Durdle Door

Today continuous rain fell from a leaden sky.




As I focussed on the spray-spattered cliffs beneath Portland Bill lighthouse, a small yacht crossed the ocean near the horizon.

Lovers had carved their names in the weathered rocks. How long ago, I wondered, and are they still together?

Boat sheds perched above these geological specimens.

Having begun at dawn our group returned to take advantage of the evening light.

Elizabeth is third from our right of those focussing on the iconic

Durdle Door and its intrepid climbers.

Packs of frozen peas are regularly applied to ease the swelling on my operated knee. One of the bags has split. This meant that a plentiful helping of said peas appeared on our dinner plates this evening. These were alongside cheese centred smoked haddock fishcakes, tangy ratatouille, and piquant cauliflower and broccoli cheese. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I didn’t.

From Bespoke Suits To Thongs


My rambles around London brought me into touch with a variety of different faces of England’s capital. None more contrasting perhaps than those seen in this batch from my Streets of London series of colour slides made in July 2005. Having been once more beset by wind and rain, I worked on these today.

Savile Row W1 7.05

We begin with a couple of most expensive streets in the region of Regent Street. Savile Row W1 is the home of bespoke tailoring, and not, perhaps, where one might expect to come across a chained bicycle of this nature.

Vigo Street/Burlington Gardens W1 7.05

Vigo Street which becomes Burlington Gardens is a turning off Regent Street. Careful viewers may see my portrait hanging in the window of Burlington Paintings. The motor cyclist is leaving Savile Row. Had he turned left and taken the first turning right, he could have ridden down

Sackville Street/Piccadilly W1

Sackville Street onto Piccadilly. The crypt of St James’s Church, the clock tower of which is seen here, was the scene of the brass-rubbing debacle featured in ‘Meandering Through Soho’.

Pall Mall East SW1 7.05

A month before these photographs were produced, London’s bid secured the 2012 Olympic Games. Banners celebrated this feat. From this corner of Pall Mall East we see Nelson’s column with its lions and the famous fountains. The gentleman in the foreground peruses The Financial Times, the first pink paper.

Spring Gardens/The Mall SW1 7.05

 The Mall itself offers another view of Trafalgar Square, incorporating its backdrop of The National Gallery. The bus advertising Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s ‘The Woman in White’ is looking ahead to the musical’s first performance on 15th September that year.

Concert Hall Approach SE1 7.05

The Archduke restaurant was a regular lunch venue for me and my dapper late friend, Wolf, at this time. Here he waves as I advance on Concert Hall Approach SE1.

Sturmer Way N7 7.05

We shift to north Islington and Sturmer Way N7. More comfortable than she appears, this lady willingly consented to pose beside her car. I did explain that I wanted to feature the street name in the picture.

Stock Orchard Street N7 7.05

Graffiti merchants have even left their mark on a satellite dish above the offices of William Hill’s betting shop in Stock Orchard Street N7.

Surr Street N7 7.05

Two more readers occupy a bench in the sunshine in Surr Street N7, in an area of development off North Street.

Formosa Street W9 7.05

Neither of these two nor this gentleman outside The Prince Albert pub in Formosa Street W9 appears to favour The Financial Times. This fine Grade 2 listed Victorian public house, built in 1856, still sports etched glass and mahogany fittings.

Honeywood Road NW10 7.05

The Willesden Junction Hotel stands on the corner of Station Road and Honeywood Road NW10. The pub closed soon after I took this photograph, and now seems to be functioning as a restaurant.

Curzon Crescent NW10 7.05

‘The L Word’ series ran from 2004-2009. This was concerned with the life and loves of a group of lesbians, their friends, and families, living in Los Angeles. As can be seen, its striking advertisement stole the limelight from the graffiti of Curzon Crescent NW10.

This evening we enjoyed our usual excellent dining experience at Lal Quilla. My main course was king prawn Ceylon; Jackie’s was chicken sag; we shared mushroom rice and an egg paratha, and both drank Kingfisher.


