A Weekend Diary

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

Archive for the tag “South Bank”

A wet and windy Winter Solstice in London’s West End

Had a bit of Christmas shopping to finish off, so wended my way down to the West End, from Woodside Park to Leicester Square, and wandered on from there around the locality…

Awaiting a Kennington via Charing Cross train at Woodside Park Tube station

Awaiting a Kennington via Charing Cross train at Woodside Park Tube station

Eros in a bubble in the rain at Piccadilly Circus

Eros in a bubble in the rain at Piccadilly Circus

 The 2002 statue of Beau Brummell by Irena Sedlecka in Jermyn Street

The 2002 statue of Beau Brummell by Irena Sedlecka in Jermyn Street

The Apollo Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue...no place to be on Thursday evening this week :(

The Apollo Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue…no place to be on Thursday evening this week 😦

An illuminated South Bank, from Hungerford Bridge, at around a quarter to ten in the evening...

An illuminated South Bank, from Hungerford Bridge, at around a quarter to ten in the evening…

And this is a bit of an afterthought, a photo taken on Friday evening…I just like the seat design :)…

Tube carriage seat on the Northern Line...

Tube carriage seat on the Northern Line…

And finally, Merry Christmas, and a Happy and Prosperous 2014 to anyone who happens to read this…

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The Rest is Noise

The Rest is Noise is a year-long festival that digs deep into 20th-century history to reveal the influences on art in general and classical music in particular, inspired by Alex Ross’ book The Rest is Noise

Such is the blurb that introduces the eight page A4 printed handout for this weekend’s instalment of the festival on the South Bank, which was given the title:’Politics and Spirituality in the Late 20th Century’.

To be honest, I’ve not taken a lot of interest in ‘The Rest is Noise’ festival until now, but there was something uniquely compelling about this weekend’s events, given its focus on life behind the Iron Curtain in the 1970s and 1980s, and my own interest in the Russian language, an interest which culminated in the acquisition of an O-level in 1984 (a strangely appropriate year given its Orwellian connotations ;)) and led to a continuation into A-level Russian studies in the mid-Eighties, which I never actually got around to completing, but which left me with a love of Pushkin’s work, and Gogol’s ‘The Overcoat’, and inculcated in me an enduring love of the beauty of the Russian language.

So it was, I spent much of the day on the South Bank, taking in some of the many available sessions this weekend. Unfortunately, several of the sessions that I would have liked to have attended clashed with others taking place at the same time; for instance, I would have particularly liked to have seen Astrid Proll, a member of Germany’s notorious Baader-Meinhof gang, talking about her life living undercover amongst London’s alternative squatter community, until she was tracked down in 1978. However, I opted instead for the simultaneous talk on the Beatles rocking the Kremlin…

The Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room on London's South Bank (as seen from the ground floor of the Royal Festival Hall)

The Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room on London’s South Bank (as seen from the ground floor of the Royal Festival Hall)

Catherine Merridale, a leading historian on the Soviet Union, here giving a lecture on Soviet society in the 1970s and 1980s...

Catherine Merridale, a leading historian on the Soviet Union, here giving a lecture on Soviet society in the 1970s and 1980s…

Catherine Merridale, in discussion with Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre, after the (11.00 am)  opening lecture in the Queen Elizabeth Hall

Catherine Merridale, in discussion with Jude Kelly, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre, after the (11.00 am) opening lecture in the Queen Elizabeth Hall

In the early afternoon, I opted for some lunch, and headed to Marks and Sparks at nearby Waterloo station to get a sandwich, and there discovered free drinks were being handed out on the station concourse…:)

A free chocolate milk drink, being given away during a promotion on the concourse of Waterloo station on Saturday afternoon...

A free chocolate milk drink, being given away during a promotion on the concourse of Waterloo station on Saturday afternoon…

Next event for me was a showing of one of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s ‘Dekalog’ films, originally made for Polish television in 1988. I really enjoyed this, and I’ll be seeking to get the nine in the series that I’ve not yet seen on a DVD sometime….

