Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 116: SYMMETRY

P. A. Moed explains the reasoning behind this week’s Challenge:

  • Architects in ancient lands, like Greece, Rome, China, and Egypt, experimented with form and balance.  They discovered that the human eye likes patterns and architectural features that are symmetrical.  That’s why a row of pillars or arches is pleasing to the eye.

In January, self canvassed South San Francisco and Millbrae for Elizabeth Warren. This was the canvassers’ meeting place, in South San Francisco. She chose this picture because of the enthusiasm for Warren, and the two armchairs.

Stumbled on this sculpture on London’s Canary Wharf, last November. Very “Handmaid’s Tale”!!!

Finally, trees of the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Ireland. It was October.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: COLORFUL BUILDINGS

Happy to join Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week!

  • Colorful Building. Any size or type of building or structure is allowed as long as it is colorful. Be creative and mostly have a lot of fun.

Self loves color. Color in buildings, especially.

Starting with right in her own backyard: Below, a picture she took last week. The skies were still pretty murky. The closest fire, the CZU Lightning Complex Fire, the largest ever to hit San Mateo County, was 81% controlled. She painted the door to the shed herself. It’s not a very good job, but so what. She liked the color. Hanging next to the red door is a photograph son took when he was in high school.

Her front door is the same bright red:

Last, a bright red storefront on a corner of self’s favorite London street, Great Russell in Bloomsbury. She took the picture with the British Museum right behind her. The side streets have bookstores, antique booksellers, teashops, Korean take-out stores, fish’n chips. But when self took the picture (last April) it must have been a Sunday. Because everything appears closed.

Thanks once again to Cee Neuner for creating such interesting and FUN Foto Challenges.

Have fun looking at other bloggers’ take on this week’s Fun Foto Challenge:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Lens-Artists Challenge # 115: INSPIRATION

There’s a beautiful gallery of inspiring photos on Travels and Trifles.

What gives self inspiration? Flowers. And books.

These blue flowers are so pretty. Every year, they come back, and this year the blooms have been especially profuse. They wind through the branches of the cherry trees and drape the sidewalk. No one seems to mind.

Front yard, September 2020

Self is a writer. As a writer, she finds inspiration in books. These are a few books she recently checked out from her local library:

Finally, a very special place, one that self would spend every moment of every day in, if she could: the London Review Bookshop in Bloomsbury. When she sees the orange couch, she knows she’s home.

London Review Bookshop, November 2019

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Anthony Huber, 26, Skateboarder

Grew up in Kenosha, attended Lincoln Middle School.

“He loved skateboarding.” — Tim Kramer, ex-classmate

Became one of two men killed by Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Self is reading an article in the September 5 – 6 issue of wsj. The article, by Chris Kornelis, is about Tony Hawke, skateboarding icon (picture below, she cropped the wsj photo)

In the first reports of the Kenosha shooting, self read that Huber tried to hit Rittenhouse with his skateboard, but was otherwise unarmed. This detail is what fixed the image of Anthony Huber in her mind.

Last year (Self’s doing a lot of sighing over LAST YEAR), self watched an adaptation of Andrea Levy’s Small Island in London’s National Theatre with son, daughter-in-law, and Amy Toland of Miami University Press. After, as the four of us walked towards the Waterloo underground, we passed a skateboarding ramp. It was just before midnight. The skateboarders were out in force. After seeing a play, there is something so mysterious and gripping about the sound of people going up and down a skateboarding ramp — up, down. Up, down. Over and over. The skateboarders’ own private, wordless mantra.

Self remembers finding the sounds almost hypnotic — as expressive, in their own way, as the words she had just been listening to for three hours (It was a long play, she loved every moment)

So there were the four of us, walking. And self remembers being very, very happy in that moment. London is such a great city: who puts a skateboarding ramp next to the National Theatre? Londoners, that’s who!

So she is particularly saddened by the fact that Anthony Huber was a skateboarder. There was no reason for Anthony Huber to go toward the danger of Kyle Rittenhouse. Only something instinctive, maybe a skateboarder’s instinct.

Never forget.

Tony Hawk, 52, Skateboarding Icon (from wsj, Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 5-6, 2020)

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Sunday Read: American Rose (Magazine of the American Rose Society)

Self decided to join the American Rose Society this year, and was so happy to receive their magazine.