North Of Regent’s Park


Today I scanned the next dozen of my Streets of London colour slides from October 2004.

Regent's Park Road NW1 10.04

Tasteful washes decorate the facades of these houses in Regents Park Road NW1. This street in the Primrose Hill area of London is stocked with a multitude of long established independent shops of all kinds.

Fitzroy Road NW1 10.04 2Fitzroy Road NW1 10.04 1

One such establishment is Fonthill Pottery at 38 Chalcot Road on the corner of Fitzroy Road NW1.

Gilden Crescent, NW5 10.04

Between Chalk Farm and Gospel Oak lies Gilden Crescent NW5, in Kentish Town. This wall on the corner of Queen’s Crescent features local children’s mural of the eponymous Post Office.

Marsden Street NW5 10.04

British pubs are being closed at an alarming rate in the 21st century. The Newberry Arms on the corner of Marsden Street and Malden Road NW5 is just one example. Soon after I took this photograph, the boarded up building was demolished, and by 2010

had been replaced by this block of flats.

St Leonard's Square NW5 10.04

St Leonard’s Square, NW5 is on the other side of Malden Road. Graffiti covers this dirty grey wall, rubbish lies on the pavement, scaffolding runs up the side of the building, the entrance to number 22 is narrow and lead directly onto the pavement, and someone has to live there.

Chalk Farm Road NW1 10.04

It was quite early in the morning that I crossed Chalk Farm Road NW1, yet these two building workers had already earned a break.

Bridge Approach NW1 10.04

This Bridge Approach NW1 is to the railway bridge at Chalk Farm.

St George's Terrace NW1 10.04

The Queen’s Pub on the corner of St George’s Terrace, NW1 and Regent’s Park Road is just yards from the Primrose Hill open space. The area must be considered a reasonably safe one in which to leave such a bicycle chained to railings.

Prince Albert Road/Townshend Road NW8 10.04 2

Prince Albert Road/Townshend Road NW8 10.04 1

Prince Albert Road, NW8 houses rows of apartment blocks like these on the corners of Townshend Road,

Prince Albert Road/Eamont Street NW8

and Eamont Street. They all provide views over Regent’s Park on the opposite side of the road. It was when walking along that street on my birthday, 2005, that I met a woman waiting at a bus stop. I had to work very hard to convince her that, two or three hours after the London suicide bombings, it was not unreasonable that the bus services had been suspended.

It had not been our intention to dine on Hordle Chinese Take Away fare this evening, but our electricity supplier had other ideas. There is no gas supplied to our hamlet. We experienced a complete power cut for three hours, at the point when Jackie was in the midst of cooking a chicken dish. She has just abandoned that project and gone out to hunt down one of Mr Chan’s excellent meals.



How Did This One Get In Here?


Here, at last, are the Streets of London colour slides from October 2004 that I scanned a couple of days ago.

Bravington Road W9 10.04

Bravington Road, W9, in the heart of my Social Services patch, runs north from Harrow Road towards Queens Park. Here it is receiving the attentions of workers of the ubiquitous Clancy Group plc, described thus by Wikipedia:

‘Clancy Docwra is a large construction firm in the United Kingdom founded in Wembley in 1958 by Michael Clancy as M.J. Clancy & Sons Limited. In 1974 the firm bought water and gas public works contractor R.E. Docwra Limited and in 2001, following other acquisitions, all were merged to form Clancy Docwra Limited. Today the firm trades as The Clancy Group plc. The firm carries out work for several national utilities including Scottish Water and Scottish Power.[1] The firm has also carried out work for London Underground.’

Lancefield Street W10 10.04

Here, in Lancefield Street W10, are a pair of houses with gardens that, during my time there, were gradually built as part of a refurbishment of the notorious, prize-winning, Mozart Estate. Undoubtedly attractive in conception and design, the fatal flaw in these rabbit warrens was the number of convenient hiding places for muggers, and the lack of gardens in which residents could take pride. It was into the estate that two young men  fled following their failed attempt to mug me a few years before.

