2020 Week 6 – Meeting Old Chums

The Fin Fest took place in the Knights Templar pub in London on Friday 7 February. It was a chance to meet friends, colleagues, from a long time ago, but I missed it. Because I was having a leisurely lunch with some of those friends and it took rather longer than we anticipated. One of our number is losing his hearing, so he didn’t want to go into the very noisy pub where he would not be able to understand a word said to him. I wasn’t that keen to go to the pub because it is owned by arch-Brexiter Mr Martin; and anyway it was very pleasant eating and drinking in the Natural Kitchen restaurant, although the bill turned out to be a bit of a stinger . . .

After lunch, some wine left on the table.
After a lunch, with wine remaining.
Looking up at the skyline on a street in London
Building Angles on New Fetter Lane
Angular buildings on New Fetter Lane in London
New Fetter Lane in London looking towards the Maugham Library
Glass building in London with sun reflecting star shape
Lego building
Musical director pointing at singers arranged on risers.
Shannon Express singers
A yellow sports car on a road into a rural village with church tower visible
Lotus Elise drives into Hatley St George
A church viewed from above
Hatley St George church
Church viewed from the end of the roof ridge
Hatley St George Church
BMW car bonnet with soap suds
BMW car bonnet with soap suds

Week 42 – London

I had occasion this week to travel to London for a talk at the Royal Aeronautical Society– on UAVs (“drones”) – given by an academic who has studied the effects of this sort of warfare on its operators.  It was an interesting talk, but one which made me glad that I have never had anything to do with such operations, directly at any rate.

I managed to grab a few photos while I travelled; I started with the scene of food wagons arranged on the forecourt of this near-derelict London Club, the “In and Out”, as it was called by some.  I’m glad that it is being used for something, but it’s a real shame that such a grand building is so neglected, particularly given the lack of affordable housing available in the country and in the capital.  Of course, if this were split into affordable housing some “entrepreneur” would sublet it for vast profit.

Lights and fast food next to an old building in London
Good use of an ex-club

After the talk I wandered back to King’s Cross, but only after I had visited the monument Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner.

Lights and monument at Hyde Park Corner
Night Monument

To get back to Piccadilly I used the subway where I found this small encampment. It provides the occupant with privacy and some comfort, perhaps, but it will not stop night revellers abusing the occupant; the comfort must be illusory . . .

A green tent in a subway passage.
Subway Tent

There is quite a contrast between the subway tent and the scene above ground; or with the scene at the recently-refurbished King’s Cross Square:

Lights and people at night at King's Cross station
King’s Cross Square

Week 14 – A trip to the City of London

I’m at an age where birthdays are less important than the indication that time is passing – way too quickly; but my wife treated me to a photographic expedition with lunch.  We travelled to the City of London to the address 20 Fenchurch Street, otherwise known as the Walkie Talkie.  She had booked a trip to the Sky Garden, on the 36th floor.  This is over 500ft above ground and gave us an excellent view of London, from Canary Wharf to our east, through the Shard and Strata Tower and the Thames to the smarter parts of London to our west, seeing both south and north banks of the Thames, along with many of the bridges.

London to the south of the river
Shard and lesser towers

A view south of London from 500ft up.
South of the Thames from 20 Fenchurch Street

People viewing the Thames form 500ft above ground
Thames from Sky Garden

It was a great place to be with a camera and I had my newly acquired Fujifilm X-T2.  Photographically the light was quite difficult: the glass of the building, the sun through the haze and the time of day contrived to make everything appear bluer than was natural.  I used Capture One Pro (from Phase One software) to adjust the colour tone so that it’s the sort of scene that I remember.  I didn’t adjust an image of 20 Fenchurch Street from street level, except to add one in monochrome:

A curved building soars towards the sky
The building at 20 Fenchurch Street, London

A curved building soars towards the sky
The building at 20 Fenchurch Street, London

After a great lunch in the Darwin Brasserie (for which we needed a bank loan), we walked to St Paul’s Cathedral, where some sort of wedding function was under way.  I think that this (very young) couple were using the venue for some romantic shots for their album; we saw no guests:

A young couple pose in wedding dress
Posing at St Paul’s Cathedral

A young couple poses for a photo
Posing at St Paul’s Cathedral

A young couple in wedding dress running towards a photographer.
A wedding photo on the run

We finally reached the South Bank of the Thames, to meet our son and his family; they posed reasonably willingly:

Parents with their two children next to the Thames
A young family and an ice cream.