Taken in Chiddingstone, near Edenbridge, Kent
'Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness...' John Keats
Suddenly this week, there has been a huge change in season from unsatisfactory summer to brisk autumn. The muggy and stifling nights have morphed into cold and wintery ones, and sheets have been put aside in favour of blankets and duvets. Blackberries have always been synonymous with Autumn for me as they herald the start of nostalgia for autumnal delights such as roaring fires, stew and pumpkin pie. I took this photo in Chiddingstone, this time last year. It was one of the last games of the cricket season and we took down our empty ice-cream tubs to fill them with foraged berries. We braved the nettles and thorns and came back with boxes brimming with black jewels. With Autumn comes a new palette of colours in the landscape. A mellow hue of burnished orange highlights the forest row. These qualities were summed up perfectly in the quote above from Ode to Autumn by John Keats. For me, this is Autumn in an image.
Taken on Farringdon Railway Bridge, London
This week, I had time to take the final pictures that I needed to complete my On Location: Oliver Twist project in London. Going over all the work I had done on the locations, it freshly inspired me to find out more about the London Dickens knew and see how different it is to today. It was beautifully sunny and London was looking at its best with blue skies overhead and shadows dancing in the streets as I retraced the steps of well known characters. Surrounded by glass and concrete buildings and the noise and smell of the traffic, I was struck by how different the city has become since Dickens roamed the streets. I took this shot from the bridge over the train line into Farringdon. It shows both the historical and modern constructions side by side in sharp relief as St Pauls is belittled by the tip of the Shard and the 'Old Bailey' or Central Criminal Court is overhung by coloured cranes. I wonder what Dickens would have made of 2015 London? Although the city has changed on the surface, the more you dig into its' history, the more you see that not all of it has disappeared – it just lies hidden beneath 21st century life.
Taken on Hungerford Bridge, looking towards Waterloo Bridge
'A Foggy Day in London Town/George Gershwin'
On Saturday, for the first time in a couple of years, London was engulfed in fog that surrounded the top of the skyline. Although London is no longer the 'pea-souper' capital that it used to be, with dense yellow fog caused by pollution, occasionally the fumes settle over the city for a day or two. Since I was little, I have always thought that fog was a strange weather. It's not wet or windy or dry. It's mysterious and arrives when you least expect it. In fog, even the noises of London, are muted. Everything seems wrapped in cotton wool and all noises are muffled. There is a damp musty smell in the air. A curtain of cloud hovers in the air, eerily haunting street corners and hidden passages. I took this on Waterloo Bridge in mid afternoon and though it was late in the day, the fog still lingered around the Houses of Parliament and the dome of St Paul's Cathedral blurring the landmarks into the powdery sky.
Taken in Barnes, South West London
'Now you see me, now you don’t!'
Summer and Autumn have been in a weather fight over the last couple of weeks playing a game of meteorological hide and seek. One day the sky will be the deepest azure blue, the sun out and everyone returns to wearing shorts (Well, apart from me anyway!) And on another, there will be a torrential rain storm, where all the clothes you wear get soaked and stick to your body. As the weather changes, so do the animals. Migratory birds start to fly south for the winter and delicate hibernators tuckle up in an obliging compost bin. The only animals that seem to live all year round in Barnes are the foreign visitors who have made the city village their home – green parakeets. It may sounds incredibly unlikely but if you walk around the leafy streets, as well as hearing the twitter of native birds, you hear their squawking. Flashes of green catch your eye as they fly past. I thought this photo was appropriate! A hidden parakeet amongst the last green leaves of the season.