Brian Micklethwait's Blog
In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.Home
fathers day 2017 on New River Walk
Brian Micklethwait on Indian sign cautions against selfie sticks
Michael Jennings on Indian sign cautions against selfie sticks
Brian Micklethwait on Photoing last Friday's Last Friday meeting
Michael Jennings on Photoing last Friday's Last Friday meeting
Brian Micklethwait on Tim Marshall on 'Sykes-Picot'
Patrick Crozier on Tim Marshall on 'Sykes-Picot'
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- Azure Window broken
- Beltane & Pop van parked on the South Bank yesterday afternoon
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- Spring in Islington
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- Today’s plan
- Photoing the faces of strangers (or in my case: not)
- England crush Scotland in the 6N – plus the hugeness of home advantage
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This and that
Yesterday - yesterday morning - I visited the top of the Tate Modern Extension again. I went in the morning because I needed the light coming from the direction it comes from in the morning, for reasons that I may (although I promise nothing) explain at some future date in some future posting. Also, the weather forecast forecast a lot of light yesterday. It was right about this, because it is right about everything.
I took about seven hundred photos, of which I suppose about two hundred or so were each good enough to display here. But which to show? And to illustrate what opinion? So many photos. So many opinions.
After many minutes of failed deciding, I eventually decided on one almost at random. This:
At the centre point of this photo is Centre Point, now kitted out in its revamp costume. It doesn’t look like that normally, and soon it will (I presume) be back to looking as it always did.
Once again, we observe the Wembley Arch, this time supplying the backup visuals for a crane.
I linked from the latter posting to this Evening Standard piece about this building, which includes this:
The material of the coloured walls is glazed ceramic, assembled out of thousands of individual pieces. This material will barely fade and is self-cleaning in the rain, so will look much the same as it does now for decades
Good to know. This is the kind of thing that Renzo Piano tends to get right.
I also like the little orange box, presumably for getting revamping materials to all the parts of Centre Point that need it.
How soon before Centre Point itself bursts into colour?
I just opened up my camera to look at the latest snaps I’ve been snapping, and it turns out that, last Friday, in addition to fretting about my meeting and then being pleased about my meeting, I also, while out shopping for my meeting, took this:
If you like that, then you should definitely be a regular visitor to this blog. I’m thinking of postings like: this, this, this, and this. To name the most recent ones with pictures of a similar sort. Trawl back through his archives and you’ll find many more.
In fact, I reckon that had it not been for Mick Hartley’s infuence, I would probably not have taken my photo, of this Hockneyesque, Hartleyesque sort.
Once again we have here a posting concerning two Big Things, aligned, in this case the relatively new Strata, the one with the three eyes at the top, and way off behind it to the north, the original Big New Thing, the GPO Tower as it originally was, now the BT Tower. The shot was taken on the same day and from the same spot (the top of a multi-story car park in Peckham) as were these photos, which I posted on Samizdata in August 2012.
Why do I like Big Thing alignments? Partly, I just think that they make great images of the new London, the one that has sprung up in my own lifetime. Pictures of just the one Big Thing, or of the City Big Thing Cluster, are common. Less common are shots of just two of these Big Things, next to each other or with one behind the other, taken from a rather out-of-the-way angle and a rather out-of-the-way place.
There is also the fact that, in London, you can so very frequently see these strange alignments, so very clearly. This is because London’s Big Things are typically not all gathered together in a cluster, under the influence only of economic forces. No, they tend to reflect politics. Each Big Thing, you might say, is built by the winner of a very local political battle. The City Cluster is an exception to this tendency, as is the Docklands Tower Cluster. Docklands was always a cluster. In the City, all the Big Things are now joining up into one Huge City Thing. Which is fine. I have no problem with that. But what I’m saying is that, for London as a whole, this is typically not how it works. The more usual arrangement is for Big Things to be surrounded by huge gobs of empty air. And what that means is that people like me can take pictures of Big Things like the one in this posting.
Click on the picture on the right and you will get the bigger original, which also features The Wheel. Which is another of those local political Big Thing winners.
By the way, this was not some photographic accident. You can tell from all the photos that preceded this one that this alignment was aligned deliberately.
I’m actually rather surprised that this kind of thing doesn’t happen more often:
The story is that a lorry with a digger on the back of it drove under a bridge, but the digger hit the bridge and broke half of the bridge off so that it fell on the road below, or to be more exact, onto another lorry, also going under it at the time. A motorcyclist was nearly killed, but wasn’t.
