Colour Coordinated


We are in the midst of a fortnight of predicted rainy days.


at 8.35 this morning it was necessary to employ flash to photograph the weather gauge puddle in the gutter outside our front garden,

Winter flowering cherry

and the delightfully resilient winter flowering cherry that, at this rate will bloom until September, when it first blossomed last year.

I thought, “blow this. With all this un-desisting rain descending, I’m pissing off to London” – figuratively speaking, you’ll understand, through the medium of scanning another dozen colour slides from the Streets of London series. The weather there in July 2005 was rather better than it has been here today.

Harrow Road W2/Warwick Crescent 7.05

From 1974 to 2007, I was a frequent visitor to Beauchamp Lodge, the tall, nineteenth century building on the corner of Harrow Road and Warwick Crescent. Having joined the Committee in 1974, I soon found myself in the Chair which I occupied for 15 years. Afterwards I rented rooms for my Counselling Practice. This establishment has periodically featured in my posts, but I have not previously mentioned the Katherine Mansfield connection. One of the many incarnations of the building was as a hostel for young women music students, one of which, in 1908-9 was the famed New Zealand writer, the subject of an April 2013 newspaper article in the Ham & High, subtitled ‘The turbulent love life of a very serious writer’.  Who knows? On one of my overnight stays I may have slept in what had been her bedroom.

Radnor Place/Somers Crescent W2 7.05

Last year the lease of a small (approx.15 square metres) lock up garage to the rear of Somers Crescent W2 was sold at auction for £30,000. There was just 23 years to run, with a ground rent of £25 per annum.

Southwick Place/Hyde Park Crescent W2 7.05

Hyde Park Crescent W2 7.05

According to its website ‘St John’s Hyde Park is a Church of England Parish Church in the Hyde Park Estate in W2, Paddington, Westminster, Central London. It is a Modern, inclusive, liberal catholic Anglican church in the Diocese of London.’ I have a, now faint, jagged scar on my forehead incurred on entering the car park of this church. The story is told in ‘The London Marathon’.

Archery Close W2 7.05

Archery Close W2, is another frighteningly expensive street in Bayswater.

Connaught Street/Portsea Place W2 7.05

Connaught Street runs from Hyde Park Square to Edgware Road,

Connaught Street W2 7.05

where the Maroush Deli is actually located, and where many Lebanese establishments are to be found.

Hampden Gurney Street W1 7.05

On the opposite side of Edgware Road lies Hampden Gurney Street. Are these smokers still puffing?; has the gentleman scratching his head discovered where he’s going?; is one of the three women seeking accommodation?; is the driver of the linen van parked on a red route making a delivery?; did he get a ticket?

Quebec Mews W1 7.05

Gustavian, on the corner of Quebec Mews and New Quebec Street was clearly having a facelift. Is this the Swedish interior design company? Re the name of this Mews, see elmediat’s comment below

James Street W1 7.05

The Café Appennino at 38 James Street W1 is currently listed as inactive. I do hope they did not fall foul of dodgy drains.

Barrett Street/James Street 7.05

The Greene King Local Pubs website tells us that ‘The Lamb and Flag in Marylebone is located on the forefront of the renowned restaurant area, St. Christopher’s Place. This Georgian listed building does not hide its beautiful heritage, as wood panelled walls line the interior, dating back to 1813.’ The young man with the shoulder bag will do well to avoid a collision with either of the two preoccupied persons approaching him, and end up in the lap of the barmaid cleaning the table.

Berkeley Mews W1 7.05

I was so grateful to the young lady approaching me with rather obvious trepidation along Berkeley Mews, for being so well coordinated with the contents of the truck and the traffic cones. She relaxed when I pointed out why I found her so attractive a subject.

Jackie had made enough pasta arrabbiata yesterday for two meals. Served with the addition of green beans, we enjoyed the second this evening. The Culinary Queen presents her apologies to those who asked how she makes it, because it’s always different and she can’t remember this one. That may, of course, have something to do with the Hoegaarden she had just imbibed. I drank more of the Paniza, but then, I’m not the chef. We will make sure the next one is fully described.

