Articles

London and Edinburgh - the Crystal Connection

The architecture of Scotland's capital is so Gordon Brown, oozing dour gravitas from the sandstone, and proclaiming its prudent psyche. The banking debacle has not damaged Edinburgh's image for the visitor, and the August overseas tourists throng Princes Street to marvel at apparently cross-dressing local males wearing heavy woollen skirts and bellowing out patriotic tunes on the bagpipes.
 

Watts in London and Guildford?

The answer is the marks of the life and achievements of George Frederick Watts, artist and Royal Academician, born in 1807 near Bryanston Square in London, and dying in 1904 at Compton near Guildford, Surrey.

Visitors to the National Portrait Gallery in London may have seen portraits on display from time to time under Watts' so-called Hall of Fame, where he painted the great and the good from late Victorian society, perhaps one of the most noted of whom is Roman Catholic Archbishop Manning.

A Victorian Cricket Match - in Victoria

Oh cricket lovers, put aside the agony of Nick Compton’s 2nd Test innings against New Zealand, described on Test Match Special as like the last Act of Macbeth, and consider the daftness and goodness of a game on 29th May 2013 between The Wisden XI and The Author’s XI.

Argentine Ambassador's Residence, Belgravia

At the midway point between Open House 2012 and 2013, it seems timely to feature one of the jewels in the Open House crown.

Embassy buildings come imposing and impenetrable. Even standing outside one can be intimidating.

However, this building had an early name that was nothing if not prosaic. “The Independent North Mansion” was the title of 49 Belgrave Square, one of Thomas Cubitt’s creations in his Belgravia masterpiece.

Unusual Views over City Rooftops

One of the consolations of having a City day job is the chance to get from office receptions views that are not available to the public. This might be considered zero consolation by those who deride the wage-slave, but it is something at least.

So here are three views, with slight apologies for the limitations of shots taken through a window and from a mobile phone:

East, across the Smithfield rooftops

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