A Weekend Diary

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

A change in the seasons…осень наступает…

No mistaking the onset of autumn…and this past week in Hampshire the evidence has abounded…;)

Orchard Road in Southsea...

Orchard Road in Southsea…

ONS bus stop, Segensworth Road West, Titchfield

ONS bus stop, Segensworth Road West, Titchfield

The evenings are still just about light enough to undertake a shortish post-work ramble, so that’s what nine of us, along with three dogs, did on Wednesday evening, in and around Bishop’s Waltham…

St Peter's Church, Bishop's Waltham, Hampshire

St Peter’s Church, Bishop’s Waltham, Hampshire

The Bunch of Grapes pub, in St Peters Street

The Bunch of Grapes pub, in St Peters Street

And yesterday morning, a walk along the Southampton Road on my way to work, harvested these images…

Some autumn dew on roadside leaves...

Some autumn dew on roadside leaves…

Some autumn berries...

Some autumn berries…

A clustering of blackberries...

A clustering of blackberries…

A dormant fly on a thorny branch...

A dormant fly on a thorny branch…

A couple of red berries...

A couple of red berries…

A roadside fungus...

A roadside fungus…

And another...

And another…

And let’s end this early morning ramble with a rather beautiful flower…;)

A white flower in autumn morning sunlight...

A white flower in autumn morning sunlight…

A glimpse into Harrods…and a step back in time…

My partner and I made an occasional visit to The Brompton Road and South Kensington last Sunday afternoon, so here are a couple of shots from inside Harrods, along with a step back into another era further along the Brompton Road….

Wandering around the cornucopia that is Harrods...

Wandering around the cornucopia that is Harrods…

Part of the Egyptian Staircase...

Part of the Egyptian Staircase…

And not far from Harrods, on the other side of the Brompton Road…

The young lady kindly posing for me outside the History Studios in the Brompton Road :) ...

The young lady kindly posing for me outside the History Studios in the Brompton Road 🙂 …

A few days in the North…

Had some leave from work last week so I took the opportunity to visit an old friend now dwelling in North Yorkshire, and here are some of the photos resulting from this brief sojourn in Richmond and surrounds…

Celebrating 150 years of the London Underground, at King's Cross and St. Pancras Tube station...

Celebrating 150 years of the London Underground, at King’s Cross and St. Pancras Tube station…

I caught the East Coast line train from Platform 1 on the King’s Cross to Edinburgh service, as far as Darlington…although it is not perhaps as thrilling a journey as Harry Potter’s journeys were on the Hogwarts Express from Platform 9¾ 😉

Platform 9¾, at King's Cross mainline station...

Platform 9¾, at King’s Cross mainline station…

Darlington is important in the history of railways, as explained here…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockton_and_Darlington_Railway

I was heading for Richmond, which is no longer served by a railway line, so it was a half-hour bus journey on the Arriva X26 bus service instead, from a bus stop not far from this clock tower…

West Row, in Darlington town centre...

West Row, in Darlington town centre…

Arriving in Richmond mid-afternoon on Tuesday, I made for a Wetherspoon’s pub near the town centre, The Ralph Fitz Randal, for some welcome food and drink (a jacket potato with five bean chilli, some chips, and a pint of Summer Ale), to await my old friend, who’d been out for a walk that afternoon with a local rambling group. This photo was taken in the afternoon sun, in Friary Gardens, opposite the pub…

Flowers in sunlight, in front of Greyfriars Tower, in Friary Gardens, Richmond, North Yorkshire

Flowers in sunlight, in front of Greyfriars Tower, in Friary Gardens, Richmond, North Yorkshire

On the Wednesday morning I wandered down to The Station, now converted to an café/cinema/exhibition space, and which this week was hosting the touring photographic exhibition Best Shots. Excellent it is too, so go see it if you get the chance locally…

http://www.bestshots.co.uk/tour

This photo was taken on the way back from The Station to the town centre…

Richmond Castle...

Richmond Castle…

I later met up with my friend for a drive up to County Durham, to look at a few buildings thereabouts, Egglestone Abbey, Barnard Castle, and Raby Castle…

Barnard Castle, County Durham...

Barnard Castle, County Durham…

The River Tees, through a window at Barnard Castle...

The River Tees, through a window at Barnard Castle…

Raby Castle, County Durham, home of Lord Barnard...

Raby Castle, County Durham, home of Lord Barnard…

Antlered deer in the grounds of Raby Castle...

Antlered deer in the grounds of Raby Castle…

On the Thursday, I spent the morning exploring Richmond town centre, and paying a visit to Richmond Castle, which is fortunately (as is Barnard Castle) an English Heritage property, which I get into for free, being a Member…

Poster in the window of a shop in Finkle Street, Richmond...

