A Weekend Diary

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

Archive for the month “March, 2013”

Journeying across the years…

I spent much of today tidying up my flat in north London, giving a literal meaning to ‘The Way is gained by daily loss…’ ;). Whatever, it meant that I wasn’t much inclined to go out picture-taking today, and I decided instead to indulge myself by uploading some of my favourite photos from bygone years. That’s something that would have definitely been verboten with last year’s photoblog, when it was important to me that the images originated from the within the specific day of the 366 that they were assigned to :).

So here are half a dozen photos taken between 1982 and 2006, all but one of them naturally enough taken with 35mm cameras, and probably all taken on colour slide film, which I subsequently converted to digital images via a Nikon Coolscan film scanner.

The first, second and sixth photos below I’ve downloaded from my flickr account, while the other three I simply uploaded from the hard disk of my PC.

The first was taken ‘on a drizzly Wednesday afternoon’ in 1982, and the bloke with the bird on his head was actually feeding the seagulls at the time. Even so, I think I was fortunate with the combination of elements in this particular shot, and I especially like the two gulls sitting on the wall watching, and perhaps doing the bird equivalent of laughing at what they see before them ;). Incidentally, at that time in the early 1980s, I was working in a factory in south-east London, doing two 15 hour shifts at weekends, then having the rest of the week off, which gave me a great opportunity to do a lot of photography in central London, which I often took advantage of :).

Man with a seagull on his head...

Man with a seagull on his head…

As for the next picture, taken on 23rd July, 1984, I like the inherent paradox of militant vegetarians advocating the slaughter of butchers! I’ve been a vegetarian for around three decades now, but I can’t say I’ve ever had murderous thoughts about butchers ;).

Chapel Market, Islington, London

Chapel Market, Islington, London

I was born in the county of Kent and this sunset was taken around West Malling, which is the area in which my Mum still lives…the picture probably dates from the 1980s sometime…

Sunset at Luck's Hill, West Malling, Kent

Sunset at Luck’s Hill, West Malling, Kent

The following photograph dates from the summer solstice of 1992, when I travelled up to Scotland to run my one and only Marathon race, around Loch Rannoch. It took me just under four hours, but I remember it being a lovely June day, and I have fond memories of it all :).

Mount Schiehallion, by Loch Rannoch, Perthshire, Scotland

Mount Schiehallion, by Loch Rannoch, Perthshire, Scotland

Below is what is now known as The London Eye, but when it was opened on the 31st December 1999, it was still called The Millennium Wheel. There must now be billions of photographs of The London Eye, although very few of them will show it looking quite like this ;).

The Millennium Wheel, being raised to the vertical, in the summer of 1999

The Millennium Wheel, being raised to the vertical, in the summer of 1999

Finally, I have spent countless hours on London’s South Bank, and many of them in the Royal Festival Hall, where this photograph was taken on the 9th June, 2007. Xue Fei was playing (exquisitely!) Francisco Tárrega’s ‘Recuerdos de la Alhambra’, which she described that afternoon as her favourite piece of music, and it was just a real privilege to be there to hear her play it :). It was a free concert incidentally, in the Foyer, to celebrate the re-opening of the Royal Festival Hall after a two year closure for renovations. This photograph was taken with a Panasonic Lumix DMC LZ1 digital compact camera (which, ironically, I found today whilst tidying up the flat, and noticed that I’d last used it in 2009 ;)).

The Chinese classical guitarist Yang Xue Fei...

The Chinese classical guitarist Yang Xue Fei…

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Fratton, Fareham…and London…

Business in Goldsmith Avenue, Fratton, Portsmouth...but the Strip Joint is all about paint stripping ;)

Business in Goldsmith Avenue, Fratton, Portsmouth…but the Strip Joint is all about paint stripping 😉

Shop front in Fareham West Street

Shop front in Fareham West Street

Vessel on the River Thames, approaching Waterloo Bridge...

Vessel on the River Thames, approaching Waterloo Bridge…

The long-derelict Battersea Power Station, as seen from a Kent-bound train leaving Victoria station late this afternoon...

