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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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Trinity House Weathervane

This nautical golden weathervane perches atop Trinity House in London, near the Tower of London. Trinity House, granted a Royal Charter by Henry VIII in 1514, is the General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar; a charitable organisation dedicated to the safety, welfare and training of mariners; and a Deep Sea Pilotage Authority. They also have a blog on WordPress, which is where I got that information.

And if you’re puzzled by the name “Trinity House” (I was), that’s due to their name on the charter: “The Master, Wardens, and Assistants of the Guild, Fraternity, or Brotherhood of the most glorious and undivided Trinity, and of St. Clement in the Parish of Deptford-Strond in the County of Kent.” You don’t get organisation names like that anymore!

Posted as part of Weathervane Wednesday — and tagged with #500posts because according to WordPress this is my 500th post on Pics by Kaz. That’s kind of scary!

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Summer Splash

fountain south bank centre London

This fountain is called Appearing Rooms and first popped up at the South Bank Centre in London in 2007 (this photo is from August 2018). The “walls” jet up and fall back with no apparent rhythm. If you’re brave (or willing to be soaked) you can make a dash for it. The people in this photo look content to stay in one place! On a hot day and with a change of clothes, it looks like great fun.

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Marking time

Elizabeth Tower at night, swathed in scaffolding

Elizabeth Tower at night, swathed in scaffolding

Commonly yet inaccurately called “Big Ben”, the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament contain the famous bell that gives the tower and the clock itself their nickname. On Monday 21 August 2017, Big Ben fell silent after the noon chimes and will not be heard (regularly) again until the completion of major restoration work, which is scheduled to take four years. I took this photo in August 2018, the tower swathed in scaffolding but the clock faces (there are four) still illuminated at night. One has a sense that the clock and the tower are doing their duty — telling time — yet are only marking time, waiting to re-emerge in their full, restored glory.

December Squares #timesquare