Inside the Sunley Pavilion on Level 3 of the Royal Festival Hall, about to watch Dekalog 2, one of the ten Dekalog films being shown over the weekend...

Inside the Sunley Pavilion on Level 3 of the Royal Festival Hall, about to watch Dekalog 2, one of the ten Dekalog films being shown over the weekend…

The Front Room in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, venue for the discussion on the Beatles seditious effect in undermining Soviet  political orthodoxy... ;)

The Front Room in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, venue for the discussion on the Beatles seditious effect in undermining Soviet political orthodoxy… 😉

The subject interested me enough to buy a copy of this book, and get it signed by Leslie Woodhead, the author...

The subject interested me enough to buy a copy of this book, and get it signed by Leslie Woodhead, the author…

Final event of the day (that is, excluding an evening concert), was a lecture by the philosopher Alain de Botton, followed by a discussion hosted by Jude Kelly, who afterwards described the session as ‘thought-provoking and invigorating’, which I thought was fair comment…;)

Alain de Botton, during his lecture on 'sprituality and consumerism'...

Alain de Botton, during his lecture on ‘sprituality and consumerism’…

A hot summer’s day in London Town…

For those of us whose homes lie on the Northern Line of London’s Tube network, we’ve been experiencing a lot of weekend engineering work this year, and that was true again this weekend, with no trains running on the Northern Line between East Finchley and central London (on the High Barnet Branch) nor any trains running between Golders Green and central London (on the Edgware Branch). So it was, I found myself on a crowded Replacement Bus Service between East Finchley and St Pancras today, and once we’d all been disgorged into Midland Road, I decided I’d take a nostalgic ramble southwards towards the river, taking a few pictures along the way…

First stop was a visit to the courtyard of the British Library, which is just to the west of St Pancras Station on the northern side of the Euston Road. Here, I stumbled across a display by some Morris Men, as part of an event called The Full English Discovery Day…

BritishLibrary0

BritishLibrary1

BritishLibrary2

Along with the Morris Men, other displays included as part of this Full English Discovery Day, were traditional English entertainments such as Maypole Dancing, but as I was intending to pay a visit to Trafalgar Square for the day’s event there, the London Evening Standard’s ‘Readathon’, I left the courtyard soon after the Morris Men finished their performance. However, before leaving, I took a couple of photos of Eduardo Paolozzi’s 1995 wonderful statue of ‘Newton, after Blake’…

Newton1

Newton2

Then, across the Euston Road, for a photo of St Pancras Station, before continuing the journey southwards..

One of the glories of English railway architecture, St Pancras Station, as seen from the far side of the Euston Road...

One of the glories of English railway architecture, St Pancras Station, as seen from the far side of the Euston Road…

Given the day’s heat, at some point in the afternoon I would inevitably be taking some liquid refreshment, but as tempting as it was, I gave ‘Mabels Tavern’ a miss, as I wanted to make sure I got to Trafalgar Square by four o’clock or soon after…

'Mabel's Tavern' a Shepherd Neame (a Kentish Brewer) pub on the corner of Mabledon Place and Flaxman Terrace...

‘Mabel’s Tavern’ a Shepherd Neame (a Kentish Brewer) pub on the corner of Mabledon Place and Flaxman Terrace…

I must confess here that until today, I had never even heard of the man celebrated in this statue in Cartwright Gardens, but he was evidently a man way ahead of his time in his political opinions :)…

John Cartwright (1740-1824), an English political radical...

John Cartwright (1740-1824), an English political radical…

On I rambled southwards, stopping off in Brunswick Square to buy some food and water in Waitrose, before continuing on past Russell Square, to Holborn Tube station, at the top of Kingsway. Between 1988 and 1996, Kingsway was my working address, and I have many happy memories from those years :)…

The door of St Anselm and St Caecilia's Roman Catholic Church in Kingsway, London, WC2

The door of St Anselm and St Caecilia’s Roman Catholic Church in Kingsway, London, WC2

When working in this area, I spent countless lunchtime hours visiting Covent Garden to the west, either for lunch or visiting the market stalls there, and the following building, is on the Covent Garden side of Kingsway, at 1, Kemble Street. It’s called Space House, and is a Richard Seifert building dating from 1962…

Space House, as seen from the west...

