Recent instagram hits


So the top four photos on my instagram feed this month are the following: Margaret Thatcher’s grave at the Royal Chelsea Hospital; a Grayson Perry vase in the British Museum; an old road sign in Chelsea; and one of Bletchley Park’s Enigma machines.

Go, as they say, figure.

For more of this sort of thing, either follow me on Instagram, or on my Facebook page.


Instagram #1

I’ve been lax at blog posts this year (there are ones coming on the Tudor Pull, Marlborough St Magistrates Court and Michael Fagan, honest), but as I’m out and about on the Blue Badge Guide stuff I occasionally manage to take some pictures and load them up to instagram.

You can follow what I shoot if you look for ‘donbrowndotlondon’, but here’s a selection of recent images from across the capital.

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April photos

Some snaps from the phone from walking around this month. Click on any image to see the whole galley

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Bricking It – the Tate Modern Extension

Step out of the back door of the Blue Fin Building (as I did this morning) and rising up in front of you is the new extension to Tate Modern – 167,699 bricks’ worth (according to their website).

It’s by the firm of Herzog & de Meuron (who did the work transforming Giles Gilbert Scott’s original Bankside Power Station into the Tate Modern back in 2000) and “will present a striking combination of raw industrial spaces and refined 21st century architecture”.

Striking it certainly is, its angular form contrasting starkly with the clean lines of the power station. Its ten storeys tall, and built on the old oil storage tanks (Bankside was oil-fired, unlike Scott’s coal-fired Battersea power station, also currently being transformed). The Tate say that the new development will increase display space by 60%.

I’ve an ambivalent attitude to much contemporary art, finding it engaging on an intellectual rather than an emotional level, and although I love the Turbine Hall space at Tate Modern it’s not a gallery that I find myself drawn to. Let’s see what goes into the new extension when it opens on 17 June.

London from the Shard

London_From_The_Shard_1024x1024The new header image  you can see above (and to the right, click on it to see the bigger version ) was my Christmas present – it’s a 2 metre-wide print by Neil Williams that was bought from his stall in Northcote Road market.

It’s stitched together from a whole load of individual images – as he says on his Facebook page, “I had to handhold the camera because you’re not allowed to take up a tripod. in the end I merged about 50 images together.”

You can see more of Neil Williams’s London photos on his website.

Bleeding London

Bleeding London avatarBleeding London is an exceptionally ambitious, and potentially quite wonderful, project to capture a picture from every street in London.

It wasn’t something I was aware of until I stumbled across a piece about it on the BBC News site and (I may be wrong) it doesn’t seem to have had a huge amount of other publicity, but it’s the sort of thing that’s worth getting behind, particularly as “Anyone can participate and pictures can be taken on any device. There are no restrictions on subject matter”. I might even dust off the old box brownie, set the fedora at a jaunty angle and hit the streets round SW11.


‘Go Gay’ Going

I’ve always loved the sign for this laundrette on the Wandsworth Bridge Road.

It’s lovable partly for the involuntary snigger it always causes, but mainly because it harks back to another era, when laundrettes were new, exciting places suffused with the glamour of the USA.

Just look at the design – it’s a 10/- Las Vegas that shouts ‘modern’ and ‘life’ at the dull world of 1950s South London.

But it now seems to be dead. As I went past on the bus the other evening there was a hoarding all around the front of the shop.

I wonder if I can buy the sign…