30 January 2012

Collecting windows

I am sure that they are all very useful and make the house a lot brighter inside but the sheer number of windows and their scattered arrangement make for a distinctly odd roof.

28 January 2012

Red tower

The former All Saints Church in Bute Avenue can reasonably lay claim to being the most impressive building locally. Others may be bigger, more historical and have better gardens but All Saints is unsurpassed in the arrogance of its design. It stands bright and tall surrounded by much lesser houses that gather around it as if paying homage.

The height and colour of the red tower are enough in themselves to warrant this awe but All Saints is also highly decorated with intricate designs in the brick work. Nothing about this design is plain and simple, even the lowliest windows get the full treatment of layered arches.

24 January 2012

Shy house

This house is doing its very best to stay hidden. It has chosen one of the quietest roads to live in, has built a tall wall in front of it and now seeks further protection from a coat of scaffolding and a shabby plastic hat.

22 January 2012

Winter trees

Winter brings with it clear blue skies (at times) and trees bereft of leaves which draw a fractured web of angular branches above us.

19 January 2012

Looking out for toads

As Church Road hits Latchmere Lane and turns sharply north toward Ham Gate there is a stark warning that we may encounter toads (not frogs as I first thought). I suspect we are meant to worry more about their safety more than our own but as I have never encountered any there I cannot comment on their ferocity.

16 January 2012

St Andrews in the sun

I do not like St Andrew's Church very much and so it has not featured in this archive for almost three years. It is not an attractive building and its setting, surrounded by trees, makes it dark and unwelcoming.

You can see some of that here with the graveyard choked by shadow but the sun has managed to climb above the trees to warm and brighten the red brick wall at the back of the church.

14 January 2012

Hidden house

The houses and gardens on the south side of Ham Farm Road have matured nicely and what once must have seemed brash and even brutal now blends in with Ham Common Woods opposite.

I've chosen this example as the garden almost succeeds in hiding the house. Something that it has been trying to do for fifty years since being planted by the then, and still current, owner.

12 January 2012

An even closer look at Toad of Toad Hall

I love this weathervane immensely, which is why I've taken three photographs of it in the last four years.

The magnificent Toad of Toad Hall first appeared in this blog back in March 2008.At the time I was using a Canon Ixus 55. Then, in February 2009, I took another picture with my then brand new Ixus 80 IS with its better zoom and image stabilisation software.

Three years later and my camera has been upgrade again and I now use a Canon Powershot 230HS which has an even better zoom despite still being small enough to fit easily in to a pocket.

I think that this picture shows that the upgrade was worth it.

11 January 2012

Another fallen tree

It's a sign of unstoppable change when a tree falls. It marks the passage of time and reminds us that we can take even beautiful things for granted when they have been there for so long. You only know what you've got when it's gone, as they say.

Somebody was alert to the fall and the top of the tree was trimmed quickly to reopen the path. So far so good but now somebody else needs to plant some new trees to fill the gaps left by this one and the others that have fallen in the cause of nature.

10 January 2012

Locked wheel

It is sometimes easy to forget when admiring the beauty of Teddington Lock that its primary function is as a machine for lifting and lowering boats to allow them to pass the weir.That is why it has wonderfully sturdy and industrial features like this wheel, conveniently locked in case children discover it.

9 January 2012

Fading hollyhocks

The garden by the office at the south-east end of Teddington Lock are manicured, regimented and tidy which contrasts with the ad hoc arrangement of hollyhocks at the north-west end, beyond the barrier that keeps visitors safe from the river, that almost convinces you that they arrived their naturally.

Even as the year turns some of the flowers remain defiantly colourful while on other plants it is the leaves that choose to show off.

8 January 2012

A gathering of seagulls

On the quieter west (Surrey) side of Teddington Lock a flock of seagulls has gathered to make the most of the wind and grey skies that they appear to be enjoying more than I was.

What I was enjoying was the clutter. The picture is busy with various purposeful bits attached to the lock in the foreground, moored boats in the middle and flats on the Teddington bank bringing up the rear.

4 January 2012

Long lock

Teddington Lock is one of those places that rewards every visit with something new. This time I walked to the very end of the lock and took this picture looking back. The things that I note from this view are the sheer length of the lock, the care and attention that are paid to the grounds with it's new trees, neat grass, seats and picnic tables, and the two lock-keepers cottages on the Surrey bank.

3 January 2012

The weir at Teddington

Where Ham meetings Teddington the river has been tamed to allow safe passage for boats along the river and for pedestrians across it. The first signs of this as you walk along the towpath north from Kingston are the sights and sounds of the weir and the constructions around it.

The industrial brutality of the weir is echoed by the boats moored on the Surrey bank. In the middle the calmed water reflects what it sees without prejudice.

1 January 2012

Long shadows on Ham Common

The long Winter shadows stretch longingly across Ham Common and almost reach as far as the parade of trees that efficiently divides East from West. Beyond the divisive trees can be glimpsed Sudbrook Lodge and the New Inn.

Spoiling the view slightly are the cars on Upper Ham Road that add unnatural colours and alien movement. I would love to see substantial bushes line the road to hide it from the Common.