Oxford Botanic Garden, Late May

How green the garden was. How absolutely green.

Posting for The Sandy Chronicles’ Friendly Friday Challenge.

She loved the experimental meadows in the back, which have a somewhat unkempt look.

Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge (CMMC), 3rd Wednesday in June, 2022

This week’s CMMC is: Pick a topic from Cee’s photo.

Possible topics frame within a photo, window, square, silhouette, restaurant, bushes, trees, table chair, green, red, brown, parked, vehicles, looking through, etc. What else can you come up with?

Have fun this week.

Topics self picked up on: trees, green, red

She took this picture at the end of May. She was on a walk with Old Map Man. We met at Trafalgar Square and walked to the foot of the Jubilee Bridge on the Victoria Embankment.

Self loves these embankments. Her love of London grew with her awareness of them: Southbank because of the Millenium Bridge, anchored at one end by the Tate Modern and at the other by a narrow funnel to St. Paul’s.

Recently, she’s become more aware of the Victoria Embankment: more staid than Southbank, but so historic! Samuel Pepys’s house is on the Victoria Embankment.

Self wondered aloud how old these embankments were. Old Map Man said, mid-19th century. Wow! All this time, she thought they were constructions of modern London.

Later, it began to POUR, so the walk had to end rather abruptly.

Thursday Trios: British Museum and Hackney Road

This post is about exhibit banners (at the British Museum) and store window mannequins.

In her explorations of East London, self discovered Wall and Jones. It’s a clothing and jewelry shop on Hackney Road, across from Hackney City Farm, that sells the most lovely, unique items. Beautiful jewelry by Eve, clothes by Ali Wall.

Posting for Mama Cormier’s Thursday Trios.

Last Photo on the Card Challenge, May 2022

Took this picture yesterday evening, on the Great Western 18:28 from Paddington Station. It had been a long, full day in London. It started with lining up at 10 a.m. to enter the National Gallery, being thrilled by the greatness of Raphael, meeting Old Map Man for a walk along Craven Street to the Victoria Embankment, getting sloshed by a terrific thunderstorm, taking refuge in Waterstones on Trafalgar Square, arriving in London Review Bookshop dripping wet, heading straight to the lower floor, finding a book to buy (three inches thick, oh no!), then training back to Oxford.

Thanks to Bushboy’s Last Photo on the Card Challenge, self can pay proper tribute to an extraordinary day.

Ragtag Daily Prompt, Saturday: PILLOW

The RDP Prompt for today is PILLOW.

Self thinks these clouds look pretty pillow-y, don’t you?

Evening sky over Oxford, UK:

Top Dialogue, A Room Full of Bones

Yes, self has finished K: A Novel. She blazed through to the end last night. And a good thing she got it over with; the end was sad.

Now reading Book 4 of the Ruth Galloway mystery series by Elly Griffiths. There is such incomparable angst!

In the scene below, DCI Nelson must have tea with a Lord Smith:

“My son. Would you like biscuits? I’m diabetic so I’ve got some ghastly sugar-free rusks. But there are some Hobnobs somewhere.”

Nelson thinks he would like a Hobnob very much indeed. He is just wondering about the mysterious son (maybe he’s locked in a turret room somewhere) when the door opens and a handsome, dark-haired man bursts into the room.

“Morning all.”

Smith does not turn around but plunges the cafetiére with unnecessary violence.

“What time do you call this?” he says.

“I don’t know,” says the man pleasantly. “What time do you call it?”

“You’ve been out all night. Your mother was worried sick.”

“I doubt that,” says the man who must, surely, be the errant Randolph. Ma never worries about anything. Ah, coffee. Superb. I could murder a cup.”

A Room Full of Bones, p. 57

Cellpic Sunday: Jenny

I took this picture yesterday evening. Poet Jenny Lewis is an old friend; we met in Hawthornden Writers Retreat back in 2012. Last night, Jenny and I had dinner in Chiang Mai on High Street, then walked around a very quiet section of Oxford, around old courtyards bursting with spring flowers. It was 8 p.m., the light was otherworldly. Jenny knew her way; we walked down one twisted lane after another, me following. I hung back to take a quick picture.

Posting for Journeys with Johnbo’s Cellpic Sunday.

Mid-Week Monochrome: Neal Street, London, First Week of May 2022

Posting for Brashley Photography’s Mid-Week Monochrome Challenge # 88 : WALKWAYS.

Professor K Ruminates on Everything, Including Anne Frank

Guess there isn’t much to do in Kun Chong Prison, which is why Professor K allows his mind to roam hither and thither.

For instance, he remembers the time a Chinese colleague asked him if he could offer up the names of exceptionally “angry” students. Actually, the colleague put it this way: “Do you have any students I can use?”

Then Professor K’s mind goes back through the mists of time. There was one student. Her name was Queena.

  • Queena reminded me of Anne Frank. Those shadowy eyes, the pointed chin, the puerile lips, the little cogs turning behind the face. As for the iconic photos of our most famous girl in hiding, I remember gazing at them as a boy and wishing Anne were prettier. Even then I knew it was a shameful and stupid thought, but I couldn’t help feeling sorry for her, that she wasn’t better looking. I couldn’t help wanting to fall in love with her and feeling that my failure to get the hots for Anne was somehow a failure to love the humanity we were all instructed to love.

Self finds this very, very funny. Apologies.

Pull Up a Seat: Customer Bench, Hackney Road, East London

The year is just zipping by! As Xingfu Mama reminds us, we’re already in Week 19 of the 2022 Pull Up a Seat Challenge.

Self has found a sweet little coffee and croissant place, around the corner from Hackney City Farm. It’s in a row of other little coffee shops and restaurants, facing the former Queen Elizabeth Children’s Hospital (which is now condos, but still has the sign that says Queen Elizabeth Children’s Hospital). To get there, she walks through beautiful Haggerston Park. Did she ever luck out with her Airbnb or what. She looked at the host’s listing for the rest of the year: Oops, she raised the daily rate by 120 GBP. Hope it’s just temporary, or she’ll never be able to stay here again.

Anyhoo, next to the coffee and croissant place is a bench where patrons can cool their heels while waiting for their orders. They also make delicious panini sandwiches.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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