I’ve been aware of Berenice Abbott’s work for a while but it that way when you know an image when you see it but you don’t know who made it. After looking more deeply into her work I found some interesting aspects that I quite enjoy such as the photos taken of skyscrapers partly obscured by a balustrade.
Tottenham Court Road is one of my favourite places to visit in London because of my familiarity to it and the surrounding streets. Studying in Bedford Square for 3 and a half months last year meant that between classes I could explore while still having a sense of where I was. I think being new to London and having to spend time in one particular place means it can act as a safety net. And it is pretty handy for some good shops: Paperchase flagship, Tiger, MUJI, Primark (a bit too close to Oxford St mayhem though), West End Cameras (still the cheapest place to get my film developed that I’ve found), a great newsagent with incredible range near Warren St (the name, I forget) as well as good places to eat: easy Pret, EAT, Itsu, Wasabi, Franco Manca and now a Leon (I wish it had been there when I was studying!) as well VQ 24 hour diner and Gail’s Bakery on side streets. All that and I’m yet to mention the architecture! I adore the mishmash of buildings in London and certain details on this street draw my eye. My favourite way to approach this street is to get out of Warren Street Underground Station and walk down towards Centrepoint and Oxford Street. Diverting down side streets into Bloomsbury and Fitzrovia is half the fun of a visit to Tottenham Court Road so I highly recommend it if you want a city adventure without the ridiculous crowds you find on Oxford Street.
Heal’s. I dream of being able to afford to furnish a house from this store. And the decorations on the exterior really tell the history of the company.
J&J Goddard ghost sign. Always makes me happy to see it because it really stands out above all the boring shop signs.
Sneaking around a corner to find Gail’s and Bedford Square.
I was wondering where the usual 50 pigeons puffed out sitting on the ground were and then found them all in this tree. Ground must have been too wet!
Although the weather promised to bring rain and wind and general unwelcoming outdoor conditions I decided to go for a walk over Hampstead Heath on Sunday. I have been once before, little over a year ago, so I felt it was about time I went back. I was looking forward to seeing all the leaves turned brown and falling but not all were brown. In fact, it was mostly still green so lovely anyway! I had a stand off with a cute little puppy and enjoyed watching all the other dogs (there were so many!) bounding about the hills and trees. It was a lovely afternoon to walk and I ended it all with a chives and gruyère scone from Gail’s which was delicious and eaten embarrassingly fast as I had very much worn myself out. I will definitely have to try and make a walk on the Heath a more common activity.
I’ve been to Shoreditch a few times since coming to live in London and it is definitely what everyone says it is. Vintage, hipster, everything. I took a few snaps on a recent wander around and, as usual, I was attracted to the buildings. I don’t think I’ll ever get over London architecture and I don’t really mind fuelling my obsession. Snaps taken with my trusty Olympus Trip 35 and cheap as chips £1 Agfa Vista 200 film.
On the very good advice of a colleague (Laura never lets me down with advice!) I took a trip down to Forest Hill to pay a visit to the the Horniman Museum and Gardens and took my Olympus Trip along for the ride. I saw a variety of animals (alive and stuffed) including a goat, some sheep, the famous Walrus and a Westie with a fashionable red bandanna. It wasn’t all about the animals though as the Museum has an amazing display of worldly treasures including an impressive display of instruments. I found the V&A loaned hurdy gurdy, which was important to me due to a small inside joke held between me and a friend because we just find the name so ridiculous. It was a beautiful day so a lot of my time was spent outside in the gardens and admiring the view of the city from the bandstand. Unfortunately my choice of film and probably the fact i didn’t change the ISO settings on my camera (oops!) you can barely make out the London skyscrapers but if you squint and imagine shapes like gherkins, cheese graters and shards you will probably see them all there (or have a peep at a digital shot if your eyes can’t manage the puzzle).
At the end of July I took a few days off work because it was quiet in the office and I thought I might as well get paid to do nothing at home rather than do nothing at work. So I took the opportunity to go on a day trip and leave London for the first time since January. I got the coach up to Oxford and walked around, visited a few interesting places and took photos with my Olympus Trip 35 (film Agfa Vista 200).
At the end of the film I thought my camera was broken as it wouldn’t advance any further so I kept hitting the reset button and taking more shots. Little did I remember that it was only a 24 shot roll and that was my last frame…so I accidentally tricked my camera into taking a multiple exposure!
I’ve had some great experiences during my internship at the V&A and I’m only hallway through! One highlight has been three external visits to National Trust houses with a short course group. Officially I was assisting to supervise the visits but really I was enjoying every talk and tour as well as all the history of the houses and the areas around them. The group we had was pretty fun too, a great bunch of people.
Carlyle’s House, Chelsea
2 Willow Road, Hampstead
Fenton House, Hampstead