Tuesday, 24 February 2009

The view from last week

So there I was with hope and expectation looking forward to a week of rest and relaxation, plus a soupçon of pampering. Ha I don't think so, but first the good, and by good and mean bloody amazing.
Here I am standing at the top of the National Theatre waiting to see Every Good Boy Deserves a Favour. How wonderful is this view? Outside also stood a group of students snapping away "wow I'm going to Facebook that one" one of them says.
I thought "wow I'm going to blog this one!"
and this one. This wheel has become amazingly iconic. One of the very many things I love about London is the speed at which it embraces the new.
The production was fabulous, so very clever the way the orchestra mixed with the actors. Toby Young was particularly outstanding. I left feeling totally uplifted.
However the next day threw a curve ball that I failed to spot or avoid. Leyla woke up and mentioned her knee hurt*, to cut a long story short He Who MUST at ALL times be obeyed decided that she should spend the day resting it as she had a Tai Kwondo tournament the following Sunday.
I am not ashamed to say I 'Lost It' Every bloody time I try to get away to Oxford on a Saturday He manages to pull a stunt to prevent me leaving on time. I know he does not do it consciously, but by leaving on the Sunday I have a) wasted a day and b) ended up travelling on a day when public transport does not exist. I cried, Leyla cried, my mother even cried. She had told her friend she was busy because I was coming and so ended up home alone for another night. From his point of view it was a job well done. For me it was all down hill from here.
* there was absolutely NOTHING wrong with it

As my mother claims that living in Oxford can feel quite claustrophobic without a car I discovered you could get a train to a small very pretty village called Kingham in about 30min's. which is what we did on a stunningly beautiful morning. The train cuts through the edge of the Cotswold's and the views of the rolling countryside are lovely.

Twee, but some how just so right.

There is something so magical about a gate that leads to a cottage like this.
We walked through the village and stumbled across a wonderful pub The Kingham Plough that sold homemade locally sourced everything
The bar menu of which we sampled most
Scotched Quails Eggs
Cotswold Rarebit and Sourdough Soldiers
Triple Cooked Chips
Hand Raised Pork Pie with Ploughman's Pickle
Poached Pheasant Egg,
Local Asparagus and Home Baked English Muffins
Snails and Mushrooms on Toast
Potted Rabbit
Globe Artichoke and Melted Butter
OK not the snails, but all but the rarebit was delicious. Mother then wanted to walk to the next village to see the Daylesford Organic Farm. half way there on a busy country road Leyla threw her first tantrum. It started as always innocuously enough, she kept wandering into the road and then after the third time of being asked to stay on the verge she stopped and like a belligerent donkey refused to move an inch. After a protracted stand off I finally managed to push her and drag the rest of the way. Once there she sulked and skulked and generally whinged about how bad her lot in life was before being rewarded with a chocolate tart whilst we shared a pot of coffee.
The journey back was slightly better, but we then realised that we had to walk another mile and a quarter in under 30 min's if we were to get the next train. ouch.
The following day Daisy and Kitty arrived, once again Daisy was unwell and so rested whilst we walked to the Botanic Gardens via Christ Church Meadow. The view of Oxford through the mist was beautiful and the water was receding fast from the flood planes.

Kitty took this photograph, she is really starting to enjoy taking photographs, she is so efficient she uses her phone and then has a little gadget to load the files onto her laptop.

And so to the Botanic gardens. Sadly the lily pond was closed but the Orangery smelt divine and there is a newly refurbished cactus house to see as well.
I had taken my Pentax with the Macro lens to try some experiments, this would have left the Lumix for Leyla to play with and keep her occupied but no, Leyla wanted the Pentax and so had yet another prolonged tantrum this time walking off and hiding or point blank refusing to move. I had hoped that mother would suggest taking both her and Kitty for some tea and cake some where, but no, instead she followed me around pointing to everything and saying "Oh why don't you take a photo of that?" "Oh, that looks lovely why haven't you taken one of that?" FOR THE LOVE OF GOD I thought its bad enough with Leyla and Kitty brawling and bickering around the place but to have her wittering in my ear was enough to reduce me to a dribbling wreck.
Back home I regrouped and went into London where I spent too much money on clothes. coming home the train was super long and as I walked to the end I saw the sun setting over the London Eye and all seemed calm once more.

I love the bridges over the Thames. I also love the randomness when taking photographs from the train.
When I first began to take photographs I was obsessed with table top tableaux and pastiches of Dutch still life's I progressed to macro photography of flowers an area where it is difficult to find anything new to say. Recently however the greatest joy I have had is the random images you get through glass, whether it is shop windows or the view from a train, they have become my voice.
With any luck I will have Flickr up and running by the end of the week. Putting my images into 'sets' has been very good for clearing my head and renewing my determination to put a story together. Watch this space.

1 comment:

materfamilias said...

Oh, I remember those years! You seem to have done quite well overall in surviving your "holiday" and you've come home with some great photos -- looking forward to checking out your Flickr pages.