Archives for the month of: March, 2012

More watery stuff: thinking of La Grande Jatte, I thought I’d show you this picture of Richmond Hill taken from the Thames (it’s worth clicking on it to enlarge the image).  There’s a magnificent sweeping view of the river from the top, but I didn’t go up there. I took these photographs last week while I was visiting my mother at Ham, in Surrey.  If you walk down past Ham House

you can take a tiny boat called Hammerton’s Ferry

across the river.  Because it’s to the west of London the Thames is still quite narrow,

 and is sandwiched at that point – (that was a lot of work to get a title) – between Ham on the southern or Surrey side of the river and Twickenham on the north or Middlesex side.  So small and close to the city, Middlesex is a county that no longer exists.  It was absorbed into London in the 1970s, but I like to use the name as much as I can because I was born in Middlesex.

When you alight from the boat in Twickenham, first there’s a sign on the gangway floor written in weld:

and then, facing across the river towards Ham House is an eighteenth-century Palladian villa, called Marble Hill House:

Marble Hill House was built for the girlfriend of George II, Henrietta Howard.  Apparently west London stately-home lover Alexander Pope used to spend a lot of time here, Dean Swift too.  Here’s a Wikipedia photo that shows the lawn sloping down to the towpath and the river:

There’s an unsubstantiated story that the two houses are linked by a tunnel, but what would be the point of it?  I like the ferry.  It cost £1, each way.

Then we turned around, took the ferry back and went home.  But on the way we looked in at a plant nursery that is taking advantage of global warming:

This huge old olive tree below could be yours for £3,999.  I don’t think that included freight.  You could probably make your money back over time.

We passed a pair of gatehouses to Ham House that looked like Hansel & Gretel gingerbread cottages:

This is my mother’s cat, Domino.  He grew up in Brooklyn.  He’s a VERY nice cat.

These two robins live in the back garden:

Two of my current favourite pictures: the top one a photograph by Thomas Hoepker, taken in Brooklyn on 11 September 2001, the other is Seurat’s La Grande Jatte on a Sunday afternoon, painted in 1884.

They are 117 years apart, but it just struck me how similar they are in both composition and subject: urban middle class groups enjoying the sunshine, albeit a little passively in the Brooklyn picture.

My wife found these pictures, she was vague about where.  She says they are African.

Julia sent me this cartoon because of our discussion, a couple of posts back, of odd & even numbers.  According to Julia, the man says something like: “And now I have to be odd all the rest of the day”.Julia currently has some pretty great pictures at her blog.