London Tuesday, October 11th
I spent the day visiting new places and revisiting some favorites with my London photography friend, Liz.
We started our day at Holland Park, just west of Lancaster Gate where I am staying. Neither of us had ever been there and we weren’t quite sure what to expect, but I had read that there was an old deserted house and since I like abandoned buildings I thought it might be okay. It was so much better that we could have imagined. The house was built in 1605 and has a Jacobean feel to it. Part of it is in ruin and the other in various states of repair. The house is not open to the public and that’s a shame. Entry fees could help to restore it, as it seems like a very important house. We found an unlocked gate and got off a few shots before we were told that the area was off-limits. So we walked around the houses and admired the architecture.
We stumbled across several gardens next to the house: a dahlia garden, rose garden, parterre and fountain. It was lovely. But the best garden of all was the Japanese inspired garden with pond filled with huge coy, a waterfall, and peacocks…lots of peacocks.
Then it was time to move on. I don’t think Liz was too sure about my next choice of venue: Brompton Cemetery in Chelsea. It is one of the Victorian cemeteries in London and considered to be one of the best for its style and architectural monuments. It wasn’t long before Liz got into it and became intrigued by the elaborate headstones. We didn’t find all the ones I had hoped to find like the man who discovered what caused cholera and the man who started Sothebys. However we did find the man who started Chelsea football club, and Frederick Leyland who had ties with the telephone industry.
We walked the full length of the cemetery but could have spent hours here, but it was time to move on.
Liz likes to take photos of rock bands so my next spot to take her was a gallery on Kings Rd showing Decca icons in the 60’s: the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, the Doors and a few others. The photo that surprised me was the famous skirt blowing of Marilyn Monroe. Someone got the shot but also got the crowd watching her. I had always thought there was only one photographer with her, but there were at least 50 people on the sidelines and someone captured it on film. Bravo. All were beautiful photos, mostly in black and white, with amazing light. Some were posed but the ones we liked the best were the ones that caught that ‘decisive moment’.
Stopped for lunch and then it was the Embankment along the Thames for the rest of the afternoon and evening. Liz went home just before sunset, but I stayed until dark and then hopped on the Underground and back to the hotel.
It was a good day.