Five years and eight months on — and still at it!


I don’t usually behave like this—but it’s the pink hair that turned me into a gorilla—instantly.  Camden Market, London

Little did I contemplate, let alone realise, that when I started posting to this blog five years and eight months ago I would still be doing it in 2021.  I had written a blog years ago—very intermittently—but stopped when Apple scrapped the application I had been using and with which I had more or less familiarised myself.

But then I read a blog post written by a person I didn’t know and who had undergone a serious operation in which he described several things that had been happening to him. On reading that, I decided to start using the application that he had used and found it easy-peasy. I had actually wanted to restart the blog as for several years, I had been getting out and about most mornings either in Tel Aviv or London.  In Tel Aviv, “out and about” usually meant the Yarqon Park and Tel Aviv Port, returning home via the streets of North Tel Aviv, with occasional forays elsewhere.  In London, it was a similar story — south to Primrose Hill, sometimes through to The Regent’s Park and into the West End, sometimes east and north to Hampstead Heath.  I almost always carried a camera with me on these walks, noticing and noting the many and varied activities going on while taking lots of photographs. However, l became increasingly frustrated by my inability to disseminate these images. For a time, I sent email attachments to friends and acquaintances but that was hardly adequate.  Now and then, I posted a picture or two to Facebook but as I have no desire to be inundated daily with hundreds of posts, I limit the number of my Facebook friendships to a quantity I can deal with (more or less).  

And then I remembered that in June 2014, I had given a seminar in the Department of Geography at the University of Haifa entitled: “The changing eyes of a human geographer: How being a geographer has influenced what I photograph and how to do it”.  I had intended it as a “serious” seminar, one that I might work on and convert into a paper (I was still in “academic mode” at that time.)  But in the event, the presentation was postponed only to be rescheduled for the last day of the school year and as such, it had been intimated to me that I might like to “lighten” the content as the folks were celebrating the end of another academic year and weren’t up to anything as heavy as an earnest seminar. Consequently I gave a “slideshow” — but a high quality one, I might add.

Anyway, not having looked for over a year and a half at what I had originally prepared for that presentation, which, in retrospect, was 6,000 words long, and at least twice as long as would have been justified for a seminar, I decided to re-read it and on reading what I had written once more, I discovered that the original presentation was quite coherent and could be built on somehow—but how should I proceed?  An article for an academic journal perhaps? I might have done that once but as a retiree, such things no longer interested me all that much and I didn’t think I had the patience to submit a paper to a journal and deal with snooty editors and snotty reviewers (of which I had been one for 35 years).  Perhaps a picture book that my photography mentor had suggested to me that I produce earlier that year, a book on the park and the port in Tel Aviv.  However, after some contemplation, I concluded that a book was too big a project at the stage I was at then. I needed to try something a little easier at first and if it went well, perhaps I might turn it into something a bit more serious. So I decided on an SW photography blog — something where I could show and explain some of the many images I have taken over the past few years.  Consequently, when I restarted the blog in December 2015, my aim was no more ambitious than to see if I was capable of producing just 20 posts and I set out to post my first piece.

The Regent’s Canal, North London

So here I am, nearly six years later, still churning it out, approximately one post every eight days, text (usually frivolous or based on whatever happens to have vexed, irritated, piqued or amused me in the week prior to posting) and photographs (usually taken in the 10 days or so before posting), loosely (if at all, although I usually try) related to the text.  And yet, there are still the faithful few who seem to read what I write and look at the photographs.  And what is more, there is even a small number of diehards who bother to comment, either on the content or on the images, sometimes even leading me to material or ideas that had never before entered my mind.  The other thing I had to remember was that I’m not writing an academic paper but something else entirely and that meant shaking off the language of “academese” and writing in a more informal manner.  An what a relief not to have to worry too much about this word or that or starting a sentence with a conjunction or whatever — although I do have one reader who frequently corrects my spelling mistakes, or inserts commas and semicolons where needed but I take it all with good grace — after gritting my teeth for not having twigged on to these errors myself before posting.

