So today is Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, Mardi Gras, Carnival. In 2012, Will Ferrell was the King of the Bacchus parade in New Orleans (who roll through uptown on the Sunday before Mardi Gras). This is my favorite photo of when he rolled by and I think a fitting way to celebrate the day. According to the International Business Times, Shrove comes from shrive meaning to confess while Carnival derives from ‘carne levare’ meaning ‘to take away meat’. In Poland, the article goes on to say, they celebrate Paczki Day which translates as Donut Day. In Poland, Donut Day falls on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday but here in America, every day is Donut Day! All these festivals seem to be about using up whatever food was lying around the house before the start of the Lenten season. I won’t be having pancakes today, or donuts, and I haven’t had any king cake this season either – I’m already too fat, thank you very much.

Will Ferrell - King of Bacchus 2012.

Will Ferrell – King of Bacchus 2012.

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The Krewe of Endymion parade through the streets of New Orleans on the Saturday before Mardi Gras. This year the krewe turned 50. I took this photo back in 2012 while waiting for the parade to roll. In their infinite wisdom my local school district in Texas didn’t schedule any holidays during the Mardi Gras season so no parades for us this year. To learn more about the history of Endymion you can read this article on nola.com.

Endymion Shield. Mardi Gras 2012. Krewe of Endymion

Endymion Shield. Mardi Gras 2012. Krewe of Endymion

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That 21 Pilots Song, “Stressed Out” made me think about the simpler times in my life. Upham Sunset is a view across the fields where I grew up. It hasn’t changed much. The house I lived in is off the frame to the right, behind the trees. The house was aligned east-west so I didn’t get to see the sunrise or sunset from my window. That didn’t bother my much, I spent a lot of time outdoors back then. This image is from July 2015, taken one evening when visiting my parents who still live close by.

Upham Sunset - July Sunset at Upper Upham, Wiltshire, England

Upham Sunset – July Sunset at Upper Upham, Wiltshire, England

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I saw this old BP Motor Spirit sign at the Cotswold Motor Museum. Perhaps this image stood out to me today as I was at the BP offices in Houston earlier this week. Their current flower helios logo is stateless unlike this sign where BP clearly lies at the center of the United Kingdom. I love the quote marks and the angular font. These enamel on sheet steel signs were common in the 1920s. At this time “BP” stood for “British Petroleum” in a nationalist or patriotic way. BP the oil company wouldn’t be named that till 1954. At the time this sign was in use, the company was called the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and “BP” was simply a product range that until 1917 had been sold under the Palm Tree Oil label. I’m not sure whether that name was supposed to imply the contents of the cans came from palm trees or if it meant to signify it came from the middle eastern deserts and evoke images oases and palm trees and camels and all those other desert images that only rich or enlisted Britons had actually seen in those days.

An enamel BP Motor Spirit sign from the 1920

An enamel BP Motor Spirit sign from the 1920’s at the Cotswold Motor Museum, Bourton on the Water, England.

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The Bomber Command Memorial was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 June 2012. Perhaps it was covered in a large white sheet and she deftly pulled it away like the waiter snatching the table cloth from under the table settings (but probably not like that at all). The memorial is a short walk from her back yard at Buckingham Palace but I suspect she was driven in a Rolls Royce – which was probably fitting given so many British WWII bombers were powered by Rolls Royce engines. 55,573 aircrew from Britain, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Poland and other countries lost their lives serving in the command. If you take the 2,074 days between September 3rd, 1939 and May 8th, 1945 (VE day) that’s 27 per day or more than one per hour over the course of the war.

Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, London. It commemorates the 55,573 Bomber Command crew who lost their lives in WWII.

Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, London. It commemorates the 55,573 Bomber Command crew who lost their lives in WWII.


(All proceeds from the sale of this photo will be donated to the upkeep of the memorial)

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