Tuesday, 29 December 2015

A rural wander around Crux Easton, Hampshire

A complete change of scene, and scenery, for today's post. These pictures were all taken during one of our recent post-Christmas walks, this one being a 5 mile loop around Crux Easton in north Hampshire.

Silhouetted trees in the late afternoon sun
Silhouetted trees in the late afternoon sun 

When this electricity pylon came into view, I was immediately reminded of the cover of the excellent book, The Unofficial Countryside by Richard Mabey.

Electricity pylon with the setting sun
Electricity pylon with the setting sun

Sunset near Crux Easton
Sunset near Crux Easton

It's been a while since I photographed any decay, dereliction or abandonment, either urban or rural, so here are a few pictures of a slightly forgotten but favourite subject matter.

Rural decay, a broken fence post
Rural decay, a broken fence post

Rural decay, a derelict farm building, near Crux Easton
Rural decay, a derelict farm building, near Crux Easton

Rural decay, a derelict farm building, near Crux Easton
Rural decay, a derelict farm building, near Crux Easton

I must have taken tens of pictures of the sunset today, of which these are my favourites.

Sunset, near Crux Easton
Sunset, near Crux Easton

Sunset, near Crux Easton
Sunset, near Crux Easton

Sunset, near Crux Easton
Sunset, near Crux Easton

There's something about poles and wires disappearing into the distance.

Sunset, near Crux Easton
Sunset, near Crux Easton

And finally, the perfect ending to a perfect walk, the last glimpses of the winter sun as it sets behind the windmill at Crux Easton.

Crux Easton Windmill
Crux Easton Windmill

    

Sunday, 27 December 2015

A lunchtime urban wander around West Kensington and Baron's Court, London W14

For what will probably be my last 2015 blog post from an Urban Wander, I return to the Baron's Court / West Kensington area of London, that I managed to not only squeeze in during a lunch break, but also managed to avoid the rain. In fact there were a few rare moments when the sun was actually shining, allowing me to take a couple of pictures of some mansions in Baron's Court with the brickwork beautifully lit.

Mansions, West Kensington, London
??? Mansions, West Kensington, London

Faraday Mansions, West Kensington, London
Faraday Mansions, West Kensington, London

A little further through my wander I came across a mews which I don't recall having seen before, or if I have seen it then I certainly have never photographed it. This is Comeragh Mews, looking magnificent with its cobbled road between the two arches at either end. Unfortunately the light is not too good in either of these pictures, so they look a little drab.

Comeragh Mews, Baron's Court, London W14
Comeragh Mews, Baron's Court, London W14

Comeragh Mews, Baron's Court, London W14
Comeragh Mews, Baron's Court, London W14

Occasionally I take pictures of street names, but mainly to remind my increasingly failing memory of the place where I took the photo. However, I thought this was quite an unusual sign so have included it here.

Comeragh Mews, Baron's Court, London W14


Comeragh Mews, Baron's Court, London W14

In other news, one of my Christmas presents has completely renewed my interest in psychogeography, and that was A London Trilogy: The Films of St. Etienne. It's a great DVD comprising 3 short films, with extra features, of footage from various place in London from the Lea Valley to the South Bank, all set to a wonderful St. Etienne soundtrack. For anyone interested in London past and semi-present, I can't recommend it enough. It's also provided me with a few new references to check out, including Nairn's London, published back in 1968, and also to revisit a DVD I bought in the Spring but have not watched for a while, The London That Nobody Knows.

    

Friday, 11 December 2015

Psychogeography inspired urban wandering around London, various doorway mosaics and ghost signs

Work has been far too busy over the past few weeks, so this is my first post for a while. I thought today I would share some pictures of doorway mosaics and ghost signs taken from a few psychogeography inspired urban wanders around London.

This first doorway mosaic is one I have run past many times as I take an early morning run along to Hyde Park, but I'm usually far too focused on the run, or more likely out of breath to stop and take a photo. The building which this mosaic sits outside of has 3 inset windows or doorways, and each one has the same mosaic

CANDY

Doorway mosaic, Notting Hill Gate, London
Doorway mosaic, Notting Hill Gate, London

This next picture is not a mosaic by any stretch of the imagination, but it does adorn a doorway, and I wonder if maybe there was a mosaic in the lower, inset part at one stage.

JAY

Doorway, Islington, London
Doorway, Islington, London

No doubt about this one being a mosaic. Not sure what RG stood for though.

RG

Doorway mosaic, Islington, London
Doorway mosaic, Islington, London

I'm sure at one time this would have been a magnificent ghost sign, but I'm struggling to make out any of the words on this one.

Ghost sign, Islington, London

    

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

An Urban Wander around Brighton

Until a few weeks ago I hadn't visited Brighton for several years, so was more than pleased to have the opportunity to spend a weekend there. Armed with my trusty phone camera, we set off exploring. First up we were greeted with quite a treat, the Brighton Breeze 2015, a VW festival on the promenade. I took hundreds of pictures here of which these are but a couple, but probably my favourites.


