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”

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”

bee-long days

I guess this is a typical British summer: after another short “heatwave” last week, we’ve just had a weekend of almost continuous rain.

At the start of the week, the world was a multi-coloured blaze of flowers and the buddleia-scented air was busy with butterflies and bees.

But this weekend it’s been cold and grey, and even the feathers, bells and face paints of the local folk festival have done little to brighten the atmosphere.
Continue reading “bee-long days”

shades of summer

Everywhere you go in the UK at this time of year, there are geraniums and pelargoniums of all shades blooming in tubs and window boxes, in the middle of roundabouts and in other public spaces and gardens.

Most seem to be the sort with pom-pom cluster flowers like old-fashioned floral bathing caps.
Continue reading “shades of summer”