This Train Is Not Stopping At…….


In my post of 18th June I wrote of Alex Schneideman’s gift of a photographic portrait of me.  This was reproduced as number 21 in the ‘through the ages’ series.  Behind me are some of the thousands of books I am in the process of moving from 29 Sutherland Place where I was living at the time.  The task of packing these up was begun today.

To enable this, Jackie drove me to and from Southampton Parkway station for the Waterloo train.  On the outward journey I began reading ‘Storm of Steel’ by Ernst Junger.

From Waterloo I took the Bakerloo Line tube to Edgware Road which was the nearest station to Paddington Green where the local Safestore outlet was situated.  This was where I hoped to buy the storage boxes and, if possible, have them delivered.  As we left Marylebone, the penultimate stop, the fact that the train was not stopping at Edgware Road was announced.  I had to go on to Paddington and walk from there.  I bought the boxes and the staff member phoned a man with a van who could deliver the boxes by 2 p.m.  The driver was independent of Safestore so I had a separate arrangement with him.

So far, so good.  I now had plenty of time to walk from Paddington Green to Sutherland Place and await delivery. Safestore Safestore itself occupies part of what had been a children’s hospital when I had worked in the area in the decades before the current millennium.  Other buildings have been demolished.

Sarah Siddons

Something like a dozen years ago the statue of Sarah Siddons that stands on the green itself underwent a facelift involving a nasal prosthesis.  The cosmetic surgery the great thespian received has dropped off.

Trees on roundabout

A little further on the A40 rises above Harrow Road.  Between the two can be seen a roundabout enhanced by mature trees that I saw planted as saplings.

Little Venice basin

An underpass leads to the canal and Little Venice.  I ran many miles alongside this stretch of water.Canal & River Trust  The Canal & River Trust narrowboat is all that is left of the charity that was Beauchamp Lodge settlement that has featured in various posts and that I chaired for so many years.Beauchamp Lodge

Some years after the building was sold to a Counselling agency I returned to rent space there for my own practice.

On the cobblestones around the basin, in the shadow of Beauchamp Lodge, a painter was reproducing the scene which had entranced me on a daily basis. Painting the blue bridgeMany a time have I passed under or over the blue bridge.

Lord Hills Bridge

Lord Hills Bridge, outside Royal Oak tube station, still presents a colourful series of geometric shapes to the viewer.

The Alinea Bindery in Porchester Road once repaired some of my original volumes of the Dictionary of National Biography that Jessica had found in a second-hand bookshop and given me for my birthday.

Porchester Road

St. Stephen's ChurchSt. Stephen’s Church on Talbot Road was one venue for AGMs of the  Westbourne Neighbourhood Association on whose committee I served whilst living in Sutherland Place.

Andrew, the man with the van, arrived an hour late.  As he bounded empty-handed up the steps, asking ‘what have we got?’, I had that sinking feeling.  Through gritted teeth I said: ‘You are supposed to be bringing the boxes’.  He fled, announcing that he would go and get them, and came back twenty minutes later.

The packing was somewhat delayed.  However, after walking to Notting Hill Gate and returning to Waterloo by underground, I did manage to board a train slightly earlier than expected.  I should have smelt a rat really.  The doors of the train, which was meant to have already left, were closed to the multitude on the platform.  This was because it had, for some reason, proved impossible to link the two halves of this ten coach train that normally divides at Southampton Central, the station after Southampton Parkway.  The front half would therefore set off first, the second following five minutes later.  The driver, whom I asked, didn’t know where the two halves were going, but this shouldn’t have mattered because my station was before the dividing one.

Once the doors opened I happily boarded the rear half.  As we set off at a crawl, the guard announced that there would be an additional stop at Basingstoke, but no normal one at Parkway.  Those needing Southampton Parkway were advised to alight at Winchester and wait for another train.  He gave its time.  We arrived after that time, but it didn’t matter because that train was twenty minutes late.  I reflected that this had rounded off the day nicely.

A delicious, cooling salad provided our dinner on such a sweltering day.  Jackie drank Budweiser and I drank sparkling water.