Poster in the window of a shop in Finkle Street, Richmond…

The Keep at Richmond Castle...

The Keep at Richmond Castle…

Hmmm, seemingly a dangerous place, Richmond Castle…;)

Danger Steep Slope, at Richmond Castle...

Danger Steep Slope, at Richmond Castle…

Danger Sudden Drop, at Richmond Castle...

Danger Sudden Drop, at Richmond Castle…

Flowers on the walls of Richmond Castle...

Flowers on the walls of Richmond Castle…

The Market Place, from the top of the Keep at Richmond Castle...

The Market Place, from the top of the Keep at Richmond Castle…

We then spent the afternoon in a circular tour of Swaledale and Wensleydale in my friend’s car, and there are some wonderful views to be had in this part of the world…:)

A sheep at Marrick, in Swaledale...

A sheep at Marrick, in Swaledale…

A cow at Marrick, in Swaledale...

A cow at Marrick, in Swaledale…

Sheep at a water tap, near Marrick, in Swaledale

Sheep at a water tap, near Marrick, in Swaledale

Sheep grazing near the River Swale, near Marrick...

Sheep grazing near the River Swale, near Marrick…

The town of Reeth in Swaledale...

The town of Reeth in Swaledale…

On the road from Muker to Hawes...

On the road from Muker to Hawes…

An artist on the road from Muker to Hawes...

An artist on the road from Muker to Hawes…

View westwards on the road to Hawes from Muker...

View westwards on the road to Hawes from Muker…

On the (literally) high road to Ribblehead from Hawes...

On the (literally) high road to Ribblehead from Hawes…

The weather had been fine for most of the week in North Yorkshire, but on Friday the rains came down, so we spent most of the day at the extraordinary Bowes Museum, outside Barnard Castle, which, incidentally, has a very good café, Café Bowes, on the premises…

Bowes Museum, at Barnard Castle, County Durham...

Bowes Museum, at Barnard Castle, County Durham…

Every day at 2 pm, this 18th Century automaton, The Silver Swan, gives a forty second performance…

http://www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk/collections/the-silver-swan/history/

Awaiting the 2 pm performance of the Silver Swan, at Bowes Museum...

Awaiting the 2 pm performance of the Silver Swan, at Bowes Museum…

The Silver Swan in motion...

The Silver Swan in motion…

The Silver Swan, not moving...

The Silver Swan, not moving…

...and the silver fishes...

…and the silver fishes…

A Pierrot, circa 1900, when wound up, his hands play the harp...

A Pierrot, circa 1900, when wound up, his hands play the harp…

A Penny Farthing bicycle...

A Penny Farthing bicycle…

A couple of exhibits relating to Messrs Mason and Dixon, immortalised by the Mason-Dixon Line between Pennsylvania and Maryland in the United States…

Jeremiah Dixon...

Jeremiah Dixon…

A journal of Charles Mason...

A journal of Charles Mason…

Plenty of good paintings in the Bowes museum, and I rather liked this one…;)

Come back and see me again sometime ;)...

Come back and see me again sometime ;)…

I was taking no chances on missing my connection back to London on Saturday morning, and caught the 09.01 X26 bus back from Richmond Market Place to Darlington Station…

In very good time...

In very good time…

Homeward bound...

Homeward bound…

Сорок четыре года спустя

Ganges Love

Fleeting the moment: enduring the thought,
All love is illusion, yet I find myself caught,
Like a fly in a trap,
Whence there’s no hieing back
To a sky where the blue reeks of sorrow.

O! summer deceiver, you sprang your trap well;
All highways to heaven hide a trapdoor to hell,
Yet I can never forget
How that summer we met
On a shore on the far side of longing.

The flooding of senses made no sense at all;
Ah, would that I could be, held fast in your thrall,
Yet I dare not ask why
When never bluer the sky,
Love struck like the summerstruck Ganges.

© 2013 yizhivika

Late August meanderings…

Unlike last year’s photoblog, where daily uploads were obligatory, this year’s treads an altogether less disciplined path, so here are a few images captured from the last few days’ wanderings in Hampshire and London…

The first two were taken in Fareham in Hampshire, where I sometimes stop off for a cup of tea before continuing on into work…

Looking eastwards, outside the Shopping Centre, in West Street, Fareham

Looking eastwards, outside the Shopping Centre, in West Street, Fareham

When I indulge in this morning cuppa, it’s invariably at B & Bs in Fareham Shopping Centre, and this photo is in recognition of Emily’s charity walk along the Great Wall of China, a year or whenever ago. She told me she walked about a hundred miles, in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, so well done to Emily, who sometimes serves me with my cup of tea here in Fareham ;)…

Emily with her sum raised charity cheque outside Great Ormond Street Hospital...

