Last Bits and Bobs
True to my promise, these photographs from the England trip have no relationship to one another except that what I saw, I liked. And what I liked, I tried to photograph.
This was especially challenging in a setting like King's College Chapel in Cambridge, where the lighting was extremely subdued. It was tough to get a decent shot of anything without recourse to a tripod, so the haul was very small. I suppose I could have tried lying flat on my back in the aisle, as one misguided tourist did; but as he was politely but firmly escorted to the door I'm glad I didn't.
I'm more for details than sweeping views in a space like that. Sure, the vaults and the stained glass are spectacular. They've also been photographed thousands of times. I spent a lot of time admiring them, but the camera turned on for smaller things.
The book above was on a chorister's desk. I had to shoot it "blind" by craning my short, peasanty arm over the top of the desk, therefore the odd angle and framing. The note at the bottom of the cover says NOT TO BE TAKEN AWAY. I've been listening to the annual "Festival of Lessons and Carols" live broadcast from the chapel for years, so it was more than a little thrilling to stand where the music is made.
Even walking past London's Greatest Hits (like the statue of Eros at the center of Piccadilly Circus) I tend to be more attracted to obscurities. These are carved into the entrance of a theater spitting distance from the Piccadilly tube station, half-hidden by posters.
One of the things I notice, in looking them over, is how much of what I love in the London cityscape boils down to color and pattern.
Near Portobello Road. (Click it.)
Somewhere in Kensington. (Click it.)
No visit to London is complete without my friend Jane, who is (surprise) a knitter. Jane arranged for us to have dinner at Brown's Hotel. (I had grouse, of which there is no picture. It was delicious.)
Jane introduced us to her splendid fellow, Nick, who is not only charming but the perfect size to model the Fair Isle sweater Jane had just finished. She took endless pains selecting the colors, none of which shows properly in the photograph because the aggressively trendy hotel bar we were in was lit primarily (and dimly, of course) with purple lights. (Because nothing flatters the human complexion like purple light.)
Still, here is Nick and the sweater.
The sweater isn't even for him. He just agreed to model it. Jane knit it for somebody else. Is that a cooperative boyfriend, or what?
That's not even the most of it. The rank and file of knitters have to carry our work in bags. Not so Jane. Not since she met Nick, who's in a band, and who gave her a yarn road case. A yarn road case. So she can tour.
Love you, Jane. You'll want to hang on to Nick with both hands, dear. And he to you.
There will be one more England entry. About...shopping.