The July/August issue has a very interesting article about Memorable Rose Gardens by Mike and Angelina Chute.

“All great gardens are dynamic, constantly changing over time . . . “

She’s never heard of any of the gardens. There’s one called Roseraie de L’Hay, “in the municipality of Val-de-Marne, five miles south of Paris, and only 30 minutes by train.” From the train station, it’s “a short bus ride to the little rose garden.”

There’s one in Rome, Il Roseto, “located on the slopes of the Aventine Hill, a short walk from the Colosseum. Il Roseto is built on a site once home to a Jewish cemetery. In memory of the cemetery and those that had been buried there, the garden’s paths are laid out in the shape of a menorah.”

There’s Queen Mary’s Rose Garden in Regent’s Park in northwest London (also home of the London Zoo) and there are “approximately 12,000 roses on display.”

And there is Austin Roses in Shropshire, “an agricultural area in England’s West Midlands.”

Next time she’s in Europe, she’ll make it a point to see some of these fabulous rose gardens.

In the meantime, there’s a pretty fabulous rose garden in Filoli, less than 10 minutes’ drive away. And here are a few pictures self took of her own roses:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: OLD BUILDINGS

Still getting used to this new WordPress system. Took self twice as long to post. A pain.

Barns, sheds, houses, Cee Neuner says.

Another REALLY interesting Foto Challenge. Self has tons of pictures of old buildings in her archives. But, looking over the pictures in Cee’s prompt, it is not enough that the structures be old, they have to be old in a certain way, a weathered kind of way.

Here goes:

Dublin, May 2019
Prague, May 2019
Shoreditch, East London, November 2019

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Dan Gets Out of His Father-in-Law’s Mercedes: He Is Not a Happy Man

The Snakes (never mind the page, it’s somewhere near the end, that’s all self can give you).

Dan is clearly not a happy man. He even casts shade on what’s become of the old Battersea Power Station.

Battersea Power Station is, in self’s humble opinion, A GREAT RECYCLE OF INDUSTRIAL ARCHITECTURE. It’s now the Tate Modern. OK, maybe it’s a little grim. But that’s just the outside. The art inside is fabulous!

Of course it would go. Everything went. Like Battersea Power Station before it, a place like that was marked for destruction . . . He leaned against a wall and watched the people going by, and the girl cooking the curry in the wok . . . She’d been joined by a friend who had propped up a sign saying ‘vegan.’ She smiled at Dan. He didn’t like white girls with braids . . . He put his hands in his pockets and walked away, out into the noise of Rye Lane, towards the station . . . He was nearly crying when he got to the station, and he didn’t even know why.

Lighten up, Dan!

Self can’t WAIT to see how this novel ends. According to 80% of the people who left reviews on goodreads, it’s going to be terrible.

Self’s next read is an Elmore Leonard short story collection, and those stories will be as far from contemporary London as one can possibly imagine.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

Riding Through London in a Mercedes: Dan and His Father-in-Law

The Snakes, p. 321 (making great progress, hope to finish by tomorrow): SPOILER-FREE

“Where are we going?” asked Dan.

“Wait and see.”

It was quiet in the car, and Dan didn’t notice the traffic. They drove through Camden Town and past the British Museum, then crossed the river at Waterloo, Elephant and Castle, the Old Kent Road, and gradually, the streets became familiar.

 

Self has done this walk, on foot.

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Graffiti & Murals

Self loves this week’s Fun Foto Challenge because there is so much raw energy in street art; graffiti has always fascinated.

All photos: Shoreditch, East London, November 2019

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Here are a few other graffiti galleries to sample:

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 91: SIMPLICITY

Love this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge!

P. A. Moed:

This week . . . we’re getting back to basics.  Show us what simplicity means to you. 

Is it stepping back to a time when luxuries were scarce and people were content with less?

In these times of self-isolation, self turns back to the comforting presence of her old books:

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There’s a date in self’s handwriting on the flyleaf: February 1984

And she’s planting tomatoes:

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And she vows that as soon as she can travel to London again, she will visit Chez Mamie on Hanway Place, the place where she’s spent so many hours, enjoying Julie’s fabulous cooking:

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Chez Nous (Formerly Chez Mamie), 22 Hanway Place, London: Self has been eating here since 2014.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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