Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Day 365 : blue ice

At this time of year ice rinks are popping up all over the place. I've spent quality time on a good few subsequent Tuesday hanging out at the one at Canary Wharf trying to lure bankers in. That sounds much dodgier than it was, it was legitimate work though I declined joining them on the slippery stuff due to a slight concussion incident many years ago.

This one is a particularly pretty example in the grounds of the imposing German Romanesque Natural History Museum. The blue ice, the twinkly lights Christmas tree and the purple illuminated brickwork. The handful of skaters gliding around rather elegantly, entirely devoid of polar bears. I guess these ones are pretty good at it!

It seemed a fitting final picture of my 365 photo-a-day project. A sparkly festive scene to wrap up the year and herald the beginning of a shiny new year.


Monday, 30 December 2013

Day 364 : helping Mother Nature

I was right about the rain. Today it has been full on. Again the wintry frosty conditions I crave for are alluding me so I’ll have to make do with the drip, drip, and the drop, drop. The holly bush at the end of the garden path seems to be a good subject and became my quarry after the rain had abated. The close-up filters are dusted off and trained on the shiny red berries, glossy with the recent rain. And just to add a little more polish, I shake the spiky holly leaves above to rain on my chosen cluster of leaves. Well sometimes Mother Nature just doesn't send raindrops in the exact spot I'd like them to be, is I have to assist her.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Day 363 : leaf revisited

Back home and there's still a handful of these coloured leaves blowing around. I like the contrast against the grey pavement. Ironically one of the earliest pictures I took at the beginning of this 365 day project was a similar leaf and the marks left its decaying cousins. This time the tactile pavement caught my eye as a contrasting texture. These are the domes indicating a place to cross the road for the blind and visually impaired.

I was hoping I could get some nice frosty shots on my return but I suspect I got to wait a few weeks because it seems more like rain coming than frost.

It might be full on winter but this is a touch of Autumn revisited.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Day 362 : 9 3/4

On the way to Titchwell I didn't have time to look around King’s Cross Station as a mysterious extra train turfed up so I thought I'd take my chances on it with all the cancellations they'd been. E(D) and LLcT were saying at dinner that the whole platform 9 3/4 has been revamped, reimagined if you will, so I was intrigued to check it out on my return journey.

Back on September 23rd 2010, and two little Leicas ago, we'd had a meal at King’s Cross Station before they headed back to Cambridge. The trolley embedded in the wall was tucked away and just led off from platform 8 or 9, just a little tiled walkway. LLcT and E(D) decided to pose with the trolley, straining to ’push’ the their luggage through the wall. You could say that my godson has a touch of a rather tall Harry Potter, bespectacled yes, but the wrong shaped glasses. His hair is slightly reminiscent but there isn't a scar. I was grabbing a few shots of both of them but several other passersby seemed particularly keen to get their own photos when LLcT was stood there. Especially a group of Japanese tourists, not sure how they explained the giant Harry when they got home with their pictures!.

I got off the train and tried to recall where the curiously mounted trolley was. The station’s been very redeveloped so nothing looked as I remembered. I wondered briefly if I should ask someone but figured immediately that they've probably made it really simple to find. And sure enough as I wheeled my case into the main part of the station I could see a fairly substantial queue of people. They've updated it and realised a way to monetarise the platform 9 3/4 experience. Now as you pose with the trolley, laden with old suitcases a ’handler’ wraps a large scarf around you, depending on which Hogwart’s house you wish to represent. He holds out the long scarf behind you to give an impression of speed and a photographer takes your commemorative photograph, for I think £8. I chose to grab my own shot whilst they were changing over would-be Harry Potters and Hermiones.

They've also built a little shop selling said photos plus memorabilia from the Harry Potter World at Watford. Ironically you can't travel by train from King’s Cross to Watford Junction for the studio tour, you have to travel from Euston Station. But at least you can get to Hogwarts from platform 9 3/4 and Paris from international platforms at the St. Pancras part of the station.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Day 361 : flying home

Time to leave and as usual I don't want to go. I'd already decided to soften the blow of the post-Christmas departure and getting back to reality by having one more fabulous meal. We discovered on the first night the twice or triple cooked beef dripping chips and the silky smooth smoked mash are both utterly delicious so I opted to have them both with a locally reared rare steak. I've got a long journey home so a degree of fortifying feasting is required and I also know the fridge is bare.

