Backwards to Nagoya at 210 kph

They are gone now, but the Tokyo subway used to employ attendants to clip your ticket with a tiny metal clipper as you left the platform.  In a busy station like Shinjuku the attendant kept clicking the clipper constantly, even between customers when there were no tickets to clip.  It was to keep the rhythm going.  It must have been hell on the tendons, but it was mesmeric to watch.  A free percussion concert that went all day.

The Zero Series Shinkansen has also long gone.  You see them retired in odd spots: a railside shed in Shikoku, or converted into a small school library.  No train design since has equalled their elegance.  On the Tokaido line they were painted ivory with a rich blue stripe on the side.  In most countries they would have been painted white, but in Japan it had to be ivory.  The colour was just so.

The end carriage of the Zero Series was always the best: it had pinky-red glowing eyes and looked like it should be going forward instead of hurtling backwards at over 200 kilometres an hour.


All day, every day

Sun streaming through the front window of a quarantine-emptied cafe in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.  When it is open, it is open all day, and the bottles of sauce and mustard on the table sit in the sun all day too, building up a flavoursome, salty plug, just waiting to be squeezed hard and explode across an unsuspecting diner’s plate.

All day (final)

The line of beauty

Hogarth claimed to have identified the line of beauty, but I think Jerry Hirshberg gave it concrete form in the rear quarter panel of the 1971 Buick Riviera.

My dad owned one of these, and I remember the queasy feeling of bouncing along on shock absorbers that felt like they were made of bubble gum.  These were for looking at rather than riding in.

Buick quarter panel