Cranes helped to clean up the mess:
One of the scarier things about all this, if I understand what has happened correctly, is that half the bridge is still sticking out over the motorway, and traffic is even now passing underneath it:
Is that right? And if that is right, is that .. you know … right?
The time is not far away when I will almost cease from adding to my photo-archives, and will spend most of my photo-time trawling through the archives that I already have.
And coming upon photos like this:
That’s a Big Thing alignment that you don’t see very often. It is, of course, the Wembley Arch and The Wheel. I took this shot in Eltham, quite near (I think) to Eltham Palace, on (definitely) December 23rd 2015. The posting at the end of that last link mentions this expedition, to meet up with my good friend Alastair, but the only picture it shows is a picture that Alastair himself took some weeks earlier, of the Walkie Talkie, and I never subsequently showed here any of the pictures that I took that day. The above is one of them.
However, it is typical of many of the photos I take in including things, in this case a Big Thing, that I was unaware of photoing at the time. I think I realised that I was photoing The Wheel, when I took the above photo. But I do not believe I realised at the time that I had also photoed the Wembley Arch. For this reason, the picture above zeroes in on this alignment. But if you click on it, you get the original photo that I took, where the above alignment is only one of many potentially interesting things.
The Wembley Arch often surprises me like this. It’s like one of those idiots who deliberately pops up behind TV sports reporters, except not idiotic or deliberate. It is very big. And it is quite a way away from the centre of London, in a rather confusing direction. So it has a habit of suddenly looming up in the background of the photos I take, even though, not knowing exactly where it is, I am seldom trying to photo it. Unless of course I actually see it, which I typically don’t. Until I look at my photos. (E.g. the final photo in this posting earlier this week, about what I saw from Epsom. From Epsom, the Wembley Arch is way off to the left of London Big Things.)
Earlier today, underneath the Wembley Arch, the Rugby League Grand Challenge Cup Final took place. Hull FC came from behind to defeat Warrington.
I spent today (a) fretting that my meeting this evening at my home might not be a very good meeting (on account of me not managing to persuade enough people to attend it), (b) having the meeting, and then (c) being pleased that it was a very good meeting. Thank you Nico Metten, the speaker.
I forgot, as usual, to take any photos of the meeting, so here is something (chosen because Friday is my day here for cats (and other creatures)) I photoed earlier:
I was in horse country earlier in the week, but only saw an electric horse. That real horse (with cart) was photoed in the vicinity of South Bermondsey railway station, just over a month ago.
So far as I can tell, though, this is not a glass bridge, more a metal bridge with lots of windows in its floor, which I don’t think is the same thing. But, it’s still a step in the right direction, towards the day when they build a bridge entirely out of glass.
Here in London, when a pedestrian sees a red light saying don’t walk across a road, it usually looks something like this:
Or like this:
Those being from the archives.
But yesterday, I was in a place where the corresponding red lights look like this:
Definitely horse-riding country. Although, perhaps strangely, I saw no real horses.
I was in that part of outer London known as Epsom. Having disembarked from a train at a station called Tattenham Corner, I found myself in … Tattenham? … and then kept on for a bit and emerged, just like that, into the open countryside. And I saw things like this:
That being, I’m pretty sure, in the foreground, the actual, original, Tattenham Corner, around which the horses and their riders go, in races.
But if, instead of making your way towards that big grandstand to watch the racing, you instead turn right, up a slight hill, through various clumps of trees, you eventually come out the other side of these trees, and you find yourself enjoying a distant view of London.
I did not come to Epsom in order to photo pedestrian lights or sporting architecture, although I did do this. What I came to Epsom to photo was scenes like this:
And like this:
And like this:
When I took these shots, the scenes I was shooting were so far away that it was very hard for me, with my ever more terrible eyesight, to work out what I was photoing. I only learned that I had photoed The Wheel when I looked at that shot on the screen of my camera and enlarged it, and hey, that looks like The Wheel.
As for Wembley Arch, I do vaguely remember thinking that I saw a shape that might be that, but I wasn’t sure until I got home.
And even then, these distant views of London weren’t that good, on account of being too distant and my non-SLR camera being too primitive. Epsom is a long way away from London.
The above explains, as not promised in the previous posting, why I was in Croydon yesterday. Getting by train from London to Tattenham Corner meant, for me, going from Victoria to East Croydon, and then changing to the Tattenham Corner train.
I half had in mind to break the journey back to Victoria at Battersea Park station, which also has fine views of London’s Big Things, but I slept through Battersea Park, and anyway, it was getting dark.
Today I was in Croydon. Not for long, but I was in Croydon. While in Croydon I took photos.
