Just popping in to see how the world is turning. I thought I’d throw in some images from a recent trip to london. We went there to see a play called The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Based on the book by Neil Gaiman, it was a stunning show, highly recommended. Being run at the Duke of York Theatre.
The trip was a great short break, I also visited the Cartoon Museum, and the display by Magnum photo’s at the Saatchi Gallery called America in Crisis. Both also worth the trip.
I always enjoy a stroll around London. Normally I’d pick an area to explore but this time we spread ourselves around a bit more.
Stay safe out there, things can change so quickly. But remember to enjoy the small things on the way.
Watching the audience, live music in Camden, London. Before lockdown when we enjoyed the proximity of people and music made us closer. Part of a set from my travels as an engineer, spending time away from home on a regular basis. Finding things to see and do in strange places. The camera had to work hard in this setting, but I love the result, digital grain and a softness I love, but with enough detail to keep the sense of what is going on.
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.
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.
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.
We have talked about visiting the flower show at Chelsea many times over the years, sitting comfortably on the sofa, seeing the gardens and flowers, Hearing the explanations of schemes and ideas, from designers given wild budgets and a short time span to create perfection.
This year we did it. planned, booked, arrived and with our friends from Holland we saw everything. We arrived early, left late. Did coffee and cakes, show gardens and small gardens, flower stands and widget sellers. Not a stone left unturned. We used it up and wrung the life out of it, it was a fine time that even the passing storm did not crumple.
It’s an amazing race to see everything, smell the flowers and to try to take in all the different ideas. One of the unusual ideas is the flowers on display, would normally be spread across the year, yet here they are, forced or held back to bloom at the exact moment needed to win a prized medal.
The smaller artisan gardens pack in so much detail, and getting to the front of the crowd can be a challenge when space is limited. But using violence and a loud voice I managed to see the parts I was interested in. Most people are friendly, and move away to let others through. Joggling is an issue though even when using my mono-pod, and getting the focus etc. right with flowers waving in the breeze was a challenge.
My favourite garden was the Japanese moss ball garden, with water wheel, small trees, iris and moss everywhere. I never knew you could use them like this, pinned all over the garden. I had a squeeze, just to see, very spongy. You can tell I am a technical gardener, I have no names, no technical plant information for you here, just pictures and my impressions.
Chelsea is such an icon of the garden and flower world, part of the pull is to say you’ve been there, you do however get drawn to the worlds colours, the people wandering, questions, and displays surround you. It is worth the visit, we have tried to control nature for hundreds of years and here you find the culmination of all the breeding, mixing and searching, whether for show, for scent, to climb, crawl or stand tall, its been done and brought here.
Thrown into all this mix you have garden sculpture, pots, tools, seeds, ideas and heavyside (stonework etc.) even people who will sell you trees, ready to be planted and nearly grown. Chelsea is an amazing trip, fascinating to wander, it draws you in, entices you with colour and scent, with space, sound and gardens.
The whole show is well organised, the staff were friendly and helpful, and we didn’t wait too long for most places and food. Which makes a change in shows like this. We staggered from show garden to coffee shop and cake stall, took the bus there and back without too much trouble. And enjoyed the whole London visit, I always enjoy going back, I grew up in South London so have fun revisiting the city although it was my first stay in Vauxhall.
The gardens of the Chelsea Hospital, filled to the brim. We used the day to its fullest extent. Then on Friday we had a day out in London centre. But that is for another time, we went back to the hotel, had food at the Vauxhall Griffin pub then went to bed, I have no idea how far we walked but I’m sure it was a fair way. Even with breaks you need some stamina to get round. So for now, this is the end of my Chelsea.