Caird Street W10 10.04

Next door in Caird Street stands the Jubilee Sport Centre in which I spent many hours playing badminton and otherwise keeping fit, or knackering my knees, whichever way you look at it.

Enbrook Street W10 10.04

This corner of Enbrook Street, W10, shows one of the several rows of little Victorian terraced houses that had been demolished to make room for the Mozart Estate. Avenues numbered First to Sixth still contained these gems still being maintained.

Longstone Avenue NW10 10.04

When my friend, Norman, still lived in Harlesden, I would regularly walk along the streets mentioned above for one of our fortnightly lunches. I would vary my routes which could take me past The Roundwood Gospel Assembly building in Longstone Avenue NW10. On the other side of this road lies Roundwood Park, according to Wikipedia: a public park in WillesdenLondon, measuring a total of 26.5 acres,[1] or approximately 10.27 hectares.[2] It was originally known in the 19th century as Knowles Hill (its name coming from the Knowles Tower nearby),[3][4] or Hunger Hill Common Field,[3][4] and after much work by Oliver Claude Robson, became the Roundwood Park known to the public today (its name coming from the Roundwood House originally beside it)’.

Roundwood Road NW10 10.04

Following a dog-leg angle, the thoroghfare becomes Roundwood Road, on the corner of which this building is being adapted for more multiple occupation than the family home for which it was originally intended.

Oldfield Road NW10 10.04

Oldfield Road, where Norman lived, received more than its share of graffiti.

King's Cross Bridge N1 10.04

At the time of these photographs, King’s Cross Bridge N1 was yet to form part of the extensive redevelopment of the area;

Sheldon Square W2 10.04

and Sheldon Square W2, was part of the Paddington Basin development nearing completion.

Leighton Road NW5 10.04

Now, what has caught the eye of this woman in Leighton Road, NW5?

Leighton Road NW5 10.04 2

Ah! I see.

Hang on a minute.

Sunshine in a park 10.04

How did this one get in here?

The shadows must have attracted my attention while I was seeking street scenes. Let it stand. I think the lawn is in Rembrandt Gardens, Warwick Avenue, Little Venice.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s luscious lamb jafrezi with her perfect pilau rice. To accompany this, Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I enjoyed a really marvellous Finca Flichman reserve malbec 2015 given to me for my birthday by Helen and Bill.


Up The Cally


After yesterday’s violent deaths on Westminster Bridge, over which I have walked many a time, it has been difficult to take my mind off London. I’ve always found a productive routine task to be therapeutic. It seemed therefore appropriate to continue yesterday’s North London perambulations through the medium of scanning the next dozen of my Streets of London images made in August and September 2004.

Euston Road N1 8.04 1

I begin with this corner of King’s Cross station on Euston Road, N1. Purely by coincidence the picture contains a reminder of another disaster experienced on 18th November 1987. An accidental fire in the Underground cost thirty one people their lives. The following month I began daily trips through King’s Cross when I would use those underground lines. The walled commemorative area in the foreground was filled with floral tributes over the following days.

Alongside the station, Caledonian Road runs up towards Holloway. During the late ’80s and ’90s, when, in sports gear, carrying my working clothes in a back pack, I commuted from Newark, I would run up The Cally, as it was known to the locals, for a few hundred yards, turn into a pocket park on the left, and continue along the Regent’s Canal towpath, past Camden Lock to my counselling room in Little Venice.

Omega Place N1 8.04

The first turning on the right is Omega Place N1. Tony’s Organics, at 10 Caledonian Road, in 2009, was considered one of the best raw food cafés in London. It is now reported to be closed.

Keystone Crescent N1 8.04

The next turning is the one-time picturesque Keystone Crescent. At that time, a plastered wall with bricked up windows unwittingly invited graffiti.