I've worked out when the next hourly bus is and leave the hotel what I hoped was nearly ten minutes early. Actually I suspect it was only a few minutes after settling the final bill and stuff and it transpired the bus stop outside Titchwell Manor is not the Titchwell marked on the bus timetable but the next stop which is quite a walk away. Clearly a cunning plan to confuse visitors. There are no timetables on the bus-stop nor an indication which direction the bus would be servicing so I am now convinced they're trying to dissuade strangers from using the local buses. It's pretty cold so I didn't want to spend more than a few minutes at the fairly desolate bus-stop, however plan A failed so instead I successfully managed to spend an hour there waiting for the next bus. The only advantage of this unexpected lingering by the side of a very chilly road is that I had plenty of opportunity trying to photograph the Vs of birds, ducks, geese flying overhead, heading away from the cooler coast. This was probably the most fragmented V I spotted, they'd lost their formation somewhat en route but they were the ones I was able to capture as something more substantial than mere dots, so it will represent my last minute bird-watching.

And then it went very dark. There aren't street lamps around here, fantastic to avoid light pollution but really bad when you're dressed all in black carrying three black bags standing at a inky dark bus-stop. The bus driver said I should have flashed a torch, donned a high-vis jacket or something (I must go on record stating I have no such thing that could be designated as fluorescent, apart from perhaps the hours marked on my watch - and I suspect he was thinking of something larger). As I said before, I'm a city girl, these issues just never come up normally!


Thursday, 26 December 2013

Day 360 : big blue sky

I had to walk around again today and explore those big blue skies. I also had to walk off that amazing Christmas lunch and supper from yesterday, so sky-watching was the perfect excuse! It's very flat in these parts so it's easier to get that expansive vista I was looking for. I wanted to record the dramatic clouds that conveniently were constantly drifting across the sky and giving me something new to shoot at every turn.

I didn't want to just shoot photograph my head, I prefer the silhouette of the trees on the horizon or the telegraph poles bisecting the scene. The light quality is so different here from what I'm used to and as the sun starts to dip below the tree line new colours are merging with the azure blues. On one side of the road, the pinks are starting to bleed in around the trees. But on the other side of the road the ebbing sun is adding golden tones and blinding yellowy streaks merging behind the telegraph wires snaking over the fields.

Luckily there's little traffic on this coastal road so I can criss-cross back and forth each time I spot a new vignette. I end up taking a more than fifty or sixty photographs, I think I got a little drunk on all that sky. I was finally satiated when the sun disappeared entirely and then I could start thinking of food again. Hmmmm...maybe that conversation menu - the Titchwell Manor version of a tasting menu, I’d forgone lunch to give myself a fighting chance!

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Day 359: Happy Penguin Christmas

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me ...nine ladies dancing, eight maids a milking, seven penguins skating...seven? Not exactly my true loves but thanks to the very kind E(D) and LLcT I have this shiny new penguin interloper to join the throng/flock/gang (as mentioned previously, there doesn't seem to be a designated collective term for penguins). I thought I would carefully arrange them in front of my Christmas card based on the Narnia-esque view from my front window earlier this year, to show them off.

They really didn't want to all stand up and seriously tested me but eventually they were all in a row and with my tripod I could get the picture I wanted. I needed some extra light do had yo use my iPhone again. I purchased a wonderful off-camera flash over a month ago but the delivery company managed to not deliver it to me. Nor could I discover any attempt they made to do so. (I won't name them but they share their name with a Greek god and a considerably more reliable designer handbag maker) I set myself this fiddly project before going down to the conservatory for a celebratory Christmas lunch. I suspected lunch was going to be fabulous and it truly was! Happy Penguin Christmas everyone!


Day 358 : I can see the sea

I'm not quite as close to the sea as I was last year, there's a small road and a bird deserve in the way, but I can see it from my room. I had every intention today of walking onto the beach parallel to Titchwell Manor and exploring the coast further. But even though it’s a clear, beautiful but crisp day, the paths down to the beach have been severely disarrayed by the recent storms. Notwithstanding last night. This lovely manor house was properly shook about in the wee small hours, the noise was quite alarming, I initially thought the couple in the room above me might be engaging in vigorous activity but actually I believe it was all the work of the wind.

Every time I return to these parts I marvel at the skies. Being a city girl I’m used to looking up and seeing tall buildings and generally not much sky. Here the skies seem to go on for ever. Today I've opted to train my camera towards the sea throughout the day.