Emily with her sum raised charity cheque outside Great Ormond Street Hospital…

Not sure precisely where I took this photo, but it was doubtless in Hampshire in the past few days…

Probably taken in Titchfield...

Probably taken in Titchfield…

I do know where this picture was taken, and it was in Titchfield. The image actually has an allegorical meaning to me, but I’ve no intention of explaining it here ;)…

Walking back to work after a lunchtime pint at The Holiday Inn...

Walking back to work after a lunchtime pint at The Holiday Inn…

Okay, so back to London, and all too often this summer, the Northern Line has been closed at weekends due to Engineering Work, and I’ve been catching buses a lot as a consequence. So it was again yesterday, when I caught an 82 bus from the Tally Ho in North Finchley to Baker Street. The following were taken during a ramble through Marylebone, to Regent Street and beyond, and onto the South Bank…

En route, nearing Oxford Circus, I passed this little gathering outside the Langham Hotel, and I was curious and bemused at first, but didn’t linger long, and settled for a few pictures, one of which was this….

Awaiting Lady Gaga...

Awaiting Lady Gaga…

Nearby, in Langham Place, is the beautiful All Souls’ Church….

All Souls' Church...

All Souls’ Church…

So on I rambled, through Oxford Circus, down Regent Street, through Chinatown, and over Hungerford Bridge to the Royal Festival Hall, on London’s South Bank…

In the Members' Bar of the RFH, there was no no Curious Brew, so I settled for Birra Moretti instead

In the Members’ Bar of the RFH, there was no Curious Brew, so I settled for Birra Moretti instead

View over the RFH Terrace, from the Members' Bar, to the River Thames and Hungerford Bridge beyond...

View over the RFH Terrace, from the Members’ Bar, to the River Thames and Hungerford Bridge beyond…

An alternative way of relaxing, by Lift 3, Green Side...

An alternative way of relaxing, by Lift 3, Green Side…

Swinging on Southsea Common…

There was a lot going on in Portsmouth and Southsea this Bank Holiday Weekend

There was a lot going on in Portsmouth and Southsea this Bank Holiday Weekend

The venue, on Southsea Common

The venue, on Southsea Common

The Three Belles, singing 'Beat me Daddy, Eight to the Bar'

The Three Belles, singing ‘Beat me Daddy, Eight to the Bar’

Could almost have been The Andrews Sisters... ;)

Could almost have been The Andrews Sisters… 😉

The vocal accompianists to the Pete Weston Swing Band

The vocal accompianists to the Pete Weston Swing Band

Getting into the swing of things... :)

Getting into the swing of things… 🙂

'I want to be a singer when I grow up, Mummy..'...and dig that tattoo... ;)

‘I want to be a singer when I grow up, Mummy..’…and dig that tattoo… 😉

"New York, New York"...

“New York, New York”…

Southsea's splendid South Parade Pier...

Southsea’s splendid South Parade Pier…

A ramble around Kings Worthy

Another post-work ramble, sixteen of us this time, around the village of Kings Worthy, close by Winchester in Hampshire…

An idyllic vista of the River Itchen

An idyllic vista of the River Itchen

One of the many desirable residences we encountered on this circular walk...

One of the many desirable residences we encountered on this circular walk…

A swan contre-jour...

A swan contre-jour…

...and a swan, and a duck, bathed in evening light...

…and a swan, and a duck, bathed in evening light…

Some of my fellow-ramblers (in the distance)...

Some of my fellow-ramblers (in the distance)…

St Swithun's church

St Swithun’s church

Some curious bullocks  just as well they weren't heiffers with young... ;)

Some curious bullocks – just as well they weren’t heiffers with young… 😉

A friendly piebald horse...

A friendly piebald horse…

And finally, the pub we retired to after the walk. I settled for a pint of HSB, and an Artichoke and Sun-dried Tomato Pasta….

The King Charles pub, in Kings Worthy

The King Charles pub, in Kings Worthy

Some Fareham Art…

In Fareham Shopping Centre, the Fareham Community Art shop, has an ongoing display of amateur artists’ work, and here are two currently on show, by Charles Chance…

Woman with red hair (and its reflection), Acrylic, £80

Woman with red hair (and its reflection), Acrylic, £80

Helen (Unfinished), Not for Sale

Helen (Unfinished), Not for Sale

And now for something completely different: the wonderful Anvil Man, by Stephen Lunn, outside the Shopping Centre in West Street…

'Anvil Man' by Stephen Lunn

‘Anvil Man’ by Stephen Lunn

A Trip to the Circus

One of the advantages of having a partner who runs her own shop, is that, in return for some shop-window advertising, she gets complimentary tickets for itinerant acts such as circuses that pitch up on Southsea Common during the summer months. So it was, we found ourselves in the Big Top of Gerry Cottle’s WOW! Circus this week, being entertained by clowns, illusionists, jugglers, trapeze artists and the like, and it was a very enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours. Alas, my camera batteries ran out very early on, so there are only a couple of photos from inside the Big Top :(. Never mind, I’ll make sure I’m better prepared next time ;).