Twyford Street N1 8.04

Beyond the above-mentioned pocket park lies Twyford Street. Cally Pool has its entrance further up Caledonian Road. I hope the gentleman in the foreground didn’t have a cold.

On this particular day I must have been walking up to Parents for Children in Islington, for I continued on along Richmond Avenue on the right. Tarmon Free House is at 270, Caledonian Road. Perhaps the same florists decorated the establishment as did The Exmouth Arms featured yesterday.

Cloudesley Road N1 8.04

At the far end of Richmond Avenue we find Cloudesley Road N1. As with a number of our 19th century buildings, this one bears the freshened up slogans of  a shop that once operated on its site.

Dowrey Street N1 9.04

In nearby Dowrey Street, shadows of leaves do their best to take our minds of an uninviting stairwell.

Lonsdale Square N1 9.04

Lonsdale Square in Barnsbury needs no such distraction,

Liverpool Road N1 9.04

although, just around the corner, Liverpool Road, one of the main routes from Holloway Road through to Islington, could have done with a facelift at this point.

allinlondon.co.uk’s page on Alan Cocks’s shop demonstrates that it has received one. London’s central area telephone numbers are now prefixed by 020 7, so if you need a quotation don’t forget the addition to the prominent number in my photograph, which remains otherwise unchanged.

This evening we dined on pork chops marinaded in mustard sauce and coated with flaked almonds, piquant cauliflower cheese; sauteed potatoes, carrots and cabbage. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Collin-Borisset Beaujolais Villages 2015.

It’s An Ill Wind…..


Yesterday evening we dined with Helen, Bill, Shelly, and Ron at Tyrell’s Ford Country Inn and Hotel at Avon, near Christchurch. As the only group in the dining we enjoyed the attentions of a friendly waitress. My choice of meal was liver and bacon, mashed potato, carrots. swede, sugar snaps, green beans, and broccoli. My dessert was Dutch apple crumble and custard. Three of us shared a bottle of red, and three, white, wine.

Storm Doris, having vented all night, eased up enough for me to take a chance on keeping   my lunch appointment at La Barca in Lower Marsh. To this end Jackie drove me to New Milton where the London Train arrived on time.

Waiting for the train

These gentlemen viewed from the waiting room awaiting their transport were no more disappointed than I was.

Block of flats through train window

Soon after departure a tree was reported across the track outside Eastleigh. This afforded me the opportunity closely to examine the pastel shades of a line side block of flats.

After a while we were under way again, the train was only 35 minutes late, and I arrived at the restaurant before Norman had taken off his coat. We both chose artichoke soup for starters; my main course was swordfish steak in a piquant sauce served with sautéed potatoes, sugar snaps, green beans, and broccoli. We shared a bottle of the house Valpolicella. I needed no more sustenance in the evening.

The return journey was rather longer than the outward one. In addition to another tree on the track, there was a 50 m.p.h. speed limit ‘for health and safety reasons’.

Groups of assorted travellers stood on Waterloo Station, eyes glued to the departures board where they could read about delays and cancellations.

There had been many unfortunate travellers without seats on the outward journey. There were fewer of those on the way home, but they were even more discomforted when the food trolley or other passengers need to pass.


Once again I was able to study the trackside. There was graffiti between Waterloo and Vauxhall;

Trees from train

trees waving with the wind,


and an embankment somewhere near Basingstoke.

Jackie had been expecting to meet me at New Milton. This was not to be, because the railway company decided to decant passengers for intermediate stations at Brockenhurst, and send the train non-stop to Bournemouth. She therefore set off for the latter station. As I walked out into the car park I could see a very long traffic queue stretching a long way back in the direction from which I expected her to arrive. I decided to walk to the end of it in an effort to save her getting stuck in it. When I got there I phoned Jackie to let her know where I was. She was approaching from the opposite direction from which there was no tailback. This meant I had to walk on further in an effort to find a place where she could stop.

Sunset was now on its way. Thank goodness for mobile phones.

We chased the sunset to Milford on Sea,

where the spirited waves rushed towards the shingle.