In the morning, the Titchwell Manor itself and the chimneys casts a shadow on the field opposite. The shadows get longer and then the scene is just reduced to stripes. As the sun sets the black and white birds nestling in the field earlier in day are flying up I to the air. As the light fades maybe fly higher, form v-shapes in formation fly overhead further inland. I assume to return again the following day.


Monday, 23 December 2013

Day 357 : a robin in the wind

The Christmas break starts today. Well my travelling to my festive destination starts today. I've been reviewing the trains since first light and it doesn't look good. This is my new Christmas tradition it seems, as soon as I'm packed and ready to hit the roads the Great British weather conspires against me. Last year it was eight hours battling to get to Cornwall when floods had laid waste to much of the train track. This years we’ve got super strong winds to contend with all over the country. I leave it a few hours as there’s little joy in hanging around King’s Cross but the time has come to try. As I leave with my bag I spot my little red breasted friend perched on a wall. I have sadly lost my Leica case with the Velcro, the very loud case, so I'm back to my vintage leather one that doesn't really fasten so is luckily much quieter. I'm able to grab a couple of shots of the robin before he flies off and I get back to flying off too. I still have a robin in the snow on my wish list, 2014 maybe!


Sunday, 22 December 2013

Day 356 : it’s a wonderful life!

There’s a special treat today, some old friends have invited me for a festive showing of It’s a Wonderful Life just off Leicester Square. I haven't see the lovely A and P for maybe eight years. They now have two boys (L and G) and when I last saw them they had one tiny baby. We’re due to meet by the entrance to the M&M store. I mustn't have been here for ages as it all looks different and I didn't know there was even an M&M store in these here parts. I have a hankering for some black peanut M&Ms and manage to procure some, despite the rather frightening crowds.

I've manage to arrive early (which is a rare and pleasant surprise) and am intrigued that somehow a little fairground has sprung up in Leicester Square. It looks like there’s barely room for all those rides amongst those trees but here they are. I try a few panning shots but suspect it would look more interesting against a night sky.

We enjoy some pasta, and the grownups catch up whilst the boys play with the rubber animals I brought along, I wasn't able to find any of my beloved penguins but instead procured a polar bear, lion, elephant, crocodile, rhino, monkey and hybrid leopard/tiger...leoger... tipard...tigopard...

It’s time for the movie, we pack everything up and head over. A had opted for some last minute Christmas shopping instead so P and I round up the boys, huge bags of popcorn and grab some front row seats. I was terribly impressed how enraptured L and his younger brother G were by the movie. No colour, no action scenes, explosions, car chases, cartoons, just a classic feel-good tear-jerking movie.

It’s dark when we reemerge. We meet up with A who's been thwarted by Sunday trading hours and walk past the queues for the next showing. We’ve already espied several elves buying snacks, the entire cast of the Wizard of Oz milling around and cinema-goers in 40’s garb filing into our movie. We’re fascinated to know what film-themed outfits we’ll see next. Though it transpires that there isn’t an accepted style for Love Actually or at least not a discernible one, everyone is just wrapped up warmly.

As I hoped the carousel looked much more vibrant with the dark sky as contrast. The twinkly lights entwined in the tree branches are much more noticeable and the big wheel in the background now really stands out. I take my photographs and then we look to find if there's any room at the inn... It's been a wonderful day!


Saturday, 21 December 2013

Day 355 : rainbow cab

Okay this is getting a bit of a theme, I'm sat in the back of a black taxi and outside it’s pouring down, yet again. The traffic is heavy and we’re being flanked by a big red bus. I've spotted that as we approach a red traffic light the taxi cab is permeated with a scarlet glow. The green light isn't so interesting, so I wait for the next red light. And then by happy accident a police car inches past us, all blues and twos. Now the whole scene is suffused with blue from the flashing lights, red from the stop light, yellow from the headlights, green from the other lights and I have to capture this moment. I particularly like the way the lights profiled the cab drivers face and we’re briefly bathed in a vibrant rainbow.


Friday, 20 December 2013

Day 354 : a twinkly Harrod’s

I'm in a taxi cab again, and it's raining again! We stop at the lights and to my left I see Harrods. It's looking very twinkly especially through the heavy drizzle. It looks like it might make a pleasing picture with the spray of rain drops on the taxi window providing the festive bokeh, but there's a big traffic light in the way, so there's no chance of a decent angle. The lights change, the cab turns right slowly and I have a brief opportune moment, click and score, Harrod’s sparkling in the wintry evening rain.

