of taxis and trees

Over the last few weeks, I’ve taken a number of photos of trees in their autumnal finery, but for the last few days it has hardly stopped raining and most of the trees are now bare, which makes them less photogenic. Not only that, but when it’s pouring with rain, it’s not always easy – or appealing – to stop and take a photograph. So this post intersperses some thoughts I had during the recent rain with photos taken during brighter weather.

I was brought up in a London suburb, but taxis were not a common mode of transport except when we went on holiday as a family, or on occasional excursions in the capital when we would hail a Hackney in the street – always the old black cab that could turn on a sixpence and that was driven by a bloke who had done “the knowledge”.
Continue reading “of taxis and trees”

watercolour morning

The idea of paintings and pictures as windows and doors into other worlds is fairly common in literature.

From MR James’ The Mezzotint to Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, pictures reveal secrets that are hidden from the real world; from Princess Rosamund in George MacDonald’s The Lost Princess to Edmund and Lucy Pevensie and their cousin Eustace Scrubb in CS Lewis’ The Dawn Treader, children step – or tumble – through into other worlds and places.
Continue reading “watercolour morning”

towards winter

It was cold this morning. Cold and misty.

When I went out, it was into a world in sepia.

Misty autumn morning
Continue reading “towards winter”

trumpets of prophecy

Last weekend, the UK had the hottest August Bank Holiday on record. Presumably that means it was also the hottest Bank Holiday of all on record, as I can’t imagine it ever getting hotter for the other dates – Christmas, New Year, Easter, or either of the holiday Mondays in May.

But even if it was lovely and sunny, it did seem a little late in the year for perfect rose buds like the one at the start of the post.
Continue reading “trumpets of prophecy”

unintentionally untitled

(Edited some 12 hours after original posting to add a post title.)

For the last month or so, scarcely a day goes by without another news story about a once-in-a-decade phenomenon, a record influx, a mass migration… the huge clouds of painted lady butterflies that are appearing across the UK.

And for the last month or so, I’ve been watching hopefully – but in vain – to observe this “butterfly bonanza”.
Continue reading “unintentionally untitled”

old roses

The roses in the neighbour’s garden are bright despite the weather, which has not been kind to them this summer. There’s been far too much rain and wind after the recent short but intense heatwave.

Today it’s actually been so windy that the rain seemed to dry almost before it reached the ground. Yes, there has also been some sunshine, but it comes and goes and can’t be depended on.
Continue reading “old roses”

wings and words

I guess I will always think there is something magical and mysterious about flight. Not flying in an aeroplane or helicopter, but real winged flight like that of bugs, butterflies, birds and mythological creatures.

butterfly wing

As a child I was sure I could fly, but knew this was an ability you lost as you got older. I don’t know if I thought the skill was lost at a certain age, or weight, or quite what, though remember Catherine Jones, a classmate just a few months younger than me, claiming she still retained the power when I was already grounded.
Continue reading “wings and words”