The long-derelict Battersea Power Station, as seen from a Kent-bound train leaving Victoria station late this afternoon…

Chinese Dragon

Chinese Dragon...by natural light

Chinese Dragon…by natural light

‘Chinese Dragon’, one of three watercolours done on woven paper, by Barry Haines, displayed in the Fareham Community Art Group Gallery, in Fareham Shopping Centre recently. I bought this for £25, and another entitled ‘Chinese Fisherman’.

Chinese Fisherman, also by natural light, although the yellow/water sky is much less patchy-looking in the original that in it is here...

Chinese Fisherman, also by natural light, although the yellow sky/water is much less patchy-looking in the original that in it is here…

The third in this series, ‘Chinese Bird-flight’, I also bought last week, and by a lovely coincidence, the artist himself was minding the shop/gallery when I paid a visit early on Tuesday afternoon :).

Chinese Bird-flight,, again done on woven paper, although this paper was gold-flecked, as is visible in the image...

Chinese Bird-flight,, again done on woven paper, although this paper was gold-flecked, as is visible in the image…

The snow returns to Whetstone…and down by the River Thames…

Swan Lane Open Space, London N20

Swan Lane Open Space, London N20

Frozen magnolia flowers

Frozen magnolia flowers

A children's plaything, Swan Lane Open Space

A children’s plaything, Swan Lane Open Space

A Canada Goose

A Canada Goose

A female duck

A female duck

A male duck

A male duck

Icy leaves and flower

Icy leaves and flower

Spring flowers

Spring flowers

In memory of Alf Jackson

In memory of Alf Jackson

Waterloo Bridge and the City of London beyond

Waterloo Bridge and the City of London beyond

St. Paul's Cathedral, as zoomed in from Hungerford Bridge

St. Paul’s Cathedral, as zoomed in from Hungerford Bridge

The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, on the South Bank, early Saturday evening...

The Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, on the South Bank, early Saturday evening…

Awaiting Gu Taiqing…

Gu Taiqing

Gu Taiqing

Composed at Random

Human life is an endless struggle—
The post-horse and plow-ox.
On the brows of the Daoist sadness never grows:
Quietly holding a book of immortality, seated by the window,
What else is there to seek?

Prospects disappear, far, far away,
Months and years are hard to detain.
In a hundred years’ time everyone will be a pat of mud,
So arrange a firm and safe place in your own mind
And let the boat float with the stream.

Gu Taiqing (1799-1877)

From ‘Poems Written in Tianyou Pavilion’.

I’ve loved this poem since the very first day I read it, and have been intrigued by its author ever since. No surprise then that I ordered the following book from Amazon UK when I very recently became aware of it, as it includes biographical information about Gu Taiqing ;).

‘Biographical Dictionary Of Chinese Women: The Qing Period, 1644-1911’
Edited by Lily Xiao Hong Lee, A. D. Stefanowska and. Clara Wing-chung, 1998

[The image above is from Wikimedia]

A trip to St Mary’s…Southampton 3 Liverpool 1…

Liverpool fans before the match, protesting about corporate greed...

Liverpool fans before the match, protesting about corporate greed…

Warming up, before the game...

Warming up, before the game…

A pre-match photo...

A pre-match photo…

St Mary's football ground...home of Southampton F.C....

St Mary’s football ground…home of Southampton F.C….

Some first half action, Liverpool on the attack...

Some first half action, Liverpool on the attack…

Mothering Sunday…

The quaint and slightly archaic title to this post tells us, that, in the UK at least, today is Mother’s Day, and I’ll be off to Kent later to join my three sisters in celebrating the afternoon chez maman. So, only the one photo today, and it’s of the card I’ll be giving to my Mum later…so don’t you dare tell her; I want it to be a surprise… 😉

Happy Mother's Day1 :) xx

Happy Mother’s Day! 🙂 xx

 

King’s Cross station, early Saturday evening…

I watched a documentary on the expansion of  King’s Cross station a few weeks ago, and there were some ambivalent reactions from a few of the station staff to some of the changes, but personally I love it, not least because of the inspired architecture that now dominates the concourse there.

