31 March 2011

Attic window

Previously I have admired the ordered symmetry of the front of Selby House but I like the side too, and for different reasons. The side facing Ham Street is a large expanse of dark red brick, typical of the area, and is rich with charm and history. This is a house that is confident, secure and homely.

The only door or window that dares to interrupts this flow of bricks is right at the top of the house squeezed in between two chimneys. One can imagine a mad relative imprisoned in the attic whose only view of the world is through that window.

25 March 2011

Selby House

There are so many beautiful houses from small cute cottages to majestic mansions all jostling for prime position around Ham Common that it's a little unfair to pick just one or two out for special mention. But I'll be unfair and single out Selby House because I love it.

For starters, it's a little more modest than most hiding its not inconsiderable charms behind St Thomas Aquinas church. Chief among those charms are its simple symmetry and classic proportions. And finally, its finely maintained gardens mirror the order of the house.

It all combines wonderfully.

22 March 2011

Bare woods

Somebody has been busy in Petersham Lodge Woods getting it ready for Spring by cutting things back and clearing things out. Now it looks like a room in a Show Home, unlived-in and unloved, but soon the woods will grow back and it will, once again, look like a teenager's bedroom, messy but fun.

19 March 2011

Nesting swan

I was not intending to follow the swans' annual ritual this year but my resolve was softened by the excellent light (after days of grey) and the earnest endeavour of the pen as she pulled weed out of the water to line her nest. Such signs of Spring deserve to be marked and I have done so.

16 March 2011

Making changes

When this house on Ham Common went on sale last year it was obvious that it's main, if not only, attraction was its location. And so it has proved with the new owners gutting and extending the house and removing mountains of soil from the front garden.

I'll be returning here over the coming months to see what emerges from beneath the scaffolding and rubble.

12 March 2011

A fence and two fields

The flecks of blue in the middle of the picture are The Thames and just before that is the bustling towpath busy with walkers who compete for space in the pot-holed and muddy path that links Richmond and Kingston.

The route I prefer to take is through the two small fields that fill the space between Ham Polo and the river. This path links the larger paths by Ham House and Douglas Footpath each with their unnecessarily obtrusive foot bridges. I find this way a lot prettier and I also like that it is a lot quieter too, so much so that it is unusual to see anybody else using it.

The western field (on the left here) is home to some horses who seem to be bored with people and they pay you no attention whatsoever as you intrude on their living quarters. The other field is wild and messy, in a nice way, and has no purpose other than to be a natural habitat.

5 March 2011

Newark Lodge 1835

This is another one of those little decorative features that you can only spot if you walk slowly in the right place and with Big Chief I-Spy's skills and determination.

This time I had walked up Holly Lane and then along Sudbrook Lane before turning back along Petersham Road towards home. It's on this awkward corner that Newark Lodge has managed to squeeze itself to a commanding position.

3 March 2011

Vapour trail

My original aim was just to capture the warm colours of the sky with the stark black outline of the bare trees on a cold evening on Ham Common but then a jet leaving Heathrow slowly drew a sharp white line across the picture to change its character and purpose.

I preferred the picture with the vapour trail to the one I took before without and so that's the one that is shown here.