And today, it’s post #250—and I haven’t got the slightest idea what I’m going to write except that it might—I say just might—be a little longer than usual.

In addition to hardly believing that I’ve been doing this for as long as I have, I also find it difficult to accept that I’ve already been in London for four weeks.  And how things have changed in just four weeks. And I’m not referring to the weather, either.  When I arrived, there seemed to be nothing on the TV other than Olympics and Covid, with the odd murder or wildfire thrown in for good measure just to make people feel at home.  And how things have changed during what used to be called “the silly season” — the Afghanistan débâcle(s), fires, floods, and now it’s the paralympics and Charlie Watts, the original Rolling Stones drummer, about the announcement of whose death BBC TV news broke into a serious discussion on Afghan refugees. And of course, there’s still Covid, the numbers about which I can make neither heads nor tails any more, except to learn that it’s still about and will be for a long time. And as I’m in the the UK, and whereas everybody I seem to know in Israel has had a third booster shot, I think I will have to wait until I return to the Land of Milk and Honey before I have mine.

And now for some photographs.

A couple of years ago, while walking up Haverstock Hill in NW London, heading towards Hampstead, I came across this street sign, which I simply interpreted as an error on the part of someone a few years ago.

However, a little further up the street, I had to change my mind, because it seemed as if the same street sign technician had been let loose some time ago and managed up to put yet another dyslexic street sign in place.  I was always told when younger to “mind my P’s and Q’s” but the guy responsible for this obviously didn’t mind his P’s and O’s.  Incidentally, directly opposite this sign is an older one (you can tell it’s older because Willoughby Road, now in London NW3, was once just in London NW.)  Willqughby Road is in NW3!

This stamp dispenser stands just off Primrose Hill Road and it’s been there for a very long time.  I photographed it about 10 years ago and was wondering the other day how often it gets used in these days of FaceTime, Facebook, WhatsApp and all the other devilish pieces of social media that I don’t know about and have never even heard of.  The only time I ever saw this dispenser is use was when Alan Bennett bought four stamps prior to posting a letter — one of the few occasions on which I didn’t even have my camera with me!

And not far from the same place, I came across this couple out for a walk, he wearing the shortest shorts I think I’ve ever seen in this part of the world!

And while walking around Hampstead, I came across a plaque on one of the houses on Pilgrim’s Lane.  Obviously, Jacqui was insufficiently famous to warrant a blue plaque but managed to be remembered by way of a local one (as well as, of course, her many recordings).

However, no sooner had I emerged from Pilgrim’s Lane and was walking down Rosslyn Hill/Haverstock Hill, I came across a different cellist, obviously en route to a recording session in AIR Studios at the corner of Haverstock Hill and Lyndhurst Road, in what used to be a church (signs of the times).

A week ago, I had a guest stay for three days in the apartment and we decided to visit the Tate Modern (a building with which I’m in love) to see an exhibition focussing on the importance of plaster and other soft materials in Rodin’s sculptures. Although he is best known for his bronze and marble sculptures…

… he also worked as a modeller, capturing movement, light and volume in pliable materials such as clay, plaster and terracotta.

Rodin’s giblets


Rodin, The Burghers of Calais. Tate Modern, London

And there was also an opportunity to capture how the Tate (and British society) has changed in the past two or three decades.

And just before exiting the gallery,  I took a photo of the enormous play space that has been created for children on the ground floor of this amazing building.

BTW, the picture below is not of a statue by Rodin but was taken not too far from the Gallery. Given that he didn’t move for five minutes, he might as well have been sculpted by Rodin.

And en route to the Tate, while walking down Kingsway, and passing part of King’s College London with portraits of famous graduates on the wall, I was reminded that I have a dental appointment this week!

