We are finally departing. The packing up is complete, the house lies empty – a mere shell of its former self, the windows like soulless eyes. New owners will now create, craft and shape a new home. We wish them well.
(And in case you’re wondering, this is not our house – just a building seen in the Docklands area of London).
After two days of packing, our house now stands half-empty and our possessions are housed on palettes within containers awaiting delivery to our new home next week.
In the process, our home of 32 years has lost its character – denuded of pictures, ornaments, books and objects, all of which had an individual history and evoked a unique memory.
A chapter is closing and a new chapter is about to begin. A page will turn.
This Autumn has produced some of the most vivid colours for several years thanks to what the forecasters tell us has been a perfect combination of weather conditions.
Sunshine and rain through spring and summer kept the trees watered and healthy. Warm sunny days in September and October with cool nights helped to enhance the colours, and the absence of frost and wind meant the leaves stayed on the trees allowing the trees to put on a wonderful display.
Just my luck that this Autumn has been so busy that there has been so little time to walk and soak all the colours up – but there has been plenty of driving and it has been hard to keep the eyes focused on the road ahead. A change in the weather within the last week has brought an abrupt end to the display and suddenly the world around us has been drained rapidly of colour, and although the temperatures are unseasonably high, one feels that winter will soon bite.
Regular readers of this blog will know that we are ‘in the process’ of moving house. It’s a process that seems to have consumed the vast majority of the year so far. Moving house is said to rank as one of the top five most stressful life events, and it’s a situation we will all experience more than once. For some it will be a regular occurrence. For us it’s the first time in over thirty years.
One thing we’ve learnt is that every single task, chore, decision takes twice the time you thought it would. And that includes packing, deciding what is rubbish, clearing it – or should I say deciding how to get rid of it – because actually disposing of it is not always easy. In addition, journeys to/from viewings along the UK’s most congested motorway have been more like sitting in a car park than actually travelling. At each step along the way you feel you’re nearly at the end of a task only to discover you’re not and I’m reminded of the well known quote: ‘I thought I saw the light at the end of the tunnel but it was just some bloke with a torch bringing me more work’.
Finally, today we have exchanged contracts and we move to our new house at the end of the month. The end is in sight. Except it’s not really. The removal company may be packing us up and delivering us to what we will be our home for the next decade, where my wife and I will collapse in an exhausted heap, but then we have to gird our loins and summon the energy to unpack!
A note about the image. This is the famous Dent Clock at St Pancras station London, which has been joined by a black and white replica this summer. Click here for for more information.
Peering down an alleyway in central London I caught sight of this extraordinary facade. A mix of reflections, tinted glass and the occasional snatch of the interior itself. Abstract architectural art.
Yesterday I published a black and white image of a sculpture titled ‘Head’ by Allen Jones in a local park (click here to visit that post). Above, you can see the original colour image of this dramatic piece of sculpting.
When I see the work of other artists on show in the great outdoors I enjoy the challenge of capturing that art. In part it is documentary photography, but more than that I endeavour to find a way of producing an image that conveys something of what impresses me about that particular sculpture; and the other two images that you see here today are two attempts to achieve that effect.
Over the last two or three decades there has been a growing trend to place sculptures in parkland. Artists get wider recognition of their work and the public experience art in an outdoor environment. It’s an enriching experience.
This is ‘Head’ (1990) by Allen Jones – one of several sculptures installed in Campbell Park, Milton Keynes.