VW Campervans, Brighton Breeze
VW Campervans, Brighton Breeze

VW Campervans, Brighton Breeze
VW Campervans, Brighton Breeze

Also at the Brighton Breeze were a couple of other items of vintage interest to me. It wasn't until I looked closer at the photo though that I realised that these may in fact be re-makes or re-models, as the names have been changed from the originals I remember from the 1970's, i.e. Raleigh Chopper, Chipper and Tomahawk to what you can see below. Maybe some subtle play on words here I'm not seeing.

Vintage Raleigh bikes, Brighton Breeze
Vintage Raleigh bikes, Brighton Breeze

Ideal for picnics, this turntable in a suitcase.

Vintage record player, Brighton Breeze
Vintage record player, Brighton Breeze

Back on to more familiar territory now, we have a selection of ghost signs. The first one has possibly only recently been revealed, as I can't find any reference to it anywhere. I would think that it was some sort of garage.

PETROL PRATTS GAS

Ghost sign, Brighton
Ghost sign, Brighton

Next up is a wonderful doorway mosaic.

Doorway mosaic, Brighton
Doorway mosaic, Brighton

And the final Brighton ghost sign 

FURNITURE
SHOW ROOMS

Ghost sign, Brighton
Ghost sign, Brighton

As we wandered through the Brighton lanes, this street corner reminded me of Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco.

Street Art, Sydney Street, Brighton
Street Art, Sydney Street, Brighton

Please to see the bandstand still in great condition.

Band Stand, Brighton
Band Stand, Brighton

And of course no trip to Brighton would be complete without a shot of the Pavilion.

Pavilion, Brighton
Pavilion, Brighton

A weekend was far too short a time ... we will be back.

    

Friday, 9 October 2015

A Suburban Wander around Muswell Hill, London N10

Still not being able to shake off my, now not so recently discovered, love of Psychogeography, and with a couple of hours free one evening after work, I ventured up to Muswell Hill. It's one of those places in North London which is not really served by a convenient underground station, and getting there generally requires either a reasonable hike from the nearest tube station or a bus. The former Muswell Hill train station now long gone, and instead replaced by a school. The weather was not great so I was in two minds about going, but quite glad I did, despite getting soaked at one point, finding my micro-umbrella barely up to the job of keeping me dry.

Anyway, enough of me moaning about the weather. My wander started with a couple of views down the hill and across London, with beautiful houses lining the streets.

Muswell Hill, London N10
Muswell Hill, London N10

Muswell Hill, London N10
Muswell Hill, London N10

Nice to see an old sign still in use. If you look closely you can see that it's actually made with pieces of metal riveted on to a metal back board. I particularly like the lamp, positioned somewhat awkwardly to illuminate the sign at night.

Muswell Hill, London N10
Muswell Hill, London N10

One of many double doorways in Muswell Hill.

Doorways, Muswell Hill, London N10
Doorways, Muswell Hill, London N10

Fortis Green Road is probably my favourite road in Muswell Hill, with its neat parade of shops with beautiful curved window frontages.

Shop front, Fortis Green Road, Muswell Hill, London N10
Shop front, Fortis Green Road, Muswell Hill, London N10

This church is quite incredible and towers massively above anything else around it.

St. James' Church, Muswell Hill, London N10


    

Thursday, 24 September 2015

The View From the Train

Inspired by one of my recent reads, The View From the Train, by Patrick Keiller, and accompanied by a couple of moments of good fortune, I managed to take some rather pleasing photos from the train windown last week as it sped me to and from London Paddington.

The first couple capture the sun setting over the Old Oak Common train depot. I remember as a kid that this used to be a very busy place, full of all sorts of locomotives, but alas much of it has been demolished now, and what's remaining is forlorn and empty, with just the odd shunter and locomotive engine that's used to pull the Penzance sleeper. The rest are rather boring looking multiple units.

Sunset over Old Oak Common train depot
Sunset over Old Oak Common train depot

Good to see the water tower is still there, but not sure for how long.

Sunset over Old Oak Common train depot
Sunset over Old Oak Common train depot

Sunset somewhere between London and Reading
Sunset somewhere between London and Reading

Sometimes the annoyance of having to get up for the early train has its rewards, and not long after leaving Newbury I was greeted by the sun as it rose over misty fields.

Sunrise somewhere between Newbury and Reading
Sunrise somewhere between Newbury and Reading

And as if the sunrise on its own was not enough, a hot air balloon started to rise up through the mist.

Sunrise somewhere between Newbury and Reading
Sunrise somewhere between Newbury and Reading

The only slight disappointment was that the train windows were dirty in places which spoil the purity of the pictures a little, but on the other hand added something too them.

    

Monday, 24 August 2015

A drift around the stairways of Positano, Italy

The last couple of weeks gave me a very different change of location for my wanderings, where I spent a wonderful two weeks on the Amalfi coast in southern Italy. This post features a few pictures of some of the stairways in the town of Positano. We trekked up and down these stairs on a daily basis, but there were so many different sets of steps I'm pretty sure we didn't cover them all.

Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Doorway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Doorway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Passage, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Passage, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Narrow passge, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Narrow passge, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Old gateway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Old gateway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
Stairway, Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy

    

I'm now back home, and the weather could not be more of a contrast with almost permanent rain today. It feels more like Autumn than Summer. I am however looking forward to more Urban Wanders around London, and was planning some for later this week although given the pending tune strikes I may need to reconsider where I head off to.

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