Archive for August, 2012

Photos of Lewisham: Hills, Rivers, Secret Corners and Blatant Skyscrapers

The Old Churchyard, LeeThe secret parkThe Silkworks apartmentsThe River Ravensbourne at Cornmill GardensThe monstrous towerSt. Margaret's Church, Lee
Elverson Road, LewishamRiver Mill Park, LewishamPrendergast Vale College under constructionThe front of Prendergast Vale CollegeArt on the tower block, LewishamRenaissance and the railway bridge
The Renaissance show homeThe Renaissance Marketing SuiteSelling an improbable dreamThe Lewisham towersThe Renaissance show gardenThe view from Elverson Road
The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, LewishamThe entrance to the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, LewishamThe graveyard of the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, LewishamA grave by the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Lewisham

Lewisham: Hills, Rivers, Secret Corners and Blatant Skyscrapers, a set on Flickr.

For most of the last 16 years I have lived in the London Borough of Lewisham — first in Forest Hill, London SE23, and, since November 1999, in Brockley, London SE4, which overlooks Lewisham town centre, the commercial heart of the borough. Built up since Saxon times around the River Ravensbourne, which flows into the River Thames at Deptford, the town centre is also the place where the River Quaggy, flowing in from the south east, via Eltham and Kidbrooke, joins the Ravensbourne.

From its valley, Lewisham also wanders up the hills to the south east, towards Lee, and the east, more steeply uphill to Blackheath. These photos were taken between May and August, and capture some of Lewisham’s history, some of its contours, including the hills and rivers, and some of the new developments in the town centre — Prendergast Vale College, a new school on the former site of Ladywell Bridge primary school, which is a positive development, and the high-rise apartment blocks rising up along Loampit Vale, the road from Lewisham to New Cross that peaks in Brockley, whose contribution is almost entirely negative. Read the rest of this entry »

Photos of the Olympics: In Search of the Paralympic Torch

Tower Bridge from Butler's WharfCanary Wharf from RotherhitheThe Shard, viewed from beside City HallHay's GalleriaRick Rodgers, Paralympic torch bearerOne of the Paralympic Games' corporate sponsors
Light the wayThe Paralympic torch relay, WestminsterThe Paralympic torch on the move in Westminster

The Olympics: In Search of the Paralympic Torch, a set on Flickr.

With the main Olympic Games now a memory, the focus, for the next 11 days, is on the Paralympic Games, before Britain returns to the gloom of life under the crushing yoke of a myopic Tory-led government. While the Games were a great success, the emotional resonance of the Paralympic Games is much stronger, given the obstacles people have had to overcome to take part in the first place, and it is a tribute to the UK that the Paralympics began here in 1948. As Wikipedia explains:

The first organised athletic event for disabled athletes that coincided with the Olympic Games took place on the day of the opening of the 1948 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom. German born Dr. Ludwig Guttmann of Stoke Mandeville Hospital, who had been helped to flee Nazi Germany by the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) in 1939, hosted a sports competition for British World War II veteran patients with spinal cord injuries. The first games were called the 1948 International Wheelchair Games, and were intended to coincide with the 1948 Olympics. Dr. Guttman’s aim was to create an elite sports competition for people with disabilities that would be equivalent to the Olympic Games. Read the rest of this entry »

Glass, Light and Fantasies: Photos of the City of London At Night

Phone boxes, Smithfield MarketSmithfield Market at nightThe back alleySpace age ductsLondon Wall at nightFire dancer in the City
Purple lights at the entrance to Tower 42The ghost officeThe Olympic logo on Tower 42The Heron Tower from BishopsgateThe Gherkin at nightThe back of the Lloyds Building at night
Glass, light and trees: Lloyds at nightThe glass box by Tower BridgeThe Shard and City Hall at nightThe three tunnels at night, Bermondsey

Glass, Light and Fantasies: The City of London At Night, a set on Flickr.

This latest photo set, on Flickr, from my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike — the 23rd instalment in what will be at least a year-long project — follows up on a previous set, Parks, Water and Dreams: Photos of a Journey from Surrey Quays to Central London, in which I recorded a journey through Rotherhithe on the evening of July 19, 2012, when I travelled to The Arts Catalyst, on Clerkenwell Road, in London EC1, to speak at an event marking the sixth anniversary of the arrest of Talha Ahsan, a British citizen and a Londoner, who has been held without charge or trial ever since, while fighting extradition to the US — an unjust situation that I have also written about here and here. Please also see this photo of me wearing an “Extradite Me, I’m British” T-shirt, to highlight the problems with the US-UK Extradition Treaty.

