Trellick Tower, I’d love to live there!

Theme for this week is Trellick Tower, Notting Hill west London.

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‘Trellick Tower’ is a concrete example of 70’s social housing (though several are privately owned), whether you purchase or rent an apartment you’ll then own 2 balconies, one leading from a bedroom and one other from the living room. (Photograph by me)

Brutalism, def: ‘a stark style of functionalist architecture, especially of the 1950s and 1960s, characterized by the use of steel and concrete in massive blocks’

….……… and by any stretch of the imagination Trellick Tower’s an exercise in Brutalism with a capital B!

I’ve been sightseeing in London again, though this time with a sole intention of seeing for myself Trellick Tower also for my first time, an image I’d seen in many a film, documentary and magazine photo yet had never witnessed in the flesh so to speak……………. viewing something you’ve so wished to see, but only ever seen previously via media is an emotionless second hand experience, only when you see a Cityscape (artwork) with your own two eyes do you know if it lives up to ALL the hype.

(I’d go further, add Trellick to your list of buildings to see if you ever visit Britain’s capital city and you’ll not be disappointed.)

Walking through the Notting Hill’s side streets, my eyes attuned towards the skies hoping for a first glance was an interesting experience, think for a second, how often in life are you consumed by an eager anticipation over an extended period of time? Hardly ever! You’re aware of a soon to be emotional experience, your imagination will be pricked alive yet you don’t know how you’ll react, BUT you know the reaction will be either excitement, incredulity, amazement, maybe a ‘what the fuck whatever’, or a total letdown disappointed…………. but not to worry my initial reaction as Trellick Tower loomed in to view, dominating the skyline above £2,000,000 homes was:

‘Wow, what a beautiful building………. yes I’m SO pleased I came to see!’

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Trellick’s slimline silhouette in ‘side on profile’ is one reason the building works for me and I know sweet @%£* all about architecture! (Photo by me)

Trellick Tower bewitches me, fascinates me, I’m in love with this building so much so I’d do anything to live within one of those top floor self contained apartments for just one week…………. goes without saying because the views across London (I’ve never visited mind you) must be absolutely stunning.

Designed by the architect Ernö Goldfinger in the late 1960s, Trellick Tower is one of London’s most iconic Modernistic apartment blocks, deemed architectural important, and yes his name inspired Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger of James Bond fame (Fleming hated Goldfinger with a passion.)

These concrete monolithic tower blocks were the answer to Britain’s postwar housing shortage, brutalist architecture of the 1970’s now has a notorious reputation, more often than not they were poorly constructed by cash strapped City Councils, with the worst examples populating British cities up and down the land having long since been demolished, and I’d guess both former residents and neighbours living beneath those monstrosities whooped cheered and clapped as they watched them reduced to rubble.

However today 50 years later Brutalism is being re evaluated, the most hideous examples are no more and destruction wasn’t to be Trellick’s final fate, remaining as a beautifully proportioned profile and I particually love the balconies looking across London, lucky residents although they do look extremely dangerous! Trellick Tower is preserved for the nation and according to a recent BBC documentary loved by the residents who live there, one glorious example remains to this day and to be quite honest I’m unsure why I appreciate this building so, an instantly recognisable icon joining an illustrious ‘grade listed’ club alongside notable examples such as The Tower Of London, Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle……………… and I might add a worthy of inclusion.

I’ll finish this evening’s post sharing (borrowed) photographs taken from inside but alas not by me, and WE all love looking inside people’s homes don’t we?

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The phrase ‘location, location, location’ comes to mind
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View looking out from on high! (To the left and just out of shot is Grenfell Tower and I’d guess this photo was take before that awful tragedy which killed so many 😦 )
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The main walkway dividing residents front doors and the outside
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View from the balcony

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Master bedroom
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Functional bathroom to say the least
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One bedroom leads out onto it’s own balcony
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Lobby with lifts entombed inside the adjoing Tower
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Stairs if you prefer to walk, or more seriously used as a fire escape
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Dominating the West London skyline for miles around, but I’d suggest there’d be a public outcry if Trellick was marked for demolition?
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Living room leading out on a balcony and what a view!
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Dining area with balcony to the left, imagine eating coffee and croissants in the morning……….. ok yes I’m a romantic at heart.

To be continued………………….

A. Shepherdson 2019

Snowing in Oxfordshire

Ok I realise I said in an earlier post that I’m not going to share quite so many of my YouTube videos, but you should know be now, I change my mind nearly as much as the weather does……………. hmm a pretty clever timely analogy don’t you think?

Not to worry though 🙂 perhaps I should learn not to take myself tooo seriously, so below you can see the video uploaded just now swirling snow flurries and all! I filmed it 12 o’clock last night and hopefully also compliments the blog photographs I ‘snapped’ in the previous post click Panic buying in Tesco’s

A. Shepherdson 2019

Panic buying in Tesco’s!

