A Trip to London.

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I always have a strong affinity for London, I grew up South of the city in Eltham, going to school at Crown Woods Comprehensive. We did lots of trips in and around all parts, visiting markets and museums, travelling on the Red Buses, a great place to grow up. So now, although I don’t want to live there, I do enjoy going back. I feel very comfortable around its streets and still manage to find my way around. This trip was to meet up with friends from Belgium, to take time, walking, chatting drinking coffee and seeing a bit of the city. So here are a few shots taken over two days around Kings Cross, Covent Garden, Camden, and places in between.

The Places you can find if you look.

The Places you can find if you look.

London Streets.

London Streets.

Always remember to look up.

Always remember to look up.

Drury Lane towards Covent Garden.

Drury Lane towards Covent Garden.

Watching the watchers.

Watching the watchers.

Covent Garden.

Covent Garden.

Chinatown

ChinaTown

Back of the Station.

Back of the Station.

From North to South, East to West.

From North to South, East to West.

St Pancras Station.

St Pancras Station.

Statue Detail.

Statue Detail.

Statue Detail.

Statue Detail.

Statue Detail.

Statue Detail.

Betjeman Statue Detail.

Betjeman Statue Detail.

British Library.

British Library.

Yes.

Yes.

Building Detail.

Building Detail.

The Camden Eye.

The Camden Eye.

Camden High Street.

Camden High Street.

Camden People.

Camden People.

I apologise for an image heavy post, but London is a big city. I love getting out and about in places, seeing some of the quieter corners. We visited the British Library this time, where they always have some sort of open show going on. Walking around and seeing manuscripts from Mozart, notes and drawings by Da Vinci. Maps, the Magna Carter, all priceless and free to go and see, nearby the statue and frieze in St Pancras is amazing. Go visit, it’s a great place.


It occurred to me while doing the tourist, and of course taking pictures of things that interest me, that we sometimes lose sight of why we came. Have friends with us, talking, strolling and stopping for food and drink took us on a slow stroll around some of the quieter places, and some of the busy places. But looking with fresh eyes at things we may not normally see. And to all the people, faces stuck to phone screens without peering around the corner, this is for you. But don’t feel too guilty because we all get lost in it sometimes.

Taking Pictures.

There is no pause when you point and shoot,
and instead of looking, seeing,
imbibing a place, drinking in the soul
of the people as a photograph in a box,
on glass or celluloid once did,
now it is stretched so thin as to be seen through.

Click and shift, click and shift – Gone.
So many possible eyes, maybe millions, maybe none.

Still reaching, still stretching, every second
draws out the soul of the picture, colour fading,
names, places, tags and Instagram come and go.
Statistically placing a value to each view
to create a top ten list of pictures you must take
when you visit this city at this time, with this person.

So much lost space, paths no longer explored
untrodden corners to tarnished gems and silent seats.

Places to wait and let the sun cross the sky,
unpictured perhaps except in a dream,
a silent waking memory of a dream,
with a smile on a face seen through glass.

Streets of Home.

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Looking around my home town. Watching the life, trying to see everything. I have a feeling I’m missing so much. So much to see and so many things to do.

The Steps Down to the Sea.

The Steps Down to the Sea.

In his book The Art of Travel, Alain De Botton tries to explain why we feel restless, and then when we get to the place that will solve all our troubles there is no difference. The essence of course is us ourselves, we are still there, here, carrying it all with us. It is a good book to read by the way, I would recommend it. So one thing he wants people to do is to walk around your local space, and see it with a strangers eyes. I have been trying to do that ever since I read the book.

Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

The Old Bandstand.

The Old Bandstand.

Spotted.

Spotted.

I’m trying to keep up with my writing, at the moment it is a slow process, there only seems to be so much room for thinking. Work, and the mental capacity I use up crowds out the words. But I am fighting back, I have started meeting with two local writers, to look over and offer proofreading, comments about form, content, and how we feel about their work. I enjoy the feedback, and the way it is freely given, sometimes it’s hard to look at your own writing with sufficient separation.

Street Singer.

Street Singer.

I’m still taking pictures as you can see and have been featured on the website of our local paper, The Weston Mercury so that is good.


So here I am, looking and re-writing, this is the after.

Old Stone Words

The Grey Wethers, Dartmoor

The Grey Wethers, Dartmoor

Going back to old words, older than any I have spoken,
old enough to have never been written.
Lines and circles, knowledge stones
marking the landscape that has become
empty of the trees that made it what it was.

Bridges across water, across the ideas of places,
leading to other words left behind,
of such weight we no longer carry them
with us in our pocket as we do now.
Words of such heft we set them in stone.


Thanks to Jim and Melanie for their help. These are the stones Melanie 🙂

Dartmoor Walking

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A visit to Dartmoor and a chance to take my time, revisiting some past spaces in better weather. Dartmoor is a place I love to visit. Quiet open places, rivers, old places that have no context except the meanings we read into them ourselves, the ideas they strike in our own minds.

The East Dart River

The East Dart River

Postbridge Clapper Bridge

Postbridge Clapper Bridge

The Grey Wethers Stone Circles

The Grey Wethers Stone Circles

The Grey Wethers Detail

The Grey Wethers Detail

Fernworthy Clapper Bridge

Fernworthy Clapper Bridge

Fernworthy Clapper Bridge

Fernworthy Clapper Bridge


Fragments

Work from my trip to Dartmoor.

Going back to old words, older than any I have spoken,
old enough to have never been written.
Lines and circles, single statements
marking the landscape that has become
devoid of the trees that made it what it was.

Bridges, across water, across ideas of places
and leading to other words left behind
of such density we can’t carry them
with us in our pocket as we do now.
Words so important we set them in stone.

Old Memories

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A few years ago, I joined the RAF, trained as an Electronics Engineer and went out to work on the modern equipment of the Royal Air Force. That was the idea, the reality turned out to be the Bloodhound Missile System. Guarding the East coast of Britain from the threat provided by the USSR, a medium range anti-aircraft system. That was over 25 years ago, I’ve been a civvie for years, moved around a bit, done a few other things but will always remember the equipment that taught me my trade.

A bizarre turn has meant that one is going on display in our local museum, the Helicopter museum, Weston-super-Mare. I cheated and got a few pictures over fence.

Bloodhound 1.

Bloodhound 1.

Bloodhound 2.

Bloodhound 2.

Bloodhound 3.

Bloodhound 3.

Bloodhound 4.

Bloodhound 4.

Bloodhound 5.

Bloodhound 5.

Bloodhound Detail.

Bloodhound Detail.

This one, until recently was a gate guard at RAF Halton and has the 85sqn emblem towards the front, a squadron I was part of during my time. The display is officially opened on the 1st April. So if you get the chance pop along to look.

Photography and Writing

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As you have noticed I’ve been concentrating on photography recently. This week however I returned to writing and to our Poetry Café. Held this week at Loves Café in Weston-super-Mare. It was very nice after all the travel disruption of the past few months to get back to some writing and to catch up with my fellow writers.

In Conversation

In Conversation

Kick Back and Relax.

Kick Back and Relax.

In Transit.

In Transit.

Contemplation

Contemplation

Waiting for a Call.

Waiting for a Call.

Passing the Time.

Passing the Time.

Translation.

Translation.

Images from travel, waiting for a bus home. Some connections just take a little time.


Fragments.

From – A Journey

How often do you walk in a trance?
Lose yourself asleep and standing
to wake, not sure where you are.

Enjoy the journey, see everything you can along the way.