‘Naked’ Trees And The Morning Shift

'naked' trees...beautiful as always

I woke up yesterday morning happy that the sun had once again graced our beloved Middlesex and I knew from the weather forecast that the same will be in central London where I usually hang up my coat for the day at the office. I was most probably happier knowing that Tuesday was the last day in the office for Wednesday is my birthday and I’m going to be on a day’s approved holiday. Yippeee!

Tres magnifique...

I met up with a colleague on the train platform and we travelled together to Green Park tube station. As usual I always kept my faithful Sony T90 Cybershot ready in case I spotted something which of course I myself would have spotted! My colleague was most gracious and allowed me the few seconds, stopping here and there to take a couple of shots of the scenes before us as we trudged towards our respective 8-hour dens in a historic 300-year old building. This is the office by the way, where I hang up my coat for the day from Monday to Friday except when ill with something floating around which had accosted more than one person I know or on approved leave.

Bathed in the rays of the morning sun...

These ‘naked’ trees still look good to me whichever angle I happened to look. They are still as beautiful as when they had leaves. Imagine these trees, relieved of the kilograms of leaves on their branches at this point in time. The transition period between Winter and Spring. They are enjoying their freedom – chillin’ in the morning sun.

Further enroute to the office and taking great care not to be run over by oncoming traffic along St James Street, we saw  these guards on a shift change outside the gates of St James Palace. What a great coincidence.

Just in time to witness the guard shift...

And of course the eternal tourist in me said ‘take a shot’, well all resistence left me and I sheepishly asked my gracious colleague to take a photo of me. My colleague once again graciously obliged and for the first time in 6 years I had my first photo taken with the guards at this station as a backdrop.

What a backdrop...puts a smile on my face...

Wicked! Even after 6 years it was a novelty! That goes to show how the city can grow on you. I always took this scene for granted which of course tourists found interesting and captivating. And to think tha I walk by this place everyday to the office without enjoying this important ‘transition’ between the one guard detail to another.

The face of duty...priceless.

I’ve always wondered whether these guys are properly dressed and warm enough as they stood in the cool morning air. Don’t know how long their detail was…never really asked. I trust they are wearing cashmere or something warm. Hope they are wearing layers…Winter’s not gone completely yet, you know.

Spring’s Kinda Slow This Year

It was a great sunny day yesterday so a friend and I went for a lunchtime walk at Green Park. Green Park is surrounded by some historic buildings and roads. These are some shots from that walk. Green Park is situated near Buckingham Palace, Green Park Tube station, Clarence House and St James’s Palace. From Green Park one can walk through to St James’s Park.

It was a lovely sunny day but cold. Imagine this, we were walking with our gloves on. There were others who were running or walking and enjoying lunch sat in the seats and on the grass. It was a pretty sight. Although the temperatures are still teethering between single and double digits it still is pleasant enough to get rugged up and go for a short not-so brisk walk. Walking is so much fun and liberating from  hours of sitting at the desk. I do a lot of sitting down with over 10 tube station stops to Green Park then at my desk,  so this is the sort of day when I try to get out for a short walk. Its good to have a bit of exercise, take in some fresh air and enjoy the beauty of nature. Green Park offers a great quiet place for short walks during lunchtime so in that sense it is quite handy.

Here are some photos from that walk.

I prefer walking in this park because I don’t have to brave traffic to get there and there is always fewer people and lots of lovely trees and tree-lined walkways. I love trees and love taking photos of them.

My friend and I enjoyed our 50 min walk through Green Park. The air was crisp and we felt rather good taking the walk during lunchtime. It gave us the chance to enjoy the park and to welcome the onset of Spring. Slow though it is, it was still a nice day, and am grateful for the simple pleasure of a walk in the park. It was enjoyable and free. Walking back to the office I thought to myself…Spring’s kinda slow this year.

Some Views That Inspire Me

Sunset over The Mall, London

Sometimes you look at nature, buildings, food etc and you feel inspiration welling up in your belly and up to your face. You smile, remembering a faraway memory in the past, a fun time, places, family, loved ones, friends and God. I like to take photos of things that inspire me. When I do spontaneously I feel exactly what I’ve described above.

Here are some of  my favourites moments…

A mug in a Church cafe
At one end of Pall Mall along St James Street, London

St Paul's Cathedral, Victoria Street, London - a view through two buildings at the shopping centre
Sunset through the trees at dusk, Green Park, London
Awesome architecture
Early morning moon - from the kitchen window

Capturing these sights and views is so compelling. I take photos wherever I go and when I am walking with friends – they just laugh at me and call me ‘paparazzi’. I reckon that’s a compliment. It’s a great hobby and love of mine, capturing views that inspire me.

The Morning After

I woke up to this...what a contrast from the day before yesterday

This was how it looked the morning after the snow blizzard of the day before yesterday. I was quite excited about taking photos of the morning after. With the sun outside, but cold nonetheless, I left for work determined I was going to find the shots in every tree, every street, practically anywhere. The following shots are my shots of the morning after. Mind you,  I was on my way to the office so the photos taken are limited to the route I took to the office.

Trees in Green Park

This I found out took me through what felt like breaking glass. Ugh! I realised in my excitement to take photos in the park that I was slap bang in the middle of it with parts of it cordoned off because of the treacherous conditions of the footpath. I had to be careful with ice on the ground. I knew I had to make the most of it whilst in the middle of the park making sure I trod on parts of the footpaths still with powdery snow – fewer than I thought.

Pigeons, they didn't have to walk on icy pathways - Green Park

Yes, it was like stepping on glass that was breaking underfoot and slippery. I realise I had better find the parts of the path that still had the soft snow…now that was one hell of a hunt! After taking my photos I headed for the main drag through the park. On the walk to the office, I ran into a colleague and all we could talk about for the first 10 mins was the icy conditions of the roads. After this the next favourite topic – what we did for Christmas and New Year’s.

Captured this through wrought iron gates.

From the comfort of my heated office I looked out of the window at the scenery below and around. At lunchtime the sun was still there! I was expecting the onslaught of another snowy deluge…it was not to be.

From a room with a view...
A fan made of tree branches
A lost 'Swan Lake' ballerina?

Being from the tropics, one important thing I’ve learnt, and this is only the second time we’ve had a snow blizzard in London, is that on the next day like clockwork, the snow on the roads and pathways turns into ice. So the best thing to do is to anticipate this happening and invest in a pair of good boots which have good traction and warm. A pair of Wellington boots should do the trick. I picked up a pair of boots in Canada two years ago and so far my best protection against icy conditions.  The trick is to tread carefully and pay attention to where you are going.  Keep your wits about you and you’re sure to enjoy the morning after a snow blizzard. I did.

Snow survivor - a flowering plant in the office gardens

Autumn Trees…

I walked with a friend through Green Park one lunch time on our way to some shops on Victoria Street and these were my impressions of the trees on this cool Autumn afternoon. We’ve walked by these trees over the past year or so but on this particular day they looked so different.

Looking towards Green Park Tube Station.
There is something solid, wholesome and steady about these trunks.
Tree-lined path...awesome!
Beautiful and serene...
Imagine walking through this everyday to and from the office...just perfect
Autumn wonderland...
A lamp in the park...
Leaf-less but not life-less...
Autumn leaves...a leafy carpet.
Anatomy of a tree...
A park lamp...like a sentinel watching over the trees...

I was really happy we walked through the Park to get to where we were going. It gave me a totally different feel of the Park and what a privilege it was. The sights were exceptional.