Like this one, of No. 1 Croydon:
And like this one, of a buildlng which was being modified, but whose name I did not catch:
Why was I in Croydon? I had my reason. More tomorrow, or some day, or maybe never. I promise nothing.
So I did something I haven’t done recently. I went to BLDGBLOG, and right at the bottom of this posting, which consists of a collection of weird photos that aren’t quite photos but are something else somewhat similar, I found this classic bridge:
But that isn’t the picture at BLDGBLOG. I went looking for another, and found it here.
I like bridges, and I especially like bridges with buildings on them, buildings which don’t match, like the bridge is just a street rather than a single unified structure all designed and built at one time.
I also very much like the look of the picture at the top of this posting. which, for reasons I do not understand, is entitled “Critical Engineering Summer Intensives”, but which ought to be entitled “When Roof Clutter Catches Fire”.
Sangakkara, having had time off to go and win the Caribbean Premier League with his team out there, has been back playing for Surrey in recent days, with his usual huge distinction. He made the highest score of the match in Surrey’s win against Warwickshire in the County Championship, and he made that match winning 130 not out against Northants, to get Surrey to the semi-finals of this year’s 50 overs tournament.
The best time for this photo-tribute to the great man would have been just after I took all the photos. But now feels like the second best time for it. Very late is not good, but it is a lot better than never.
The first lot of pictures are of Sanga scoring his 166, of him becoming increasingly tired while doing this, and of him walking off after getting out to first ball of the final over of the Surrey innings.
Several of these shots are of – ho ho – shots. One shot should be particularly noted. This is the so-called “ramp” shot, which is when the batsman scoops the ball right over where his head would have been, straight behind the wicketkeeper or thereabouts, hopefully for a boundary. Sanga did at least one of these last September, as you can see (2.2). And he did another, even more spectacularly, when he ramped a six in the last over of that one wicket victory over Northants. (Very short YouTube video of that here.)
I also particularly like the shot of Samit Patel of Notts congratulating Sanga (3.2), as he walks back to the pavilion.
And the second lot of photos are of what Sanga did after this great innings. He fielded (4.1). And oh look, who is that doing exercises in the foreground? That would be Jade Dernbach.
After the game had concluded with a narrow Surrey win, Sanga was given a Man of the Match medal (4.2), and a Man of the Match bottle of Champagne (4.4). Surrey commentator Mark Church interviewed Sanga (5.2). And then (5.3 to 6.4) Sanga mingled with us punters, and had his photo taken by lots of us including by a very happy me, who by then was but a few feet away from him:
Note in particular the Bald Bloke, with a very battered old-school looking camera, whom I managed to include in a couple of my shots (5.3 and 6.1). Maybe I am in some of his shots.
Finally, a bone weary Sanga decides that he really has done enough mingling, and he makes his bone weary way up the steps to the Surrey dressing room (6.3). But then, he gets ambushed yet again by an admirer, a kid (6.4), and he obliges with one last shot, before making his final exit.
Yes, I know, I show recognisable faces here. But a public sports ground is a very public place, and you don’t go there unless you are willing for your face to be included in photos and TV coverage of the event. Plus, if you place yourself right next to a Celeb, then you become fair photographic game, same as the Celeb himself is. Well, those are my rules.
Taken from the top of my block of flats, in April:
The cranes, of course, are quite close. The Shard is way over on the other side of the River. I’m not sure what the building is.
I think it’s the colours that made me pick this one to show here. The near white of all the solid objects, and the dark grey of the sky.
Or to give it its official name, City Hall.
I took this photo of City Hall in April of this year, from the other side of the river, outside the Tower of London:
Until this evening, I thought of this photo merely as the most flattering photo I have taken of this mostly rather ungainly, and frankly, frequently rather dirty looking building.
But, I just noticed that quite aside from it being such a flattering view of this edifice, my photo reveals that there is a spiral staircase in there. I’m right. Look closely, and you’ll see it too.
And here, by way of further proof, is a very artistic type photo of this same staircase, taken by Aaron Yeoman. You have to scroll down quite a lot at the end of that link to reach this photo, so if you want quickly to see it bigger, click on this instead:
If you are outside a building, this is the kind of thing you only see at dusk, when natural light and artificial light are in a state of approximate equality. You wouldn’t be able to see that staircase in the bright light of the day, because you wouldn’t be able to see the lights inside the building.
Plus, with me, you need to allow a few months for me to realise. My camera sees far more than I do, and I discover new stuff in my old photos months and often years later.
So far as I can work out, from looking at the what you can visit bit of the City Hall website, regular members of the mere public are not allowed to go up this staircase to the top. But you never really know about things like this until you actually go there, and ask. Next time I’m there, I might drop in and do exactly that.
