Tristan Grant and SarahMay Harel are staying with us in Camden Town. They are enjoying shopping. Here is SarahMay with one of her many new pairs of shoes.
But on the day of our exploration the weather was awful and so warm clothes and comfortable boots were the order of the day. We exited from Leicester Square tube station in the direction of London’s tiny China Town, centred in Gerrard Street. It started here in the early 1970′s, having first been based in the East End by the Docks of Limehouse.
Then we went into Leicester Square. Named after Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester. In the 1630′s he built himself a large house at the northern end. But we were hastening and not really studying anything about the present Square. A couple of photos from the south side, though.
Then we went though the underpass of the Sainsbury’s Wing of the National Gallery. This is a nice way to get to Trafalgar Square, especially since the square has been pedestrianized. That was in 2003.
There are no pigeons anymore. In 2007 a falconer with a trained Harris Hawk, sorted the problem. (Ah, but wait. You can see a few in one of the following pics.)
Landseer’s huge lions at the base of Nelson’s Column are always good to look at close up. They’ve been there since 1868. (Edwin Landseer was a famous animal painter 1802-1873.) Sitting on granite:
Then we mentioned the equestrian statue of Charles 1, noting that it is the official centre of London. All distances to London on roadsigns are measured from here.
Then we went into Craven Street and gazed briefly at no. 36. It is the only surviving house in which Benjamin Franklin lived. He lived in several places in London, but this statement relates to the world. None of the others in the United States, or in France have survived. We didn’t go to the museum this time. We were embarked on the briefest of walks.
Instead, we turned right and went to the Sherlock Holmes pub. Upstairs is the room that was a temporary exhibit in the 1951 Exhibition.
Then we went into Great Scotland Yard. It is the first of three Scotland Yards. Great Scotland Yard became famous in 1829 as the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police. It was newly formed then, but later, in 1892, it moved to the famous Scotland Yard on the Thames. The continuing connection with the police is that we can see a large Victorian block building for stabling police horses. They walk up a ramp and their stables are marked by small windows upstairs. It’s fun to think police horses are still stabled here in 2013.
We went to a pub in Whitehall. The Old Shades.
Then back through Trafalgar Square aiming for the National Gallery. En route, a pic of Nelson’s Column. It’s almost 170 ft tall to the top of Nelson’s hat. It’s been there since 1840′s. In front of it, almost seeable in my photo, is the previously mentioned statue of Charles 1.
We didn’t take any pictures of the National Gallery, except to say it’s in the background of the Nelson’s Column snap. The building is from the 1830′s so it was here before Nelson’s Column by a decade. The architect, William Wilkins also did the main building of the University of London.
And then back home on the Northern Line.
Today’s the publication date for our book. We drink champagne. Against the Art of War: poems by Ernest Hilbert and Henry Wessells; etchings by Judith Clute. Temporary Culture, Upper Montclair, USA limited edition, 26 copies lettered A to Z. Edited by Henry Wessells. (Price to subscribers: $375.00). And here’s the cover:
Here are the four editioned etchings set within:
It was delightful having Clare and Peter staying with us for a week in September. My rule of available light (no flash) still holds for me because, although there is very obvious camera shake here, I love this composition and the general feel of Peter and Clare inhabiting the space of 221 B.
There are more interior pictures. Once Clare cooked a delicious duck dinner when Tom Pollak and Andrea came by.
That particular meal actually started outside and I got lovely pics of Andrea. And also Peter.
But a previous dinner, again cooked by the amazing Clare (she was perfectly comfortable with my eccentric kitchen) provided more pics of Peter and Clare by candlelight outside in the garden. Tom was sitting on the other side. I seem not to have captured him that night.
But Tom is seen here earlier, larking in the kitchen with Clare.
Then there was always the ritual whereby Peter would gather up his smoking things in his bag and head out for the table in the garden. And here he is smoking and chatting with Clute.
Also I nabbed a lovely pic of Clare in the kitchen. We were about to join the others at the outside table. The weather throughout the Coney Nicholls visit was like the best of summer. I think they had brought it.
And that perfect weather prevailed throughout our little celebration of the launch of the sf-encyclopedia.com. Peter gave a thoughtful speech about how the sf encyclopedia had started back in 1979. My picture of him was taken shortly and then I took only a few very random snaps. I should have taken pictures of everyone who came but I was too busy enjoying the party. Here are the sf encyclopedia people attending of whom only the first five managed to be in a picture: Peter Nicholls; Clare Coney; John Clute; David Langford; Roger Robinson; Mike Ashley, Robert Kirby, Neal Tringham, Paul Kincaid, Maureen Speller-Kincaid, Graham Sleight, Nick Lowe and Malcolm Edwards.
Early in the party I snapped Clare thinking about the encyclopedia, and the green of that composition links to some flowers she gave us.
Then there’s the gift that Clare and Peter gave us that makes every writer who comes to visit smile wistfully.