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Category archive: Roof clutter

Thursday January 03 2019

And all in the one photo:

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Also, trees without leaves.  Taken in January 2009.  On my way home, looking out towards Vauxhall Bridge Road and beyond, in the general direction of Battersea.

At present, sofas are more important to me than blogging, as the above blatant quota photo well illustrates.

This morning, the new sofa finally arrived.  It is my hope, and the promise of Westminster City Council, that the old sofa will depart tomorrow.

Tuesday January 01 2019

Happy New Year to all my readers.  Every time I go out to a party, I encounter people who read this thing, despite all its technical stupidities and despite the fact that the subject matter is just me musing aloud.  So good morning to you all and I hope that not only I, but also you, have a good 2019.  (Yes, I’m managing to keep up, approximately speaking, there also, where my musings are more structured and disciplined.)

This being Jan 1st, I offer you a sunrise:

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Usually when the sky is that colour in my photos, it’s a sunset.  But it all came back to me when I chanced upon these photos, of an expedition to Alicante.  Basically, I visit all the bits of France and Spain that my ex-Quimper friends have or have had bits of property in.  And they had a place in Alicante, or they rented it, or something.  Maybe they still have it.  So, I went to Alicante, in January 2010.  And, the above photo was taken by me at a bus stop in Vauxhall Bridge Road, looking back across Vauxhall Bridge, while waiting for a bus to take me and all my holiday clobber in the opposite direction along Vauxhall Bridge Road to Victoria Station, where I eventually caught a bus to the airport.  With much confusion, as I recall it, about exactly where the damn bus departed from.  Had I not happened upon another traveller who knew, I might have missed that airplane.

All of which clarifies a fact that has for me become more and more clear over the years, that although blogs are not diaries, photo-archives are.  I have photoed many photos which I would not even consider sticking up here.  But they have all piled up on my hard disc.  I live, you might say, a double life.  There’s my, you know, life.  And then there’s my photoed life, which I can relive any time I want, and see all my friends and relatives and remember all the private things we said and did, the way you people very rarely get even to hear about, never mind learn the private details of.

This blog, meanwhile, is a severely edited subsection of my diary, with some added words, added in a way that I hope doesn’t make me appear too ridiculous.  Very different.

To add some words to the above photo, I realise that in addition to loving roof clutter, I am also becoming ever more fond of street clutter, of which London, due to the anarchic and non-mutually-communicating nature of London’s public sector, London possesses an abundance of.  Much of it is, like most modern roof clutter, severely utilitarian, which I like, because nobody is trying to make it look pretty.  But much ground clutter is very beautiful especially London’s more showy street lamps.

Love the new keyboard.  So solid and strong.  Happiness is being able to check all the letters and symbols on your keyboard, as you type.

Saturday December 08 2018

Stow-Away is a recent arrival in Lower Marsh:

Stow-Away is a new sustainable and eco friendly apart hotel concept. Stow-Away Waterloo is our first London base made from 26 re-purposed shipping containers, stylishly designed to provide a snug comfortable Stow-Away sleeping experience.

Lots of people have tried to do architecture with old shipping containers, but personally I doubt if it makes much sense.  But, if your task is to sell hotel rooms, then shipping containers are perhaps a good gimmick, for attracting attention and for giving guests something to talk about.  “I slept in a shipping container.” Etc.  I’ve never done this.

It got my attention:

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I enjoy in particular the various reflections there.

All but the last of these photos were photoed in one burst, last September.  The final photo was photoed more recently, in the evening.

I think this hotel is quite good fun, especially those strange looking shades, red on the inside, that are a feature of the front.  But, I regret the trend of which this “apart hotel” is a part, which is the transformation of Lower Marsh from a fascinating and quite cheap thoroughfare, full of diverting shops and eateries, into a dreary and expensive thoroughfare, stripped of all those diverting shops and eateries.

This happens all the time.  A street contains lots of lively and amusing stuff.  Word of that liveliness spreads, and the rents then go through the roof.  The liveliness is priced off to another part of town.  Such is urban life.

What I am really saying is: RIP Gramex.  Follow that link and you find “an important message to our much-valued customers”.  That would be me.  But this “important message” is dated 4th August 2017.  I gave up hope at least a year ago.

Friday December 07 2018

You know how it is.  You go hunting, in your voluminous photo-archives, for a favourite recent photo, and damn it, you can’t for the life of you find it.  But you find other nice photos, and you stick them up on your blog instead.  We’ve all been there.

But today I did the opposite of that.  I went looking for some nice photos to stick up here, and discovered a very favourite photo, which I had previously searched for without success.

This photo was photoed outside Westminster Abbey and looking up Victoria Street.  You can surely see why I like it.

