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Astride the four hemispheres

One foot in the west, one foot in the east. Prime Meridian, Greenwich.

East and West
In the photo above, my friend has one foot in the eastern hemisphere and one in the western. (This is my friend’s photo, not mine — though it would need quite a contortion for me to take this!)

North and South
When I moved from England to Australia in 1999, I fit in a 2-month overland trek from Rio de Janiero (Brazil) to Quito (Ecuador) plus the Galapagos Islands. The photo below was taken near Quito and the thin line in the middle marks the Equator. On the left are the people in the group who lived in the southern hemisphere; northern dwellers are on the right. And I am stepping across the Equator to signify my move from one hemisphere to the other. (Faces blurred because these people, who I have not seen in 20 years, might not want their youthful likenesses floating around the internet.)

One small step for a woman …

Posted as part of October Squares Lines&Squares

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Old Meridian Line

The tree needs pruning, because all you can see through this slot is the tree.

We all think of Greenwich in east London as being home to the Prime Meridian — longitude line 0°, separating east from west. It was only in 1884 that the longitude line running through the observatory at Greenwich was internationally recognised as the Prime, however. This line in Richmond, west London, is just one of the others.

An enhanced version of the etching, showing the old meridian line more clearly

These grey stones follow the old line.

Posted as part of October Squares Lines&Squares

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Piccadilly Line blues

Indicator board at Earl’s Court station, London

I always liked these old-fashioned indicator boards, a relic from the past in our shiny digital age. This one is at Earl’s Court station, but I imagine they hang on in other stations of the London Underground.

I used to get quite ‘blue’ (by which I mean frustrated and peeved!) on the Piccadilly Line trains when I lived in London, but now it’s Sydney trains that receive my ire. And as every Londoner knows, the Piccadilly Line is the blue one! Rather misleadingly, the indicator board above is the same blue as the Piccadilly Line, but those stops are on the District Line, which is green. Confused yet?

Small but relevant section of London’s tube map. Earl’s Court station has been marked with a red box.

The theme for July Squares is Blue

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Royal Albert Hall Mushrooms

fibreglass acoustic diffusers (‘mushrooms’) Royal Albert Hall London

Blue mushrooms adorning the ceiling of the Royal Albert Hall, London

As you suspect, they’re not really mushrooms. 😉 They are fibreglass acoustic diffusers (nicknamed ‘mushrooms’) installed in the Royal Albert Hall, London to counter an echo. I took these photos last August at a Proms performance. The auditorium was certainly colourful!

 fibreglass acoustic diffusers (‘mushrooms’) Royal Albert Hall London

Blue mushrooms adorning the ceiling of the Royal Albert Hall, London

The theme for July Squares is Blue.

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Random Fridays: Crypt-ical

Crypt, St Martin in the Fields, London

When I moved to London for the first time, in 1989, the crypt at St Martin in the Fields, Trafalgar Square, was one of the first places I went, and often. The food at the cafe was cheap, you could nurse a coffee for hours, the surroundings simply oozed history, it was quiet and serene, and there was the added thrill of walking over dead people. Well, walking over old, worn, carved stone panels in the floor memorialising dead people, anyway.

During the 15 years I lived in London, I returned many times, often in conjunction with a concert in the church above (in 1991, I attended the concert to celebrate the church’s new organ, “in the presence of HRH The Princess of Wales”, the ticket words it; as I recall, we had an encore singing of “Jerusalem” at Diana’s request).

The crypt has changed over those years, less a hidden gem now and more another tick on the tourists’ bucket list, but the history and the architecture is still there — as is the thrill of walking over dead people.

If you’re curious about the church: It is dedicated to Saint Martin of Tours. There has been a church on the site since the medieval period. The present building was constructed in a Neoclassical design by James Gibbs in 1722–1726. (source)

Crypt, St Martin in the Fields, London


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