(Btw Tesco’s is Britain’s leading budget Supermarket)

Yes as you can see by the photos below snow is falling in Oxfordshire, half past twelve last night I stood in the front door of my home (not outside cause I’d freeze wouldn’t I!) Photographing these four wintry suburban scenes, and I have to say the tablet captured those swirling snow flurries quite impressively?

Panic buying it happens every year and I don’t understand why? I guess human beings deep down are emotionally insecure and most definitely selfish animals, we worry and panic don’t we at the ever-so slightest hint of a disaster, people are even beginning to hoard food because of the prospect of a no deal Brexit for heaven’s sake, hmm :/ perhaps storing some tinned soup might not be a bad idea? Just in-case, saves starving in March.

That’s enough Brexit chat!

Where was I? Oh yes panic buying food from my Tesco’s around the corner, earlier this morning I ventured out into our -30 raging blizzard, that’s a lie it was 2 degrees and the snow was already thawing, walked the short way to the store only to see people streaming out the entrance pushing ‘trolley’s’ laden down with fruit veg and loaves of bread, wtf, what drives people to act this way? The snow will have cleared by Saturday and delivery lorries will be restocking the shelves by Sunday…………… I guess the answer is being prepared is both rational and irrational thinking in equal shares.

But being serious for a second panic buying is possibly on a lot of people’s minds at present, and most definitely Mrs May’s Government will be aware if food runs short, or out completely, they’ll almost definitely be rationing and possibly civil unrest! History teaches us in the midst of crisis ‘spivs’ (entrepreneurial human beings) will see this as an opportunity to make money, remember those wartime shady characters fuelling a thriving black market……………….. ok perhaps I’m being a little overdramatic for literary effect but major grocers warned this week of food shortages, finger’s crossed it never gets to this.

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A winter’s scene
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Swirling snowflakes captured beneath orange ‘housing estate’ lamplight
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I had to crop this one else you’ll be able to read the street sign and Google me. 😀 You may well laugh lol!

….…………… and below pictures taken this morning looking out my back kitchen door, THREE FRIGGING WHEELIE BINS for heavens sake! Not forgetting waste food caddies and black plastic boxes for glassware, my garden is little more than postage size refuge dump……….. ok I’m only joking, the food waste powers electricity making equipment, garden plants branches and organic cuttings are sent to be converted into compost, and anything else of use is recycled…………… at least human beings are being held accountable for the sheer quantity of household waste going into landfill!

Oh and the steel metal drum with a ‘donut ring’ shaped layer of snow on top is of course my upcycled washing machine ‘Firepit’…………. which I’ve still yet to use.

As for me I’ve taken a day off work and won’t be venturing out again. Stay safe 🙂 .

©A. Shepherdson 2019

A response post

Response to lauraoettigerbooks and anyone else with a passing interest in astronomy 🙂 .

Above you see my Skywatcher telescope and our Moon photographed by positioning my Fuji camera (purchased from eBay) above the eyepiece lens…………….. not ideal hence this digital picture is slightly blurred.

Not to worry.

Looking this evening at your blog photographs of Venus Jupiter and our Moon, I’m reminded I never asked if you have a telescope of your own? Then again that awesome camera lens of yours takes such fabulous photos perhaps you don’t need one 🙂 .

Anyways, the reason behind this brief response to your photo themed website is to say with a moderately priced refracting telescope, similar to my own pictured above, point at planet Jupiter and you will clearly make out the four Moons orbiting, however better still you’ll clearly observe the many surface bands encircling the planet itself!!! Blew me away the first time I saw it.

The drawback of refracting telescopes is of course they aren’t really suitable for deep space viewing, but I’m not too concerned perhaps one day when I’ve the money? Very briefly the reason refractors aren’t suitable for deep space viewing, is simply because cassegrain’s allow more light into the instrument, refractors are limited by the diameter of that first optic lens………………. larger the lens the more expensive the telescope 😦 .

Technical bit over!  

Anyways seeing as you’re interested in observing our Moon I thought I’d write a post rather than comment. Personally speaking I never tire of gazing at the Moon, yes I’d agree some people my feel deflated after buying a telescope seeing that you can only really look at the Moon in close up, also beautiful Jupiter, the white dot that is Venus, Saturn if you’re lucky and of cause orange Mars (lol again only a small dot) but that’s never worried me unduly, no the Moon never disappoints because the gazing experience is also emotional, men and women gaze in wonderment just because amongst the hustle and bustle of Earth life, looking at the Moon reminds us we are not alone in the Universe?

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Zoom eyepiece which I’m yet to use……………. :/ hope it’s ok.