First though here, I want to post up a few pictures from the ‘Lions Heart Mural 2007, In memory of Rachel Lyons’, on an electricity substation building on Southsea Common…

Rachel Lyons died in December 2006...

Rachel Lyons died in December 2006…

...unexpectedly at the age of 26...

…unexpectedly at the age of 26…

...and was an amateur artist who helped design this mural, and hence its subsequent dedication to her...

…and was an amateur artist who helped design this mural, and hence its subsequent dedication to her…

And so, on to the Circus…:)

Entry wasn't entirely free for the pair of us; we were obliged to buy a programme each, at three quid a time...

Entry wasn’t entirely free for the pair of us; we were obliged to buy a programme each, at three quid a time…

There were a nominal 50 acts performed in 100 minutes...

There were a nominal 50 acts performed in 100 minutes…

There was a fifteen minute interval, during which my partner nipped off, with a child-like spontaniety, to buy us some candy floss…must have been the influence of all those excited kids around us 😉

The final act was the Hegyi Brothers from Hungary, performing stunts on the rotating Wheel of Death...scary stuff...

The final act was the Hegyi Brothers from Hungary, performing stunts on the rotating Wheel of Death…scary stuff…

Yes, we agreed it was a great couple of hours’ entertainment, as we wandered home together beneath the evening’s full moon :).

The Shanghai Ballet Company at The Coliseum – Jane Eyre

I confess straight away that I have no pretensions at all when it comes to an appreciation of ballet, and it’s a very rare event indeed for me to buy a ticket to watch a live performance of it. That said, I was intrigued by the idea of a Chinese ballet company giving an interpretation of an English classic novel. Moreover, I’d never visited The Coliseum before to watch anything, so that is just where I found myself on the second night of this brief four night season.

A newish addition to Gerrard Place, in London's Chinatown

A newish addition to Gerrard Place, in London’s Chinatown

The Coliseum, home of the English National Opera, at the southern end of St Martin's Lane

The Coliseum, home of the English National Opera, at the southern end of St Martin’s Lane

View of the theatre's stage, from the Balcony

View of the theatre’s stage, from the Balcony

And a (mono) view upwards from the Balcony

And a (mono) view upwards from the Balcony

Despite being a bit of a philistine when it comes to an appreciation of ballet, it was a very watchable performance, and I particularly enjoyed Fan Xiaofeng’s portrayal of Bertha Mason, which had an utterly compelling beauty, and was well worth the price of the entry ticket alone (£20 for a Balcony seat if you were wondering ;)).

The cast page in the bilingual programme, which cost eight quid, but I was always going to buy one

The Cast page in the bilingual programme, which cost eight quid (but I was always going to buy one)

This rare night at the ballet triggered the memory of a poem that I’ve long loved, Louis MacNeice’s ‘Les Sylphides’, published in 1939…

Life in a day: he took his girl to the ballet;
Being shortsighted himself could hardly see it –
The white skirts in the grey
Glade and the swell of the music
Lifting the white sails.

Calyx upon calyx, Canterbury bells in the breeze
The flowers on the left mirrored to the flowers on the right
And the naked arms above
The powdered faces moving
Like seaweed in a pool.

Now, he thought, we are floating – ageless, oarless –
Now there is no separation, from now on
You will be wearing white
Satin and a red sash
Under the waltzing trees.

But the music stopped, the dancers took their curtain,
The river had come to a lock – a shuffle of programmes –
And we cannot continue down
Stream unless we are ready
To enter the lock and drop.

So they were married – to be the more together –
And found that they were never again so much together,
Divided by the morning tea,
By the evening paper,
The children and the tradesmen’s bills.

Waking at times in the night she found assurance
Due to his regular breathing but wondered whether
It was really worth it and where
The river had flowed away
And where were the white flowers.

The Coliseum, after sundown

The Coliseum, after sundown

After the performance I wandered the short distance to Trafalgar Square, and listened to a reggae busker for a while before heading for home.

The National Gallery, looking north from Trafalgar Square

The National Gallery, looking north from Trafalgar Square

Moon through clouds, near my north London home

Moon through clouds, near my north London home

As so often happens in life, synchronicities manifest themselves at times like this, and on two occasions in the following couple of days, I found Jane Eyre staring out at me from the window display of a charity shop in North Finchley High Road. Yes, I think I owe it to Charlotte to read the original ;).

Some reading to catch up on ;)

Some reading to catch up on 😉

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