I was proud of my resultant picture and tweeted a copy to Harrod’s in a rare foray into Twitter. They seemed to like it too, so double score!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Day 353 : blue flying saucers and beautiful sounds!

I'm here in this fabulous building listening to the talented City of London Choir accompanied the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra being extraordinarily enthusiastically conducted as they sing us some classic Christmas carols.

Being stuck in horrible traffic in the pouring rain I've arrived late to the Royal Albert Hall and one of my neighbours has snaffled my lyric sheet. I had been unaware that at various points we’d be asked to sing along. Initially I annoy my neighbours by turning up at all as they've intended to keep my seat for their cloakroom. When they harrumph and find a new location for their possessions, I then decide I need to take a picture of this amazing place. Clearly they didn't approve even though there was no clicking to object to (my little Leica always favours stealth mode) and no live view screen to distract them. They did voice their disapproval when I responded to AM’s text about convening at the bar at half time. Again utterly silently! And I'd only got my phone out to find the lyrics for the next carol as they still had my words! Really!

On returning from the interval I speedily posted this photograph to Facebook. So quick, I accidentally tagged the wonderful DD who actually fast asleep in Hong Kong not enjoying the beautiful music and the odd discontented grunts from either one of neighbours! Later the people sat in the row in front of us decided to stay standing after singing, so they had somebody else to turn their disapproval on. Phew!

We got to hear some lovely stuff, we’d thought it was called Shepherds’ Pie but I suspect it was actually the delicate Shepherds’ Farewell. We had the Waltz of the Flowers from The Nutcracker, very Christmassy. And amongst many other classics, a vibrant version of the Twelve Days of Christmas. We were only trusted with the “five gold rings” as we would have spoilt the intricate harmonies.

Despite being in the highest seats, steeply high, I was able to spot AL doing her bit. What I didn't notice however that due to the angle I was sitting that the giant blue Smarties-shaped discs in the ceiling installed for the acoustics had apparently formed a huge ultramarine bottom hovering above us. Still looks splendid though!

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Day 352 : my favourite colour is shiny!

Liberty of London has a special place in my heart. It really is a store like no other, the eclectic collection of smaller buildings with the infamous mock Tudor facade, made from timber from two ships and the feeling you're in someone's (albeit very impressive) front room. The original premise was an emporium bringing exotic furnishings, rugs and carved furniture from the East swiftly followed by the creation of the eponymous Liberty print fabrics, which have been collected and adored for 135 years.

M used to come back with lengths of various prints from her marathon days sales shopping in the West End. We were never allowed to accompany her on these mammoth excursions, we might hamper her and distract her from her mission. She would return laden with bags, elegant leather gloves in every available colour, striped shirts and knits for D and for me they'd be some clothes but also the promise the lengths of Liberty fabric would be transformed into a sun dress, a skirt, a hat. Sometimes it would first make a skirt for M herself, before it became a dress for the much smaller me with a smocked top and spaghetti straps tied at the shoulder. Sadly, much to my chagrin, I didn't inherit her dressmaking skills. I'm not too bad at hand sewing but cutting a pattern or welding a sewing machine, pretty much clueless.

Years later, after we’d moved back up North, for a special birthday of M, D had organised a surprise trip to London. We stayed in a posh hotel and, for fear of dangerously high room charges, we breakfast at Fortnum’s. I recall having a fat slice of Death by Chocolate cake for one of these breakfasts and felt very privileged. I'd opted to add a bit of a challenge to our weekend by breaking my toes a few days earlier and was on crutches. Though I discovered with these I could propel myself at some speed along the crowded pavements of Oxford Street, much to the alarm of M and D!. Fortunately Liberty’s have some wood panelled lifts so I could still hobble around the higgledy piggledy store with M. The haberdashery department is one of the highlights of the store, it's a cornucopia of woolly, textiles, buttons, fastening delights. You feel you could spend hours working out the various merits of one elaborate design over another. There's little baskets filled with cards of fabric covered buttons, bookmarks, star-shaped patches and handkerchiefs. We visited it back then as I do nowadays, and I'm not sure it's changed at all. But the particular time I was on crutches is memorable as D was picking us up outside Liberty’s in his brand new company car. It wasn't anything amazing but it was new, a Renault 9 that had just won European car of the year and D had one of the first in the country. We knew it was red and I guess new looking but we hadn't seen it yet. We approached a large, shiny red car parked close by the entrance on Marlborough Street but M hadn't noticed the driver seemed to be wearing a chauffeur’s peak cap and climbed in with all the shopping before realising the mistake. Needless to say this chauffeur driven car wasn't a new Renault but a Bentley I think. I'm not sure who was the most shocked, the driver or M!

