of the nicest things that happened to me last week. I kept meaning to take photographs of the gradual yet dramatic transformation into bronze, but failed. And then, this weekend, the high winds across the UK meant that many of the lovely leaves ended up in three choice puddles in the car park. All is not lost, though, as the tree I can see from the office window managed to retain quite a spread of leaves, ranging through all the glorious autumnal colours you may care to think of, and I am enjoying them.

Boycotting B&Q and building wonderful shelves

Another wonderful thing that happened this week was the erection of the shelves in the bedroom. Sarah came home for a couple of days and we tootled off to B&Q to get the drill replaced. We managed to replace it with a vastly superior drill and get so frustrated with the shop that we’ve resolved never to go back. Not never, not no-how. The shelves are almost everything they should be. They tilt ever so slightly into the room, which is a little unnerving, but the books are staying on them. The stain worked pretty well, and the wire rope acting as book ends, strung from the bottom shelf through to the ceiling, looks really professional and works a treat. I really must get round to reading some of the books now.

Masters of Colour

On Sunday, I went with my mother to the Masters of Colour exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. It was an uplifting experience. I am a huge Kandinsky fan, so enjoyed his section, but also loved many of the other pieces. I wish I knew more about art, but at least I know what I like when I see it.

HTML editors

I’ve just spent the last few hours looking online for HTML editors. I use HomeSite and love it. It would take an awful lot to persuade me to change, but a friend of mine wants an editor for occasional use so I was checking out the alternatives. She wants to code French text, so it needed to have nice functionality for special characters and have a French dictionary. Quite a few editors claim to allow this combination, but the 20 or so trials currently installed on my machine show that this isn’t the case. I got it down to two in the end. HomeSite (which does appear to be unbeatable), which retails for $99, and EHtml, for $44.95. The free ones were awful. One actually stripped out the special characters when opening a file, destroying existing formatting. I also came across TopStyle, which looks great for editing style sheets, and I may experiment with that further, but is not the HTML editor it claims to be.