Saturday, April 04, 2009

Kettles, Cages and Clean-ups

I'm sorry to have been silent for a while. I got stuck inside my own head, the way you sometimes do as a writer, and got to that stage where I just needed to get out and away and look at the outside world instead. So I borrowed someone's London flat and went walking and here are some of the things I saw:

A clean-up operation on the River Lee:

Some very nice polite schoolboys:

Environmental protesters on a bus stop in Bishopsgate:

Lib Dem Shadow Climate Change Secretary Simon Hughes and an environmental campaigner:

Some dancing environmental campaigners:

The City of London police in formation across Bishopsgate:

A very nice polite policeman:

The kettle in Threadneedle St not yet steaming:

Every exit barred:

Business as usual on the Millennium Bridge:

Three hunched figures and beds like cages in the Tate Modern:

John Siddique launching his Salt poetry collection, Recital: An Almanac under a beautiful moon at the National Portrait Gallery:

A lovely part of the (I presume) cleaned-up Regent's Canal:

Some more caged creatures:

Some free birds in a cultivated park:


Anne Brooke said...

Ooh, what are the birds above the herons? Can you remember? (Sorry - sad birding question, but I couldn't quite make them out ...)



Elizabeth Baines said...

I don't know, Anne - I wasn't in the zoo, I was on the canal. Some of them are ibis, maybe?

Steerforth said...

The photo of the Orthodox Jews reminds me of a strange experience I had in London Zoo.

I went there on a weekday spring morning and almost everyone there was Orthodox Jewish. Lots of men in their thirties barking orders into their mobile phones whilst their wives, who seemed to be at least ten years younger, looked bored and fed-up. Very odd.

It was an eye-opener. I was used to militant Muslims and Christian fundamentalists treating women like second-class citizens, but I hadn't witnessed the Jewish version before.

Elizabeth Baines said...

Steerforth: Hmm.

Cynthia Barlow Marrs said...

Loved strolling along with you through the photos. Been away myself, back now, can't wait for your next book. Oh and I would say those were ibis. Hadeda ibis used to strut on our lawn in Pretoria. Unignorable!

Elizabeth Baines said...

Hello, Cynthia! Hope you had a good break too. Yes, I thought they were ibis. Imagine having them on your lawn...!

Anne Brooke said...

Ooh, yes, I think you're right. Fabulous!!


Elizabeth Baines said...

Yes, beautiful, Anne. and from where I was standing you could watch from underneath as they flew up to the perches.

Cynthia Barlow Marrs said...

Believe it or not, a rainbow put its foot down on the same lawn in Pretoria. Never saw such a thing before. And those birds don't half shriek their heads off.

Elizabeth Baines said...

Good lord, I've never heard of anyone seeing such a thing!

Cynthia Barlow Marrs said...

I could hardly believe my eyes. I tried shifting position, looking from one window then another. You look for ways to test it. You move so that you can look at ordinary, everyday objects on the ground -- a terracotta pot, a wheelbarrow -- through the transparent bands of colour. And I could see them through the rainbow, and I could see where it put its foot down. Right there on the grass. Yards away.

Elizabeth Baines said...

Wow. That's amazing!