Now I return to Liberty when I can, I love the little rooms, the jewellery room, the scarf room, the stationery room, the crockery, tableware, the haberdashery, the cookware and of course this time of year, the Christmas room. There's a lovely bar where you can rest your weary feet and enjoy some smoked salmon and Prosecco after the rigours of shopping. I even love the fact that if you buy vouchers, you can have them as a purple pouch of special gold-coloured Liberty coins instead. People much more classy than a card!

There's been a 3-part TV show on Channel 4 about Liberty preparing for Christmas and Fashion Week. I've enjoyed seeing behind the scenes of a store I know so well, and meeting some of the store’s characters. In the first episode we see them preparing to launch their Christmas themes to the press on a hot summer day. And that's when I first spotted this Liberty print robin and was determined to make one of them my own. Then back in September they are joined by their new staff and open the Christmas store. The star buy is a huge friendly looking grizzly bear for a mere £2,000 for which you'd definitely need a substantial abode to house it. I figured I could splash out if I replace my bath with the bear or on second thoughts the sofa. The latter is more practical as I suspect you could sit on it, well astride it at least. Though really,the small robin would be so much more fitting for my flat! And if I was worried I'd be tempted we saw said grizzly being carefully bubble wrapped on the show to go to its new home.

On the programme one of the new Christmas workers, Faith, is talking about how she hopes to sell the bear (which if course she did) and follows her as she helps a regular shopper choose a basket of this season’s baubles. She assisted with the detangling of my robin from all its friends, so I was able to enquire during her ministrations whether the basket of baubles toting customer had returned for more. And it seemed like she relied on her previous ornament collection instead, so just in case you were wondering. However the Christmas shop has been stripped by tinsel loving locusts, there's not too much left and apparently they've been replenished several times over. I guess the TV show was a good idea then!

Standing outside in the rain (again) admiring the unique illuminated building after they close their heavy wooden doors for the night, I'm reminded of one particular moment from the TV programme. We’ve been introduced to Ed Burstell, their MD (formerly of Bergdorf Goodman in New York), who's been adding his own touch to this iconic store since taking over in 2010. We see him admiring the Christmas windows at the grand unveiling and utters my new favourite quote of the year, “my favourite colour is shiny!” What a coincidence, so is mine!


Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Day 351 : watercolour of Oxford Street

I've headed for the West End after the little staff party. It was in a very hot pub, so I escaped for some retail therapy. Luckily I had discovered the store I'd set my sights on was opened until 10pm so I figured I could swoop in, procure some sparkly bits without the scary crowds.

And then mission accomplished, I thought I might have another shot at the Christmas lights. My poor little camera was being deluged by the now quite fierce rain. I've struck the umbrella but the tiny lens on my camera doesn't need much to drown it. I thought I'd have a go anyway as I do like the refraction a few raindrops can produce. I could see quite quickly the effect of the errant raindrops was that of an impressionist painting. The rain was blurring the lines and turning the whole scene into a watercolour. I was delighted when I downloaded the image that I hadn't imagined it, it looked like a traditional Christmas card. Hmmm that gives me an idea. I'm going to select some festive images and get those lovely people at www.moo.com to rush them to me. They'll not make it for Christmas Day in the post, but maybe they'll arrive this year...just!


Monday, 16 December 2013

Day 350 : homage to Miley!

So how do I explain this? Miley Cyrus’ video for Wrecking Ball has been much pastiched and even though I haven't viewed the actual video, I've seen enough stills from various comedy shows to be aware of its curious content. I know there’s a naked, apart from workman’s boots, Miley astride a wrecking ball and there’s some hammer licking! Apparently some tenuous link to the wreck of a ended relationship. Hmmm possibly just some excuse to whip her clothes off. Though that makes me sounds so old, doesn't it?

I thought it would be fun to imagine what the penguins would be like if they'd been left alone on the internet to peruse YouTube. I suspect something like this would occur!


Sunday, 15 December 2013

Day 349 : festive penguins

I had this thought that if the (sometimes naughty) penguins were left in charge of decorating a Christmas tree...it would go somewhat awry! And I suspect it would end up something like this!