After the event — shortly after 9pm — I set off for home, but took a detour through the City of London, to capture photos of the City of London at night, the morally and legally dubious powerhouse of Britain’s financial industry, which fascinates me (see the evidence here and here), as does its offshoot at Canary Wharf on the Isle of Dogs (see the photos here and my essay here). Read the rest of this entry »

Echoes of Ancient Rome: Photos of the Roman Forum, the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill

The Forum of Caesar, from the road to the ColosseumStatue of Nero and Trajan's MarketFirst view of the Roman ForumThe Arch of Septimius SeverusThe Temple of VestaThe Temple of Saturn and the Capitoline Hill
The Temple of RomulusThe giant arches of the Basilica of Maxentius and ConstantineThe Arch of Titus and the Colosseum from the Palatine HillSculpture on the Arch of TitusThe house of the Vestal VirginsThe remains of the Temple of Castor and Pollux
The Roman Forum from the Temple of SaturnThe ColosseumThe Arch of ConstantineThe Colosseum close upLooking into the ColosseumInside the Colosseum
Looking along the axis of the ColosseumInside the Colosseum from the south eastThe awe-inspiring scale of the ColosseumLooking west inside the ColosseumDoorways inside the ColosseumThe Arch of Constantine and the Palatine Hill from the Colosseum

Echoes of Ancient Rome: The Roman Forum, the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill, a set on Flickr.

My two-week family holiday in Italy is at an end, and I am now back in London, slightly cold and pining for the heat, the cooking, the fresh fruit, the culture of Rome and the mountains and lakes of Abruzzo province. All holidays must come to an end, however, and as I reacquaint myself with my home, and my friends, and try to focus once more on Guantánamo and the parlous state of British politics, and look forward to cycling in search of new and unexplored parts of London as part of my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike, I will also be posting more photos of Rome and of our travels in Abruzzo province.

I have already posted four sets of photos of Rome (here, here, here and here), and this fifth set takes up where the last one left off — with a visit to the Roman Forum, on August 15, followed by a visit to the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill on August 16. These three sites — the heart of Ancient Rome, and consisting of its civic and religious centre, the hill on which several emperors made their home, and the colossal blood-stained amphitheatre where murder was turned into sport — offer an unparalleled insight into Ancient Rome, and for visitors, from the UK at least, the fact that access to all three sites is open for two days and costs just 12 Euros is a bonus, as my wife and I joked that in the UK each site would probably cost £27.90, with a ticket for all three offered at “just” £75. Read the rest of this entry »

Photos of The Pantheon and Il Vittoriano in Rome: Transcendental Illumination and a Show of Power

Entering The PantheonThe Pantheon and the ray of divine lightInside The PantheonThe eye of GodThe Pantheon inside and outThe tomb of King Vittorio Emanuele II
Looking out from The Pantheon, RomePiazza Della Rotonda, RomeColourful apartments in RomePretty apartments in RomeA heavenly church ceilingCourtyard of the Doria Pamphilj Gallery, Rome
Il Vittoriano, RomeLooking east from Il VittorianoGuarding the Tomb of the Unknown SoldierThe statue of King Vittorio Emanuele IIThe Colosseum and the Roman Forum from the top of Il VittorianoLooking north from the top of Il Vittoriano
Statue on the top of Il Vittoriano, RomeViewing churches from the top of Il VittorianoThe Colosseum from the top of Il VittorianoThe Theatre of Marcellus from the top of Il VittorianoThe Roman Forum from the top of Il VittorianoCapitoline Museums from the top of Il Vittoriano

The Pantheon and Il Vittoriano in Rome: Transcendental Illumination and a Show of Power, a set on Flickr.

I’m nearing the end of my two-week family holiday in Italy, and have been in Abruzzo province, near the town of Sulmona, since Sunday August 19. For the first week my family and I were in Rome, and I posted my photos from the first three days of that wonderful week here, here and here.

Our time in Abruzzo has also been wonderful, in this little known area of Italy, with its mountains and lakes, its vertiginous roads, its excellent food, and its old-fashioned hospitality with a laid-back vibe. However, we have been so busy travelling around that I have been unable to find the time to post more photos of Rome — until now. Read the rest of this entry »

Parks, Water and Dreams: Photos of a Journey from Surrey Quays to Central London

Greenland Dock and Canary WharfTrees by Greenland DockA green canopyThe big bridge at Surrey QuaysThe shifting sands of Brunswick QuayThe bridge and the park
Russia Dock WoodlandA walk in the parkA bridge in Russia DockA glimpse of Canary WharfDreaming on Stave HillSurrey Water
The sun and the cloudsSt. Mary's RotherhitheThe Shard and Tower Bridge from RotherhitheLooking north east along the ThamesShops in RotherhitheTrees on Jamaica Road
Shad ThamesMore London and The Shard

Parks, Water and Dreams: A Journey from Surrey Quays to Central London, a set on Flickr.

