Quota Monty – quota Slim

I photoed lots of photos of the statues in Parliament, of Churchill, Mandela, Gandhi, Smuts, Lloyd George and the rest of them. Trouble was, the light was coming from the wrong direction for a lot of them.

My favourite statue photo I photoed yesterday was actually this one, of Monty:

He was facing in the right direction to get some light on his face.

But I think another got luckier with Monty is that I’ve photoed this statue a lot already, because it’s one of my favourites in all of London.

As is the one nearby of Slim, who yesterday was looking like this:

In between those two statues, there’s a statue of Brooke, which I am not quite so fond of. Nothing against Brooke, just that the statue looks, to me, a bit unconvincing, more like a caricature than a likeness.

Taxi adverts!

It’s almost the definition of History that you feel you can’t talk, in my case blog about, anything else.

But yes, Taxi adverts. I haven’t been going out of my way to photo taxi adverts recently, but when one comes along, I do my best, and as often as not my best is good enough. Here are twenty such taxi adverts, all of them photoed in the first few months of this year:

And here’s a final one, that I photoed this very afternoon, in Parliament Square. I was mainly photoing statues, but this one drove by, so …:

A lot of these adverts now seem very obsolete, although most of them were photoed either before all this History exploded, or while the explosion was only getting started. But now? Well, people are still vaping, and still working away at things like online banking. They’re probably still buying shoes and having them delivered to theirs homes. But not a lot of regular shopping is now happening, except for food, and not many people are now wandering about in London paying careful attention to all of these adverts and consequently buying this particular frock or that particular pair of shoes, or this other taxi app.

Those who are still wandering about in public spots are the anti-socials, like me, taking exercise, or in my case exercise and photos (and doing some food shopping), and all keeping ourselves to ourselves just like always. I mostly don’t have other photoers to photo now, but otherwise, for me, it’s pretty much pleasure as usual.

William Huskisson and his statue

In addition to photoing ducks in Pimlico Gardens, I also photoed this statue of William Huskisson:

Harsh sunlight can sometimes turn the subtleties of sculpture into a mixture of uninformative black and equally uninformative white, so the diminished but more ambient light I had to make do with may have helped, although a bit more ambient light would have helped. And I fear that in any sort of light, the inscription on the base of the statue (in photo 2) would have been a photographic struggle. You can just about make out that William Huskisson was born in 1770 and died in 1830, but if you care about these dates, you’d probably want to check them out.

The anonymous writer of this piece about the Huskisson Statue refers to it as “rather Roman”. This is like calling an F1 racing car “rather fast” or the Milky Way “rather big”. Huskisson dates from the era when politicians liked to dress up as Romans for portraits and statues, an era that ended with the mid-nineteenth century expansion of the franchise. At which point politicians stopped dressing in a way that emphasised how different and aristocratic and educated and virtuous and special they were, and switched to being ceremonially portrayed in the way that they actually dressed in their regular lives, i.e. a smarter version of the way everyone dressed. “I’m special” turned into “I’m one of you”.

Huskisson’s main claim to fame now is that he was the first mere person ever to be killed in a railway accident. Lots of people must already have died in the course of constructing railways and locomotives, but Huskisson was the first civilian, so to speak, to be killed by this newfangled technology.

More impressive to me is that, as much as he could manage to be within the limits of political necessity and ambition, Huskisson was an old-school classical liberal. At one point in his career, somebody tried to get him to impose a legally enforced minimum wage. Huskisson brushed the notion aside as foolishness. Good for him.

Here is what the Adam Smith Institute’s Madsen Pirie has to say about Huskisson.

Another pair of Egyptian geese

Blogging as I just was about romantically linked birds, I recently transferred a posting about a couple of geese, which I did on Christmas Eve 2014, from the old blog to this blog, which was a big improvement because this posting featured thirty three photos of the happy couple, and viewing them is now a whole lot quicker and easier than it was.

Here is the photo number one of that clutch of thirty three …:

… and I really recommend you check out the other thirty two.

On Tuesday afternoon, at my end of Vauxhall Bridge, on the left as I approach it, I checked out the very same spot where I had photoed all these highly recommendable photos. Perhaps I thought I would meeting the original objects of my photography back in 2014, again. And rather to my surprise, I did encounter a couple of geese who looked very like the two I had originally photoed:

Sadly, I fear that “looked very like” is as far as it went. I had hoped I might have spied again the original couple, but this I now greatly doubt. There are now many of these geese in London and they breed fast.

I know this because I finally managed to identify what brand of bird these four birds all are. I googled “brown eyed goose”, and everything became clear. They are Egyptian geese. That’s a link to a Guardian piece about these geese. The Guardian loves them because the warmer weather we’ve been having lately has enabled them to flourish here. The Guardian loves warmer weather. Warmer weather, to the Guardian means that the world ought to have done to it permanently what the Coronavirus is only doing to it temporarily.

Venturing out again

I wrote here earlier about my fear of embarking upon any longish photo-expeditions, given the highly regulated nature of the public realm at present, and given how enthusiastic mere people seem to have become about enforcing these new rules, by shouting at those who they believe to be disobeying them. Such fears are a getting old thing.

