Monday, March 26, 2007

Fife, Scotland

This weekend saw me back "Home" to Scotland.

A mad zoo/circus atmophere at London Bridge with the scrum to get the Train...I really really dislike London transport, and was missing the moderate pace of the planes already.

4 relatively quiet hours later, I arrived at midnight in the Auld Town of Edinburgh again, a clear crisp and cold night. A magic way to arrive in town. Andy met me at the station and we strolled through the quiet ancient cobbled streets to his house nearby.

Saurday saw Andy, Jo and I drive out the 30mins to the Kingdom of Fife, some 10miles from St Andrews. The walk along the Fife coast is lovely. We strolled through old fishing villages. We were enveloped with the feeling of cosiness and quaintness. I particularly loved the tiny doorways - perfect for me! Also the bright seaside colours people paint their houses add so much to the charm of the area.

Sunday saw me hang out with Rory and Sarah in town and catch up. One exciting thing for me was to see my "work" photos published in a book, Rory's christmas present by Sarah. So cool!

Very sad to say goodbye to Edinburgh again, its such a magical place for me.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

My Current Commute

As a reply to Dan's email from Sydney, detailing his lovely waterborne commute, I have taken some pictures to illustrate my current commute to work.

I'm living now in town, at Marylebone, Inner west London.

This is the view from the front door, this is Gloucester Place, a main road, with buses coaches, taxis and cars streaming along 24hrs a day...yes I am used to the noise!

Turning left and we see the rubbish to be collected and the neat pavement leading to Baker Street Tube...I chose a particularly brilliant morning, not a cloud in the sky! RARE!

This is Baker Street some 3 minutes walk from my door, more rubbish, some jay walking and I have NO idea what that guy is doing in the phone box!

Baker Street tube, and the famous London Underground signs in the near distance is Madame Tussauds.

Blurry photo of me swiping my Oyster card over the ticket machine, Green for go!

Rush in the morning, deep into the earth. Stand on the right, rush lane on the left.

Some 25mins later an its off the Tube deep in East London, Canary Wharf station.

Rat Race!
Everyone wears black, navy, brown and grey. Spot the odd ones out!

Drone Drone Drone....

Always feel for these guys peddling the last of morning freedom to the office workers before the LONG office day begins.

The mightly Docklands Light Rail DLR.

Welcome to work....thats the last sunlight you will see for the rest of the day!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Top 10 Things I Love about London

In the tradition of Nick Hornby, here is a list of my Top 10 things I love about London town.

Having been a resident for 2 yrs, it actually took me some 4 days to come up with this list, I'd like to hear your thoughts, suggestions for ones I may have missed!

In no particular order (and with Photos to come..)

(1) The Tube, London Underground - Shock horror yes, as unreliable as it can be, and so frustratingly evil...the Tube remains the best way to get all over London, for work, for weekends for travelling. Stations are everywhere, compare if you will to Sydney's public transport system.

(2) History, Architecture, Buildings - The Low rise centre of town has been kept fairly sacred by the people, a testament to their love of their buildings. I think of Westminster, Tower of London, The Palaces, Horseguards, Tower Bridge, St Pauls, all those cobbled streets and the remains of London Wall.

(3) Museums - Some of the best Museums in the world are in London, my favourite, the British Museum, is free and showcases lovely treasures stolen from all parts of the world by the great British Empire.

(4) Markets - Bourough Markets, Farmers Markets and all other weekend Markets are such a lovely way to spend a weekend, the food IS amazing, fresh and home made.

(5) London as World City - London itself is not so much English as a microcosm of the global world. People of all colours faiths and countries come here. Even a quick tube ride will reveal the variety of people and languages you will hear will astonish the newly arrived visitor. This in itself means there are pockets of peoples in parts of London which themselves become mirrors of their new life and the old life.

(6) Transport Hub - All roads lead to Heathrow, Luton, Standsted, City, Gatwick or Waterloo. Europe is on London's doorstep. Cheap flights and amazing destinations are with in easy grasp of the jetsetter.

(7) Shopping - You want it, you can buy it here!

(8) Distinct Seasons - Coming from Sydney where things are pretty much Summer all year round with a couple of months of cooler temps, London really gives you the four seasons. The long dreary Winter, snow, ice, boilers on, scarves, jackets, hats and gloves, trees bare, the colour lost, the days so short. The the Spring, flowers bloom, Trees green, the days longer. Summer is so warm so bright, lazy days are just lovely Long Long days. Then the Autumn, the cooler days, the lower light, the falling of leaves. You do feel connected to the annual system here.

(9) Politeness - Love the way people are polite here in public, obviously I am talking more about the public transport and at work. But the level of fake civility and real civility is a good thing!

(10) Football - The first 2 yrs I tried to ignore it really and the third year I really forced myself to get into it...The press and the office talk is all Football. Love it - I will really miss this!

I'd love to hear your additions to this top 10!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

A couple of Pics

This one is for my sis, the doll collector. Keith and I were on our way to the Barbican Centre to see an architectural exhibition. Just outside we saw this wee gathering of excited people - with their Dolls! Seemed like they were having good old fashioned fun talking and taking photos of their Dolls. I can't remember the name of them - but one Pink one stares at me from the wallpaper each time I am at home on the EMac in Sydney.

BT tower dominates the skyline of North London and serves as a great navigational point when wandering around - its so rare for a blue sky day, makes for easy photography!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Canary Wharf, some more HDR

The Gerkin

Bridge to next to the Office

A different view of the Office

Felix and I are out taking pics around the office tonight.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

My First HDR

High Dynamic Range is a feature that modern Digital photography has given us. Its basically the merging of many photos of different exposures, to provide a photo which is more evenly exposed throughout the photo. It helps to have a tripod and a camera which shoots in RAW format, but Jpegs will do just fine as well.

Here is my first try at HDR, shot in side the Natural History Museum, I didnt have my tripod, so its maybe not so sharp, and the windows are a bit to bright still I think, but I look forward to learning more!

Creative People

This week found this HongKongese Cartoonist now in London, named Gwen Yip;

We all spent the week devouring her cartoons with eagerness of school kids. I envy the creative genius some people have been gifted. May they forever entertain us.

Check it out; , my favourite his her story of moving to London and her new flatshare.

Sunday Yum Cha calls, Enjoy!
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