Tag Archives: oddthings

Trainers in trees

After reading about the presumably American fashion for throwing trainers into trees (on the Ship of Fools here – though being a presumably American fashion it is there called “Sneakers on wires”) I’ve actually seen some. Not very far from me in fact, by an estate just off Rotherhithe New Road, near Southwark Park, between Surrey Docks and the Millwall ground.

Right by the street so easily visible from the bus. Must have passed the place dozens of times this year but mostly in the dark, which is my excuse for not noticing.

Didn’t have my camera on me though. Maybe next time.

At last a use for Stave Hill.

At last a use for Stave Hill.

Stave Hill in Rotherhithe, on the site of a filled-in Surrey Dock, is an artificial mound at the end of a ceremonial way planted with various runically significant trees, which was built, along with other oddities like Hilly Fields Stone Circle, in the megalithic frenzy of the years 1999 and 2000 which rounded off England’s twenty-year love-affair with crop circles. Who knows – maybe if we could ask the folk who built Silbury or Stonehenge or the Long Man or the Nazca lines or Carnac why they did it maybe they would say “well, we were having a few pints in the pub and it seemed like a good idea at the time”.

But there is, I have now found out, a use for it. If there is something really bad going on in the East End you get a great view.

Stave Hill Stave Hill

This was a clear cloudless blue sky – all the darkness in the sky was from a fire at Stratford, some miles away in north-east London, off to the left from the point of view of this picture.

I was on a bus on my way to work after a morning doing other things when I saw this:

From Canada Water CIMG4638

So, just in case, I wandered round trying to find out what was going on and work out where the fire was. I wouldn’t want to get onto a train and find myself stuck in a tunnel as lines closed down or people were being evacuated past me. As it turned out the fire was miles east of where I work and there was no problem, but I was being very cautions until I either heard some news or got a good enough view to see where it was.

So I walked over to Stave Hill about a quarter of a mile away and got a view over the whole of south and east London. I reckon the cloud was at least five miles long and a mile high. An astonishing sight.

Canary Wharf from Rotherhithe Looking East from Stave Hill
CIMG4642 CIMG4632

I knew South-East London was tough, but I never knew it was this bad.

When I was a little Evangelical they told us we should walk along the King’s Highway every day. Well, I found it, its in Plumstead. So I walked along it. And they have some very strange things up there!

This must be the ultimate Charlton supporters weapon against Millwall.

Cars in Plumstead Water Dale, Plumstead, exit from Bostall Woods
plumstead_4335 The less sylvan end of Waterdale Road

The second picture is repeated from the previous post because I like it a lot and its just at the end of the street. In fact its more or less my favourite picture so far this year. And no-one looked at it on Flickr yet! The relevant words are in the yesterday’s blog entry.

All four of these photos were taken within about a hundred yards of each other.

And a few more I didn’t post before:

The Slade, Plumstead bostall_4318
Woolwich seen from Welling Woodlands farm
plumstead_4190 plumstead_4176

Snow! At last!

Snow! At last!

The view from our back window at about 7.30 on Wednesday. Had Abi been awake it would have been the view from her bedroom widow.

It is prettier than it usually is 🙂

Snow in Lewisham

Apologies for the large not very good quality picture but I took it before sunrise and I haven’t yet worked out how to resize JPGs on my MacBook … I take that back, I’ve got it on the PC now and can use IrfanView, so here is the smaller version 🙂

Take that! Badger-culling scum!

When you look for one thing you find another. I went up to look at an ivy-clad house in a street just north-west of Sloane Square and found this:

45 Elystan Road 45 Elystan Road
cuddly badgers fairytale castle

I was actually on a Quest For The Mysteriously Aligned Building. I’d been looking at the western part of central London on Google Earth and noticed an odd building inserted into a block at a strange angle to the rest near Victoria Station (51°29’31.03″ N 0° 09’11.69″ W). So I went to have a look.

It’s almost exactly over the road from St Mary’s Bourne Street, where the grid plans of Belgravia, Sloane Street, and Pimlico meet at funny angles. It turned out to be nothing very special – though exactly what it is I have no idea. All over London blocks of buildings are involuting, alleyways and mews are opening up into courtyards, blocks that once only had an outside now have an outside and an inside, increasing both the density of building plan and the surface area across which interior space can meet exterior space. Prokaryotic townscapes are vacuolating and becoming eukaryotic, solid blocks of cells are invaginating, gastrulating, diploblastic structures becoming triploblastic, interior space is breaking out to the exterior through pores and gateways.

But that doesn’t make for good pictures.

Unlike Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power Station at Night

taken in darkness with a long exposure, resting the camera on a wall at the bottom of Chelsea Bridge.