Stalking The Starling

Queuing to get on the blog this morning were:

Rose - pink climberThis pink rambler that has come through the recent rains somewhat scathed;

Clematis Marie Boisselot

the clematis Marie Boisselot;

Allium and spider

more alliums, one with a sentinel spider, less than usually reluctant to be noticed. Click to spot it.

By popular request I have returned to the Streets of London Series. I scanned another dozen from April 2004, of which I offer:Streets of London 4. 04 022

Firstly Church Path, NW10, in the London Borough of Brent. St Mary’s Church, dating from 938, has featured in a number of posts, such as that of 15th February 2013, when I found its grounds ‘Surprisingly Picturesque’.

Streets of London 4. 04 027

A younger, rather more splendid, church is Saint Pancras Parish Church on Euston Road, NW1. Its website describes what I have photographed, thus:

‘The church is a prominent landmark. Built by public subscription in 1818-22, it replaced the derelict Old St Pancras as Parish Church. Old St Pancras was rebuilt in Victorian times as one of the 17 subdivisions of the Ancient Parish of St Pancras. St Pancras Euston Road is Grade 1listed as a fine example of the Greek Revival style. Its external features, based on temples in ancient Athens, include an octagonal spire and an impressive front portico with 6 huge columns. On either side at the rear are our famous caryatids – statues of Greek women supporting the porches over the two entrances to the crypt. Traditional iron railings enclose the churchyard, where the annual parish picnic and other celebrations are held on the lawns.’

Streets of London 4. 04 030

Midland Road NW1, was still closed at the time of the London bombings of 7th July 2005, my 63rd birthday. The whole of Euston Road, and many of the side streets around were cordoned off, and people were pouring out of the underground system, as I took my normal walk from Beauchamp Lodge in Little Venice to North Road, a mile or so behind Kings Cross station. Midland Road is now incorporated into the development area around that station. On the morning of the bombs, oblivious of what was happening, on a forced pedestrian diversion, I came across an assembled swarm of many hundreds of men in the yellow hard hats shown in this picture.

Streets of London 4. 04 023

The building against which the construction workers are leaning is the British Library, at 96 Euston Road. Opened in June 1998, its Brutalist architecture, designed by Colin St John Wilson, can be seen to better effect from Ossulston Street, NW1.

Streets of London 4. 04 026

The proprietors of M.S.Tyres on the corner of Roundwood Road NW10 find it necessary to batten down the hatches against the ubiquitous graffiti that decorates this area of North London. At least the windows are protected.

Streets of London 4. 04 033

It doesn’t matter where you are in our capital city, it is very risky to leave your bicycle unattended. Virtually outside Baker Street tube station leans an example of the skeletal remains that litter many of our streets.

Either from familiarity with my presence, or from a desperation to feed its brood, I was able this afternoon successfully to stalk the parent starling squatting behind our kitchen facia board.. The bird, carrying sustenance, now lands on our roof, a speculative distance from the hidden nest; gingerly makes its way along the eaves; stands on the corner fidgeting and uttering sharp cries, either of warning or encouragement; then drops down and makes a dash for safety.

Starling 1Starling 2Starling 3Starling 4Starling 5Starling 6

Watching the poor creature dithering, popping its head down, lifting it up for a quick shufti, and eventually taking the plunge, was fascinating.

The skies were overcast today, but, it seeming to be the season for awards, the sun popped into my e-mails. I have now been nominated for:


Thank you very much, rameshwarir at for nominating me.

You have asked me these rather profound questions, which I answer as follows:

  1. Do you believe that there is someone watching over you, someone you can just feel & not see? I do
  2. What is the purpose of life? As best I can to make other people as happy as I would hope to be
  3. What is the one thing that you would go to or do to relieve your heartaches? I have found it and have no more
  4. What makes you happy? Refer to my answer at 2 above
  5. What do dreams mean to you? Those we experience through sleep are a way of working through timeless issues. In another sense, dreams are what we wish for
  6. What about Nature do you adore? Its constant variety
  7. What is the one element, off the 5, that you would associate yourself with and why? Earth because I like to think I am pretty well grounded
  8. What is your take on birth & death? Birth is an opportunity to begin a good life. Death is a time of reckoning
  9. What have you learnt from Nature? That it is there to be admired; and that we can control none of it
  10. What part of the tree would you associate yourself with? The trunk

In no particular order, my nominees for the award are:

Weave a Web


Poesie visuelle

Slice of London Life

In Noir Velvet

Fox And Finch Antiques

The Contented Crafter

MaxReynolds: Sunrise, Sunset And Other Visions

I will not set you specific questions, but simply invite you to tell us something about yourself as you wish.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s scrumptious chicken jalfrezi with pilau rice topped off by an omelette. Kingfisher was our chosen beverage.


  1. Thank you Derrick for the Sunshine Award nomination. I would’ve preferred to be considered as garrulous, but nonetheless this honour has delivered lovely rays of delight. Thank you!

  2. Thank you for the thought re the nomination Derrick. I don’t do awards, but always accept the compliment happily 🙂 [I keep meaning to put something on my blog to that effect, my apologies for that lack.]

    Your starling is fascinating. We meet them at the dog park where they live for most of the year, departing over the summer months for some reason I haven’t yet figured out. They get very cross and garrulous over the dogs presence which keeps me amused.

  3. I lived across the road from the church when I was in London 2013! I took a room in an apartment above the hotel, with a view over London to St Paul’s.

    Don’t you think everything we post says something about us?

  4. Your London streetscapes are fascinating, especially a church that pre-dates the Norman conquest. Goodness. Thank you for the Sunshine award nomination. It’s very flattering and I will put it in my next post. And those starlings. Are they making that awful screechy squawk all the time?

  5. Enjoyed seeing your streets of London, and congratulations on the award! You have so many lovely clematis in your garden, and I enjoy every one of them. You would have shared my astonishment then, when I visited Shinjuku, Japan early in the morning a couple years ago, and watched, fascinated, as hundreds and hundreds of bicycles from commuters began lining up side by side on the sidewalks. I watched and did not see that any of them were locked. By 9am there must have been a thousand – all unattended.

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