Tag Archives: London

Zephyr

Generally acknowledged as the worst of the national lockdowns, ‘Lockdown 3.0’ – which started officially on 5th January 2021 and drifted interminably through winter and into a grey, drizzly spring – has been, to put not too fine a point on it, resoundingly s**t.

Dark and cold for most of the last 4 months, the Covid-19 pandemic has once again robbed us of seeing family and friends, deprived us of entertainment (cinemas, theatres, gigs…all legally banned) and forced us to convert living into office space. Any sense of fascination for these unchartered waters, or gallows humour (such that it was), has long since departed. And the novelty of regular Zoom calls has dwindled. We’ve hunkered under blankets, stuck out our bottom lips, and refused to show any more of that bl**dy British stoicism our Prime Minister is so keen to eulogize.

And yet… As we enter May, there are signs to be hopeful. “We’ve been here before!” the more hard-core pessimists declare. And it’s becoming easy to slip into that mindset. Especially when, for the third time in as many weeks, a social engagement has been postponed due to dreary weather. WOE IS ME! WILL THIS ORDEAL NEVER END?!

Yes. Yes, it will. On 21st June. And – actually – things will be pretty much back to normal from 17th May. They will. We will be able to hug again, and drink together in the warm, and stay over at each others’ houses….and finally watch ‘Nomadland’ on the big screen. Basic human rights restored!

So I will not embrace the mantra du jour: “It’s the hope that kills you”. I’ve watched far too many Disney films in my day for that. Hope is a wonderful thing. Today I get my second dose of the vaccination. And I look forward. To a warm, long, sunny summer. To trips around the UK. To meeting friends’ new babies for the first time. To sharing picnic food. To seeing my mum and dad. To parties. And weddings. And meals out that don’t involve sitting in scarves under makeshift awnings.

I am hopeful.

IMG_7970

IMG_6706

NHS art

IMG_6617

9C886284-9E5C-4FAD-B7E3-3DEF8CE06175

PHOTO-2020-06-26-05-46-59

IMG_7962

IMG_7973

‘Courage’ photo credit: Simon Bibby

il colore

Back in the heady days of summer 2020, when for a brief few weeks we could visit the city centre again… God, I miss London. So near, and yet so far. Would it be wrong to steal a couple of vials of the vaccine? Worth more than gold.

We all had such high hopes for 2021. Right now, I could forego a holiday; I don’t need exotic climes. I’d take the opportunity to meet with those I love…in a noisy pub…to hug and laugh and breathe each other’s air. Without fear.

IMG_2849 (1)

IMG_2853

IMG_2855

IMG_2857

IMG_2860

IMG_2861

IMG_2862

IMG_2865

IMG_2874

IMG_2878

IMG_2879

IMG_2882

IMG_2888

IMG_2892

IMG_2902

Boreas

It sifts from leaden sieves,

It powders all the wood,

It fills with alabaster wool

The wrinkles of the road.

It makes an even face,

Of mountain and of plain, —

Unbroken forehead from the east

Unto the east again.

It reaches to the fence,

It wraps it, rail by rail,

Till it is lost in fleeces;

It flings a crystal veil

On stump and stack and stem, —

The summer’s empty room,

Acres of seams where harvests were,

Recordless, but for them.

It ruffles wrists of posts,

As ankles of a queen, —

Then stills its artisans like ghosts,

Denying they have been.

– Emily Dickenson

AGQK0167

Bramhope Paddocks (Credit: Robert Wood)

678dfd78-1efe-4361-a0fb-292b29ba7ae6

Swineside Knott and Sheffield Pike (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

DSCF2375

Gloomy Norwood Shed

IVAC3363

Misty Waterfowl (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

DSCF2414

Holly Bush

DSCF2389

Wombling in Wimbledon

DSCF2378

Incessant Grey

DSCF2550

Crystals in the Palace

20fdd198-305c-4c0e-99e6-31c2c92c67ad

Blencathra (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

VHTW6692

Delicate Frost (Credit: Dave Adnitt)

#unlockeddown

Not going to pretend that waiting out Covid is a great hardship: a fully-stocked fridge, loaded bookshelves, Netflix, running shoes, a pile of board games, WhatsApp and Zoom do not a wartime Britain make. Very privileged, and won’t be forgetting it. (Neither am I underplaying how truly difficult it is for some. Just acknowledging I’m one of the lucky ones.)

Even still…these snaps from crisp winter walks around our fabulous city made me a tad wistful. Looking forward to venturing beyond Dulwich borders once again. T-minus 10 weeks (give or take a month or two) to go. The heart will only grow fonder…

05C41F37-E029-4DFE-92B1-124DAD0DD448-1875-000000AF240549A1

IMG_5861

IMG_72241

IMG_5886

IMG_5848

Mind011

IMG_7220

IMG_5939

IMG_6448

IMG_6451

IMG_58421

679E23B2-A5A4-443E-9445-49A4F6CECF10-1875-000000AF550D90D8

IMG_5965

IMG_4748

IMG_62401

Reflections on Nature

I’ve been a fan of Dale Chihuly since I wondered into a fantastic exhibition at the Halcyon Gallery in 2011. And of course, everyone adores his Rotunda Chandelier at the V&A. So I was happy to queue with the hoards of other fans on a sunny Saturday in June to see Reflections on Nature at Kew Gardens.

Photographs can’t really do the works justice; I’d definitely encourage packing a picnic and heading over. The trail takes in the newly renovated Temperate House and spruced up Great Pagoda; and with the summer flowers starting to come through, it’s a good time to visit. I plan to return later in the year too, to see the sculptures illuminated at night.

Chihuly-006

Chihuly-029

Chihuly-014

Chihuly-008

Chihuly-015

Chihuly-012

Chihuly-000

swap

Chihuly-013

Chihuly-030

Chihuly-010