Wet day so photos indoors. You don’t get much more indoors than a box garage several floors underground.
Winter leathers on for a quick ride around Marseille in a moment of wan winter sunshine after the drizzle. Slippery cobbles around the Vieux Port but fun on the Corniche Kennedy with even a bit of respect from the scooter riders. I usually avoid Marseille Vieux Port on a bike because of the congestion but I wanted to check out the Marché de Noël (Christmas Market).
The Nutcracker at Covent Garden. They don’t do pantomime of course, this is as near as they get in the Royal Opera House. Peter Wright’s choreography of Tchaikovsky’s ballet score is very family-friendly, there’s a live television relay worldwide of tonight’s performance and showings on television over the festive season. So what’s the point of being here in the theatre?
However much the technology improves, it doesn’t replicate the thrill of seeing these major performers just over there, direct line of sight, nothing in between. There’s no mediation: you see, sense and feel the performance as it is, in its entirety. For ballet it’s about the physicality too, these moves are athletic in the extreme, the concentration and the physical effort communicates directly to us, human to human, both the soloists and in the group pieces - tonight we had principals plus up to two dozen dancers all performing detailed, complicated dances in character with huge grace and in pretty near perfect synchrony.
Ninety-one happy bikers for GBMCC London Christmas lunch at the Riverside restaurant, on the bank of the Thames at Vauxhall. Thank you Stephen for organising this event, which goes from strength to strength, as does GBMCC, now in its fortieth year.
Then many of us went on the nearby Royal Vauxhall Tavern for traditional stage entertainment: Charlie Hides’ TransAtlanticDame show.
High res version available to club members, see the GBMCC website
Sunday rowday on the Thames between Putney and Hammersmith. A squad of two rowing eights, the oarsmen wearing Oxford University kit. I prefer light blue but they're rowing in style and making good speed back to the boathouse on an ebbing tide.
Trying to represent in a photo that peculiar autumn pleasure of kicking through dry leaves. These leaves are from the London plane trees crowning the Thames embankment at Bishops Park since its opening in 1893.
And two cute vagabonds, grey squirrels looking cute and cadging for food.
Today is the third Thursday in November: « Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé ». Montmelas is one of the grand châteaux of Beaujeu, the village which gives its name to the Beaujolais wine. There’s a real castle to visit with five centuries of family tradition. And you can stay night or two in one or other of the towers of the castle. All of course in promotion of their wines.
There’s been lots of pre-publicity that the vintage of 2017 will be small and not of good quality because of hail storms, there’s also been speculation that the Beaujolais gamay vines escaped the worst of the hail... so it’s rather interesting to now try a bottle of vin primeur, Beaujolais Nouveau 2017.
The new headquarters for BBC Wales nears completion of the construction phase. It’s another block of big solid architecture, its blast-proof windows and mainly square lines looking more like a reactor block for a nuclear power station than an environment for creative experiment.
Cardiff Central Square below is awash with workers in muddy site boots and hiviz green PPE kit mingling with the railways workers in orange from the station opposite, established by the Great Western railway in the nineteenth century.
Wast Water, one of the least visited and least developed of the Cumbrian lakes. It’s a natural lake so at the foot of the steep scree the sides of the glacial U valley slope gently in to the lake. Wasdale Head seems to be known mostly as the start of one of the routes to the summit of Scafell Pikes.
The interest in a survey of photography in India since 1857 is that it is initially a distillation of British photography which then takes on its own life after national independence.
The Science Museum in South Kensington isn’t where I would expect to find a photography exhibition but this is part of their season “Illuminating India”. We get a chronological survey starting with documentary images of destruction of the Lucknow uprising (1857); these albumen prints, used as source for engravings for journals and magazines, led to a fashion for “Mutiny tourism”.