Saturday, December 31, 2005

Map-o-philia !

When I was about nine years old & had just learned to ride a bicycle, my clever parents bought me a cleverly illustrated book about how to read the British Ordnance Survey maps, and then they stuck the local one-inch sheet on my wall. Ever since then, I have loved maps.

I told The Loved One about this quite recently, having been spotted cruising the highways of Utah and Arizona on the internet, and hoarding downloaded maps of places we've been in the My Pictures files.

As an unforeseen consequence, my Late Christmas Present has just arrived.

It is The Map Book, edited by Peter Barber, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 2005. It is big, it is glossy, it is intelligent. I am in one kind of heaven.

Isn't she lovely ? Eat your hearts out, lesser mortals !

my very own copy of The Map Book !

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Thursday, December 29, 2005

carters fun fair comes to town

we finished work early and i cycled homeward, meandering through battersea park

everyone looked stressed from the cold, my own fingers and toes were painful

even in the middle of the day it seemed dark and there were specks of snow in the air

yet carters' funfair was up and running, the lights and music creating a little heaven on earth

it is the miracle of the age, everything restored to glossy perfection and hand-painted with enormous panache

it is a national treasure, as valuable as any art gallery or museum

carters fair at battersea park, not at all modern i'm pleased to say !

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the shortest train ride in london on carters wonder railway, see how the stock curves to fit the track

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shiny sporty austins queueing by the pumps at carters famous motordrome

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detail from the flying chairs ride at carters fun fair

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the oldest WORKING vehicle on England's roads, carters travelling candy floss lorry

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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

thieving magpies ... two for joy

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tree tops

dave okonski asked about the tree tops i photographed the other morning

i'm not sure what kind of tree they are, or if the clumps are "built" nests

looking again this afternoon, it appears that the boughs were pollarded, then whole dense bunches of new twigs sprouted, and finally all sorts of dead leaves and twigs have got caught up

they'd certainly be colonized by nesting birds, but such nests are usually devastated by predatory magpies

cheers, dave

Sunday, December 18, 2005


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Shakespeare in Winter

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.

In me thou see'st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death's second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see'st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.

This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

thin ice

the loved one arrived home very late from an exhausting day at the office to be greeted by this question ...

"have you spent your day dreaming up new ways to make me happy ?"

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

and there, in a wood, a piggy-wig stood ...

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... with a ring on the end of his nose !

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that darned hedge ...

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and those darned trees

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the photographer's lament, or why truck driving and photography are uneasy companion activities

it seems to me that a lot of my favourite chunks of landscape are actually composite views, memorized incompletely from multiple whizz-by glimpses

today this difficulty imposed itself twice, because you see so many things from up in the cab that aren't always accessible on the ground

last week i saw two archaic and sunlit dappled pigs under some trees at burwash, and then a line of youthful oaks where a hedge had been removed to create a lovely long undulating wheat field just north-west of flimwell sloping towards the reservoir

taking the trouble to park and walk this morning was a huge disappointment, the sun kept hiding and i couldn't break through the bushes and brambles to get the perspectives i needed

so i'll be going back ... if the customers down there stay loyal !