After the Rain

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Nice though it is to capture beautifully clear blue skies when visiting traditionally photogenic places, it’s also surprising how amazing the light can look in that short space of time between the rain stopping and the sun coming out again.

Even when simply looking out onto a very ordinary residential city street (as seen from our first floor flat here in Leytonstone, East London) the moody contrast between light and dark after the rain never fails to capture my attention 🙂

Happy Halloween…

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This old dilapidated gravestone always intrigues me. I don’t think its somewhat startling appearance is due to vandalism, as the cemetery is generally well cared for – I think it’s more an attempt to keep all the broken pieces of an old crumbling grave-marker together in some fashion, rather than have them scattered to the winds.

The cross has obviously come off from the top section of the headstone, and rather than leave it lying around I assume it has been carefully placed into the wide crack on the large covering stone to keep it reasonably upright. However, to me it looks just like someone has desperately driven the cross with huge force into the centuries old body below to be absolutely sure they’re not coming back…

Happy Halloween everybody! 🙂

Daily Prompt: Eerie

Daily Prompt: Giant

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I suppose it stands to reason that when faced with the question of what to put into the belly of a cavernous Victorian Gothic railway terminus building (other than trains, of course), the answer is to complement the curves of the giant wrought iron ribs with a pair of giant clocks suspended from the ceiling, and a giant (9m high) statue of an embracing couple saying their fond farewells…

London St Pancras Station was originally opened in 1868. At that time it housed the largest single spanned roof ever built and its design was copied across the world, including in New York’s Grand Central Station 🙂

Daily Prompt: Giant

Discover Challenge: Flaneur

Sometimes I like to think of myself as a flaneuse (the feminine form of flaneur), wandering the city streets with my camera and observing urban life, creatively capturing the essence of each scene as I feel it rather than simply recording faithfully a purely factual representation of what I see before me.

It’s my kind of street photography, finding interesting subjects in common-or-garden situations, everyday Londoners (permanant and temporary) whether at work, rest, or play… 🙂

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Here are a small selection from my archives, giving a flavour of everyday London life – local bobbies on the beat in Stratford, a drink and a smile in a beer garden in Leytonstone, selfies by the statue of Sir John Betjeman at St Pancras station, life resembling art via a bench in front of a life-sized painting in the Imperial War Museum, and skateboarders living their colourful life in the shadows along the South Bank…  🙂

Discover Challenge: Flaneur

Weekly Photo Challenge: Transmogrify

Gravestone-Tree

Whatever names and dates were originally carved onto the front face of this old gravestone, it’s long since eroded away leaving only the epitaph ‘R.I.P’ on the back. So perhaps the best way to guess how long it’s been there is to judge the potential age of the still-growing tree, which over the years has consumed one side of the gravestone to the extent that they now appear as one, a symbiotic siamese twin of living wood and corroding stone conjoined for eternity…

St Patrick’s Roman Catholic Cemetery, Leytonstone, East London

Weekly Photo Challenge: Transmogrify

Daily Post: Rearrange

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These are some of my dad’s old garden treasures that have sat in pretty much the same spot for decades… if I ever went home and found them rearranged to any great degree, I’d be absolutely flabbergasted!

My dad’s a firm believer in never chucking anything away, because you never know when it might come in handy – a point on which he’s been proved right on so many occasions over the years 🙂

Daily Prompt: Rearrange

Technologically Indecisive…

I’m not very good at decision-making when it comes to choosing technological stuff. I’d like to think it’s only because of the psychological paradox of choice, where the more options we have to choose from, the less able we are to make a reasonable decision on something – information overload in the extreme. But I have to admit that even where my choice is between only two options, I still struggle with deciding on which particular priority to, um, well… prioritise.

My current dilemma is which smartphone to buy. In some ways I’m not a great smartphone user – everyone told me once I got a smartphone I’d never be off it, but I’ve not found that to be the case so far. I mean, I occasionally phone, I text a bit, I take a few pics, and I do sometimes check FaceBook and WordPress with it, but I don’t ever listen to music or play games or surf the net or even do email. And I certainly don’t use it enough to warrant spending (wasting?) a lot of money on it every month.

But my daughter has suggested that’s maybe because I have a relatively old smartphone (which has long ago run out of firmware updates so is slow and increasingly temperamental to use) with a relatively small screen (and my eyesight is increasingly failing) and so I’ve never actually used it to its full capacity. She may well be right, as I can sometimes be a bit of a stubborn old dinosaur with things like that.

It offends my sensibilities to have almost immediate obsolescence built in to things, and yet with today’s technological advancement it’s an absolute given, so I guess I simply have to accept it as unavoidable and learn to live with it – sigh! Anyway, my initial dilemma was deciding on whether to stick with plain and simple and just replace what I have with an updated equivalent, or go up-market and get something fancy.

I’ve got as far as deciding to stick with updated plain and simple, but am now trying to decide between handsets – I know I want a decent-ish camera in it, but also decent storage (either built in or additional – or ideally, both) but also a good battery life (because I hate always having to have my phone constantly on charge) BUT I also don’t want anything too expensive… which is where I struggle with prioritising, because there’s always something on my list that has to give.

My current indecision is driving me nuts, and I seriously need to decide on something soon. My old phone may be slowly giving up the ghost, but I really don’t want to find myself forever haunted by making the wrong choice… Aaarrrggghhh…! 🙂

Cee’s B&W Challenge: Looking Through a Window

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Although it’s perhaps a little counter-intuitive to have monochrome images of colourful stained glass windows, I really like the stark contrast it provides between the dark window frame and the daylight beyond. I also find that close up it helps highlight the many different textures of the individual glass pieces 🙂

Looking out through the stained glass windows of York Tap, York Station

Cee’s B&W Challenge