A swan photo with a difference, and now a horse photo with a difference. Well, I like it:
A friend went riding in Windsor Park this afternoon. I grew up around there, and went to school in Windsor for a while.
Here we go:
It’s been a quiet day here at BMNB, which is not surprising given how wonderful the weather has been. Just the right amount of warm. Not a cloud in the sky. Perfect. Who, on a day like this, spends their time looking at a mere blog? Well, a few of you did, but fewer even than usual, and that’s absolutely fine by me given how fine the weather was today.
I journeyed out into south London to visit friends, the above photo being of a big biscuit tin they showed me, which provoked a brief discussion of the decidedly odd role played by biscuits in Roman Catholicism. I had not seen these friends face-to-face since the Plague struck, and it was a hugely enjoyable day, not least because of the chance I had to get to know the young son of the household. I was awake for at least half of last night fretting about whether I’d wake up in time, so was severely sleep deprived this morning. But the company from lunchtime onwards, to say nothing of the lunch itself, was so good that it had me completely forgetting that, and even though it is now nearly midnight I’m still wide awake. Nothing like reconnecting with friends to wake you up, by which I mean wake me up, especially when that company includes a boisterous boy.
As for the weather, well, I seriously doubt whether weather this year will ever be any better than it was today:
1: View from my friends’ garden; 2: Kent House Railway Station, a station whose platform clutter is particularly noticeable; 3: The towers of Vauxhall, as seen through the window of the train back to Victoria, which also reflects the view out of the train window opposite; 4: The same towers through the same window, this time with Brixtonian graffiti in the foreground: 5: More Quite Big Things, this time those surrounding the now dwarfed US Embassy and the newly redeveloped Battersea Power Station. Total number of clouds to be seen: zero.
What has actually been missing from my life in recent months is not biscuits. It has been the chance to meet up with more than only a tiny few good friends. An Osimertinib a day is still way out in front as the best way for my lung cancer to be kept at bay. But, if how today felt is anything to go by, then a very creditable second in that contest is: the best sort of company in the best sort of weather.
I just encountered this photo by Austin O’Connor on Twitter:
This was the sort of thing I had in mind when I did this earlier little posting. For me, this photo is, if anything, too picturesque, like a very sugary pudding. But, I can definitely see why he’s proud of it. I would be if I’d photoed this, sugar or no sugar.
Today I forced myself out, to post a letter which had to be posted, something I don’t think I’ve done in years.
My guess as to where there was a posting box, or whatever they are called, took me to the nearest post office that I am aware of, via Vincent Square, which I hoped would be looking good in the sunshine. It was:
That building is Vincent House, which sounds and looks like it might be important, but it’s just a block of flats.
And this is the middle of Vincent Square:
In earlier times, on a day like this, I would have gone a-wandering and a-photoing, but now, I’m afraid I feel the cold, and although delightfully sunny it was still cold. Also, all walks now take twice as long. So I posted that letter, and also did some shopping and then went straight back home. Shopping being another thing that has had to change recently. Big and occasionally has had to be replaced by less but more frequently, because there are limits to how much stuff I can now carry in anything resembling comfort, especially up my stairs.
Just before I went on this expedition, I got a phone call from one of the Marsden exercise experts. Apparently exercise is good for you. But he would say that, wouldn’t he?
Life goes on.
For the last few weeks, a strange glitch has been afflicting this blog, involving spacing. If I stick up just the one photo, stretching all the way across the width of the blog’s column of text, all is well. But if I stick up a gallery of photos, which is something I very much like doing, there has been a problem. Too much space was suddenly, ever since a recent software update or some such thing, created below the gallery. Any attempt I made to remove this space only resulted in further spatial havoc below, in the form of too much space between subsequent paragraphs of text.
But now, either because the guardians of this software have sorted this out, or because the technical curator of this blog, Michael Jennings, has sorted this out, things are back to how they were. Good. Very good. I attach great importance to how this blog looks. If it looks wrong, I hate that. It demoralises me and makes me want to ignore the damn thing rather than keep on updating it the way I actually do. This was especially so given that galleries look so very good when they are working properly.
Well, as I say, things have now reverted to their previous state of visual just-so-ness. And I will now celebrate, with yet another gallery:
The above gallery, however, is not a gallery of my photos, but rather a gallery of photos photoed by Michael Jennings, all, I believe, with his mobile phone. Not having got out much lately, I have found the photos Michael has photoed while taking exercise, and then stuck up on Facebook, reminding me of how my beloved London has been looking, to be a great source of comfort during the last few months. And I actually like photoing in his part of London more than I do in my own part. This may just be familiarity breeding something like contempt, but is still a definite thing with me.
