Sunday 12 February 2012

Colourless: coastal photography exhibition

Thanks to a flyer from Greenwich tourist information, I spent some of my Sunday afternoon discovering the very small Linear House Gallery and its latest exhibition by photographer Dave Mason. Titled Colourless: coastal black and white landscapes, it documents a journey around some of the bleak, forgotten and crumbling extremities of England's coastline. It will certainly appeal to anyone with an eye for the neglected, unusual, quirky or just downright weird - it's surprising how many penguins inhabit our shores! One of the many images which caught my eye was this one of the old Dover Marine station, still hanging on a cruise ship terminal.

The exhibition closes on 28 February, opening times (I believe) are 9.30 - 6 weekdays and 12 - 4 weekends. The Gallery is on Peyton Place, just off Royal Hill. Next up from 5 March is Greens of Greenwich by Tom Dingley.

Monday 12 September 2011

Gary Oldman on Deptford

With the forthcoming release of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, old Deptfordian Gary Oldman is interviewed in this week's Radio Times. Besides his acting career, he discusses with interviewer Danny Leigh his "rough childhood in hard-up Deptford, where his father walked out when he was seven". Incidentally this ultimately led him to write and direct Nil by Mouth, demonstrating Deptford's ability to inspire creativity in unexpected ways... but returning to the interview, he is asked if he ever goes back:

"Occasionally. It doesn't change. London changes, but Deptford is... Deptford. The same men I was always scared of but fascinated by are all still there. In the pub."

Interesting use of the singular - there are very few pubs in SE8 nowadays! I wonder if he had a particular one in mind?

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Tidemill School

Somewhat surprised this morning to switch on BBC Breakfast and the salary of my local school's head was the top national story! Surely there must be more important events in the world to report even on a Tuesday morning? Happily a more balanced report has just appeared on the BBC website.

Whilst not wanting to give the story any more prominence than it already has (Darryl at 853 has just done an excellent post setting out the facts and a debate is going on at Kate's Brockley Central blog) my gut reaction was what has he done to deserve being plastered over the media like this? He's done absolutely nothing wrong - unlike many individuals who I shall refrain from naming who have been rewarded much more handsomely for doing much less worthy jobs.

My personal impression of Tidemill (and I admit the only occasion I actually visit it is as a polling station) is of a school providing a good education, which given its age and location is something which should surely be praised rather than criticised?

Friday 19 March 2010

A Night at the Jane

I spent my first night in NY at the Jane Hotel in the Meatpacking District. It was probably the only hotel offering rooms at (just) under $100 on New Year's Eve, not en-suite of course but what do you expect at that price?

Added to the attractive price was an attractive history. Back in 1912 surviving crew members of the Titanic were billeted here when it was a sailors' hostel. The maritime theme continues in the tiny "cabins" though widescreen TVs, Wi-Fi and iPod docks are concessions to the modern age.

Sure the odd death happens every now and again but that's life... I'd have been happy to stay longer but having booked another keenly priced room at the Chelsea Garden Inn it was time to move on - but I just remembered to grab a shot of the impressive entrance lobby as I left.

Sunday 24 January 2010

New Year in New York

Happy New Year!

I was lucky enough to spend the first week of 2010 in the Big Apple. Arriving on an icy New Year's Eve I eschewed the ball drop in Times Square as being a little too touristy and headed for the fireworks, concert and midnight run in Central Park. The fireworks actually started a few seconds before midnight and continued for 20 minutes, leading up to an awesome finale - my photos don't really do them justice but there are several videos on YouTube.

Just before the end of my trip I returned to Central Park - despite a slight thaw the frozen lakes presented many opportunities for wintry photos. These were taken in and around the Ramble:

The restored Bethesda Terrace Arcade, reopened in 2007 after a painstaking reconstruction of its Minton tile ceiling. They are fond of dogs in the Big Apple...

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Almost Christmas Concert this Friday

Yesterday I received the following email from St Paul's Sinfonia previewing this Friday's concert. Having thoroughly enjoyed the first two concerts of the season I can confirm the standard is as high as ever:

"I am writing to invite you to the Sinfonia's last concert of 2009. Not strictly Christmassy, but festive and joyful nonetheless, the December concert is full of fun and high spirits entirely appropriate to the season. The programme is as follows:

Mozart - Symphony No. 31 'Paris'
Matt Rogers - exile
Bizet - Symphony in C

We present two brilliant symphonies, and in the middle, the first work by our Composer in Residence. exile is a concerto for French horn and orchestra, and we are thrilled to be able to welcome Timothy Jackson, co-principal horn of the Philharmonia Orchestra, to play the solo part with the Sinfonia's accompaniment. The work exploits the ritualistic history of the horn, and includes a virtuosic movement for the orchestral horns alone, 'shadowing' the soloist as he careers through the music.The concert starts, as usual, at 7.30 p.m., and tickets are available on the door any time from 7 p.m. We hope very much to see you there!"

Saturday 12 December 2009

Lassoing the Circle

Yesterday I happened to find myself on the "old" Circle Line for the last time. Travelling from Bayswater to Baker Street I found myself assisting various bemused tourists who (quite understandably) were trying to match the freshly applied maps and route diagrams with the old service, and failing. Maybe delaying application of the new maps until Saturday night would have been too difficult, but surely a note could have been added beside the "new" route section to give the start date?

Trying to describe the new shape of the Circle over the phone a few days ago, I suggested it looked rather like a lasso. It seems I am in good company according to the Evening Standard - really how could anyone suggest it resembles a tadpole?