Space House, as seen from the west…

And in nearby Wild Street, I found this vehicle parked…;)…

Pink Limousine, Wild Street, London, WC2

Pink Limousine, Wild Street, London, WC2

And a few more WC2 places in the vicinity…

Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street, London, WC2

Freemasons Hall, Great Queen Street, London, WC2

Some 'Boris Bikes', awaiting hirers...

Some ‘Boris Bikes’, awaiting hirers…

'War Horse', Parker Street, WC2...

‘War Horse’, Parker Street, WC2…

Ballet pumps, in a shop window of one of the many shops selling dance-wear in the Covent Garden area...

Ballet pumps, in a shop window of one of the many shops selling dance-wear in the Covent Garden area…

Monmouth Street, WC2, in the heart of London's Theatre-land...

Monmouth Street, WC2, in the heart of London’s Theatre-land…

I eventually wended my way down to Trafalgar Square, arriving well after four o’clock, and just managed to capture this shot of the author Kathy Lette as she was leaving the ‘Readathon’ stage…

Kathy Lette, saying her farewells after doing her bit for 'Readathon'..

Kathy Lette, saying her farewells after doing her bit for ‘Readathon’..

The following photos show the cast of ‘Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain’ (Benedict Martin and Lauryn Redding) doing their performance of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn on the ‘Readathon’ stage. The two are currently performing ‘Horrible Histories: Barmy Britain’ at the nearby Garrick Theatre, at the bottom of the Charing Cross Road…

Henry and Anne get introduced to one another...

Henry and Anne get introduced to one another…

Some kind of wooing going on...;)...

Some kind of wooing going on…;)…

...but all good things come to an end... :(...

…but all good things come to an end… :(…

Methinks it'd take more than a sparrowhawk to frighten this pigeon away from Trafalgar Square..;)...

Methinks it’d take more than a sparrowhawk to frighten this pigeon away from Trafalgar Square..;)…

Two double-deckers, one old, one new, in front of Charing Cross Station...

Two double-deckers, one old, one new, in front of Charing Cross Station…

Embankment Tube Station, at the southern end of Villiers Street...

Embankment Tube Station, at the southern end of Villiers Street…

The band performing in the 'With Love from Lambeth' festival in the Clore Ballroom of the Royal Festival Hall, late on Saturday afternoon...

The band performing in the ‘With Love from Lambeth’ festival in the Clore Ballroom of the Royal Festival Hall, late on Saturday afternoon…

Alas, I never discovered the band or this singer's name, but she did some good covers of stuff like 'Summertime (When the Living is Easy)' and Etta James' 'At Last'... :)

Alas, I never discovered the band or this singer’s name, but she did some good covers of stuff like ‘Summertime (When the Living is Easy)’ and Etta James’ ‘At Last’… 🙂

A model of the 1951 Festival of Britain site, near the front of the Royal Festival Hall...

A model of the 1951 Festival of Britain site, near the front of the Royal Festival Hall…

Overlooking the Thames at the Members' Bar at the Royal Festival Hall

Overlooking the Thames at the Members’ Bar at the Royal Festival Hall

Another view from the Members' Bar...

Another view from the Members’ Bar…

A bronze head on a wall of the Members' Bar...

A bronze head on a wall of the Members’ Bar…

Duly refreshed, I went outside to have a look around the South Bank towards the London Eye...

Duly refreshed, I went outside to have a look around the South Bank towards the London Eye…

In the foreground, a modern sculpture called the 'Jubilee Oracle', and in the distant yonder, The Houses of Parliament...

In the foreground, a modern sculpture called the ‘Jubilee Oracle’, and in the distant yonder, The Houses of Parliament…

Susana Silva, a Portuguese singer, and South Bank busker...

Susana Silva, a Portuguese singer, and South Bank busker…

The said Susana, in her South Bank context...

The said Susana, in her South Bank context…

The work of a portrait sketch artist on Hungerford Bridge...