… and emerging from the gallery after the visit en route to find somewhere too have a bite, I came across yet another young woman full of selfie-confidence

Leaving the house the other day for a walk on Hampstead Heath, there was a parked van with a story to tell.  A vegan activist, known as Earthling Ed just set off on a tour of the British seaside a couple of years ago in a vehicle named ‘The Off the Hook Truck’. He has stocked the truck with free vegan fish and chips – also known as tofish and chips – which, apparently, is one of the best sellers at a London restaurant of which he is part-owner.

No visit to London would be complete without a walk to Primrose Hioll — this one on a misty early morning walk.

And another visit to the same venue brought me this week’s avian picture—of a starling, a beautiful bird I’d never seen from close-up before!

And as a sign of the times, one entrance to Primrose Hill announces “No skating”, “No cycling”, “No amplified music” — and as a sign of the times, a lock and chain have been put in place to close off entrance to the park at night time …

… something that The Economist had a thing or two report about a fortnight ago!

Economist on Hampstead Heath

This gentleman below can be seen most mornings walking down the hill from the direction of Hampstead, replete with sleeping bag and belongings, from where he presumably found somewhere to rest his weary head and body …

… and then he can be observed later in the day walking up the hill from the direction of Camden with what would appear to be his favourite tipple—vintage cider!

And coming home on the Underground one evening last week, I was struck by the slumbering couple on the other side of the carriage …

… and also by the notice on the carriage window next to them.



Younger people, this actually means “Get off your bike here and now”!

And here are some styles observed in the heart of Camden Town.



Meanwhile, Tal, my 11-year old grandson has suddenly become interested in taking photographs with his phone and I thought I’d include a couple that he took a few days ago while looking for subjects to do with nature.  I thought it was pretty good for a first try!

Finally—and I’ve never done anything like this before in over five years of blogging—I’m including a so-called “scholarly piece” for your edification. Every now and then, one surprises oneself. A couple of weeks ago, that’s what happened to me. About 20 years ago, I contributed a chapter to a co-edited a book. Looking at the year in which it was published, 2002, I must have received a copy when I was living in London and the book remained here, never making it back to Israel.

Then, one wet afternoon, rather than go out  for a walk in the rain, I did an hour and a half on the exercise bike and took a book off the shelf to take my mind off pedalling.  I vaguely remembered that I had a chapter—“States of Segregation”— in that book. Recalling the writing process, I actually do remember writing it (it started life as five chapters of a book never completed) and I also recalled an exchange I had with the copy editor at the time.  However, having said that, I can’t remember ever reading it after it had been published. So I read it while pedalling and found that I had to keep asking myself if it was really I who wrote it. I reckon that it is one of my best pieces ever—even interesting and free of jargon. What a pleasant surprise it was! But buried inside a book, I wondered if anybody had ever read it!  So here’s your chance!

States of Segregation


Alice, Bags and Insanity

I really can’t believe that it’s been almost a fortnight since I last posted so I suppose if it’s time again.  I also can’t believe that I’ve been in London for over a fortnight — and what have I done except reorient my body from extreme heat and humidity to greyness and coolness interspersed with something resembling summer sun and temperatures every now and then?  I can’t say that I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for and I also can’t say that I don’t like it — although a little more sunshine might be in order.

I finally “awoke” on my fourth day here, a Monday, and was even alert by the following day, at which point I needed to get out and “do” something.  I had watched a TV programme which was part of a series on museums during lockdown here in the UK and the one I watched was about the Victoria and Albert Museum (the V&A) and part of the programme dealt with an exhibition based on Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking Glass.  Alice in Wonderland, as it is commonly known, was written 166 years ago and, as everybody knows, is a tale about a young girl named Alice who falls through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world of anthropomorphic creatures.  It’s regarded as a wonderful exemplar of the genre known as literary nonsense and it’s a story that appeals to both children and adults and it’s its play with logic that provides the story with its lasting popularity.  Alice has never been out of print and it has been translated into 100 languages. It has also been adapted for stage, screen, radio, art, ballet, theme parks, and even  board games and video games.