But on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons of this week I set aside these fears and went on a couple of walks, keeping well away from other people of course. On Tuesday, the last day of March, I walked from my home to and across Vauxhall Bridge and then walked a little along the far side towards Battersea, at which point it got too dark and I turned back for home. And on Wednesday, the first day of April, I turned right along the north bank of the River until I got to and crossed Chelsea Bridge, explored all the frozen-in-the-moment building activity around the Battersea Power Station, and then walked back home along the south side of the River and back across Vauxhall Bridge.

The weather on Tuesday was fine, but on Wednesday afternoon the short-term weather forecast was something it very seldom is. It was wrong. I was promised a couple of hours of partial sunshine, but this never happened. But at least there was, as also promised, no actual rain, and once embarked upon my journey I pressed on, for the exercise you understand.

I soon arrived in a place variously known either as St George’s Square or Pimlico Gardens. Although, follow the second of those two links and you understand this muddle. Pimlico Gardens is the small bit at the southern end of the much bigger St George’s Square, which is elongated and not square at all.

Anyway, what with all this exercising, it seemed pointless not to do any photoing, given that nobody seemed to be objecting. In St George’s Square/Pimlico Gardens I photoed a couple – truly a couple – of ducks:

Ducks close-up seemed to work in the gloomy weather. There’s lots of detail for the automatic function to grab hold of, which is mostly how I do my focusing.

No social distance between them.

At the top of the Walkie Talkie

In January 2016, I and a friend visited the top of the Walkie Talkie. And in April 2016, I posted one of the photos I took during that visit, the third of these three Walkie Talkie photos. Somewhat later, in September 2017, I posted quite a few more of the photos I took during that same visit, of my fellow photoers, surprise surprise. Galleries were harder to do and to view on the old blog, blah blah, reprise. And now that galleries are so much easier to do and view, here’s another clutch of photos from that day, this time showing what the inside of the top of Walkie Talkie is like.

Getting into the Walkie Talkie was quite a palaver, and I’ll bet that hasn’t got any easier. So lots of people who will never want to endure all this palaver to visit this place themselves might nevertheless appreciate being told what the inside of it looks like. So, here is this next clutch of photos:

When you google Walkie Talkie, you get lots of moaning from a few years back about how terrible it is. I love it. And I continue to tell all my friend, and you lot, that eventually it will be greatly loved. But, this evening anyway, I could find no one who agreed with me.

And not a cloud in the sky

On and from the roof of my block of flats, yesterday:

We’re all confined to barracks, and the best weather of the year so far, by far, chose to arrive to celebrate the fact. About five solid days of not-a-cloud-in-they-sky perfection, ideal for any number of different and interesting photo-expeditions, and all we’re allowed to do is a little shopping shopping, go straight to and from work, and take a bit of exercise. As I get older, I become less and less inclined to incur the wrath of strangers, and me creeping about taking photos might, I can’t help feeling, incur the wrath of strangers. Up on the roof seemed like the best place to go photoing, and in particular to photo the annoyingly perfect weather.

Photo 1: The Broadway, taking shape. Photo 2: Millbank Tower, and new south bank apartments beyond. Photo 3: Parliament, The Wheel. Photo 4: looking towards Vauxhall. Photo 8: Central Hall Westminster. Photo 9: Shard.

Photos 5 and 6: Roof clutter, close up.

It’s Photo 7 that is the mystery. I’m going to have to go back up there and check that out. What’s the big tower on the left? What are the towers in the middle? Looks like they’re under construction. Guess, we’re looking towards all the building around Battersea Power Station.

Man carries tired boy

i can’t now remember when photoing other people’s children, even photoing them completely by mistake while photoing something else entirely, became something you couldn’t and wouldn’t ever do. But it must have been some time in the noughts, and definitely well before July 2014, when I photoed this photo:

But I don’t think there’s any harm in showing this photo. No faces are at all visible, let alone recognisable. And of course faces are not the point of this photo, the view of the top of the kid’s head being exactly what makes it work so well.

Red carpet photos

Exactly a week ago, I spent my last day before You Know What erupted all over us, wandering around London, before attending an amazing chamber music concert at the Wigmore Hall.

During these wanderings, I encountered a red carpet, outside the London Palladium, in Argyll Street. Normally when you see a red carpet like this red carpet, you also see stars of stage and screen prancing about on it. But there is also something appealing about just seeing the red carpet, starless. Like this:

As you can see, it took me a while to feel my way to the ideal view of this red carpet, the one that captures its full and complete spiritual essence after which no further photoing was necessary. But if I just showed that final photo, all you would would have seen would have been pure spiritual essence. The mere carpetness of the carpet might not have come across. So I supplied all the other photos I photoed, to provide context.

My camera was more interested in the temporary railings close-up than it was in the signs announcing what the event was to which this red carpet was contributing. But I can tell you that this event was the National Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards 2020.

Congratulations to Phidizz, Alisa Ali, Alan Davies, Charleigh Morritt, Heathfield Community School, Kayanne Bond, Vicki Frost, and Akeme Cox, for being awarded, respectively, the HSBC UK Breakthrough Award, the Watches of Switzerland Group Young Ambassador of the Year award, the Ascential Educational Achiever of the Year award, the Delta Airlines Rising Star Award, the Dell Technologies Community Impact Award, the Homesense Young Achiever of the Year award, the Natwest Enterprise Award, and the Global Aga Khan Foundation Prince’s Trust Award.

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.