My blogging time this evening was totally bent out of shape by – surprise, surprise – a game of cricket. This went on for longer than I expected, and it seeed and sawed hither and thither. Sangakkara scored a brilliant hundred. Jade Dernbach also did important things for Surrey. And Surrey won. It was like I was there!
Sangakkara’s brilliance is well explained in this report of the game. But Dernbach deserves a bit more immortalising than his performance might otherwise get. First off, he took three top order Northants wickets, including those of Levi and Duckett, both dangerous, for small scores. And just as in that game in 2015 against Notts, the penultimate over that Dernbach bowled, and the contrast between it and the penultimate over of the Surrey innings, also involving Dernbach, proved crucial.
In the penultimate over of the Northants innings, Dernbach conceded just two runs, after the over before that one had gone for eighteen. And he got the wicket of his opposite number – the Northants number eleven, Azharullah – with the last ball of that penultimate over, thus ending a troublesome last wicket stand, and denying Kleinveldt one final over of tumultuous hitting, because thanks to Dernbach getting Azharullah there was no final over. Kleinveldt might have got a century, and Northants might have got three hundred. As it was, Kleinveldt had to be content with 76, and Northants with 276.
But whereas Northants had scored two off their last two overs, with one wicket left at the beginning of the second last over, Surrey, also with only one wicket standing, found themselves needing twenty four off the last two overs to win the game. Dernbach was batting alongside Sanga, and thanks in no small part to Dernbach, Surrey did win. Dernbach scored eight, including a much needed boundary during that penultimate over, and the rest of his runs in singles of the sort that got the strike back to Sanga. And Sanga did the necessary slogging and won the game for Surrey with an amazing six during the last over and a four off the last ball of the match. But Dernbach’s support was vital. He played a few shots and did not get out.
Here is a not very dramatic picture I took of Dernbach at the Oval, at the game I attended last month, just after he had taken three top order Gloucester wickets in that game:
And here is a rather better picture that I took, during that game in 2015, of a picture someone else took of him, along with the Shard and a crane and a gasometer:
Perhaps one reason Dernbach played so very well in this evening’s game is that he is now, what with being quite old, a one-day specialist. If Surrey had lost this game, I’m pretty sure that that would have been the end of his season, because Surrey would have been knocked out of this fifty overs tournament, and have already been knocked out of the twenty overs tournament.
Here are three pictures, on the left below. On the right below are the pictures that explain the real pictures. On the left: artistic impression. On the right: what’s going on that enabled me to photo the artistic impression.
Top, in Victoria Street. I have never noticed this particular effect (left) before, but in the bright sunlight the other day, I did.
In the middle is a way to decorate a wall of windows that I’m not sure I like the look of, except in photos. On the right there, we see that the building in question is next to The Monument.
The photo on the right, bottom, I took out of a train window, as I journeyed towards the Horniman Museum. No rotating needed. Good shot. Photoing out of a train window works well in bright light, so long as you get no reflections.
Note the big things - Gherkin, Cheesegrater, Walkie-Talkie, lurking behind the blue building, on the left as we look.
Another example of bright colours in modern architecture, which is a trend I am noticing quite a lot.
As with photo 2, I’m not sure I like the building, but I do like the photo.
I continue to hoover up White Van pictures whenever an interesting one presents itself. And this one, that I encountered yesterday evening in Victoria Street, is surely a classic of the genre:
What I enjoy so much about this van is how this enterprise clearly started out in a state of in-your-face honesty. Yeah, we do lavs. Our boss is Dave. Workplaces need lavs. You got a problem with that? Everyone needs to piss and/or shit every now and again.
But then, as business expanded, the euphemisms crept in. Changing the website was too complicated, but the surrounding verbiage got more polite and decorous. That’s my take, anyway. Have you ever seen the word “welfare” used like that? I haven’t. “Welfare Vans” sounds a bit like something laid on by the Japanese Army during the war, providing you-know-what to the soldiery, and for which they still refuse to apologise to the women thus made use of.
Go to www.davlav.com and it’s all explained:
These self-contained welfare vans offer independent diesel heating, washing, toilet and kitchen/eating facilities. Also included are auxiliary power microwave, hand wash and water boiler. Our welfare vehicles offer superior standards and are completely mobile, providing staff with all the facilities required by current employment law. All parts comply with the new legislation for Whole Vehicle Type Approval.
I might have guessed there’d be government regulations involved.