As the author apparently imagined the story and then told it on a boat ride with Alice (Alice Liddell was a very real person) and her sisters and started to write it down the following day. Alice was was aged 8 at the time and one couldn’t help but wonder what 21st century paedophilophobes would have made of an adult male riding in a boat on a river, telling three young girls fantastic stories, is anybody’s guess.  Moreover, Lewis Carroll was a keen amateur  photographer who enjoyed photographing children; several of his photos depict nude or semi-nude children—but nevertheless Alice in Wonderland  has been read by millions.

At any rate, I decided to travel to the V&A in South Kensington where I had spent several enjoyable days a decade or so ago participating in two photography courses from which I took away a lot. Before I set off, I booked my entry time for in these COVID days, and notwithstanding Boris Johnson’s “Freedom Day”, many institutions such as museums and galleries operate a form of social distancing based on times of entry.

Having got there, I joined a line for the Alice Exhibition.  I must have been in the line 10 minutes when I was approached by one of the museum staff who asked me if I needed help and I discovered that I was in the right queue but when my turn came, the information I received was that tickets for “Alice” are distributed on Tuesdays and this being a Wednesday, there were none left, which left me somewhat annoyed (I almost wrote a euphemism often used in common speech but I restrained myself at the last minute) as I’d travelled across London to get there.  However, I then enquired whether if I took out membership in the V&A, I could see the exhibition that same day as a member and along came the response “Of course”, so reckoning that I’m like to go again once or twice over the coming months, that is exactly what I did and I was able to see what I wanted to see, and, in addition, another exhibition entitled “BAGS: Inside Out”, which explores the style, function, design and craftsmanship involved with transportable containers for all sorts of nicknacks of all sorts of value, from handbags and purses, rucksacks and knapsacks to despatch boxes, Birkin bags, Louis Vuitton luggage and trunks that the over-wealthy used to take with them on ships and into which would be placed anything that might be needed at the end of a voyage.  Super interesting.  And all from the V&A collection.

… and then it time for Alice.  All I can say about it is that the curator’s imagination ran wild and there’s something in this conglomeration of objects based on Alice for everyone of every age.  I even came home and read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland again for the first time in perhaps 60 years or more.

When Hollywood discovered Alice! (Just look at who’s in the cast!)


The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (i)


The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party (ii)


The Queen of Hearts (accompanied by the King)

This week, friends asked me if I’d like to go with them to Kew Gardens.  Although the weather when we set out was far from perfect, Kew is a pleasant place to visit.  The fact that getting there took an hour or so and getting back even longer, left us about an hour and a half at the gardens, but the company was great, the chat even more so and there were some pictures to be taken as well.

Kew Gardens on an August afternoon

One of the more spectacular trees at Kew is the monkey puzzle, also known as the Chile Pine (Araucaria araucana).  Araucaria was also the nom de plume of the Rev. John Graham, the Guardian crossword setter, over whose solutions I used to study for years (the crosswords themselves were a little difficult for me although from time to time I had partial successes).  The Rev. Graham also set puzzles for other publications, including The Financial Times, in which he used the pseudonym Cinephile, which every crossword setter and solver would immediately recognise as an anagram of Chile Pine,  &c., &c., &c.



The Hive, Kew Gardens.

