Archive for July, 2012

Olympic Rings at Tower Bridge

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

With time dwindling down on mama’s visit, she wanted one more outing to get a few photos at the iconic Tower Bridge, resplendent with it’s temporary Olympic rings.  Looking through the archives of this site, I think it’s safe to say that Tower Bridge is my favourite of all of the London landmarks.  Possibly because I used to live by it and got to see it every day, but I really think it’s something special.  It doesn’t take much to convince me to head down there are take a few photos of it.

Any day along the south bank is going to be a busy day, but what with the nice weather and the influx of Olympic tourists the crowds were boarding on excessive.  We spent a fair bit of time waiting around for spots to clear up so we could get some decent images.  After a lot of fruitless patience I remembered that when the tide is out  there’s a nice, secret little spot that few tourists go that would be ideal for our photos.

The above shot was taken at our secret shore and provided a much nicer vantage point for the bridge.  There were a few other folks who had found their way down here, but everyone was pretty good about taking turns and staying out of each others  way.

More photos of Danni, mama & Tower Bridge in the gallery.

Thornbury Redux

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

We’ve been waiting patiently for over a month now for a weekend that closely approximates summer (or at least one that wasn’t raining) so that we could take mama out to our wedding venue for lunch and some photos.  She wasn’t able to attend our big day last year, so we wanted to show her around and get some nice portraits done so she would feel included.

The reception room we were married in seemed somewhat smaller this time.  Presumably due to the tables being set out for drinks but also I think there was an air of grandness due to the occasion the last time we visited that lent to it’s vast feel.  Regardless, we settled in for some light refreshments while waiting to be called into the dinning room for lunch.

Lunch in general was rather disappointing, which was surprising given how good our meals in the past had been.  Mama and I had the same lackluster terrine starter and Danni regrettably dared a sardine option that I couldn’t get far enough away from.  The mains were marginally better, Danni and I selected the vegetarian & duck egg salad while mama had the fish (the only other option being a liver dish in case you’re wondering why I’d opted for vegetarian).

Fortunately, this isn’t a food review site and Danni and I still love the castle regardless of our sub-par lunch.  We finished paying and headed outside for the real reason we came.  The photos!

We tried to emulate the brilliant photos taken at our wedding.  I’ve still got a ways to go in order to catch up to our wedding photographer, but I think everyone was happy with the results.  There were a few people milling around the courtyard that we had to work around, but nothing a little Photoshop cloning can’t fix.

The weather held off nicely, but the sky was overcast and boring so if you can see blue skies in any of these photos they’re compliments of the Caribbean.  I like to think I’m getting better at inserting fake skies to the point that people wouldn’t be able to tell, but then I go and tell everyone they’re edited in anyway so I’m not sure why I try so hard…

Anyway, brilliant day at one of our favourite places in the world.  Very happy that we’ve been able to share with the vast majority of our family and I think mama was pleased with the prints we sent her home with.

More of the same in the gallery!

Richmond Park Deer

Monday, July 16th, 2012

The good weather has been holding up and I think we’re actually going to experience a bit of summer here this year.  Danni has been telling Mama about some of the amazing parks in London and the possibility of  seeing a few wild deer in Richmond park had piqued her interest, so off we went!

Our previous forays to Richmond had been in the winter months, so spotting the deer was easy.  There was no tall grass for them to hide in, and I think a certain amount of luck meant that we stumbled across them without even really trying.  This time was to prove much different, and we several hours scouring the far reaches of the park in hopes of spotting the elusive critters.

We did find some other interesting things to see, like the massive mushroom/toadstool above plus several birds and the usual multitude of squirrels.  The park itself isn’t too shabby either.

At our last turn making our way to the exit, we finally found them!  A group of about a half dozen deer bounded through the tall grasses (How tall?  The deer in the above image is standing up) and we chased them for a bit until we managed to get a few photos.  All in all, a successful day out.

Of course, it can’t truly be considered a successful day until you’ve found yourself inside one of the many, many local pubs.  Of course, we decided that instead of staying local we’d make the trek across the entirety of London and bring Mama to our favourite pub: The Prospect of Whitby. Such a great location, definitely worth a look if you ever find yourself deep in Wapping territory.

More photos in the gallery!

Olympic Park Tour

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

With the unavoidable hype surrounding the Olympics this year, we thought it would be fun to take a tour of the Olympic Park.  I have a few tickets to some fencing events but unfortunately those all take place at the Excel Centre, far away from the main Olympic venues.  I won’t get to see the completed works during the games, so this is likely as close as I’ll get for the foreseeable future.

Londons Eiffel Tower?  Hardly.

The majority of the tour took place a considerable distance from the park, discussing the history of the area and showcasing some of the regeneration that’s been done.  I knew beforehand that we wouldn’t actually get access to the grounds (due to the over-the-top security), but a lot of the banter didn’t really interest me.  The regeneration projects were nice to see, but obviously not what we were there for.

The aquatics centre.

We were told we were the last ‘lucky’ group who would have close proximity access to the village before the games start.  The road that provided the best views (the three images displayed here were all taken on that road) was to be closed to all traffic the very next day.

The tour lasted about 2 hours and ended at Westfield Shopping Centre (which by ‘happy accident’, almost everyone attending an event here must pass through).  It was fairly informative and our guide was friendly and amenable to our questions, but as far as I know the tours have stopped now so there’s no reason to recommend going.

Having been sucked into Westfield, we stopped for a bit of Yo-Sushi lunch before heading home for the day. There are a couple more images in the gallery.