A walk in the sunshine

This is the weather picture presented by the Met Office today:

Met Office forecast
Met Office forecast

I felt I should make the most of it, especially as there are rumours of an approaching cold snap.

Features detailed by the sunlight
Features detailed by the sunlight

On arriving at the Angel crossroads, I was struck by how the sunshine was at just the right angle to pick out the details in the design of this building.


Modern buildings, making a contrast

On the opposite corner, these modern buildings made a contrast with the above though the sunshine enhanced their appeal also.

Duncan Terrace Gardens
Duncan Terrace Gardens

Crossing City Road, I went into Duncan Terrace Gardens. Here too the sunshine enlivened the scene.

Red flowers
Red flowers

As if to emphasise the feeling that spring almost here, these red flowers added an engaging splash of colour.

Natural chiaoscuro
Natural chiaoscuro

The low sun cast long shadows, creating a scene of charming natural chiaroscuro. (And yes, I remembered to hide my shadow!)

Regent’s Canal, still visible through the trees
Regent’s Canal, still visible through the trees

At the end of the gardens, I crossed the road to take a look at the Regent’s Canal, still visible through the trees, as yet bare from winter.

At this point, the notion entered my head to take a walk along the canal, following the left, sunny, tow path. Why wasn’t that a good idea?

A steep path
A steep path

The path from the street down to the canal is quite steep. I can imagine that in wet weather and, worse still, icy conditions, it could be treacherous. Even today, I preferred to keep my hand on the rail as I went down.

On reaching the tow path, I had second thoughts: the path was crowded with people! I should have guessed it would be from the number of people in the gardens.

The Islington Tunnel
The Islington Tunnel

I contented myself with a quick photo of the entrance to the Islington Tunnel, albeit from a not very favourable angle, and made for the path again.

Some people were behaving circumspectly, leaving space between themselves and others, but quite a few were behaving as though they had never heard of Covid. I stood back and waited until the path was clear but, inevitably, I met people coming down.

Paddington Bear peers through the fanlight
Paddington Bear peers through the fanlight

Casting about to see where to go next, I happened to glance at this door in Vincent Terrace. Behind the fanlight I saw Paddington Bear looking out at me!

Colebrooke Row Gardens
Colebrooke Row Gardens

I entered the second part of the gardens which changes its name here to Colebrooke Row Gardens. These gardens, perhaps you recall, follow the course of the New River that now runs below them. This part is characterised by its collection of rocks.

Wood pigeon
Wood pigeon

While these gardens are visited by feral pigeons, they also have their resident wood pigeons, like this plump individual. Wood pigeons are heavier and less quick on the wing than their streetwise cousins. Perhaps the pressures of living among people and traffic have made to latter more agile.

Walking the rabbit
Walking the rabbit

A little further along, I saw this man carefully place something on the grass and then stand back to watch. I assumed it was a small dog but no, it was a rabbit!

He told me that he brought the rabbit to the park every few days for her to run about. He added that he had to time it carefully for when there were no people with dogs! The rabbit hopped about, nibbling a leaf here and there. I wondered whether she had come to expect these outings and to look forward to them.

People are contrary
People are contrary

Why is it that people can’t seem do as they are asked, even the things that are sensible and easy to do?

Old St Peter’s Church
Old St Peter’s Church

This church with the unusually slender spire is or was St Peter’s, a Grade II listed church. Decommissioned as a place of worship, it is now an apartment block.

Old St Peter’s Church
Old St Peter’s Church

Built immediately before the beginning of the Victotorian era, it is still an impressive sight. I wonder what the apartments are like.

The Duke of Cambridge
The Duke of Cambridge

Where there’s a church, there’s usually a pub – at least one! – not far away. Near St Peter’s is the Duke of Cambridge, still closed, of course. What amused me, though, was that there were a couple of people sitting at he outside tables just as though the pub were open as usual.

Bell not working, please knock
Bell not working, please knock

Here is another case where modern technology has failed, causing a return to old-fashioned and more reliable methods. Unfortunately, the door knocker was removed at some time in the past, meaning that callers have to rap on te door with their knuckles.

