A Weekend Diary

…words and images from England's green and pleasant land…

Archive for the month “February, 2013”

A late afternoon wander around Swan Lane Open Space, London N20

Two gulls...

Two gulls…

(ISO 400, f5.6, 1/100, AWB)

Two ducks...

Two ducks…

(ISO 400, f5.6, 1/100, AWB)

A yellow lock...

A yellow lock…

(ISO 400, f3.4, 1/20, AWB)

...and some very autumnal-looking leaves.

…and some very autumnal-looking leaves.

(ISO 800, f3.4, 1/13, AWB)

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More from Hampshire and London…

A roosting dove (or pigeon) in a tree in Titchfield, Hampshire..

A roosting dove/pigeon in a tree in Titchfield, Hampshire..

(19/02/13, 14:13, ISO 80, f5.6, 1/320, AWB)

A seat for Portsmouth at the United Nations next year...maybe ;)...

A seat for Portsmouth at the United Nations next year…maybe ;)…

(21/02/13, 07:33, ISO 80, f3.4, 1/60, AWB)

View of Westminster, upstream from Hungerford Bridge...

View of Westminster, upstream from Hungerford Bridge…

(23/02/13, 17:19, ISO 200, f3.5, 1/30, AWB)

An hour or so later, I returned to Hungerford Bridge, but now looking downstream, with, to the right, a red-lit National Theatre and Purcell Room on the South Bank, and further right, the Shard some distance beyond, near London Bridge...

An hour or so later, I returned to Hungerford Bridge, but now looking downstream, with, to the right, a red-lit National Theatre and Purcell Room on the South Bank, and further right, the Shard some distance beyond, near London Bridge…

(23/02/13, 18:09, ISO 800, f4.5, 1/8, AWB)

Hungerford Bridge leads directly back into Charing Cross Station, on the north bank of the Thames, but before you enter the station itself, there’s a small market with a handful of stalls. The following two photos were taken in the said market, but I couldn’t decide whether I preferred the image in colour or in monochrome, hence both are included here…c’est à vous 😉

So, monochrome first...

So, monochrome first…

(23/02/13, 18:12, ISO 500, f3.4, 1/20, AWB)

...and then in colour...

…and then in colour…

Southsea on a sunny Sunday afternoon…

Approaching Canoe Lake, near Southsea seafront...

Approaching Canoe Lake, near Southsea seafront…

[ISO 160, 5mm, f3.4, 1/500, AWB]

Canoe Lake, Southsea, from beneath the shade of a tree

Canoe Lake, Southsea, from beneath the shade of a tree

[ISO 160, 16mm, f4.5, 1/1000, AWB]

A swan, one of many on Canoe Lake...

A swan, one of many on Canoe Lake…

[ISO 160, 21mm, f4.5, 1/1000, AWB]

The Swan

This laboring of ours with all that remains undone,
as if still bound to it,
is like the lumbering gait of the swan.

And then our dying—releasing ourselves
from the very ground on which we stood—
is like the way he hesitantly lowers himself

into the water. It gently receives him,
and, gladly yielding, flows back beneath him,
as wave follows wave,
while he, now wholly serene and sure,
with regal composure,
allows himself to glide.

(translation by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows)

Rainer Maria Rilke

Strolling along the seafront...

Strolling along the seafront…

[ISO 160, 51mm, f8, 1/1250, AWB]

Rocks and waves...

Rocks and waves…

[ISO 160, 20mm, f4.5, 1/400, AWB]

Young man sea watching...

Young man sea watching…

[ISO 160, 24mm, f5.6, 1/1250, AWB]

Looking eastwards towards South Parade Pier...

Looking eastwards towards South Parade Pier…

[ISO 80, 14mm, f4.5, 1/800, AWB]

Looking westwards along the seafront...

Looking westwards along the seafront…

[ISO 100, 12mm, f8, 1/2000, AWB]

Looking weswards towards Portsmouth Harbour...

Looking weswards towards Portsmouth Harbour…

[ISO 125, 12mm, f4, 1/500, AWB]

A small boat in the distance...

A small boat in the distance…

[ISO 80, 51mm, f5.6, 1/640, AWB]

A flower and some feathers...