A. Shepherdson 2019 

Lions Tigers in a farmer’s field?……… IN England?

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To avoid confusion the cages below are not in a zoo, these big cats in my photos were all rescued from zoos then released into the wild. 🙂

I had intended to call this post Animal Zoos are cruel! But that’s a negative title and I’m a positive guy please read on……………. 

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I hope you’ll enjoy Matt Monro (yes we had our own Frank Sinatra) singing ‘Born Free’ perhaps you’ve never heard this tune before?

Born free, as free as the wind blows
As free as the grass grows
Born free to follow your heartRead More »

I visited London yesterday……. museums and art galleries

(All photographs taken by myself A. Shepherdson 4th August 2018)

I visited London yesterday…………… here’s my photographic journey!

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The Houses of Parliament, by me

A (very) short introduction

Anyone who Follows me on WordPress knows for sure I enjoy interacting with other bloggers whether that be tags or writing challenges, well this fine Sunday morning I have a response post for blogger Juliette Turrell, oh and of course anyone who’d like to see photographs taken on yesterday’s daytrip to London.

Juliette Turrell pretty much 1 week ago (read her blog here) visited both the National Gallery and Victoria & Albert Museum for her own personal daytrip, and note both are FREE ENTRY though she’s themed her post Architecture, which I’d forgotten about………… Well seeing as Saturday was such a beautiful sunny day I thought why not visit the V&A Museum and here is a photographic journey taken that day.

🙂 Thanks Juliette for inspiring me to visit London and NOT spend the morning in bed!

But first before I begin 2 pictures of the coach and underground tickets! 04/08/2018 🙂

The V&A museum Google for more detail

The 2 hour Oxford to London journey shuttled me deep into the heart of London, then from Victoria Coach Station I took the Underground directly to The V&A Museum, I’ve never visited before and being quite excited thought it would make a good start to the day!

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Entrance to the V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum)
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Western Cast Wall remind me of a Victorian backstreet, must be spooky at night with just moonlight streaming in

(Above) just look at the effect bright shafts of sunlight has on the structure!

Below The Hereford Screen, I actually stood gazing at this magnificent choir screen for what must have been 10 minutes…….. loved it! (Text courtesy of that fountain of knowledge Wikipedia.)

‘The Hereford Screen is a great choir screen designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811–1878) and made for Hereford Cathedral, England in 1862. It was one of the Gothic Revival works in iron of the nineteenth century and when it was unveiled at the 1862 International Exhibition it was hailed as the “grandest and most triumphant achievement of modern architectural art”

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V&A Museum entrance Hall, more spectacular sculptures!

Juliette you visited the National Portrait, well I’ve been inside before though admittedly not for a few years! But decided on Tate Britain (picture and sculpture gallery) instead and I loved it! The paintings are truly spectacular by artists such as Turner and Constable, incidentally ‘The Hay Wain’ is displayed here……………… ok but I’m not a landscape man :/ .

Tate Britain fabulous! I loved it! Perhaps Wiki for more detail!

The Tate (note not Tate Modern at Battersea) is a picture gallery home to so many great artists through centuries past and or course many painted scenes from the Bible (loved these fables have inspired great works of art)……………. I’ll visit again simply because you could spend a whole afternoon looking at just 3 paintings……………… couldn’t you!

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Entrance, many Victorian museums had these magnificent stone structures built ESPECIALLY for them! Hmm Britain had a rich Empire back then.

The ‘Lady of Shalott’ (below & 1 of 3 versions) can be seen here, a truly beautiful image and I can assure you my camera hasn’t done the painting any justice…………. the light inside the gallery was poor and the public cannot take flash photography!

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The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse

And below my favourite sculpture of the day, in fact my favourite art piece housed in Tate Britain, can you guess why? And very pert smooth and shapely she was tooo! Her name?………. I’m afraid I forgot my pen and paper sorry.

(Looking at the sculpture once again I’ve just this second noticed something I hadn’t seen at the gallery! Look closely below her feet and I see a snake coiling itself around the plinth…….…… which says to me the lady in the sculpture is in fact ‘Eve’ from the book of Genesis, she gave Adam the fruit so lol all blame should lie at her feet?)

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My favourite…… omg she’d look spectacular in my rear garden!

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Casting ‘objects’ from concrete will…….

…………. SAVE you money! Oh yes it will and better still making concrete is easy. (Because I lay naked in my garden this post concerns the screen I made to stop people looking at my ass!)

Okay regular readers to this blog will already know the posts are varied, the themes eclectic well even for me today’s post ‘casting things from concrete’ is a little surreal and out there, but I thought someone may be interested and yes making your own ‘objects’ can save you money………… in fact what you can make is ONLY limited by the size of your imagination.