On July 19, 2012, I had been invited to The Arts Catalyst, on Clerkenwell Road, in London EC1, to speak at an event marking the sixth anniversary of the arrest of Talha Ahsan, a British citizen and a Londoner, who has been held without charge or trial ever since, while fighting extradition to the US — an unjust situation that I have also written about here and here. Please also see this photo of me wearing an “Extradite Me, I’m British” T-shirt, to highlight the problems with the US-UK Extradition Treaty.

As I have become obsessed with cycling lately, both to keep fit and to chronicle the whole of London by bike (an ongoing project that I began three months ago) and, just as importantly, to feed my eyes and my brain and to allow my mind to roam free after six years of being cooped up writing about Guantánamo, I decided to cycle to the event. This journey took me primarily through Rotherhithe, the peninsula and area of the Borough of Southwark that was formerly made up almost entirely of docks — the Surrey Commercial Docks — until the demise of London’s docks over 40 years ago. As part of the regeneration of the former Docklands areas under Margaret Thatcher, Butler’s Wharf and Shad Thames near Tower Bridge, and Limehouse, Wapping and the Isle of Dogs were all regenerated, as were the docks of Rotherhithe. Read the rest of this entry »

Churches, Temples, Fountains and Piazze: Photos of the Historic Centre of Rome

Beside the Vatican wallThe steps down to the Metro at CiproStreet art by the Metro at CiproFaded gloryCipro Musei Vaticani Metro stationIs it art?
Piazza del PopoloPincio Hill GardensiConPensiero e dinamite (thought and dynamite)Yayoi Kusama - window art for Louis Vuitton, RomeThe Spanish Steps, Rome
Colourful houses near The Spanish Steps, RomeThe view from The Spanish StepsThe Madonna in Piazza MignanelliMcDonalds and propagandaCloisters, RomeTrevi Fountain
The crowd at the Trevi FountainHadrian's temple in the Piazza di PietraHouses in the Piazza di PietraA world of PinocchiosEarly evening at The PantheonCorso del Rinascimento

Churches, Temples, Fountains and Piazze: The Historic Centre of Rome, a set on Flickr.

In two previous sets of photos (here and here), I have covered the first two days of my two-week family holiday in Italy — with a series of photos from Rome, where we have been during this first week, before moving on to Abruzzo province for the second.

Rome is so photogenic, and the compunction to wander around it so compelling, despite the average daytime heat of around 35 degrees, that it has been impossible to publish the photos as I take them, as a sort of visual diary, but if you bear with me I’ll eventually get all the photos published. At present, I doubt that Abruzzo province is as well-connected to the Internet as Rome, which may make a big difference to my ability to get my photos online. Read the rest of this entry »

Photos of Rome: A Storm, the Hills and the Tiber at Night

Dawn over St. Peter'sA storm is comingSt. Peter's in the rainA break in the stormLooking down at the rainThe rain and the sun
Apartments in the rainThe Gianicolo wallClouds above RomeYou're my sweet angelMonument to GaribaldiThe road through the trees
Mona Lisa musta had the highway bluesThe view over Rome from GianicoloFontana Dell'Acqua PaolaDetail of Fontana Dell'Acqua PaolaA mausoleum at nightTrees at night
Wake up!Reclaim the road signsTrastevere at nightThe Tiber at nightPlaying table football by the TiberA bridge at night

Rome: A Storm, the Hills and the Tiber at Night, a set on Flickr.

This is my second set of photos from my family holiday this year — in Italy, and, specifically, in Rome this week and, next week, a village in Abruzzo province. The eternal city (la città eterna) is one of the most extraordinary places I have ever visited — with its excellent cuisine, friendly locals and its unparalleled architectural wonders, the result, of course, of having been a major player on the world stage for nearly 3,000 years.

On our first evening, we were introduced to Rome’s super-sized architectural heritage via a visit to Piazza San Pietro, the colossal square in front of St. Peter’s Basilica (la Basilica di San Pietro) at the heart of the Vatican, and on Day 2, although we saw little of the city’s architectural splendours, we nevertheless had an inspiring day, despite being housebound for the whole afternoon as the entire city was drenched by a full-on tropical storm, which reduced the humidity sufficiently that we didn’t have to sleep outside, as we did on our first night. Read the rest of this entry »

Architecture on an Epic Scale: Photos of Arriving in Rome, Visiting St. Peter’s and the Vatican

Welcome to RomeBlue corridorThe monorailFlags on the autostradaThe view of St. Peter's from our balconyA view of the balcony
Bacchus on the streetStazione San PietroHouses and motorbikesThe tunnel and the hillSt. Peter's BasilicaThe Piazza San Pietro
Castel Sant'AngeloThe River Tiber, looking south west from outside the Castel Sant'AngeloThe River Tiber, looking east from outside the Castel Sant'AngeloThe angel on the bridgeThe seagull on the angelCastel Sant'Angelo from the south
The bus stop and the churchStatues on the bridgeThe approach to St. Peter's and the night skySt. Peter's and the night skySt. Peter's from the south west at nightSt. Peter's at night from our balcony

Architecture on an Epic Scale: Arriving in Rome, Visiting St. Peter’s and the Vatican, a set on Flickr.