Recently a friend told me that you can see the Big Things of London from the grounds outside the Horniman Museum. The place is a walk away from Forest Hill station, so today, I checked this out. You can. I did. Picture:
Somewhere on the www there must be a complete list of all such places. But every list of these places that I have ever seen excludes at least one Big Thing watching place that I personally know of.
I could go on, but the last few postings here have been rather complicated, so I am keeping this one simple.
The category list includes “Bridges” because away to the right, you can see the tops of Tower Bridge.
When I took this photo, about ten days ago (on the same day I took all these), …:
… I thought that all I was doing was enjoying the dark clouds in the background and the brightly lit buildings in the foreground, an effect I am very fond of. And the crane.
However, when I took this photo …:
… I remember being intrigued by that other crane. Not just the bright red crane, looking so cute against the bright blue sky (like in the first picture here). No, I mean the crane that has appeared from out of the roof of the building, the sort of crane that reaches out beyond the roof it resides on, or in this case in, and allows men in a box to lower themselves down the building and clean its window.
The crane with a sort of random frame on the top of it. What is that? So I photoed the puzzle, and looked at it when I got home.
Here it is in close-up:
The frame on top is a bit of the roof, permanently attached to the crane. When the crane is working, it wears that bit of the roof like a long hat. When the crane is resting, that hat turns into the perfect thing to fill the hole in the roof, the hole from which the crane emerged.
Here, by way of contrast, is the corresponding close-up of the picture at the top of this posting, of what the roof looks like when the crane based inside it is resting:
When the crane is doing stuff, there’s no way that the roof can avoid looking cluttered. But when the crane is resting, the aesthetic proprieties are restored. The crane disappears inside, and flattens the roof.
The thing is, this roof is not flat. Flat roofs are considered invisible, which they are, from the ground. Flat roofs have lots of similar cranes resting on them, and they just sit there, cluttering up the roof. Which is fine. That’s the rule, for flat roofs.
But for a roof that is at an angle, which thereby becomes visible from the ground, then aesthetics apply. Clutter cannot be allowed. When clutter is not active, it must somehow be smoothed out, decluttered, tidied up.
And look what I just found. Here is a picture which I took back in April of the same crane as is discussed above, but before it got its hat attached to it, and looking like a regular crane of this sort:
Note how the light is completely different again.
I think that it was because I had already registered the existence of this crane, looking as all other cranes of this sort look, that I was so intrigued and puzzled by its hat. I suppose I thought that there might be some kind of closure for the roof, when the crane was not busy. But I did not foresee that the closure would be attached be attached to the crane.
Proof that the day that Darren and I saw Surrey beat Gloucester was a great day out is that I have already done three postings about that day here, and have hardly scratched the surface of how much fun I (for only one) had, on that day.
Posting (1) about that day concerned vans. Posting (2) was about cricket, and in particular about the emerging cricket superstar that is Jason Roy. Posting (3) was about the Oval’s contrasting architectural Big Things, and about seeing (or not seeing) London’s biggest Big Things from one of the Ovals Big Things.
The final test match between England and Pakistan is now under way, at the very same Oval that I have been going on about. (England are getting stuffed, as I write this. Go here to be sure.) So it is appropriate that this posting takes us, those of us who are interested, back to cricket, and in particular to the photoing of a cricket scoreboard. Sporting scoreboards make for great photos, packed with memory-triggering information. Not just obvious things like the score of a particular game, but, as the years pass, forgotten names, and forgotten moments in remembered games.
I didn’t take many pictures of the old scoreboard that day, the one way off to the right of the Pavilion (as you look at it), but here is one of the pictures I did take of it, along with a lot of other stuff all around it:
You can’t really see the scoreboard there, unless you look rather carefully, so here is a close-up:
This looks to me rather like an eighties style computer screen, the sort that started you off with cryptic messages like: “A:>“. Such old screens often had orange letters or numbers on a black background. No doubt there have been suggestions that this scoreboard be replaced by something more twenty first century, but no doubt also, the old fogeys of the Surrey County Cricket Club drew the line at such vandalism. Cricket is, after all, a game typically played before an audience made up mostly of oldies. And as you can see from my pictures, this audience is too sparse for cricket people to be able to ignore the tastes of those who do show up.
I can remember scoreboards far more primitive even than this, where you hung the numbers on hooks. I even helped to operate such a scoreboard occasionally, when Englefield Green played nearby teams like Egham, Staines and so on, on … Englefield Green. Because yes, there really was an actual Englefield Green. There still is.