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Number one, it’s a statue.  I like statues, because I do, and in particular because they tend not to be mass produced, which means they immediately tell you where you are.  You are next to this statue.  There it is.  You can’t be anywhere else.  Knowing where you are is, I think, greatly to be preferred to not knowing where you are.  But even worse is when by the nature of the objects around you, you cannot learn where you are, because all the objects in your vicinity can tell you is that you could be anywhere.

And, number two reason why I like this photo is that behind the statue, and with the most prominent bit of it clearly lined up to be directly behind the statue but safely above it, there is roof clutter.  Not roof clutter that is uniquely voluminous, but still pretty good.  And mistily lit, in such a way that the building upon whose roof the clutter is cluttered does not upstage the statue by rendering it invisible.

The greenery on the right and the building bottom right I am less keen on, but they are, I hope you agree, not too annoying.  To the left, there was some somewhat more annoying stuff, which meant that the cropping on the left isn’t ideal.  But all-in-all, I like it a lot.

The statue is this one.  And the building behind it is called, at any rate by people trying to sell you office space in it, is called Windsor House.  I know it as that quite Big Thing next to the Albert.

This being Friday, is there a Cats or Other Creatures connection?  Well, yes: cats.  Big cats.  Four lions which are to be seen at the bottom of the column upon which the bloke scratching his back with a backscratcher is perched.  These lions do not appear in my photo, but there are there, at the bottom of the statue.

Also, the bloke on the top who seems to be scratching his back with a backscratcher is actually St George, and he has a dragon under his feet, which he is getting ready to clobber with a sword.

Wednesday December 05 2018

So I was looking, as I do from time to time, through one of my Stanford-le-Hope directories (the one memorialising September 24th 2013), expecting to be amazed by photos of the giant cranes of London Gateway.  Instead I noticed how much else there was in the Stanford-le-Hope vicinity besides giant cranes:

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There was decaying industrialisation.  There was vegetation.  There were pylons.  There was roof clutter.  Even ground clutter.

So I went all the way to Stanford-le-Hope, so far away from London that I had to pay to get there, and some of my favourite things were things that we have lots of in London.  But, it was great.  Out there in Beyond London, everything is all spread out, and it is easier to photo things.  But, you need to check beforehand that there are things.  And there were lots of things at or near London Gateway, even back in 2013

Time I checked out London Gateway again.  Some time next summer, I think.

Monday December 03 2018

October 21st of this year was a good photoday for me.  There was this, and then this.  Now let me show you nine chimney pot photos, taken on that same day:

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The first four were photoed in the vicinity of South Kesington tube station.  Then I tubed myself to the West End, which is where the rest of these photos were photoed.

I think my favourite is the fifth, or perhaps 3.2, depending on how you prefer your numbering to be done.  But I like them all, or I’d not have shown them to you.

The final one, 9 or 3.3, was taken from the inside of the top of Foyles.

I’ve called this “chimney pots” because all these photos have that in common.  But there are many other kinds of roof clutter also on show.  I rejected including “roof clutter” in the title, because although most chimney pot arrays do indeed beome very cluttered, as in randomly varied and chaotic, that cannot be said of photo 4, aka 2.1.

The satellite dish in 1.3, aka 3, looks, to a casual observer, aka me when I first encountered it in the directory (not when I actually photoed I), the moon.

Which I like.  And I also like it when there are chimney shadows, as in 1.1 (1), and 5 (2.2).  And there are other sorts of shadows in 6 (2.3).

Plus there’s a crane (7 (3.1)). and a pigeon (9 (3.3)).  But, not any scaffolding that I can see.

Wednesday November 07 2018

One from the I Just Like It directory:

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That’s the view you get of Central Hall Westminster, that you now get looking over where New Scotland Yard used to be.  I walk past this view whenever I go to St James’s Park tube.  Well, that’s the view you get if you go to as much trouble as I did to frame Central Hall Westminster with a concrete pump.

There is now a glut of new luxury apartments in London, so I suppose it’s possible that this view may become a bit less temporary than it would have been two or three years ago.  But my guess is that Ten Broadway, which (from a helicopter) will look very approximately like this…:

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…, is now too far advanced for it to make sense for them not to finish it.  Although maybe not as ostentatiously as that picture suggests.

Wednesday October 31 2018

This is the third consecutive posting here based on photos I took, two days ago now, while walking from the Angel to Barbican tube.

The reason for the abundance of photos from that walk was the light.  It was a classic London early evening, when the sky above was getting grey and dull, but when there was a gap in the clouds out west, and the sunlight came crashing through that gap horizontally, light a searchlight, picking out random things that were sticking upwards, above the point at which old London stopped going upwards and only new London protrudes.  Not everything doing this got caught in the beam, just some things.  Behind them or next to them there would be objects entirely unlit and already fading fast into darkness.

Things like cranes:

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That’s a fairly conventional photo for me, because the darkening sky is the background, as it often is when I photo evening sunlight crashing into cranes.

