This week has centred around my desk and the final stages of newsletter production, but even so I seem to have taken quite a few photos. They remind me of where I've been - and I've been to some interesting (to me - I seem to find too much
interesting!) places. Of course the need to take 10,000 steps a day is a big motivator for getting out (today at noon there are still 9,700 steps to go, quite daunting....)
Sunday, walking to Tom and Gemma's via Wood Green. These jolly little houses -
are mere steps from an inhuman conglomeration of office buildings
which does have a remnant of surprise.
Monday, to Kew Gardens for a "tree walk" - an hour of learning about some of the trees from a volunteer guide. I had to be quick with the camera, we went at quite a pace! These strange fruits are osage oranges
(It seems I didn't write about these when first encountered, some years ago - but looking back through all the posts on my blog with "kew" in them took quite a while, and provided quite a few surprises. It's amazing what you forget...)
The story of the large cork tree, amid the living ones in Kew's Mediterranean garden, is that Kew got a phonecall - "we're about to fell our cork tree, would you like it?" ...
Later, wandering around, I took some photos of the outside of the water lily house, in homage
to Tony -
He took many photos of this wonderful glass house as well, and despite his dislike of heights would climb to the aerial walkway -
Tuesday - impromptu purchase of a snuggly coat - this displaces two others from my closet -
Wednesday - a bit more progress on T&G's garden -
and the discovery of caterpillars in my own -
Thursday - discoveries in Crouch End, at the Picturehouse
and in a charity shop window -
An Orla Keily colouring book? It's all gone too far....
Friday - rain at lunchtime, exactly as forecast. I spent more time at the South Bank than anticipated, waiting for it to stop, which it didn't seem to want to -
...which gave me a chance to look around the Royal Festival Hall. I used to go there very often, but it's been a couple of years since my last visit. Or longer. Projections and amplified music (piano at this point) were happening in the ballroom space -
That sent me out to brave the weather, heading for the Woman's Hour Craft Prize
at the V&A (till 5 February). The darned jumpers are by Celia Pym
- "very conceptual", or are they ... it's about valuing objects and their personal connections in an age of bland consumerism, imho. The stories of the garments and their owners are given beside the photos -
And this laboriously made clay bouquet, by Phoebe Cummings
, is a fountain - the clay is unfired; guess what will happen...
Another temporary exhibition at the V&A is "Plywood
" (till 12 November) - so interesting - here plywood is being used for bodies of airplanes -
Walking round the museum, reluctant to head home, I took about a zillion* photos. Yes, I know - whatever will I do with them, and what good are they unless you DO something with them? I would contend that taking photos is, like drawing, a way of Looking Harder. Rather than going click, click, click, it's possible to look for the best composition, lighting that works, get the distance from the scene or object right, find the best angle, all those things.
*zillion = more than 20 but less than 40. Including labels.
In the Furniture gallery up on the 6th floor, this strangely awkward chair is by Eileen Cooper
- it's a folding hammock chair, designed in 1938 -
Adjacent to the National Art Library, a leather "chair" gets plenty of use -
I took the opportunity to renew my National Art Library
card, and hope to spend time there regularly.
More plywood in the garden. Hours had passed, and the rain had stopped -
Saturday, waiting for boats from the Great River Race to appear, I wandered through the Classic Boat Festival and read about the history of the boats on show, including quite a few Dunkirk boats -
The race, 330 boats, started at Canary Wharf in a brisk wind and would end 21.6 miles later at Ham, by which time the rowers would also have had to battle the turning tide. Hard work - and high spirits, much encouragement from the spectators -
Some of the rowers did it canoe-style -