A flower and some feathers…

[ISO 160, 5mm, f3.4, 1/640, AWB]

A pathway through trees...

A pathway through trees…

[ISO 160, 6mm, f3.5, 1/640, AWB]

今天我亲爱的回家了 :).

An overhead footway at Heathrow Airport, Terminal Three...

An overhead footway at Heathrow Airport, Terminal Three…

After four weeks away to celebrate the Chinese New Year with her family, she flew back to London, so naturally, I was there to meet her, with a pre-arranged taxi to take us back home…

新年快乐!…Chinese New Year in London

Gerrard Street, London Chinatown's main shopping street, early afternoon today...

Gerrard Street, London Chinatown’s main shopping street, early afternoon today…

Flower baskets, lamps etc. above Waxy's Little Sister, on the corner of Wardour Street and Lisle Street...

Flower baskets, lamps etc. above Waxy’s Little Sister, on the corner of Wardour Street and Lisle Street…

Kung fu and qi gong demonstration, in Lisle Street, by Lau Gar Kuen from Essex, England…

Kung fu and qi gong demonstration, in Lisle Street, by Lau Gar Kuen from Essex, England…

Odeon cinema, on the eastern side of Leicester Square, just to the south of Chinatown...

Odeon cinema, on the eastern side of Leicester Square, just to the south of Chinatown…

White dragon, at the southern end of the Charing Cross Road...

White dragon, at the southern end of the Charing Cross Road…

Steps leading down into Trafalgar Square, where Chinese New Year events were taking place all afternoon..

Steps leading down into Trafalgar Square, where Chinese New Year events were taking place all afternoon..

And here's the stage where most of those events took place...and note the Hong Kong/Cantonese heritage of London's Chinatown, with 'kung hei fat choi' instead of the Mandarin 'gong xi fa cai'...

And here’s the stage where most of those events took place…and note the Hong Kong/Cantonese heritage of London’s Chinatown, with ‘kung hei fat choi’ instead of the Mandarin ‘gong xi fa cai’…

I didn't catch this young singer's name, but she told us she was on her first visit to London, and after singing her first song in Mandarin, she said she'd prepared a song in English, which I recognised as being 'Venus', a rock song from 1969, originally recorded by a Dutch group called Shocking Blue ;).

I didn’t catch this young singer’s name, but she told us she was on her first visit to London, and after singing her first song in Mandarin, she said she’d prepared a song in English, which I recognised as being ‘Venus’, a rock song from 1969, originally recorded by a Dutch group called Shocking Blue ;).

We were also treated to some elegant and colourful dancers :)...

We were also treated to some elegant and colourful dancers :)…

Back to Gerrard Street, and the traditional Lion Dance, bestowing good fortune on the Loon Tao restaurant...

Back to Gerrard Street, and the traditional Lion Dance, bestowing good fortune on the Loon Tao restaurant…

And here he is again, further along Gerrard Street, doing the same for the Golden Dragon restaurant...

And here he is again, further along Gerrard Street, doing the same for the Golden Dragon restaurant…

And if you were wondering, it's the Year of the Snake this year :)...

And if you were wondering, it’s the Year of the Snake this year :)…

A Hampshire sky, ‘Les Misérables’, and around King’s Cross/St. Pancras

Taken one morning at around 8.40 a.m. mid-week...

Taken one morning at around 8.40 a.m. mid-week…

Before today, I think the last time that I watched a film in the BFI IMAX cinema, near London’s Waterloo Station, was probably around ten years ago, when I went with some workmates to see Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: a Space Oddysey’, but this morning I returned there to watch ‘Les Misérables’. Despite it being a very successful long-running musical in London’s West End theatres, I was barely aware of the plot, much less the songs (with the exception of ‘I dreamed a dream’, which I was familar with through Susan Boyle’s unforgettable appearance on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ a few years ago).

The IMAX screen is the largest in Europe, and as such, it was a perfect venue to watch an epic film such as ‘Les Misérables’. It’s a long film, around two and three-quarter hours, but for me it was well worth the watching, with some great cinemaphotography…and you’d have to have a heart of stone to find yourself not shedding a tear at some point during the film…;). Anyway here’s the said cinema, photographed after I’d left it early afternoon, and taken from the southern side of Waterloo Bridge. By the way, that strange looking yellow vehicle, about to cross Waterloo Bridge, is a Duck Tours amphibious vehicle, that really does travel on both land and water ;).