But this next one, taken rather later as I neared the Barbican, seemed to me to be something else again:

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I have a kind of check list mentality when judging my own photos.  I have a list of things I like, and the more such things are happening in the photo, the higher the photo scores.  Cranes, tick, with the evening sun hitting them, tick.  Another is interesting architectural silhouettes.  Of such Big Things as the Gherkin, the Walkie Talkier, the Shard, and so on.  And although those Barbican towers are not the prettiest Things in London by a long way, their silhouettes are distinctive, because of that saw tooth effect you get at the sides.  I also like the understated roof clutter there.

Cranes caught in the searchlight
Photoing The Wheel from Tottenham Court Road
Views from the John Lewis roof garden
Roof clutter viewed through an RCM window
The Great Pagoda of Kew Gardens – and its dragons
Another go at Bartok – and two competitions
A concrete pump?
Pimlico roof clutter
A new Big Thing alignment as seen from the Oval
A view from the Shard
Orange umbrellas in Lower Marsh
Uncluttered French train roofs
A photo-rumination on French rail clutter
Quota cloud
Big Thing Alignment with an appropriate slogan in the foreground
One Kemble Street and the ME Hotel Radio Bar photoed from the Royal Festival Hall
The Peak and its window cleaning crane
Hammersmith - cranes - sunset
Here are some I took earlier
Weird Piccadilly photos today
Another crowd scene
South Kensington roof clutter
Creature photos
Up on the roof
The light and the lights of Victoria Station
A better photo of One Kemble Street
A good day
Cathedral dwarfed by modernity
One Kemble Street and its roof clutter as seen from the ROH floating bar
Flypast photo
London is being Benidormed
Victoria chimney cluster
Burlington Arcade (with roof clutter)
Around Tower Bridge – July 2014
Window cleaning cranes in Victoria
Views from London Fields
Beltane & Pop van parked on the South Bank yesterday afternoon
New River Walk
Chronicle Tower and its roof (and window-cleaning crane)
Two sunsets and two London towers
Men on Gherkin
To Tottenham (6): The Spurs Shop
Merry Christmas from the Pilot Store (and from me)
Fog in Victoria
Early dusk
Roof clutter on my roof and from my roof
More birds on a TV aerial
Another TV aerial
Pigeons on a TV aerial
Not a shot tower – no longer a pumping station tower
Photoing Tate Modern from the Oval and the Oval from Tate Modern
Centre Point and surroundings as seen from the top of the Tate Modern Extension
David Hockney comes to Pimlico
Bridge in Germany with houses on it
More photos from last Friday
Another London Big Thing alignment
The hottest day of the year (4): An antique view from Waterloo
The draw that turned out not to be
Bird – and bird close up
Photoers photoing the views from the Tate Modern Extension
Views from the new Tate Modern Extension
The new US Embassy – from my roof
South of France electronic clutter
Bird takes off from a TV aerial
The difference between roof clutter and roof clutter
Spring
Today I am checking out the Big Olympic Thing
Photo of Mountbatten on Sea Containers House
Barcelona owl
Looking across Vincent Square
Avian Friday
Rain on netting
Stairs
Dark Satanic Millbank Tower
Rainbow over Millbank
Brightly lit against a dark background
A couple of old squares
Leaves
The light outside the Proud Archivist on the evening of July 22nd
Sunlight (selectively) on roof clutter
Light
The view from outside Waterloo Station
Blue sky
Why I mostly write about architectural design rather than about interior design
Along the river towards Battersea
More Big Olympic Thing photos
Snohetta does zig zag roofs for competitive cities
Viewing the clutter at Centre Point
Made-up London detectives in real London places
Fantastic day
Quota scaffolding and quota roof clutter
A weird view of the Wheel - and cats in Tiger
Views from Waterloo Bridge
Posting difficulties so see you tomorrow
French roof clutter
I’m an adjective!
To Covent Garden (2): Rough roofs – smooth roof
Quota roof clutter
Quota towers
Roof party
Parisian roof clutter gets the Real Photographer treatment
Big Things through a gasometer
Sacred architecture and profane roof clutter - a speculation
Big Things from high up at the Oval
Two badly lit views of “Victoria Tower” and why Big Ben is not St Stephen’s Tower or Elizabeth Tower
Camel
The ROH from the ME Rooftop Bar
Three more Paris pictures
Eiffel Tower with chimney pots – La Défense ditto
More photos of things past
Sunrise from my roof
My own personal Big Thing viewing platform with close-up Roof Clutter
Here are two photos I took earlier
Another picture from yesterday
Quota clutter
Is this the beginning of the end of the Golden Age of Roof Clutter?
Shard with roof clutter and a crane
Blank-faced tower – crazy hairdo
Rooftops
Wheel clear - Wheel in cloud
Strata behind roof clutter
Misc March
Someone doesn’t understand what I mean by roof clutter
In Alicante
London cricket roof clutter
As found roof sculpture
Victorian roof clutter
Getting that roof clutter onto my computer