Saturday, 14 December 2013

Day 348 : snow is simplicity

In February 2012 I was lucky enough to join a group of fabulous people on a trip to Iceland. I'd had a yen to visit the land of ice for many years but had never really pursued the idea. The lovely AY (as was, as she's now married) and her friends had discovered a very reasonable package and suggested the group I met on a Berlin Photography holiday trip, should also sign up. And so I did, and twelve of us found ourselves in a surprisingly balmy Reykjavik!

They were more organised than me and had signed up for a variety of activities. I hadn't and opted instead to play it by ear. Reykjavik was so snow free I was determined to find some, ooh and maybe some jet black volcanic dust coated landscapes. Ooh and a glacier, maybe a waterfall or two and a geyser. With these thoughts in mind I signed up for a couple of four-by-four tours. Being chauffeured around in an off-road vehicle has the advantage of us being able to reach those inaccessible places and I thought this would be perfect for photography. On my second trip, we were battling through freezing, blustery winds and we drove up to the glacier I'd been hankering after. The idea was that we'd board some snowmobiles and head off into the distance for a ride. My vivid imagination made me convinced that I'd be flung off en route so opted to stay behind with my camera, as that's what I wanted anyway. From my vantage point on the glacier I could see for miles in every direction. And I couldn't see anyone else once the conga line of snowmobiles had whooshed off. It was so quiet, the wind was blowing crazily but there were no trees to shake, no houses to buffet so despite the fact I could barely stand, the utter tranquility descended. I could take shelter in our Range Rover thing but I was determined to try and capture this serenity, this pure, uncomplicated landscape. Boots firmly planted in the deep, crisp snow to steady myself I took a series of pictures looking back towards Reykjavik. I had a warm coat but I couldn't get it to stay fastened, so in the violent wind it formed a v-shape above my head ensuring it was not doing the slightest bit of good in the function of keeping me warm. Fortunately I had two hats, several scarves and gloves but it was still mighty cold. It was curious, the weather was violent but the photographs show calmness.

This week’s Frui Friday challenge was “simplicity” so I harped back to my sojourn on an Icelandic glacier and posted the first of these photographs. I always imagined these as a set as I rotated slightly to get different views. Simplicity itself.


Friday, 13 December 2013

Day 347 : view from the front

It seems to have turned into a bit of a project, the view from my front window. Really it’s the perfect photography location for someone who's not too fond of traipsing about too far. I'd been looking for a place I could constantly revisit in different seasons, weather conditions and times of the day. I'd scouted around and seemingly accidentally found the one on my doorstep. Or actually not even as far as my doorstep as I only have to fling open my sash window to reach the spot and lean out as far as I can to get clearance from the deep cornicing around the windows.

It's normally the sunrise that draws me to it, and occasionally a sunset. Some times the sky is criss-crossed with the vapour trails of the nearby planes arriving from or departing to more exotic climes. One morning I rushed to the window when I realised that for a moment, I lived in Narnia. On another night the rain splattered window gave me an idea. Mostly it's the pinks, the reds and oranges but one time is was the shades of grey of a scene shrouded in fog. Or it could just me a huge sky that has compelled me to grab my camera, I do love a sky.

I'm lucky that due to how Henry Little developed the area after he brought some of the grounds old Cambridge Park House back in the 1870’s, that I'm not overlooked. He decided to include tennis lawns and gardens in his plan so as a respite after a hard day developing new homes for bankers, business men and other professionals who wanted to live in outer London, he had a handy spot to whack a few balls around. Nowadays there's a lot less tennis as in 1920 the lawns were relaid for another pastime that needs balls, harder ones and normally called bowls. I do love the fact I don't have to compete with the roofs of facing houses for the view, I just have a few trees and all that lovely sky.

I have a burgeoning collection of these views from the front so I've picked twenty four of my favourites and made a little montage.


Thursday, 12 December 2013

Day 346 : Richmond star

I had planned hitting the town with my camera and sorting out some Christmas presents. But the days are so short now so when I'd nailed the Christmas presents the daylight had very much disappeared, so a bit of night photography is in order. The Christmas lights in Richmond are very simple this year, there's a big decorated tree outside the station and just the odd white shooting star suspended on a grid attached to the occasional lamppost. I've been admiring them as I stand at the bus stop in the evening on the way back from the city. Once over the picturesque bridge there are little illuminated Christmas trees impaled on the shops lining Richmond road.

I do love Christmas lights, especially the tasteful ones and Richmond has done us proud this year.