The BFI IMAX cinema, and Beatrice, a Duck Tours vehicle...

The BFI IMAX cinema, and Beatrice, a Duck Tours vehicle…

Late afternoon and early evening today, I spent in the King’s Cross and St Pancras area, in the Euston Road, so here are some photos of the vicinity.

King's Cross mainline station, from the southern side of the Euston Road. It's rather deceptive this photo, as King's Cross has undergone substantial development in recent years, and there's been a large expansion of the station behind the Euston Road.

King’s Cross mainline station, from the southern side of the Euston Road. It’s rather deceptive this photo, as King’s Cross has undergone substantial development in recent years, and there’s been a large expansion of the station behind the Euston Road.

The wonderful bit of Victorian architecture that is St Pancras mainline station, which is more-or-less adjacent to King's Cross station on the northern side of the Euston Road (and they share a single Tube station between them).

The wonderful bit of Victorian architecture that is St Pancras mainline station, which is more-or-less adjacent to King’s Cross station on the northern side of the Euston Road (and they share a single Tube station between them).

...and here's a very colourful Barclays Bank, on the south side of the Euston road, opposite St .Pancras Station.

…and here’s a very colourful Barclays Bank, on the south side of the Euston road, opposite St .Pancras Station.

St. Pancras Station, as seen from the west...

St. Pancras Station, as seen from the west…

Whoops!...and this is what can happen when you rely too much on auto-focus with a digital compact camera ;).

Whoops!…and this is what can happen when you rely too much on auto-focus with a digital compact camera ;).

Finally, I spent a couple of early evening hours in this pub in the Euston Road, watching Southampton FC beat Manchester City 3-1…

'The Euston Flyer' on the south side of the Euston Road, and much nearer to St. Pancras Station than Euston Station, which is a quarter of a mile further west...

‘The Euston Flyer’ on the south side of the Euston Road, and much nearer to St. Pancras Station than Euston Station, which is a quarter of a mile further west…

Swan Lane Open Space trees…and a glimpse of London’s Chinatown…

A tew of the many trees in Swan Lane Open Space in Whetstone, London N20.

A few of the many trees in Swan Lane Open Space in Whetstone, London N20.

Squirrel's-eye view of another tree ;).

Squirrel’s-eye view of another tree ;).

Looks like some gnawed bark...and some ivy...

Looks like some gnawed bark…and some ivy…

A singing bird silhouettted...

A singing bird silhouettted…

A cake shop in Gerrard Place, Chinatown...

A cake shop in Gerrard Place, Chinatown…

Gerrard Street, getting ready for The Year of the Snake next weekend...

Gerrard Street, getting ready for The Year of the Snake next weekend…

Anvil Man, Bonnie, and Victoria Station…

Anvil Man, by Peter Lunn

Anvil Man, by Peter Lunn

The pedestrianised part of West Street, in Fareham, Hampshire, is home to a number of modern sculptures, constituting the Henry Cort Collection, and easily my favourite amongst them is Anvil Man above ;). He got a fresh coat of paint last summer, to prepare for the visit of The Princess Royal, who came to Fareham to open a nearby children’s play area commemorating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Bonnie, in Grannies' Attic.

Bonnie, in Grannies’ Attic.

I’m also very fond of Albert Road in Southsea, a street with considerable character. As I was walking along it this morning, this sunlit doll in the window of Grannies’ Attic caught my eye. When I took the photograph, I didn’t notice that she was holding a sign in her left hand, which reads ‘My name is Bonnie’. Coincidence is a curious thing sometimes; at present I am reading John Suchet’s poignant tale of his wife’s dementia, a book entitled ‘My Bonnie’.

The 16:37 Ashford International train, at Platform 2, Victoria station...

The 16:37 Ashford International train, at Platform 2, Victoria station…

I spent the first two dozen years of my life living in the county of Kent, so this is a very familiar sight to me, a train about to head out of Victoria station, through south-east London surburbs, and deep into the Kentish countryside…

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