The work of a portrait sketch artist on Hungerford Bridge…

View upstream from Hungerford Bridge...

View upstream from Hungerford Bridge…

And finally, Swan Lane Open Space in Whetstone, London N20, which I wandered through after catching a number 34 bus to Barnet Church, from Arnos Grove Tube Station on the Piccadilly Line...

And finally, Swan Lane Open Space in Whetstone, London N20, which I wandered through after catching a number 34 bus to Barnet Church, from Arnos Grove Tube Station on the Piccadilly Line…

Seeing off a loved one at Gatwick Airport…and a riverside walk along the north bank of the Thames

Gatwick Airport, North Terminal

Gatwick Airport, North Terminal


North Terminal check-in/bag-drop...

North Terminal check-in/bag-drop…


Awaiting a train to London Bridge...

Awaiting a train to London Bridge…


Two men scaling The Shard...

Two men scaling The Shard…


Oystergate Walk, with London Bridge and The Shard beyond

Oystergate Walk, with London Bridge and The Shard beyond


The Banker pub, near Pauls Walk

The Banker pub, near Pauls Walk


The Millennium Bridge, with Southwark Bridge beyond...

The Millennium Bridge, with Southwark Bridge beyond…


A riverside flower...with a busker nearby playing an acoustic version of Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway to Heaven'

A riverside flower…with a busker nearby playing an acoustic version of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’


Cormorant sitting...

Cormorant sitting…


And the same bird taking flight...

And the same bird taking flight…


View across the river to the South Bank

View across the river to the South Bank


Sphinx, and a distant London Eye...

Sphinx, and a distant London Eye…

Around and about…Hampshire, London and Kent…

A derelict red telephone box, Titchfield, Hampshire...

A derelict red telephone box, Titchfield, Hampshire…

Graffiti, Portsmouth City Centre...

Graffiti, Portsmouth City Centre…

A midweek early evening ramble around Swanmore, Hampshire…

A Swanmore cottage...

A Swanmore cottage…

Some friendly Swanmore sheep...

Some friendly Swanmore sheep…

Some fellow ramblers...

Some fellow ramblers…

A Swanmore sky...

A Swanmore sky…

A couple from London’s South Bank…

London's South Bank...

London’s South Bank…

An evening skyline on the South Bank...

An evening skyline on the South Bank…

And back to Kent today, to visit a sister in Cuxton, then to Gillingham, for an abortive attempt to see the Gills clinch the League Two title…I’d backed them with ten quid at 10-1 at the beginning of the season ;)…

Cuxton railway station, Kent...

Cuxton railway station, Kent…

Exploring Cuxton...

Exploring Cuxton…

Match sold out ...:(...

Match sold out …:(…

So, a retreat to the Southern Belle pub, at the end of Gillingham High Street, and a pint of Stella Artois ;)…

All's well that ends well; Gillingham 2 AFC Wimbledon 2...and Gillingham League Two champions :)...

All’s well that ends well; Gillingham 2 AFC Wimbledon 2…and Gillingham League Two champions :)…

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…

Late afternoon by the River Thames…

Arc of the London Eye, as seen from a platform on Waterloo Station...

Arc of the London Eye, as seen from a platform on Waterloo Station…

[ISO 125, 1/320, f4.5, AWB]

The London Eye and a setting sun...

The London Eye and a setting sun…

[ISO 100, 1/1000, f3.5, AWB]

Two young men fire juggling on the South Bank...

Two young men fire juggling on the South Bank…

[ISO 80, 1/500, f3.4, AWB]

The two said fire jugglers, as viewed from Hungerford Bridge...

The two said fire jugglers, as viewed from Hungerford Bridge…

[ISO 400, 1/30, f5.6, AWB]

A caricaturist, plying his trade on Hungerford Bridge...

A caricaturist, plying his trade on Hungerford Bridge…

[ISO 400, 1/50, f4.5, AWB]

The north bank of the Thames, between Hungerford Bridge and Westminster Bridge...

The north bank of the Thames, between Hungerford Bridge and Westminster Bridge…

[ISO 200, 1/40, f4.0, AWB]

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…

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