photos

keithlard and Miss Bunn's mini adventure

We had a grand day wandering hither, thither and whither all around this fair city, and had some ice creams, Keithlard got scared by some living statues (he does not like them), had posh drinks and went on a boat! It does not get any better than that really.

St Paul’s obviously which is staggeringly beautiful, and almost worth having most of London accidentally burnt down by a drunk baker. The weather looked a bit iffy at first but it soon turned into a lovely sunny day!

Miss Bunn had a posh multi coloured drink! Keithlard drank some too and pronounced it delicious!

A nice building we saw. I do not know what it is so if you do, write in. You could win a trip for two to premier South-West holiday destination Cricket St. Thomas, near Chard! (You will not though.) Edit: I have discovered it is Unilever House thanks to my own investergatory powers (© Keithlard Investergations, Ltd.)

An intresting drink that Keithlard had. I like that it has ‘DRINK’ written on the side of it in case you get confused or forgetful.

I like this sinister door, in a spooky old alleyway near some dungeons.

A boat yesterday (library pictures). This is not the one we went on which is a super fast catamaran made of NASA space materials. It was a bit confusing as first of all we were ordered off Bankside Pier by some cross policemen, then allowed back on again, then ordered on to the boat, then ordered off it again, then ordered back on it again. This is an anti-terrorist measure to confuse Al-Qaeda people and send them to Woolwich by mistake.

We travelled to historick maritime Greenwich on our own personal space boat and looked at some intresting mad shops. This is something I found in one of them which might be quite useful in fact.

More silly things that we giggled over in shops. Then we went to a really nice pub after looking all around for one that had a cigarette garden. It is the type of place that my hero Robert Hooke might have popped into for a refreshing pint after a hard day’s science experiminting, except he probably would not have played on the Fantasy Golf machine.

And so home after quite a few glasses of quite a few drinks, via London’s Canary Wharf. This is all done with the new little wizzo camera (Coolpix 7900) courtesy of Mike. It is a great bit of kit and extra tiny, also if you are wobbling a bit it lights up with a flashing ‘pint of beer’ symbol to indicate that you have drunk too much Hoegaarden to take good pictures. It was a magic day out though so huzzah!

Sophistercated men about town

It is me and Matt and some friends of ours Lynda and Gita, and some posh cocktails, at London’s exclusive Monkey Chews. This is what your lifestyle would be if you, like me, used the same Tube station as Marc Warren off the telly. But you do not.

Colour

Things are a bit grey at the moment so here is some much needed colour!

Nature's bounty

This is when I was wandering around Hampstead Heath with Matt and Laia, and we saw a cormorant. It is a little known fact that cormorants sunbathe, they also smoke Silk Cut, drink sangria and have ill-advised holiday romances with a bloke named Gino.

Everybody thinks robins are really cute, in fact they are vicious, aggressive and fiercely territorial killers. So are crocodiles, but it is funny that you do not see any Christmas cards with crocodiles on, yawning widely to show their huge wicked carious fangs. Or if you did it would not be the type of thing you would hang over the mantelpiece.

It would be good if horses were exempt from the Congestion Charge, which they probably are, as everyone would ride horses in Central London which would be excellent. Except for the streets being waist deep in manure of course. These so-called ‘ecologists’ never think things through properly.

A cheerful crow yesterday. I guess people are not too excited about crows, but I like them. It is not their fault they do not get their clothes at trendy shops like magpies do. Crows are very intellergent and social birds, so it is a bit unfair that the collective noun for them is ‘a murder’. In fact speaking as a lawyer that is tecknically libellous, as very few crows have ever been successfully prosecuted for murder. Mind you they are a close-knit bunch and always give each other alibis.

It is fun to wonder what horses think about all day. “Hmm I’m bored with standing over here all the time… I think I’ll go and stand over here for a bit and chomp reflectively on this grass.” On the other hand they could be inventing wonderful horse poetry that they then recite to each other in horse language, and we do not know about it. So next time you see a horse, just remember: where would we be, without horses.

Photergraphing Britain

It is a special thing where you can submit your photos to this Flickr group How We Are Now, and they will be displayed on big screens in the Tate Britain, and there will be an exhibition of prints of the best 40! So if you go to Tate Britain and you see some familiar looking pictures, they might be mine!

You can send in 4 so these are the ones I have chosen.

Back to the Welsh Harp

Moon and planets

On the night of May 19th the Moon appeared to pass very close to Venus, it was a beautiful sight just after sunset. Unfortunately as the Moon was fairly new, it necessarily set not long after the Sun, and seen from the UK had not reached its closest approach before setting. This picture is from earlier on in the evening. The Moon is sneaking up on Venus, in preparation for giving it a wedgie.

Closer shot of the crescent Moon. Note how the low-angled morning light shows craters in deep shadow along the terminator. That is just an astronomickal term, there is not a killer robot from the future living on the Moon. Or at any rate if there is, it is not visible in this photo.

Jupiter is high and bright in the south at the moment, and I got this nice picture from my cosy living room with just the 200mm telephoto. It is no trick to be able to see Jupiter, as it is genuinely awesome in size, bigger than all the other planets put together, twice, and a bit more, but I was pleased to be able to see the four principal moons as well: from left to right, Callisto, Ganymede, Io and Europa.

If you looked at the Solar System from far away, you would conclude there was one main planet, Jupiter, plus some annoying specks. Jupiter has more moons than the Sun has planets (over 60 at last count), but then it acts like a giant Dyson, vacuuming up any asteroids and comets that wander too close, with no loss of suction! In 1994 the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet hit Jupiter, creating an explosion about the size of the Earth, and seriously denting its no-claims bonus.

If you expose for its moons, Jupiter is just a bright blob, so here is a picture attempting to show detail of the planet itself. You can see its coloured bands and stripes, especially the large white equatorial zone. It is sometimes said that Jupiter is a failed star, and in Arthur C. Clarke’s novel 2010 it is turned into a star by some helpful people from a black monolith. This would be convenient for us here on Earth as it would provide valuable light to see by at night, and deter burglars. In reality though that would not happen, as Jupiter is a long way short of enough mass to kick-start nuclear fusion, but on the other hand if you have a giant black monolith you can do basically anything.

More from the Barbican

Experimints

This is a study of light and fractal chaos, or more prosaically it is someone smoking. Light and fractal chaos sounds better on one of those gallery labels though.

These are basically some experimintal photos where I was trying things out, it does not always work, but it is fun anyway. If you do not like them it is no good complaining.

A visual celebration of my friend Matt, a bit like Andy Warhol might do, except with less soup.

A cricket match I happened to illegally watch from over the fence. I thought I would try my finger at a bit of sports photergraphy, it is not easy especially as they keep changing ends when you are not looking!

Some mud. You could imagine it might be a satellite photo of a very dry country or something, or perhaps the web of a pissed-up and frankly slapdash spider who has let himself down.

This is a composite exposure of a plane going past my house, that is a tecknical way of saying I cut out bits of several pictures and stuck them together with non-toxic school glue. You can see it has gone a bit wobbly at the end where I accidentally joggled the camera!

Mystery bird challenge

I saw this yesterday out on the common, I do not know what it is though. I did not find it in my Big Boys’ Book of Birds, so hopefully someone who knows how to identify different types of bird from quite a long way away will be able to tell me what it is. It was quite small, about blue tit size; my best guess is some kind of tit or warbler. That is probably wrong though. Apologies for the bad picture as it is covert surveillance footage.

Edit: Thanks to whizzerandchips for identifying this as a Whitethroat (Sylvia communis). That is two lifers in one day as I also saw a swift!