My other outing this week was to the Hampstead Theatre (with socially distanced seating) to see one of Tennessee Williams’ lesser known plays, The Two Character Play, in which the two characters are actors on tour, a brother and sister who find themselves deserted by their acting troupe in a decrepit “state theatre in an unknown state”. Faced (perhaps) by an audience expecting a performance, they enact The Two-Character Play – an illusion within an illusion, an ‘out cry’ from isolation, panic, and fear. The plot is somewhat confusing and difficult to follow, and there is little sense of a resolution. It has a concurrent double plot, a play within a play in which the brother and sister characters are psychologically damaged from witnessing the traumatic murder/suicide of their parents, remaining recluses in the family home since the incident though they are attempting to make hesitant contact with the outside world. Because the actors dip in and out of performance—there are only the two of them left since their company has abandoned them—improvising parts not memorised or not yet written, it becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate the actors from the characters and reality from illusion.  At the Hampstead, both of the actors were brilliant and the staging was out of this world.  The play is apparently in part autobiographical. The female actor and character are loosely based on Williams’ sister, Rose, who was schizophrenic, and the male actor and character based on Williams himself, who cared for her.

Beyond museums, galleries and theatres, just walking around the neighbourhood has provided its own complement of photographs.  For instance, I know I’m in England when I see a number like the one on the door below…



… and the bridge over the railway line just before entering Hampstead Heath has been decorated and beautified since I was last here.

Meanwhile, although I’m living in an urban area, there is still wildlife around — even when I take out the garbage…

… or when I look out of the [not too clean] living room window.

Kew Gardens provided me with two of this week’s avian photos

… while this pigeon in The Regent’s Park was only doing what pigeons do — taking the sun.

The Regent’s Park always amazes me — any time of the year, there are flowers and colours.

Meanwhile, on the way back from a morning walk on the Heath, I came across a scene that one can observe almost anywhere.

Too late! The deed has been done!

And while at Kew, it wasn’t all trees and flowers and birds — and there was time for coffee as well.

And moire locally, in the immediate neighbourhood, you can see all sorts of interesting things if you keep your eyes open.

Past its best before date. (Fleet Road, Belsize Park.)

And in a way, this post box, which I’ve been meaning to photograph for years already sort of summarises the current state of the United Kingdom

And the birds at the end of the garden are indicating that perhaps the apples on the trees that I can see from the living room window are already ripe.

Finally, daughters and granddaughters escaped from the heat and humidity of Tel Aviv for a couple of days to the Jerusalem Hills (before the wildfires) and while walking in Jerusalem, Lily (on the left) noticed a poster advertising an “End of Summer Festival”, which contained a drawing that Shuli had done for the Israel Chamber Orchestra’s children’s concerts a couple of years ago.  Great excitement all round, I’m told!




Heat and humidity—Wind and rain

It’s Monday afternoon, the second day of August, and I find myself once again in London, the capital of what has been designated by the Government of Israel as a “red country”, a high-risk country, although true-blue conservatives and Conservatives might balk at that description.

The fact that the Israeli government designated the United Kingdom as a “high risk” destination upset whatever fragmentary plans I had for the second half of this summer.  All of a sudden, 10 days ago, I had to decide whether I should travel a fortnight earlier than I’d planned (if indeed I was able to change my booking) or wait until Israel looked upon the UK more favourably.  I consulted with the person who has acted as my travel agent for the past three and a half decades and with another person familiar with the travel business and decided that there was no real alternative.  In fact, changing the booking was the easiest part of the whole process.

The thought of escaping the heat and humidity of Tel Aviv (34ºC, 80% humidity today) and swapping it for the rain and wind of London really didn’t bother me in the slightest although I imagine that after a week of rain, etc., I might be wanting a bit of warmth!

View from the bedroom window that day after arrival

Having completed Stage I (i.e., changing the booking), I then had to put the apartment in Tel Aviv in something resembling order in the space of five days rather than the two and a half weeks I had originally contemplated as I had rented it to an old friend for the duration of my stay away from Tel Aviv.  Given that I am not the most organised person on the planet, what was never going to be an easy task turned out to be nightmarish but I think that by the end of the fifth day, it was sufficiently acceptable to accommodate a guest.

