Streets Of London

Shadow, grass, gravel

Again, the early morning sun, casting shadows across the gravel to meet grasses on the other side of the path, worked it’s magic


on the peonies;


on new rambling red roses;


on rose tinted aquilegias;

Clematis Warsaw Nike

on the clematis Doctor Ruppel;

Geranium palmatum

on a somewhat nibbled geranium palmatum;

Bluebottle on frog's back

and warming the stone of a frog’s back on which a bluebottle hitched a ride.

I have mentioned before, my, as yet unpublished, Streets of London Series. From March 2004 until some time in 2008, I conducted this exercise, wandering around during breaks in my working day. The constraint I set myself was that the street signs should appear in the shots. There are many hundreds of these colour slides taken with my Olympus OM2, so I decided to embark upon scanning them. I entered the first dozen, from March to April 2004, today.

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From Hanover Gate, NW1 can be seen the burnished dome of Regent’s Park mosque.

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Warwick Place W9 stands on the corner of Warwick Avenue. The mind boggles at the van’s signage.

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The ubiquitous McDonald’s has an outlet on the corner of York Way N1. Perhaps Securitas is coming to collect the takings.

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A spindly young London Plane comes into leaf on Castellain Road W9.

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Maida Avenue W2 runs alongside the Little Venice stretch of the Regent’s Canal, forming a junction with Warwick Avenue which spans the bridge. The white building on our left is The Bridge House, featured in ‘Time To Go’.

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This corner of Gray’s Inn Road, WC1 stands diagonally opposite Kings Cross Station. The area is always clogged with traffic.

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The station itself stands on the corner of Euston Road and York Way, N1.

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The subject of the witty window cleaner sculpture in Chapel Street, NW1, scratches his head in contemplation of the task of cleaning Marks and Spencer’s glass fronted tower standing alongside Edgware Road Metropolitan Line station.

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From this corner of Warwick Avenue, W2, narrow boats on the Regent’s canal are visible through the railings.

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In Sardinia Street WC2, Angelo advertises his hairdressing, whilst thespians trip the tango.

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The eponymous Church Street Market runs from Edgware Road. At this far end it is joined by Penfold Street, NW8.

The sign for Gracedale Road, SW, is now many miles from Furzedown, so I have inserted it in a more appropriate post.

Margery and Paul popped in for a very welcome surprise visit, ‘to check up on’ me. This was, as usual, great fun. Paul put me right on the jackdaws I had recently incorrectly identified as hooded crows. I amended the post accordingly. Thanks, Paul.

Jackie returned home early this evening, and we dined on her superb chicken and egg jalfrezi with special fried rice. She drank Hoegaarden whist I opened another bottle of the Madiran and drank some of it.


  1. Jackie’s cooking already? πŸ™‚ I lived close to Euston station for a month a couple of years ago. Re
    ‘Streets of London’, that’s the title of the song I’m trying to play on my ukulele. The flowers are pure magic.

    1. I took the meal out of the freezer in the morning. πŸ™‚ Streets of London – a beautiful tune from which I took my title. Have a good trip.

  2. I have never been in London. I hope I’m going to go to London this year and can also make some pictures of the beautiful city! Have a nice evening! bilere

  3. The first line of your post is pure poetry: lovely in the observations as well as the enunciations.
    And, I’m really loving the Streets Of London series. Very cool concept. I do find that when I am trying to create, MORE makes me crazy – but less, (they all have to have street signs) – helps me to focus.

  4. Wonderful photos, as always. As a lifelong avid student of the English language, I was tickled to see, at long last a rare but correct usage, I.e. “the mind boggles”. All I ever hear is “it boggles the mind”….. πŸ™‚

    1. I’ve NEVER heard “it boggles the mind” before. I didn’t know the other was rare! (and a long-forgotten version from Jennings books: “mine [i.e. my mind] is boggling on both cylinders”)

  5. Ah! Your Streets of London brought to mind William Blake:
    I wander thro’ each charter’d street,
    Near where the charter’d Thames does flow.
    And mark in every face I meet
    Marks of weakness, marks of woe.

  6. Did you know the London plane tree is a hybrid between the Eurasian and American sycamores? For years, I wondered what plane trees were, then when I saw them, I remember saying, “It’s a sycamore!” Of course, not, but then sort of. There’s also a California sycamore, which is different from Occidentalis, which is the tree I’m most familiar with, which is primarily riparian, I think. Oh, dear. Just did a tutorial, riffing off your London Plane…

    1. An interesting concept, but are you sure about it? The plane’s “fruit”, if that’s what it can be called, is a sphere dangling, resembling a pawnbrokers’ sign with two elements missing. I’d have thought that a cross between two species whose seedcases are the same would generate another similar seedcase (think of the similarity between a maple and sycamore seed [which don’t cross], one a flatter pod than the other, but both winged, and each with only one wing). I have no inside knowledge of this, just applying nature’s usual pattern.

    1. Agreed. Can we see a picture of the M&S building he’s supposed to be about to clean?

      1. Thank you Paul. Unfortunately I haven’t taken one, having been more intrigued by him than the glass tower. Maybe if I ever get on my feet again, I could do one that encompasses both.

  7. I can see how the SoL series might make a marketable book. You might narrow it down, at least for Volume 1 [he suggests, ambitiously!], by just using those streets actually named “Street”, giving the title a wry undertow which it wouldn’t o/w have.
    Personally, i found the ones with the nameplates more in the background the more intriguing, and seemed to work better as images. In e.g. Warwick PlaceΒ / Freak Naughty, you’re so arrested by the wording that you don’t register the setting of those elements.

    1. Thank you Paul. I originally intended to feature the whole metropolis until I abandoned it as over-ambitious. There are nevertheless many hundreds of them. I don’t think I have the time or energy to create a book, but wouldn’t mind anyone else having a go. πŸ™‚

  8. LOVED looking at these photos of London, Derrick, thanks so much for sharing them! I am determined to see London in person one day. I noticed the wording on the van in that one shot, and chuckled when you said “The mind boggles at the van’s signage.” πŸ™‚

      1. That statement made me laugh as well, although, as the parent of a 24 year old and twin 17 year olds, my mind is about boggle – proof at this point.

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