All that that old scoreboard showed was, as I recall, total runs scored, wickets down, batsman number this, this much, batsman number that, this much. And, if the other side had already batted, the other side’s total. Batsmen would not have been identified with numbers like 58 or 59, i.e. with the numbers on the backs of their shirts, because they wore no such shirts. Their number would be their place in the batting order, which is actually far more informative about the state of the game. If, say, there are seven wickets down, and batsmen 8 and 9 are batting, both with smallish scores, that’s one sort of game. But if batsmen 3 is still in with a decent score to his number, that’s a much better prospect for the batting side. “59” doesn’t tell you anything about whether the guy can bat or not.
Here is a much newer scoreboard, to be seen on the other side of the ground from the old scoreboard:
Here we learn who batsmen 58 and 59 actually are. Yes, they are the Curran brothers. They came together at the fall of the sixth Surrey wicket, and a lot depended upon them.
T(om) Curran is about twenty, and S(am) Curran is eighteen. On the day I took these photos, the Currans came together with the Surrey innings struggling for adequacy. There had been a flurry of wickets. More wickets now and not many more runs, and Gloucester would probably chase down the Surrey total easily. More runs now, and more wickets not so quickly surrendered, and Gloucester would have a fight on their hands.
For a while, the Currans “rebuilt” the innings, in other words scored rather slowly. But then the younger Curran (S(am)) stepped on the gas. Soon, this Curran partnership had become a …:
… and then, seemingly in no time at all. S(am) Curran had brought up his personal …:
… and the partnership was looking like this:
S(am) Curran got out soon after that, and was duly thanked by the scoreboard:
We can see the Surrey total on the old scoreboard …:
... the Surrey total being just about the only thing that the old scoreboard did tell us, during the interval. That’s the thing about old-school scoreboards. When they’ve nothing to tell you, they are unable to tell you anything else instead.
Surrey had done well. Although there had been no outstanding innings in the manner of Kumar Sangakkara, who scored 166 back in September 2015, Surrey had actually made more in their first innings this time around. Besides S(am) Curran’s fifty, there were also substantial scores from Davies and from Burns, and it all added up. The stand-out moment of the innings, the sort they call a “champagne moment” on Test Match Special, was when Surrey captain Gareth Batty hit a ferocious six that went smack into the middle of the new scoreboard. With no apparent harm done to it at all. Which was impressive on both counts.
Gloucester made a bad start:
That’s twice I’ve watched Surrey in a 50 overs game, and twice I have seen Jade Dernbach do decisive things.
There followed a promising stand, but it ended too soon, for Gloucester’s purposes:
I will end with a burst of horizontality. Darren was kind enough to say that he especially liked the posting I did after our previous Oval expedition which featured lots of adverts piled up in horizontal slices.
Here, which I hope Darren will also like, is another pile of horizontal slices, this time of Gloucester’s last six wickets falling in a rather humiliating heep, and the time at which each wicket fell:
As you can see, Surrey won easily in the end, with Batty again distinguishing himself with five wickets. Story of the day: Surrey got in a bit of a mess, but recovered. Gloucester got in a bit of a mess, never recovered and instead crumbled. If you’re there, your team winning narrowly may be better, but winning easily is pretty good also.
I often wonder how dogs feel about being owned by people who sleep out in the streets. Fine, presumably, provided they aren’t starved or otherwise tortured. But, do they love the outdoorsness of it? Or are they frustrated by what I suspect is the lack of exercise? It’s one thing to be in the open air but stuck still on a pavement, quite another to be hurtling about chasing sticks in a park, sniffing the bottoms of other dogs and behaving like a loon, the way dogs seem to like most.
Although intrigued by their lifestyle, I seldom photo such dogs-in-the-street, because they are usually lying next to their owners. Whereas I would like to photo the scene, I don’t want to get involved in one, on account of photoing perhaps being objected to.
However, here are a couple of street dogs I have been noticing recently, outside my nearest Sainsbury’s. What is odd about them is that there is no street person to be seen, although there is plenty of street person clobber. I’m guessing the dogs are attached to the trolley:
My first photo of these dogs didn’t have enough context. I photoed only the dogs, and you couldn’t see that there was no person near them. That photo makes the point rather better.
Indeed. Photoed by me yesterday, inside the original bit of Tate Modern:
Actually, if you look carefully, you see that these people aren’t exactly the same distances apart. The ones further away are a bit further apart. Which only adds to the effect.
More fundamentally, my picture shows people, but no Art. The contrast, between the bigness of these buildings - Tate Modern, Tate Modern Extension - and the almost complete absence of Modern Art in most of these huge spaces, is truly bizarre. Modern Art dwarfed by Architectural Modernity, you might say. There are these pokey little collections of stuff in medium sized spaces, off the big main spaces, and I looked in on one of these shows. I thought it was downright pathetic. Not offensive or nasty, you understand. Just feeble and totally underwhelming. It looked like a few giant toys, that someone had forgotten to tidy up, lying about in a giant nursery. And I don’t think it was just me. I heard others commenting along similarly underwhelmed lines.
