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Random Fridays: Memorial

Albert Memorial

Eye catching, isn’t he?

This is the Albert Memorial in London’s Kensington Gardens. It was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her husband Prince Albert, who died in 1861 aged only 42. As you can see, it was a gloomy English summer day when I took these photos, and Albert’s extensive gilding was by far the brightest thing around. I was attending two Proms at the Royal Albert Hall (just across the road) that day.

Albert Memorial

Albert sits in his memorial, facing his hall.

read more about the Memorial


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Riverside pubs in Hammersmith

Along the Thames, Hammersmith

Along the Thames, Hammersmith

There are few more pleasant ways to spend a summer’s evening in London than visiting the riverside pubs at Hammersmith.

Heading west from Hammersmith Bridge, the first pub you come to is the Blue Anchor. First licensed as a pub in 1722, this one has been around a while. (about the pub) It featured in the film ‘Sliding Doors’ with John Hannah and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Separated from the Blue Anchor by only a rowing club, the next pub is the Rutland Arms. It dates to ‘only’ the mid 1800s, and was damaged in World War II. I have no idea who the eponymous Rutland family is or was. I wonder how they feel (would have felt) about having a pub named after them?

This building below isn’t a pub, but it’s along the same stretch of riverside. I’ve always thought it would be a marvellous place to live. Far beyond my means, sadly!

Home sweet home? I wish!

It’s a short stroll to the next cluster of pubs, following the Thames beside parks, houses and flats, and canal boats.

 

Canal boats along the riverbank.

Canal boats along the riverbank. I love the table and chairs on the roof.

And here is The Dove, dating to the 17th century. (about the pub) The riverside terrace is ideal when the weather is warm, and the cosy low-ceiled rooms are welcoming when it’s cold. If you’re lucky you can squeeze into “the snug”, a tiny alcove that the Guinness Book of World Records verified as the smallest bar room in the world — it only holds three or four people.

The Dove, Hammersmith

This is the side that faces the river (photo taken from the terrace)

Another short stroll brings you to the Old Ship.

The Old Ship, Hammersmith

The Old Ship

And finally we have the Black Lion. This pub has a large beer garden with picnic tables for those summer days. I actually prefer being inside at the Black Lion, snuggled into the large leather armchairs — on a late afternoon in winter, as the night draws in early and the cold wind rattles the outside world, sitting here beside the fire makes everything a little bit better.

The Black Lion, Hammersmith

The Black Lion

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Dragons in London

The Great Pagoda at Kew Gardens in London has recently been restored to its 18th century splendour — that’s the wording of the website, by the way. The restoration included the return of 80 dragons on the roofs, each carved from wood and gilded with gold.

Here are two shots of the Pagoda itself, in which you can make out the dragons once you know that’s what the things sticking out from the roofs are!

great pagoda kew gardens

great pagoda kew gardens

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London Lights

street lights admiralty arch

If you know of my fondness for tall ships, you won’t be surprised that I was enchanted by these lights.

London has no shortage of interesting street lights, but I’ve settled for two for Nancy’s A Photo a Week Challenge (street lights). The ones above are near Admiralty Arch, those below are outside the St Pancras hotel/train station. The small feature photo at top has lights from Kew Bridge.

street lights St Pancras


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Fountain Series: Stately – The Italian Gardens, London

One of the four basins with its central fountain (and water lilies).

One of the four basins with its central fountain (and water lilies).

Continuing with last week’s Italian theme, here is my final stately/grand/ornate fountain: the fountains of the Italian Gardens in London’s Kensington Gardens. Dating to 1860, the four basins each have a central rosette fountain, and at the south end you’ll find the Tazza Fountain (photo below). The spot is popular at lunch among workers in nearby offices, which is how I came to know the gardens and fountains.

Here’s something I learned when I looked up the fountains for this post: the building at the left in the photo above originally housed the steam pump that kept the water flowing into the fountains. source

The Tazza Fountain is at the south end of the Italian Gardens, where water arcs into The Long Water (which itself flows into the Serpentine).

The Tazza Fountain is at the south end of the Italian Gardens, where water arcs into The Long Water (which itself flows into the Serpentine).


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Fountain Series: In a garden (1)

Fountain in a garden in Regent's Park, London

Fountain in a garden in Regent’s Park, London

A new challenge, what fun! This time the focus is on fountains, hosted by Polianthus. This is a great way to share archived photos of fountains, and a great excuse to take new photos (like I need more photos to edit, groan!). For March, the theme is fountains in a garden, and first up from me are two from London.

A wintry fountain, Kew Gardens, London

A wintry fountain, Kew Gardens, London

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Bench Bonanza! (2: the bumper edition)

Right, prepare to scroll down and down … herewith, the remaining Bench Series 2015 photos, presented geographically. It’s a mix of incidental benches and focus benches. I’d like to give a huge thanks to Jude to hosting and organising this challenge all year. I now have to train myself to stop photographing every bench I see!

Czech Republic

Franciscan Gardens, Prague

Franciscan Gardens, Prague (shame about the garbage can!)

France

Along the Corniche, Cannes

Along the Corniche, Cannes

Sri Lanka

The promenade, Galle

The promenade, Galle

United Kingdom

London

The British Library

The British Library

St Dunstan

St Dunstan

And a trio from Kew Gardens, one of my favourite London places.

Strange metal mesh animals at Kew

Strange metal mesh kangaroo lurking behind benches at Kew

Wintry sunlight at Kew

Wintry sunlight at Kew

Bluebells at Kew

Bluebells at Kew

Royal Ascot

Prime viewing benches for the races

Prime viewing benches for the races

Eastbourne Pier

Blue benches lining the pier

Blue benches lining the pier

I love Eastbourne. I used to walk along the coast, up and down those rolling chalk cliffs with the amazing views out to sea.

Somewhere in Wales

I don’t mean to be cryptic about the location, I just forget where this is!

A drizzly day in Wales, and the remains of a church.

A drizzly day in Wales, and the remains of a church.

Stratford

I don’t remember the name of my hotel, but it had this lovely grotto out back.

Grotto, bench and wine glass

Grotto, bench and wine glass

United States

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Benches on the street

Benches on the street

Outside the New Mexico Museum of Art

Outside the New Mexico Museum of Art

Museum of Contemporary Native Art

Museum of Contemporary Native Art

Lamy, New Mexico

Never heard of Lamy? Me neither. But I spent a few hot hours at its train station, waiting for a train whose arrival time became later and later …

Waiting room, Lamy Amtrak station

Waiting room, Lamy Amtrak station

Williams Junction, Arizona

Another place you may never have heard of — unless you’ve taken the train to the Grand Canyon.

A marvellous use for old train parts!

A marvellous use for old train parts!

Grand Canyon Village

El Tovar Hotel

El Tovar Hotel

A bench made from a log. I did not try this one for comfort, I admit.

A bench made from a log. I did not try this one for comfort, I admit.

near New Orleans

This is Oak Alley Plantation, well worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Oak Alley Plantation

Oak Alley Plantation

And that, you’ll be relieved to learn if you’ve made it this far down the page, is the end of the Bumper Bench Bonanza. “Thank you” to everyone who has visited these posts over the past year!


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