Yes, I was in Ravenscourt Park on Thursday evening, having a Libertarian Lads dinner in restaurant there.
As I usually do when visiting spots that are unfamiliar, I was anxious not to be late and so got there very early. Which meant I had plenty of time to photo.
Here are the four:
The first was, obviously, taken at the tube station when I got there.
The second was also taken from the tube station, and makes the local Premier Inn and the building nearer look like all one, with the Premier Inn itself emerging out of the roof clutter which is actually across the road from it. (I do love aligning Things, don’t I?) Premier Inns: Machines For Staying In.
Photo three, taken of and through a bookshop window, is an illustration of the strong Polish presence in Ravenscourt Park. I assume that got started right after WW2, when exiled Poles decided they’d prefer to stay that way, what with the USSR having conquered their preferred country of choice.
Photo four is a motorbike. I love to photo motorbikes, especially in France, but also in Ravenscourt Park, if Ravenscourt Park is where I am and if Ravenscourt Park is where the motorbike is. This motorbike is trying to be an abstract sculpture, but it didn’t fool me. (It should have hidden its wheels better, for starters.) This is another in my ongoing series of photos that I like, that look like works of Art of the sort that I don’t much like. This fondness of mine, for photos that look like they’re Modern Art but which actually aren’t was something which I later persuaded some of my dining companions to discuss with me, and out of that I got one answer as to why I like such photos, which I may or may not (I promise nothing) tell you about, later, in a different posting.
“Gallery” being the way I now do those little clutches of photos that I’m so fond of doing.
Here one I photoed (x4), in a place in London that now apparently calls itself “Carnaby”. Last I heard, which was about thirty years ago, there was only Carnaby Street. But now the name has spread, thanks to all the name recognition that has attached itself to “Carnaby”, over the years.
Sticking those four photos up here is about as complicated as sticking up just one photo on the old blog. Whereas on the old blog, this would take about a quarter of a day. So, I’m a happier blogger than I was. And that is bound to mean that all you massed ranks of readers of this blog will get happier, because happiness is contagious. And you will be happier for a more tangible reason, which is that you can now click on one of these photos, and then click on the arrows at the side to see all the others, with just three more clicks.
As for the sparkly Thing itself, well, I like it a lot. Ever since the Scottish Referendum, when it looked like the Union Jack could be about to die, I have admired the Union Jack itself. Actually, way before then, but especially from then on. It’s suck a distinctive thing, and will survive endless reworking and reinterpretation.
Earlier today, Patrick Crozier and I recorded another of our recorded conversations (by and by it will appear here). Patrick laid out the agenda which was Christianity, and how, although he could never believe in it, nenevertheless regrets the diminution of its influence on our world.
He mentioned the way the Western Roman Empire fell apart after it had been conquered by Christianity (echoing Gibbon, although I didn’t say that; he mentioned ecclesiastical architecture; he mentioned the intimate relationship between Christianity and secular power; and at one point we rather digressed, into the matter of French domestic architecture.
Here are four photos I photoed in Quimper, Brittany, exactly one year ago to the day, which illustrate these various talking points:
Photo 1.1 a history lesson inside Qumper Cathedral which covers the ground Patrick alluded to about the Roman Empire (protected by glass, hence the reflection of the stained glass window).. Photo 1.2 is a view of one of the towers of Quimper Cathedral, as seen from the other tower. Photo 2.1 is of an equestrian statue, from the same spot. And finally, 2.2, also from the same spot, is a photo looking out over the city of Quimper.
The weather could have been a lot brighter, but you are only allowed to the top of Quimper Cathedral on the one day each year, and April 29th 2018 was the day that it was
I will greatly miss Quimper and its Cathedral, now that my friends in France no longer live there. I won’t be going back on my own, just to see it but not them.
Yes, I like to photo signposts. You know where you are, with signposts.
Here’s a signpost photo I photoed in March 2012:
But there’s more to it than just having a note of where I was, useful though that is. There’s something about actually seeing those particular names of particular places which makes the fact that this is where I really am – and then later: was – come particularly alive.
As you can tell from the previous paragraph, I don’t really know how to explain this fascination of mine. And just now, I am too knackered, having spent the day recovering from a Last Friday of the Month meeting that happened last night. Dominique Lazanski: very good. My front room: very full. Aftermath: lots of crap to tidy up.
Yesterday was a day when I had to be very energetic and alive, to get ready for that meeting. So, I was. (Hence those four blog postings yesterday.) Today, I could be knackered. So, I was.
While I’m on the subject of One Blackfriars, as I was last night, here is a rather charming piece of urban sculpture to be seen outside its front door, photoed earlier on the day I photoed the photo in the previous posting:
I’ve heard this expression but never understood what it was about. Having read this, I now understand it a bit better:
Wet risers are used to supply water within buildings for firefighting purposes. The provision of a built-in water distribution system means that firefighters do not need to create their own distribution system in order to fight a fire and avoids the breaching of fire compartments by running hose lines between them.
Wet risers are permanently charged with water. This is as opposed to dry risers which do not contain water when they are not being used, but are charged with water by fire service pumping appliances when necessary.
Part B of the building regulations (Fire Safety) requires that fire mains are provided in all buildings that are more than 18 m tall. In buildings less than 50 m tall, either a wet riser or dry riser fire main can be provided. However, where a building extends to more than 50 m above the rescue service vehicle accesslevel, wet risers are necessary as the pumping pressure required to charge the riser is higher than can be provided by a fire service appliance, and to ensure an immediate supply of water is available at high level.
Looking out over the gloom of Bermondsey yesterday, with maximum zoom, from the balcony of a friend’s flat:
Despite the dreariness and consequent blurriness, you can clearly see the Big Olympic Thing there. Next to it, right behind the tower of the crane, you can also see, if you look a bit harder, the top of the London Stadium, now the home of West Ham United.
What this photo illustrates, among many other things, is the enormous contribution to a city made by Recognisable and Big Things. Most of what you see in that photo is dull Unless you are a craniac like me) and generic. You could be anywhere. But once you see that contorted red shape, however dimly, you know at once where you are looking and what you are looking at. These Things aren’t called “landmarks” for nothing. They are like giant squirts of solidified piss from God. They mark the landscape. They give it shape and structure. You know where you are with them, but without them, you don’t. Without them, you could be anywhere. With them, everywhere becomes somewhere.
What these photos, photoed just after I’d photoed these photos, only show a few glimpses of is how different the OC looks, depending on the light’s strength, its direction, and its colour. All of the above photos were photoed from the western, upstream side of the OC, as I moved from north to south, and all on the same day. There’s a whole different set to be taken from the east, or from the West on a different day.
This is something that all the best London Things, Big or, as in this case, not so Big, have in common. (I’m thinking in particular of the Shard and of the Walkie Talkie and, more recently, of the Scalpel (which is only very small in that photo, but which does wonderful things with the light).)
There are, in this world, a great many horses made of driftwood. I learned this by googling “driftwood horse”, and I also learned that a major contributor to the driftwood horse mountain is Heather Jansch.
Whether Heather Jansch was responsible for this particular driftwood horse, I do not know, but there it was, in a shop window, in the middle of London. And, as you can maybe see if you know what I look like, I photoed it:
I wasn’t trying for a selfie. I just wanted the driftwood horse itself, with as little in the way of reflection as the light would allow.