The only popular enthusiasm that I observed was being expressed for the view from the top of the new Extension building. London is as fascinating and variegated to gaze out upon as Modern Art, to judge by the stuff I saw, is dreary and banal.
Yesterday here featured a photo (of a photographer photoing a new marriage) which all happened on the Millennium Bridge. Today’s photo is of the Millennium Bridge, with three boats all within a few yards of it, as seen from the viewing gallery at the top of the new Tate Modern Extension:
Although I promise nothing, I hope to show more snaps snapped from this most excellent vantage point here, in the nearish future.
One day, I will collect together all the photos I have from over the years, of … this kind of thing:
I love it when Asians get married and have a photoshoot to celebrate, in London. Quite when and where they get married, I don’t know, but this is definitely a Thing that they love to do. I took the above photo this afternoon. On a bridge. With a Big albeit Ancient Thing in the background. Weird reflections.
And because they are making such a spectacle of themselves, and doing it so very delightfully, I feel it’s okay to put my photo of one of these photoshoots here.
This computer upheaval I’ve been having lately was caused by me running out of computer storage space and my existing computer storage space having to be replaced. All the informational clobber that had been stored on the old two terrorbite disc had to be shifted onto a new four terrorbite disc. This took longer than was anticipated. That is what was happening over the weekend.
Today something else happened. The new computer arrangementspent the whole day noisily chuntering to itself, about something or other, in a way that I found most troubling. Was this chuntering the new normal? Is this it? Is the new four terrorbite disc just permanently noisy? And then, finally, early in the evening, the chuntering suddenly stopped. And my computer sent itself an email saying that it had been doing some backing up, of the sort that happens at the beginning of every month. Thank goodness for that. There has since been no more chuntering. There will presumably be occasional bursts of chuntering in the future, but when they happen, I will be able rationally to hope that the chuntering will soon cease.
In amongst all this chuntering, I went on a short photo-expedition. It was short because I forgot to take my camera. There was chuntering when I left. There was chuntering when I returned. But thanks to being back so very soon, I got to hear the blessed moment when the chuntering ceased, and to note the email that manifested itself at this wondrous moment of incipient silence.
My today has been complicated by me having to wait to get my computer back, and then having to do other stuff with it. This left blogging, if not to the last minute, to about the last hour or so.
Last Friday I mentioned an advantage to you of me posting photos here, rather than words, which is that photos take up less of your time if you decide you don’t like the look of them. Another advantage, to me this time, is that posting photos is probably easier, for me, when I am knackered. Writing when tired involves dozens of things that might go somewhat wrong, but posting photos is a simple matter of doing an easy task, or failing to. There are no degrees of success or failure involved. With each photo, I either get one out of one or nought out of one, and even when I am tired, getting one out of one, although tiring, is entirely doable, and getting nought out of one is entirely correctable. If these words are confusing you, somewhat, this is because I am now tired.
The above photos were also taken last Friday, just before that earlier one was taken, of beautifully covered and nicely lit scaffolding.
The crane in the first picture (1.1) is the same crane as in the last picture (2.3). The scaffolding in the first picture (1.1) is the same as the scaffolding in the third picture (1.3). The picture featuring lots of chimneys and TV aerials was taken from near Victoria, but the crane and the new Big Thing in that picture are both on the other side of the river.
And am typing this with my stupid phone. Cannot do categories. Phone too stupid. More tomorrow.
Indeed. Taken by me, earlier this evening:
If you do not share my fondness for scaffolding, or my particular fondness for scaffolding when it is covered up, rather hastily and imperfectly, with huge stretchy plasticky sheeting, or my extreme fondness for all of that when it is hit hard by bright sunlight, well, never mind. You can quickly tell from a photo whether you like it or you don’t like it, which means that if you don’t like it, only a very little of your life is consumed by this thing that you don’t like. I’m not sure if a picture is worth a thousand words. Certainly not in all circumstances. But a picture takes up far less time that a thousand words does, except if you want it to. Which explains a lot about this blog.
That day out that Darren and I had at the Oval a week ago now, was not quite as supremely great as the earlier day out we had at the Oval, last year, but by any other standard it was a great day out. Besides which, setting aside the boring matter of which day out was merely better, the differences between these two days out were, to me anyway, very interesting.
