28 January 2011

New house coming

"Garden Grabbing" as an emotive term that is often thrown around to decry the building of new houses in the space between existing one but this is to over simplify a complex subject. Some infilling can make good use of under utilised space and the alternative could be to claim large areas of open land.

This is one infill project that I approve of but because it's a controversial subject I'm not going to say where it is. I had a good chat with the person in the house next door (who came out to see why I was taking photos), learned a lot about the local houses and got an offer to go back in six months when the house in finished. I'll do that.

23 January 2011

Bowing tree

As the tow path follows the river West and down-stream towards Teddington Lock it comes across this tree paying homage to the mighty Thames. Branches defy the call of the sun and, instead, lean towards the water.

A less poetic view is that the river won this worship by relentlessly undermining the trees roots causing it to tumble in fear and pain towards its victor.

20 January 2011


The garden at Ham House makes up in variety what it lacks for in size sitting as it does in the middle of a patchwork of lawns, hedges, walls, trees, paths and borders. To the East of the house lies the Cherry Garden with its lavender, box and yew hedges. Running along two sides are hornbeam arbours that manage to impress and please even in bald Winter.

18 January 2011

Old trees at Ham House

Behind Ham House is a wide terrace and then, beyond and below that, a large lawn area divided in to eight squares by gravel paths. A few old trees are clustered in the north-east corner of the lawn as if seeking safety in numbers.

Behind them is the magnificent wall that surrounds Ham House giving the garden a strong sense of privacy through its height, if not having quite the depth to offer security too. Along this wall some new bushes are bravely making their claim for attention.

16 January 2011

Ham House in January

I find the front of Ham House to be a little too busy and cluttered and I much prefer the back of the house with its clean regular features. These are picked out neatly here in the bright January sun just before it sets for the day.

14 January 2011


This stretch of The Thames has been photographed and painted many times and for a good reason. I was tempted in to taking this one while walking back from shopping in Richmond late on a Saturday afternoon when the setting sun bleached the scene of colour apart from a little pink to remind you of the day that has just past.

9 January 2011

Large puddles behind Ham Parade

The alleyway that runs behind the shops on the West side of Ham Parade is not maintained at all and when the rains come the large potholes fill to become large puddles that scare away the few pedestrians tempted by this short-cut.

8 January 2011

Winter reds

January is not the best month for tramping around Ham Lands as the grey skies drain most of the colour away and the wet ground is both slippery and heavy underfoot but I still love to do it.

The bad weather keeps most of the people away (and one of the paradoxes of Ham Lands is that it better without people but people need to be there to appreciate this) and there are things to appreciate such as the trees stripped of their Summer clothing and the colourful remnants of Autumn's crop of berries.

If you look hard enough you will find these particular red berries somewhere between Teddington Lock and Riverside Drive.

5 January 2011

Launch Lock at Teddington

The Launch Lock at Teddington is much smaller than the main Barge Lock and so gets used the most at this time of year when just the occasional boat is passing along the river.

It's just a shame that it is off-limits to casual visitors like myself as I'd love to get a little closer and to take some photos looking back towards the trees of Ham rather than the flats of Teddington.

1 January 2011

Approaching the lock

One of Neil Young's greatest songs, Powderfinger, opens with, "Look out, Mama, there's a white boat comin' up the river", which is what we have here. Neil Young goes on to describe a violent incident in the American Civil War but this boat is taking a peaceful route through Teddington Lock.

The Lock is a pretty destination for a walk most times but on a grey damp day it is less busy than usual and so there are no hideously bright cagoules to spoil the picture or boisterous children to shatter the peace.