Quota gallery from exactly one year ago

I’ll be doing a lot less of this sort of thing, just wandering about in London, photoing at will:

And yes, photoed on March 17th 2019, in and around Hay’s Galleria. Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, The Shard, all around there. Across the river, the Tower of London, no less.

The last photo is of that big lump of a building at the southern end of London Bridge, near to the Shard.

Also light fittings. I like London’s light fittings.

I also like that photo-posting here is back, after a short interruption.

March 17th 2019 was a date from that far off time before BMNB even existed, and galleries like this were tedious to do, and impossible for all you readers and viewers to click through conveniently, and above all quickly.

I’ll probably be doing quite a bit of catching up of this sort in the next few months, what with being stuck at home. As of now it looks like old geezers like me will be shouted at by the Fuzz, strictly from a distance you understand, to go home and to stay home.

Shopping for food or medicine will be tolerated. Just meandering about photoing, forget about it.

40 Strand

Alastair wondered, in a comment, what this building is, as had I. Today, the weather looked good again, and having nowhere in particular to go, I thought I’d do what I hadn’t done earlier, which was find out exactly what this building is.

Here are nine photos, the first of which I photoed last Tuesday, just before photoing the photo shown in that previous posting, and the other eight of which I took this afternoon:

The first, as I say, taken seconds before that previous night scene I showed earlier, shows the shape of the building, instead of just a pretty pattern. The second photo above is clearly of the same building. The third shows the same building, but with some context, in particular showing where it is in relation to the big arched edifice of offices over Charing Cross Station.

At which point I knew where to go looking, and I soon got right next to the Thing. Photo 4 makes it clear that this is that same building, while photo 5 clarifies that at the foot of it is to be found the Theodore Bullfrog. I took a note (photo 6) of exactly where I was.

But, there seemed to be no very welcoming entrance to the building I was trying to find out about. So I went around to the front of it, which seemed to be in the Strand. Photo 7 and photo 8, are close-ups of the entrance I found. And photo 9 shows the entire building from a bit of distance, from the other side to my earlier photos.

Photo 8 was of a sign saying … “40 Strand”, was it?

A little photo-enhancement …:

… confirmed that yes, this was 40 Strand. But was 40 Strand and the building we saw from the other side one and the same building?

Google Maps gave me the answer to that when I got home:

Yes. 40 Strand is the whole thing, including the bits at the back that I had been photoing so attentively. The presence of the little red balloon in the middle of the building, right next to the more distant of the windows I had been photoing proved that this was job done.

So now you know. More to the point, now Alastair knows. I don’t get many regular commenters here, so the ones I do have get the Rolls Royce treatment. (When I feel like it, I mean. I promise nothing.)

Staircases, big red numbers, and … trees!

My evening just got a bit more complicated, me having just been invited to what sounds like a rather enticing event. So, quota photo time:

That was photoed on the same photo-expedition as those other sixteen tree photos that I showed you yesterday, and photoed after all the other ones had been. And look, trees! So I called it “TreesInMarch2020-17.jpg”, the earlier ones being TreesInMarch2020-01.jpg to TreesInMarch2020-16.jpg. Which worked out well.

The building we are looking at is to be seen from the downstream half of the two spikey footbridges, the ones with railways in between, and looking towards the north side of the River, past Embankment Tube. I keep meaning to track down exactly what building it is, who lives there, works there, etc. But a rule of blogging is: if you can’t say everything, something will suffice, especially if you are a trivia blogger, as I mostly am.

I especially like the big red numbers.

Trees and other Things

I’ve not being doing much out-and-abouting lately. But yesterday the weather looked good and I managed a photo-expedition. My odyssey was a familiar one. I walked past the Channel 4 TV headquarters building to Victoria Street, checked out the progress of The Broadway. (That seems to e its name, by the way. It’s not One Broadwy or Ten Broadway, just The Broadway.) Then I walked down Victoria Street to Westminster Abbey and Parliament Square, and then across Westminster Bridge and along the South Bank, and then back across the River to Embankment Tube and home again.

But I knew there’d be new stuff to see, or maybe old stuff that I had seen many times before but not noticed. Stuff like … trees. Here are sixteen of the photos I photoed, involving trees:

Trees look as they do, especially when uninterrupted by leaves, not because trees naturally look like that, but because a not-that-small and very full-time army of tree barbers and tree surgeons (that being the word they prefer), caused them to be so. Every twist and turn of a branch is a decision made by someone wielding a chainsaw (this time click on “Gallery”) or commanding someone wielding a chainsaw. If trees ever do grow “naturally”, that too is a string of decisions that someone made and went on making. Every tree in London is a clutch of design decisions.

And as I say, no leaves. Which means that other things were to be seen also. The Broadway, the Wheel, the Crimea statue, stuff around Parliament Square (much of it smothered in scaffolding), the Wheel from closer up, Big Ben (smothered in scaffolding), the sign outside Foyles saying “FOYLES”, a big puddle, and so forth and so on. Lovely.