And being King’s Cross, of course, it has some some latter-day literary connections, evidenced by the Harry Potter shop in one of the photos below. I also rather like the fact that there’s now a Platform zero/nought, which I guess is pretty unusual in platform numbering schemes in the world’s railway stations…although I could be wrong …;)

ConcourseLandscape

i've never read a Harry Potter book, or seen any of the films, some I'm not quite sure why attempts were apparently being made to phtograph a bloke jumping into a shopping trolley or similar, but I guess that's an essential element of the Harry Potter stories... ;)

I’ve never read a Harry Potter book, nor seen any of the films, so I’m not quite sure why attempts were apparently being made to photograph a bloke jumping into a shopping trolley or similar, but I guess that might be an essential element of the Harry Potter stories… 😉

Platforms0to8  

So here's Platform 0, with a couple about to board the 7 o'clock train to Newcastle. in the north-east of England...

So here’s Platform 0, with a couple about to board the 7 o’clock train to Newcastle. in the north-east of England…

King'sCrossStation  King'sCrossL

Some Hampshire nature macros…

All the photos below were taken during the past week in Hampshire, and were taken with a Sony Cybershot DSC-S930 compact camera, as I didn’t have my default compact (a Canon Powershot SX150 IS) with me all week. For general photography, I prefer the Canon, but I have to say that I much prefer the Sony when it comes to macro photography, hence its use for these pictures…

Not sure what these are, but I like the combination of brown and yellow with a green background :).

Not sure what these are, but I like the combination of brown and yellow with a green background :).

[06/03/2013 ISO 100, 6mm, f2.9, 1/125]

Some good depth-of-field separation between foreground and background, and a bit of bokeh as well ;)...

Some good depth-of-field separation between foreground and background, and a bit of bokeh as well ;)…

[06/03/2013 ISO 100, 6mm, f2.9, 1/80]

I think I’m on pretty safe ground in describing these as catkins….

[06/03/2013 ISO 100, 6mm, f2.9, 1/250]

Can't tell you much about this either, but I'm quite fond of it :)...

Can’t tell you much about this either, but I’m quite fond of it :)…

[06/03/2013 ISO 100, 6mm, f2.9, 1/125]

Definitely a pine cone of some sort ;)…

[7/03/2013 ISO 125, 6mm, f2.9, 1/40]

And finally, some err...bright yellow flowers :)...

And finally, some err…bright yellow flowers :)…

[7/03/2013 ISO 100, 6mm, f2.9, 1/125]

A trip down to Kent via Cannon Street…

Because of track engineering work, there were no trains out of Victoria down to Kent this weekend, so I made a rare visit to Cannon Street station for the revised timetable. I didn’t mind; variety is the spice of life and all that, and moreover, there was an element of nostalgia to it all, as I lived in south-east London throughout the 1980s, so train journeys to Cannon Street and Charing Cross via London Bridge were a commonplace then. So I caught the Northern Line down to London Bridge late morning and walked to Cannon Street for my train there…

Crossing London Bridge, how can you not look downstream and capture what you see...

Crossing London Bridge, how can you not look downstream and capture what you see…

Cannon Street mainline station is essentially a commuter station, and I think is normally closed at weekends, but not today...

Cannon Street mainline station is essentially a commuter station, and I think is normally closed at weekends, but not today…

Later this year, I'll be uploading some photos of London taken from the top of The Shard, but for now, this is just a snatched shot taken from the train carriage as we moved out of London Bridge Station...

Later this year, I’ll be uploading some photos of London taken from the top of The Shard, but for now, this is just a snatched shot taken from the train carriage as we moved out of London Bridge Station…

The trip down to Kent was a fortnightly one I make to visit my Mum, and as I was making my way to her home, I passed a blackbird in some nearby park land, so here he is ;)...

The trip down to Kent was a fortnightly one I make to visit my Mum, and as I was making my way to her home, I passed a blackbird in some nearby park land, so here he is ;)…

Back at London Bridge now, and here's a poster on the Tube station platform :)...

Back at London Bridge now, and here’s a poster on the Tube station platform :)…

A interesting choice of painting on a car in Naylor Road, Whetstone, London N20 ;)

A interesting choice of painting on a car in Naylor Road, Whetstone, London N20 😉

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