However if you live in a large Metropolitan City apartment complex such New York, err then you may have space issues?

A question! How much would you pay for a bird bath to go in the garden, a bath such as in the photos below? £30? Why not concrete cast your own for £2! What you’ll require is an old frying pan without handle, and an old washing up bowl. Place an open face down frying inside a washing up bowl, make sure it’s positioned in the middle and fill the washing up bowl with concrete, allow to set for 36 hours (no more), prize out the pan lid (carefully), invert the bowl and hey presto the bath should come out………………. and a the mould should always be made from wood or plastic but a frying pan should come out easy………….. read on!

A tip for you, wrap a sheet of kitchen cling film on the inside of the pan surface, and after setting the frying pan WILL come out easy leaving a fantastic finish. (Cling film will help with whatever you make 🙂 )

Or how about these concrete ‘stones’ cast with a hole in so you can insert screen poles, thereby keeping them upright, and note in the photos below I couldn’t push the screen’s poles into the ground anyway!! Why? Because the 5 concrete ‘stones’ are resting on loose rocks.

So I ask you, if you purchased 5 ‘stones with holes’ to support your rear garden screen, keep it upright and weighty enough to stop the wind blowing over, how much would you pay for 5? £60 or perhaps more!

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Below are more photos of the supporting stones manufactured by myself but this time in close up!

…………. and now for several additional photos of my screen and note I know one pole looks as if it’s leaning and that’s because I haven’t cast the concrete ‘stone/stand/weight’ as of right now! Call the screen a work in progress.

And if you’ve been following my Blog posts recently then you’ll have worked out why a garden screen is required, I sunbathe naked (there is a post) and I’d rather not have people walking past looking at me through the gaps in my fence! 😀 I don’t mind but you know, children walk past so one has to be careful.

I hope this post is useful to someone reading because yes,

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Registered car guards, I’m rather taken aback!

Below are photos of my Grandfather’s delivery vans, he owned his own Bakery! I’ll leave you to guess if I’m a Weale’ or a ‘Bateman’ or ‘another’ Lol.

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My Grandfather, he’s been dead many years but I still think about him everyday of my life! I miss him terribly!

I Follow a lady blogger who writes all the way from deepest darkest Africa, and don’t you think it amazing that you can open your tablet Reader and then be whisked away into the thoughts of bloggers from around the world.

Well paraphrasing a little, this lady pointed out something that I’d never come across before, registered car guards! I guess this service is a sign of modern times, having said that when I daily listen to Jeremy Vine on BBC’s Radio 2 or read when I pickup my daily copy of the Metro free newspaper, I’ll be reminded of the previous days crime stories. AND without coming across as seeming rather smug at her shocking insights, I sometimes wonder if Britain is heading on a similar path?

:/ Time will tell I guess.

Did you know London has a bigger murder rate bigger than in New York USA!! The choice of weapon isn’t guns in our case, it’s knives and I’m not underplaying the fact when I say knife crime in the UK is now out of control since the policy of stop and search was abandoned!

And ‘shock of shocks’, you’ll sense a touch of sarcasm here, now that our Police cannot stop and search young men if they suspect them of carrying a knife, young men now carry knives with them!!! Jeeze I saw this coming (with age comes wisdom) and wouldn’t you know it, the public are now demanding the Police have the power to stop and search people who in their professional opinion could be carrying a knife?

Unbelievable you couldn’t make this shit up and in the meantime innocent law abiding citizens have been knifed to death, it’s so tragic.

Well returning to my African blogger’s post and I’ll quote an extract, ‘they have an abundance of registered car-guards who do an excellent job of protecting our cars from being stolen while we shop and go about our business errands.’ Well I learnt something new today and yes quite shocking BUT how long before we in the UK go into Town to shop visit the Post Office or whatever and pay to have someone watch their car so as it’s not broken into?

Without sounding flippant I guess hers is a service that’s creating employment opportunities, having your car watched does seem a great idea for peace of mind, and it won’t be long until big British cities follow suit. Anyways, then I got to remembering an anecdote my Grandfather would often tell me when I was a child, a true tale from the days of owning vans used in his Bakery business. Grandpa ‘Bob’ would proudly tell me back that when living back in the 1940’s, he’d purchased a new van and it would be delivered with the absence of car door locks!

Yes I know unbelievable incredible isn’t it, and I guess all these years since he last told me this anecdote, the vision of him driving into Town, leaving his delivery van unlocked whilst he delivered bread, is well inconceivable in present day crime ridden England.

So sad!

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My Great Aunt Alice and her brother ‘Kitch’ delivering eggs to London, back then could you leave a horse and cart unattended safe in the fact ‘it’ wouldn’t get stolen?

A. Shepherdson 2018