Just as happened on September 7th 2015, Darren began by taking us up to the top of the Surrey Pavilion. I love this building, which was (I just learned) completed in 1898:
That is a picture I took of this Pavilion, later in the day, when (again just as last time) we descended from on high to view the second half of the game from another level and another angle. In the foreground we see the Surrey team, who have just come out to field, and the Gloucester openers, who are beginning Gloucester’s reply to Surrey’s 323-8.
But my concern in this posting is not the cricket, very diverting though that was. What I want to focus in on is the exact spots we were sitting in during the Surrey innings, and the contrasts in what I was able to see and to photo from those two spots.
Let me draw the attention of honourable readers to the seating up there:
On September 7th 2015, Darren and I were seated pretty close to the front, at the top there, about two rows back, if the picture in this posting is anything to go by. And from that spot, last September, I also took this photo, off to my right and your left, of the Big Things of London:
When we got up there last Wednesday just before play was due to start, Darren said: Where d’you want to sit? And without thinking very much about it, I said: up here. By which I meant several rows up and back from where we had been earlier.
And from that spot, I took this photo, off to my right and your left, of … well, this:
I have denied myself any face-saving rotation there, in order to include the tiny bit of nearby building that we see, top right. That marks the edge of what I could see of central London. And I couldn’t see nearly so much, Big-Thing-wise, as I had last September, because I was sitting further in. No Strata (the one with three holes at the top). No Shard. No Walkie-Talkie. No Cheesegrater. And because I couldn’t see all these Big Things, I stopped thinking about what I wasn’t seeing, insofar as I gave it much thought in the first place, and instead photoed other things. Like the cricket.
And like lots of other architectural stuff that I could still see just as well as last time. But, I’ll end this posting with a view of some architecture that was rather nearer. Since I have been discussing stands, here is the new and rather dramatic stand at the Oval, the “OCS” Stand:
This being the dramatic stand that has made the Oval playing area dramatically smaller.
Indeed. I find sunsets hard to photo effectively. Photography is light, but the more that light, the thing itself, is what I am trying to photo, the less my pictures seem to see the amazing thing that I personally just saw. A sunset of truly spectacular vulgarity and garishness presents itself to me, and I snap away. But the snaps, although vulgar and garish, tend to have none of the extreme vulgarity and extreme garishness that I remember actually seeing.
Towards the end of last month, however, while awaiting a train at Bermondsey South railway station, I observed a sunset of an extremity so extreme that this extremity managed to communicate itself to my camera.
Here are two of the eight or so pictures I took of it.
Also involved was … a Shard …:
… and a crane and a BT Tower:
Actually, the crane and the BT Tower can also be seen in the top of these two snaps, the bottom one basically being a closer-up version of the left of the top picture, homing in on the BT Tower, and ignoring the Shard. The reason I include both is because they actually present two distinct takes on the sunset. In the top picture, we get that weird slab of purple cloud, and the Shard. In the bottom picture, there is no Shard, and that’s not good, but by zeroing in on the weirdest bit of the sunset, I show you that in all its weirdness.
I regularly photo sunsets, as I say, but I seldom show the results here, partly because my photos just don’t seem to do the sunsets justice, but also because sunsets are routinely photoed by far better photographers than I am, who give far more thought to the technicalities of photoing sunsets than I do. Type “sunset” into google, specifying that you want images, and … well, you get the pictures. Lots and lots of pictures. What on earth can I add to all this? Very little indeed. However, the above two sunset photos of mine do not look out of place in this company.
It is noticeable how the most effective sunset photos often have other things on show besides the mere sunshine, clouds etc. Often the things in question are animals of some sort, in silhouette. Or trees. Or people. My silhouetted things are of course a couple of London’s Big Things. And a crane.
Indeed. I don’t believe I ever got around to showing this snap, which I snapped at the same time I snapped this snap:
I have taken many photos of this statue, both before the above snap and since, and what I have learned is that photoing this statue in front of cranes and sky and stuff is easy, but photoing her in front of a solid building works far less often. You just can’t see her. But the above snap does work, I think.
By which I mean: here are some more photographers who are anonymous, not that these particular photographers are any more anonymous than photographers shown here usually are.
Wandering through some recent photo-archives, I came upon this particular collection of anonymous photoers, photoed by me May of this year, which had already been gathered together, but not, I believe, ever shown here. I think I recall gathering them up, and then getting diverted into doing some postings about similarly anonymous photoers photoed rather longer ago.
Anyway, here they are:
Lots of mobile phones, with one tablet, one Real Photographer doing his Real Photography thing, and the odd old school specialised digital camera. That’s pretty much how things are these days.