Like all true Englishmen, I am delighted with the turn for the surreal that the weather has taken. As the safest of every true Englishman’s Default Conversational Openers/Small Talk Gambits (which include The Football, Immigrants, and Bins), the weather has been a tried and tested way to engage in conversation with people in bus queues or dull dinner parties. When it flips between record-breaking heat wave and snow, you know you can depend on all kinds of fascinating opinion.
Me, I just love the skies you get in the mornings when the weather’s all over the shop. Blue skies get dull after a while, and no-one likes the flat grey of a rainy day. The train into work is treating me to some stunning sunrises at the moment, and I’m particularly enamoured of the cloudscapes over Leicester Square as I emerge blinking from Piccadilly Circus tube. Take this beauty that I snagged last week. Enough just to give me a moment of pause before I start my day.
God, it’s cold. Cycling to the station this morning, a ten minute run, leaves me unable to feel my fingers even in thick leather gloves, and my face aches and stings on the train as it slowly warms up after the sub-zero shock. It feels like I’ve been slapped in the kisser. Hot coffee becomes a necessity, not just to wake me up, but to bump my core temperature back up to operating levels.
But thank the gods, at least it’s not dark when I travel in now. We’re past the pit of winter, out of the doldrums, and the vicious cold has a sweet spot–beautiful clear skies and stunning sunrises. I love the deep Wedgewood blues graduating down to a warm citrussy orange at the horizon line. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can catch a real stunner.
Getting up early on a Saturday does have its benefits.
Alright, it’s a big Chinese lantern, but damned if it doesn’t look like an alien jellyfish flying towards Trafalgar Square. The big blue Mothership in the distance is the W Hotel, which changes colour like a contented cuttlefish at night, gently pulsing around the colour wheel.
Sometimes the town I work in is still capable of surprising me.
The Regent Palace Hotel, just off London’s bustling Piccadilly Circus, was a place that was part of my early life in Soho. Sadly, three years ago it was discovered to be riddled with asbestos, and the venerable building was condemned.
The land is now part of the new Quadrant development that’s in the final stages of completion. The tangle of streets and shops that tuck in behind Regent Street and Piccadilly have always been something of a hidden treasure, so it’s nice to see a new attraction to draw people in. I’m also pleased to see that the old facade has survived, and it’s scrubbed up well, doncha think?
And yes, it has been cropped and framed to look as much like a Victorian spaceship firing up it’s main engine as possible. Couldn’t help myself.
It’s been funny old weather for the past week. Thin bands of rain clouds shooting across the country, dousing us in a downpour while a low sun bathes us in light.
Which makes for top rainbow weather, of course, and a doozy arched over the back garden earlier this week. Not a double, sadly, but I think a full ‘bow is just about as good.
Presented without commentary, except for the observation that this pic suits the mood of the week. Here’s to better days ahead.
It was perfect rainbow weather as I arrived back into Reading from work last night, and this towering beauty popped up obligingly. It’s emerging from the top of One Reading Central, the home of Yell. Follow the curve, and it’ll take you pretty much back to X&HTowers.