I’m on holiday right now, in Rome, an astonishing city, saturated in history, and still, of course, the centre of the Catholic church worldwide. Italy is a country that I have loved for a long time — on a visit as a child, as part of a family tour of Europe in our sky blue Triumph, in which we camping in France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany, and, in Italy,  passed though dozens of tunnels, visiting Pisa and Firenze, and finding marble quarries high in the mountains; Many years later, with an Italian girlfriend, I visited Milano on numerous occasions, and also made memorable trips to Venezia, to Calabria and to Como — and it wads during this time that I learnt Italian, learned to love espresso, and also learned the basics of Italian cookery.

Fast forward to my life now, with my wife, Dot, and my son, Tyler, and Italy — along with Spain, and, last year, Greece — is one of the regular features of our family holidays in the Mediterranean. A few years ago, we had an amazing Easter holiday in Sicilia, and we also had a short holiday in Firenze, and, two years ago, a two-week bonanza with the first week in Puglia and the second in Napoli, which must rank as the most extraordinary city in western Europe, full of contradictions that are normally only associated with the developing world. Read the rest of this entry »

A Place to Call Home: Photos of Brockley from Winter to Summer

Snow on Hilly FieldsSpring in Brockley CemeteryUntil the Day BreakThe yew tree and the graveGravestones in BrockleyI love Brockley
Spring blossom in BrockleyThe mattress and the bikeArt and trashThe allotments by the railway line in BrockleyThe fat lazy scarecrowThe tunnel footbridge
The view from the bridge in BrockleyEros and the monkeyMadhouse bandThe ice cream, the inflatable slide and the binsThe vanishing toiletsThe passage of dappled light
The sky above Tressillian RoadRain at homePrendergast School, Hilly FieldsPattern of light on Hilly FieldsAn eccentric houseTrees on St. Margaret's Road, Brockley

A Place to Call Home: Brockley from Winter to Summer, a set on Flickr.

I have lived in London for 27 years, and for the last 12 years (13 in November) I have made my home — with my wife, and with the son who, prematurely, joined us shortly after moving here — in Brockley, on the hills above New Cross and Lewisham, and near the hill-top park of Hilly Fields, which commands fine views over to Blackheath and Greenwich, to the east, to Blythe Hill Fields to the south, and south east to Kent.

For decades, Brockley was a kind of secret village in south east London, home to artists, writers, musicians and various other bohemians, and affordable for those seeking to buy, whilst also providing generous allocations of social housing. In the 12 years since I came here, I have watched as coffee shops and delicatessens and bars and restaurants and gift shops have opened, where, in 1999, there were none — places like The Broca and Magi Gifts and The Orchard — which have brought the area to life, and although Brockley remains, at heart, the same clever, down-to- earth place it has been for decades, the upgrade of the East London Line and its incorporation into a London-wide Overground network, and regular publicity in the media’s property pages, has led to a recent influx of Yuppies. Read the rest of this entry »

Back to home page

Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, filmmaker, photographer and Guantanamo expert
Email Andy Worthington

The Guantánamo Files book cover

The Guantánamo Files

The Battle of the Beanfield book cover

The Battle of the Beanfield

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion book cover

Stonehenge: Celebration & Subversion

Outside The Law DVD cover

Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo

RSS

Posts & Comments

World Wide Web Consortium

XHTML & CSS

WordPress

Powered by WordPress

Designed by Josh King-Farlow

Please support Andy Worthington, independent journalist:

Archives

In Touch

Follow me on Facebook

Become a fan on Facebook

Subscribe to me on YouTubeSubscribe to me on YouTube

Andy's Flickr photos

Campaigns

Categories

Tag Cloud

Abu Zubaydah Afghans Al-Qaeda Andy Worthington Bagram British prisoners CIA torture prisons Clive Stafford Smith Close Guantanamo David Cameron Guantanamo Habeas corpus Hunger strikes Lewisham London Military Commission NHS NHS privatisation Photos President Obama Reprieve Save Lewisham A&E Shaker Aamer Torture UK austerity UK protest US Congress US courts WikiLeaks Yemenis