I was due to travel on the Thursday morning but it was only on the Monday that I started to deal with the bureaucracy of travel during the Corona era.  First off, I had to book a Covid test in order to exit Israel.  Although it had been difficult enough to find a time and date, I had already booked an appointment at the airport the day before I was originally due to travel but, of course, that had now become passé.  And as the test results had to be printed in English, that meant that getting a new appointment meant either travelling to somewhere in South Tel Aviv and waiting or, alternatively, paying a little extra and have someone come to the flat to do it.  I chose the latter and was given a time slot by the organisation carrying out the tests—Tuesday 27 July between 10.00 and 14.00.  At about 10.30, I had a call from a woman who introduced her self as Poll, who spoke English with a Manchester accent and told me she’d be with me within the hour to administer the Covid test but no sooner had that conversation ended when the doorbell rang and I was informed by a man called Rami from the same organisation that he had arrived to stick a swab down my throat and then up my nose.  What ensued was an argument between Polly and Rami lasting over five minutes — on my cellphone —  as to who would do the job.  It ended when he came up to the apartment and did what he said he had to do.  The conclusion that cynical me arrived at was that the swab deliverers work on commission and while this whole business of Covid testing may well be a necessary precaution, it is also a racket, a conclusion which was confirmed over succeeding days!

By evening I had received a negative result signed by a senior physician at Tel Aviv’s main hospital that I was “fit for international travel” and I sighed a sigh relief — but, boy, was I naïve!  I had also received notification from El Al, the Israeli airline with which I was due to travel, that my flight had been changed from the reasonable hour of 10.10 to 08.10, which meant a 4 a.m. rise and shine. On the morrow, I filled in a form to satisfy the authorities in the United Kingdom that I was “fit to stay”.  I provided them details of my flight number, my seat number on the plane, where I was going to stay, how many people were travelling with me, how many other people were going to be in the place I was going to live, etc. and I received confirmation once more that I was “kosher”.  Relief — again.

However, there was one more hurdle to cross and that came on the Thursday, the day before I was due to travel.  Just as in England, where they want to know who is entering, the Israelis want to know who is leaving; so 24 hours before the flight time, I filled in the appropriate form and sent it online to the Israeli Ministry of Health and received a response within 30 seconds that given the data that I had supplied, I was forbidden to travel and that I should contact the airline!  I tried again — same response.  I tried a third time, this time in English — and guess what?  So I rang my travel agent of 36 years and asked what might be wrong and she told me that she had entered my Irish passport number on the booking but that she would correct it.  I waited an hour and then tried again — but got the same response.

So I called El Al and got on to someone who tried to be helpful, and asked him if there was an Israeli or Irish passport number on the booking.  “Israeli” was the response, so I tried a fifth time. No good.  At this stage, it seemed as if the only sensible thing to do was to call the Ministry of Health.  Logical? Perhaps.  Sensible? Hardly.  I dialled the number and after 10 minutes of constant ringtone, it hung up on me — which is what I expected.  I was beginning to visualise having an argument with some petty bureaucrat at the airport at 4 a.m. the following morning, something which didn’t really appeal to me. So what did I do?  I called the airline again, as instructed, where I had an altercation with the rudest woman I have ever spoken to (it wasn’t really a conversation but a monologue uttered fff) who ended up screaming at me that the only thing to do was to call the Ministry of Health and that she, an El Al employee, was not responsible for my problem.

Given my experience with the Ministry a few minutes earlier, I didn’t expect anything much to happen but with little alternative, I called “Customer Services” (or whatever it’s officially called) again — and lo and behold, a woman’s voice answered within 30 seconds.  I explained my predicament and she responded with “I understand”.  I was flabbergasted.  Then she asked me to wait for a couple of minutes, returned and went through the process of filling in the form, while I plied her with responses over the phone.  She repeated each response [in English, with an Israeli accent, something that had never happened before] and when we got the question that related to travel to a “high risk” country, she informed that this was my mistake, because Britain would only become a high risk country in the eyes of the Government of Israel on Thursday night at midnight!  We finished the exercise and she then informed me that everything was OK.  I asked for confirmation and I spelled out my email address and waited — and I’m still waiting.  So I reckoned that if it had been OK’d, I would try again myself and so it was.