Silhouettes at sunset

I spent a very short time leaning into the wind. This family group who had come to watch the sea stayed out of their people carrier for an even shorter period.

Without Doris, I would not have enjoyed such line-side views, nor such moody sunsets. As they say, it’s an ill wind (that does nobody any good).

A Far Cry From Fitzrovia


This morning I scanned another dozen colour slides from the Streets of London series. These were produced in July 2004.

Riding House Street W1 7.04

On this corner of Riding House Street W1 stands the landmark Arts & Crafts home of T.J. Boulting & Sons, manufacturers of heating equipment. Adopting the name in 2011, a contemporary art gallery, T.J. Boulting, was established in the building.

Foley Street W1 7.04

The address of the Crown & Sceptre pub, seen here in Foley Street W1, is actually 88 Great Titchfield Street. They currently advertise watching the Six Nations rugby with specially chosen beers. Like many of our historic public lavatories, the one outside the building has been chained shut.

Mansfield Mews W1 7.04

Zoopla currently quotes the average price of a property in Mansfield Mews W1 as £1,703,118. Note the tall chimneys and television aerials reflected in the upper window. What a pity that a splendid stained glass window has made way for an extractor fan.

Molyneux Street W1 7.04

A similar value is place on properties in Molyneux Street W1.

Mansfield Mews W1 7.04

I was only beginning my photography of public places at this time. I do wish I had had the confidence to ask this group alongside Ossington Buildings W1 what they were up to. But, I didn’t. Now I have learned that most people are only to willing to talk, and often to pose.

Crawford Street W1 7.04

This church seen from Crawford Street W1, is St Mary’s Bryanston Square, an active element of the evangelical wing of the Church of England. Designed by Robert Smirke, it dates from 1824. A young lady on a bench made herself comfortable in the sunshine.

Wyndham Place W1 7.04

In Wyndham Place opposite, the Duke of Wellington, tankard in hand, possibly wondering how long he would be there, gazes from a side window of his eponymous pub. Built in 1812 in Crawford Street this establishment closed last year.

Warrington Gardens W9 7.04

Warrington Gardens W9 is in Little Venice, close to Warwick Avenue tube station. Does the little girl here have a brother or sister in the buggy pushed by her mother, and does she have a doll in her own? I guess I’ll never know.

Rudolph Road NW6 7.04

Wikipedia tells us that

‘St Augustine’s Church of England High School is a Voluntary Aided Church of England comprehensive school in the West London borough of WestminsterKilburn. The school is also a Science College and has a sixth formSt Augustine of Canterbury is the patron saint of the school. It is located adjacent to its affiliated primary school and parish church St Augustine’s Church.’ It dates from 1870, when it was opened with 7 pupils.

Garfield the Movie was released in 2004. It is a spin-off from the famous cartoons featuring Garfield the cat created by America’s Jim Davis in 1978. This style of telephone box is a more recent version of the iconic red telephone boxes. I wonder if it is still in use, especially as I doubt that there is a single pupil without a mobile phone.

Ridley Road NW10 7.04

For many years I ran or walked from Little Venice to lunch with Norman at his home in Harlesden. Ridley Road NW10 was on one of my routes. This corner pillar had obvious got in the way of a stray vehicle. Or maybe the young lady gave it a passing kick.

Oldfield Road NW10 7.04

Oldfield Road NW10 has brought us into graffiti land. A far cry from where we began in Fitzrovia. Norman lived in this road, which was around the corner from

Ashdon Road NW10 7.04

Ashdon Road NW1, the walls of which also suffered desecration, and where robbers and Dumpers were also warned off.

This afternoon  I watched a very keen Six Nations rugby contest between France and Scotland in Paris, screened by the BBC.

The evening we dined on second helpings of yesterday’s tasty casserole, with potatoes sauteed with garlic and herbs, and carrots vying with curly Kale for brightness of colour and flavour. Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank Cimarosa Limited Edition Shiraz 2014.