Landscape with people
Landscape with people

I took this photo to remind myself how crowded it was in some places and how irritable this made me though, of course, if there were too many people about, I was one of those people and others possibly found my presence as annoying as I found theirs!

Here is a happier note to end on: I spotted this squirrel busy among the branches apparently enjoying what he found there.

Busy squirrel

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London evening scenes

Tigger sent me some of the photos she took during her journey home from the City of London this evening.

I am posting them as they are and without captions. Some were taken from inside buses which explains the reflections.

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Window boxes and water leaks

In a recent post (see Coffee in the square), I said, half-jokingly, that we had seen a number of window boxes and that we should perhaps start collecting them. Being on my own today, as Tigger has gone to work, I thought about testing my idea: would there be enough examples to make a viable collection? I went out to take a look.

I soon discovered a problem with photographing window boxes. The name gives a clue to what it is: window boxes stand in front of windows and behind windows, there are people. Many are working from home and sitting with their laptop computers near the window. Now, obviously, if I can see them, they can see me. In such circumstances, it seems rather indiscreet to take a photo without so much as a by-your-leave and this inhibits me somewhat.

This circumstance explains why many of these photos are taken at an uncomfortable angle: I did this to avoid being seen by those within.

Cloudy but not cold
Cloudy but not cold

This photo of a familiar scene is to record the weather, cloudy and rather dull, though it was not cold: 11°C, though it felt warmer than that.


Still leaking

This is obviously not a window box but one of those leaks mentioned in the title. I’ve seen it, and photographed it, before but, call me obsessive, if you wish, it bothers me. All that good water going to waste, minute by minute, day by day, month after month.

Compact with small flower
Compact with small flower

How do you classify window boxes? Can they be classified? Probably not, because they are as varied as the imaginations of their creators. This one might belong to the group of compact window boxes whose plants stay tidily within their borders and do not trail over the edges as if they trying to escape.

Bushy with tiny, discreet flowers
Bushy with tiny, discreet flowers

This house has scaffolding over the whole frontage by this doesn’t seem to have upset the inhabitants of the window box. Neat as they are, some are spreading down the front of the box, not escaping, just showing off.

Fractured pipe?
Fractured pipe?

This is today’s second water leak. Unlike the first one that seems to be coming from a faulty stopcock, this one is filtering through the road surface, presumably from a fractured mains pipe below. It’s not a fast flow but wasteful nonetheless.

Another small, well-behaved display
Another small, well-behaved display

Perhaps it will perk up and become more spectacular in summer.

Paired window boxes
Paired window boxes

These window boxes are wider and better suited to the size of the windows. And there are two of them, window boxes in stereo.

Upstairs, Downstairs window boxes

Upstairs, Downstairs window boxes
Upstairs, Downstairs window boxes

Another matched pair of window boxes but at different levels, reminding me of the TV series Upstairs, Downstairs.

Compact but with a nice cascade effect
Compact but with a nice cascade effect

Never having tried to grow a window box, I have no idea what’s involved but I imagine it’s important to choose plants whose size is right for the box, an effect that had been achieved successfully here.

Dull greenery but bright flowers
Dull greenery but bright flowers

In this one, the greenery is a bit dull but the flowers (are they jonquils? I never did achieve my plant recognition badge in the Boy Scouts) are bright and cheerful.

The cactus garden
The cactus garden

Cacti seem to go in and out of favour and its unusual to see them in a window box.

Crowded box with jonquils
Crowded box with jonquils

This box looks rather crowded but the jonquils provide a cheerful effect. (If they are jonquils…)

My last example is also slightly unusual because of the extra non-plant inclusions.

Flowers and sea shells
Flowers and sea shells

This box is quite small but I rather like it (not least because red is my favourite colour). I have nor seen any other boxes with shells as decorations but it works quite well, I think. I love the flowers too: are they miniature roses?

There, I’m sure that that’s more window boxes than you ever wanted to see. Never mind, now I’ve got that off my chest I will be more sparing with pictures of window boxes in future. Promise!

While I was writing these last paragraphs, Tigger texted me to say she is on the way home. I wonder what adventures she has had in town and at work. Well, I will soon find out!

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