Armed with a bagful of paper certificates, permissions and whatnot, I turned up at Ben-Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv at 05.00 the following morning and a couple of hours later, I had completed Stage II of the journey and was on the plane waiting the arrival of the other passengers.

Several hours later, and after a total of 11 hours masked up, I had arrived at my destination.

I was a zombie for two days, a result I suppose, of 10 days of stress and tension but I finally woke up yesterday morning and was almost functioning normally.  Today, (Monday), it was cloudy but I decided to go for a walk and dressed reasonably warmly, only to discover as I was on my way, that the sun had decided to emerge and I discovered that I was overdressed.   Notwithstanding, I made for Primrose Hill, which is usually my first stop when I arrive in London and when I can see the London skyline from the summit, I know that I’m here for sure.  I’d been there a couple of days ago but the sky was a bit overcast but the skyline was there and that eased things.

It was certainly different from what I’d become used to photographing recently in the park in Tel Aviv.

Early morning family exercises. Yarqon Park, Tel Aviv


08.00 hrs, Yarqon Park, Tel Aviv. Environment: Tel Aviv summer. Clothing: Polish winter


08.00 hrs, Yarqon Park, Tel Aviv. Fully dressed and ready for the day.


“Dalmatian” pigeon. Yarqon Park, Tel Aviv

In London, the only disappointment at Primrose Hill was when I walked around the park to view the five trees that I have been photographing at different seasons and at different times of the day and in different lighting and their curvature which I regarded as mimicking the curvature of the hill itself was the discovery that the southernmost tree had been “decapitated” …

… part of the general “pruning” process that has been going on in the park.

On Saturday morning, as I walked up to the top of the hill, there were two park employees clearing up the litter that had been strewn about by the previous evening’s revellers.  Talking to the older one of the two and remarking that one can view similar scenes in parks everywhere, he drew my attention to the shards of broken glass that were scattered all over the place, with the comment that “It seems like they can’t have a drink without smashing the bottles before they leave!”  This was  as simple case of understatement …

… and then I noticed something that had never been there before and had never needed to be.

It seems as if being cooped up in Covid lockdowns has had its repercussions.

And now that “Freedom Day” in the UK has come and gone, it was interesting to observe what happens when the government leaves it to the individual as to whether or not masks should be worn.  As an example, I travelled from Belsize Park to Edgware, a 20-minute ride in the London Underground, seven stations altogether.  Supposedly, the public is not given the option to choose or not to choose to wear a mask but on public transport as it’s obligatory.  There were no more than a dozen people in the carriage in which I was travelling at any one time and a rough estimate is that about half of the passengers were wearing masks and the other half were not.  However, by my rough estimate, all of those not wearing masks were under 30 years of age!  Obligatory it may be but it seems as if it’s impossible to implement.

Mask on wrist. London Underground, Northern Line.

Still, NW London provides interesting opportunities for photographs.

A London hydrant. No gaudy red here!


A member of the local inhabitants’ Association, The Regent’s Park, London.

And the BBC Promenades season has opened and just as I was walking home, I came across this Blue Plaque on the house at 4 Elsworthy Road, in Belsize Park, in which the founder of the Proms once lived!

And here I am, at the computer, writing this blog post and looking at a familiar photograph that a good friend gave us many moons ago.

And I might just as well write as there’s nothing much to watch live on television at the moment save for reports from the Tokyo Olympics or reports on the numbers of people ill or dying from Covid-19, accompanied by a few items here and there about destruction due to forest fires or floods and global warming — as well as the odd murder here and there thrown in in order to make us feel thats we’re living in a normal world, I suppose.

Still, there are things called “books” to read and that is what I am going to do until next week, folks.

Have a great week!