In a shade of pretty pink
In a shade of pretty pink
This photo is not mine but copied from a page called Spitalfields Life and shows the main road of Bethnal Green in the sixties, when I still lived there. It is not very impresive.
The photo shows the remains of Bishopsgate Goods Station on the right which was destroyed by a fire. I would walk this road every morning and evening to my school which was in the middle of Spitalfields fruit and vegetable market. Neither my school or the market is now there, but moved to make room for modern London with it new markets and stores.
In the middle of the picture is a building standing on its own: a remainder as the empty space behind the building was caused by the bombs from World War Two and this building was the only one left standing. The buildings were destroyed and not replaced when I was still living in London in the fifties and sixties. Interesting is the empty space. It was not really so empty and the cellars of the destroyed buidings, mainly stores and factories, were still there, but not empty.
As I walked this way I would cast a glance over to the destroyed remains and they were alive with rats. Hundreds of rats had found their home in the cellar ruins. They were not really a danger as they kept themselves to themselves but would be scattering everywhere.. On Sunday morning this area bordered on the famous Petticoat Lane Market. Otherwise it was left to the rats.
There was a well known horror/ghost writer, James Herbert, whose family came from Bethnal Green and his relations even had a vegetable stall in the daily market. James Herbert has now passed on, but one of his most successful books was “The Rats” telling of a rat tribe that lived in this area. He got the idea from watching the antics of the rats. I, of course, read the book and recognised many places that he mentions and I remember the rats.
I left London in 1966 for Switzerland where I have now been living for the past 52 years. I would visit my dad one a year in London and sometimes pay a visit to my old haunts. There is now no trace of the empty wasteland, It has now been replaced by modern buildings. . I often wonder what happened to the rats.
Both images are not mine, but seen in the Daily Telegraph where they are to be found on the Spitalfields Life website.
I know, I am taking pictures all the time. I never go anywhere without a camera, although since I am now at the steering wheel of the car I can no longer take my pictures from the passenger seat. I have committed the sin of taking photos when I am waiting at a red light, but I am not getting any younger, so avoid it when I can.
We are surrounded by crows where I live. Their caws are an accompanying tune to my daily life. Now is nesting time, although I have never seen any nests here because the trees are too tall. However On my trips to town lately I notice that there is a colony next to the river and the trees are full of their nests.
They do not often actually sit in the nests, but on a near branch.
Yesterday I went for a wheelie in my chair and had the delight of being able to take photos of a crow close-up. They usually fly away at a certain distance, but this particular crow seemed to be on a quest. He was strutting around with his head bent low and suddenly success..
He/she found what it was looking for and had discovered a piece of bread in the meadow. I am reading everywhere we should not feed the birds with bread. I usually put some bread rests out in Winter for the crows, but this piece of bread was in a lonely meadow, and that is out of human control.
The problem of taking photos of crows is that they are so black and the camera does not always give them the credit they deserve with their individual feathers. Since getting my new camera a couple of months ago the quality of my black photos has improved and in the right light I get some good pictures.
I stayed a while and from my position in my chair I manage to get a few good close-ups of my crow, even with feather coat details. They do seem to be scavangers and I do not think they are bothered what they have in their beaks as long as it is edible. This morning I even had one of the big black birds in my garden. It was strutting around, a big one, but I did not have my camera handy an was still in my nightdress. Half an hour later I saw him/her again with a king sized worm hanging from its beak. It was a succesful quest it seems and afterwards it flew away. There were probably a few hungry mouths waiting for dinner in the nest.
This was a great experience for me and the camera and in the 20 years I have been living amongst the crows, it was the first time I had managed to get so close. Of course the photos are with the zoom lens, but even then the closer you get, the better.
I was a little confused when I was in town yesterday and saw Snow White and her seven dwarves.
Mickey and Minnie Mouse were having a heated discussion.
It was when I saw two members of Darth Vader’s crew I realised they had probably travelled by starship for a meeting.
And this all in the Swiss market town of Solothurn.
Another wonderful sunrise this morning, although I was thinking to post something else this morning, even sunrises can get boring but I had a surprise. I opened the window to stick my nose outside and saw snow flocks: just very gentle and sparse, but they were falling one after the other. In the background I had the rising sun. Was this a fluke of nature? I must admit there is a nip in the air in the morning. I checked on my Swiss SRF Meteo forecast on my mobile and indeed I was told that Winter returns today. After 5 minutes the spook had already finished here, but it might return – who knows.
I decided to take a wheelie in my chair into town yesterday afternoon and waved hello to the horses on the neighbouring farm as I went on my way along the side of the local railway tracks. Saturday is always a good day to go to town as things happen that do not usually happen during the week.
On the way I heard the sound of a plane flying overhead and just managed to fix it with my camera lens as it was about to fly behind the cathedral tower with the public sightseeing gallery outside. It seeme to be a local plane and not one of the big ones that go to other countries.
When I arrived in town I was not disappointed. There was a lady with one of those bubble producing apparatus. Always something different on Saturday, so I was not disappointed.
As I wheeled on further and turned a corner, I noticed another surprise. Mickey and Minnie Mouse were visiting our town of Solothurn. Of course I had to take a photo. On the right is a restaurant with tables and chairs outside and I noticed there were a group of people there all dressed as Walt Disney characters. I think someone has married and was holding the reception in the restaurant.
After half an hour in town I decided to wheel back home along the river bank. As I passed the river wall in town I notice quite a gathering of pigeons. I am not an expert, but I think it is the males that puff out their chests and do a sort of throaty sound ceremony for the pleasure of the ladies. The feathers are also quite colourful. They then began to chase the ladies on the ground but not all the females were willing. I felt sorry for this one, just as he was ready to show how willing he was, the lady flew off. You can see the tip of her wing as she was departing.
Ducks and swans were also floating on the river mostly in pairs. Somewhere there must be a few hatching eggs in the nests. Each time I wheel along the river bank I see a duck that I have ever seen before. I think I must buy a duck book or upload an app. This one was sitting on a stone keeping an eye on his other half who was having a swim.
I soon turned the corner and wheeled up the path to our estate. I was surprised, I must have been speeding as I was only away for one and half hours, usually it is two. Mr. Swiss was pleased to see me again although we did have a few words about my mud splashed wheelchair. I told him the mud is now about two weeks old. I was surprised he only just noticed it. I supposed I should take it through the car wash, although the seats will probably get wet as well as the motor.
It was a pleasant afternoon again and I might risk it this afternoon to see what the local geese and goats are doing. I could also include a few cows if they are out on the pastures.
I am now on my way to begin cooking lunch. I can then let the meat cook slowly through the morning. Today it is veal breast cutlets with pasta served with a garniture of veg. Sounds showy, but does not give a lot to do.
Have a good Sunday, enjoy, and here is a photo of some periwinkle I saw growing in the neighbours front garden. They seem to be growing wild, because I know he did not plant them.
A Londoner now enjoying country living.
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