Violinist outside Westminster Abbey

This afternoon. Given what he was doing, and given that I put £2 in his violin case, I hope you agree that him being totally recognisable is okay, although I have no idea who he is:

He looks happy.

I seem to recall he was playing the Londonderry Air.

Behind him, you can just about make out two of the flagpoles in Parliament Square, and behind them, Portcullis House.

BT Tower reflected – as seen from outside Warren Street Tube

At the top end of Tottenham Court Road, where it hits Euston Road and then bashes its way across Euston Road and changes its name to Hampstead Road, there is some photo-fun to be had, especially on bright and sunny days, with the way that the BT Tower is reflected back from the building on the far side, at the opposite corner from Warren Street Tube. Warren Street Tube being a Tube Station I often emerge from, on my way to Curry’s PC World whenever I need something electrical that i want to look at before I buy it.

Here’s a clutch of such photos that I photoed on June 29th 2015:

I know. They’re vertical, rather than horizontal. Not my usual thing. For which there is a reason, namely: that my cameras, Windows and my graphics programme don’t see eye to eye when vertical photos are involved. So, I had some sorting out to do with these photos, but I made it work eventually. But that’s also why I’m only posting this clutch of photos now rather than in 2015. Clutches of photos (reprise) used to be very complicated, and any further complication, like this vertical nonsense, I just did not need.

Some of the above photos, the bottom middle one especially, feature another building besides the BT Tower. That’s because the windows that stuff is being reflected in are at a 45 degree angle to the ones where the BT Tower is to be seen. This is clear from photos 3, 4 and 6, and especially if you look at the top of the building. Which might be why photo 5 is definitely my favourite of these. I often, as here, like it when the photo is a bit of a puzzle. What’s happening here? But I also like to try to say what is happening, which is why I include the other five. That way it’s a puzzle, but a puzzle solved.

I also like that effect you often get with reflections, which is that the sky is blue with any clouds being clearly visible, in the reflected bits, but bright white when you look straight at the sky. The human eye sees both as sky, by altering its light setting as it scans the scene. Cameras can’t do that. Or not nearly so easily. They need graphics package help to communicate that kind of thing.

By the way, when I categorise something as “reflections”, that means literal reflections, of light. I’m not claiming that I am myself “reflecting”, any more deeply than usual. Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. Different argument.

Broadway in black and white

Yesterday afternoon, on my way to St James’s Tube, I once again passed, and photoed, the ever changing scene that is The Broadway (or something similar), as it takes shape. It’s going to be a cluster of Things of a Certain Size.

Yesterday I decided I’d photo it all in black and white:

Well, no. What really happened was that the place itself presented itself to me in black and white, with only very vestigial traces of colour. I was photoing in full colour.

When I first saw that big word there, “MULTIPLEX”, I thought; Hey, they’re building a multi-screen cinema! But it turns out that all it is is that a company called Multiplex got the contract to construct this place.

A London logo with lots of Things of a Certain Size

It’s not hard to see why I like a graphic contrivance of this sort:

I encountered it at a website entitled Specifier Review, which is concerned with the actual building of buildings. The explanatory blurb towards the bottom ends with the words “building product manufacturers and construction industry specialists”.

Note that, in this graphic, the Big Thing performers at the front of the stage are backed by a much more numerous but more anonymous chorus of generic no-name blocks. Things, you might say, of a Certain Size. Not necessarily that small, but definitely not Big. Maybe big enough to impinge locally, and to get right wing grumps grumbling in their opinion pieces, but not to register in the grander scheme of London Big Things, as seen from a distance. As seen, for instance, in the graphic that adorns the top of this blog.

It’s the Big Things that catch the eye of onlookers like me, but the bread and butter of being a building product manufacturer or construction industry specialist is working away on those boring, generic, Things of a Certain Size.

It’s a whole different posting, but the building scene in London has now shifted away from Big Things towards Things of a Certain Size. No more Gherkins and Shards. Not for the time being. But still plenty more Things of a Certain Size, for thousands upon thousands more folks to live in and to work in, and to work at building.

Round town in Germany

Here:

The Bavarian city of Nördlingen is maybe the only town in the world built using materials of extraterrestrial origin.

Maybe, maybe. What I like about the Bavarian city of Nördlingen is that it’s round:

Note Nördlingen’s very thin and very sensible Green Belt, a circular park with lots of trees, by the look of it. Unlike London’s Green Belt, which is absurdly thick and ridiculous, and, to an appalling degree, treeless.

The way this silo collapses …

Here. Says Peter Caddick-Adams, PhD, FRHistS, FRGS (to whom thanks for retweeting):

Ridiculously phallic …

Watch it, and see if you agree. I don’t think phalluses (sp?) collapse like that.

FRGS, I’ve just discovered, stands for Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. This costs, but you also have to be recommended, checked out, and everything. PC-A would have aced it, because he is an expert on battlefields, which can get very geographical.