I started out having in mind to pick just four photos, which makes a convenient gallery. Then I thought, make it nine. I ended up with twenty four. It would have been twenty five (also a convenient number), except that one of the ones I chose was a different shape, which might have complicated things, so I scrubbed that one from the gallery.
I have displayed my picks here in chronological order, the first of the above photos having been photoed in October of last year. The final photo (which is what you get to if you follow the second link in the previous paragraph), of the church, which I learned of today, and which is the only one done outside London, is something of a celebration, of the fact that Michael is now able to travel outside London without breaking any rules, or such is my understanding. (Plus, I like those unnatural trees (see also photo number 9)).
Patrick Crozier, the man I do recorded conversations with (see the previous post), is a particular fan of Viscount Alanbrooke, Churchill’s long suffering chief military adviser during WW2. So he’ll like that this church is where Alanbrooke is buried.
This morning I was at the Marsden, getting my second Covid jab, and the time after I left was the best weather for photoing of the day, by which I mean the sunniest. I photoed over a hundred photos, which is not something I have recently done. Not since February, during that little warm spell we had, I think.
However, this was not a real old-school photo-walk like I used to do, like the one remembered in the previous posting. All I did was walk from the Marsden to South Kensington tube, photoing whatever took my fancy, but basically going back home, via Sainsbury’s where I did some shopping. So, I’m still not the photoer I was, and I rather suspect that I never will be again. I’ll still do photoing, but only while basically engaged in doing other things that matter more to me, like not dying immediately of lung cancer, and meeting up with friends and family.
I will probably be showing other photos I photoed this morning, but for now, consider this photo:
It’s those branches doing right angle turns, right in the middle there, that really got my attention.
The more I look at the trees of London, the more artificial they seem to me to be, the more they look like the products of human design and the less they seem like the “natural” products of their mere DNA. Most London trees, of which the above tree (the other side of the Fulham Road from the Marsden) is a particularly striking example, are no more “natural” than the dogs that you see on television prancing about in competitions.
I seem to be becoming a treespotter.
Incoming from GodDaughter2:
Somewhere just downstream of Tate Modern. That kind of area.
It’s the old Big-Thing-in-the-distance-through-a-gap-in-the-buildings effect, which often happens, as here, when the gap is simply caused by a road happening to go straight towards the Big Thing in question. She knew I’d like this, because when we’ve been for walks in the past, I’ve said “Look at that! Wow!” when seeing something like this. I love the vagueness of the Big Thing bit of the image, in contrast to the definiteness of the foreground anonymity.
The official name for this particular Big Thing is Strata, but GD2 described it today on the phone, when I was thanking her for this photo, as a beard trimmer. So from now on, for me, this is going to be the Beard Trimmer.
No definite information about the camera she used, but almost certainly her mobile. Probably an iPhone.
Note also how the tree does not, because of the time of the year, wreck the view.
Yesterday, I did some shopping, and on my way back turned into Vincent Square, basically just to get away from the din of Vauxhall Bridge Road.
And I saw trees, resplendent in the evening sunshine, and in their total lack of leaves to spoil the splendour:
Photo 1 shows the bigger picture, and also what my Samsung Galaxy mobile phone does to vertical lines if you let it. Basically it can’t handle wide open spaces very well. Photo 2 and I’m looking at the branches of the trees rather more closely.
Photo 3 has me flying off at a tangent and bringing back memories of the time when I used to photo all manner of things reflected in car windows.
But then, in Photo 4, we see me noticing the, to me, really strange thing about these trees, which is the way they look the way they do entirely because men with saws decided that this was how they were going to look. Once you see these weirdly shaped branches, ziggy-zagging this way and that, for no apparent reason, yet surely for good reasons, you never look at a tree the same way again. I mean, look at that branch, in the middle there. Whose idea was that? And why?
Sometimes pollarding is rather obvious, once you’ve got your head around the fact of it. But what we are seeing here is so weird, I don’t know if the word pollarding still applies.
What we are not looking at is Nature Untramelled.
Another notable James Cook photo of his local and favourite cathedral:
It’s nice how the sheep are mostly looking, vaguely curious but in no way troubled, at the camera.
And note how, in the summer, with all those leaves, the tree in the middle would spoil everything.