Friday night: a drink or two on the way home from work at the newish neighbourhood; a small venue ideal for the January nights when not many people are venturing out. Bexley Redhouse Pale going down very well at 4.2% and not overburdened with novelty hops or any of the other look-at-me extremes of many small brewery offerings.
Saturday: the return of the weekend routine – taking daughter to singing and dancing. Peering at the pavement in Blackheath.
The Christmas tree down; decorations put back in the loft.
A quick walk into Greenwich and a purchase from Casbah Records (Gil Scott-Heron’s Winter in America); a couple of photos taken but nothing to write home about. A look at the dismal public realm of the new Creekside developments, and a gawp at Deptford Creek.
Sunday – the first swim of the year at Charlton Lido; brilliant as ever.
All I know about January in my 42nd year: we just have to get through it, and take what we can from it with low expectations. There is some blue sky.
A gentle tour of the north east between Christmas and New Year, not dashing about quite as manically as in some previous years.
Back to Newcastle (after a quick wander around on Christmas Eve) on Boxing Day for the sales and a look at Fenwick’s windows (best I can remember – animatronics have come on since the days when all the characters seemed to be based on the classic cobblers’ shop window model).
A look at the Tyne as the sun was going down:
A wander around Ouseburn on a sharp, bright morning.
A trip to the Angel of the North under cold blue skies:
A brief walk round Durham:
Then back to Newcastle, and genuine, real snow, the like of which we’d not seen for a long time.
A good break before heading back to London and a New Year’s weekend of playing guitar with the band.
Across to Blackheath Village first thing Saturday for a haircut. Nice autumn light shining on the display outside the florists by the station.
Over to Charlton Park next on Charlton Champion duties to photograph the official opening of the new skatepark, built by Greenwich Council and funded by developers taking over the old skatepark site in Woolwich (amid much inevitable controversy).
Full set of skatepark pics at The Charlton Champion.
I’ll definitely be back there soon to take more photos; the light wasn’t ideal (sudden brightness between downpours as Storm Brian passed over), and a longer lens would be better – I had assumed that my 14mm would be ideal for capturing the whole skate bowl scene but, as always seems to happen when I use a wide angle lens, it was quickly abandoned for the 35mm. Next time I’ll take the 60mm for more portraits.
The evening was spent playing guitar with Ronnie Ripple & The RipChords at Genesis cinema in Mile End; a fun gig performing after a screening of Back to the Future. I really should have used it as an excuse to face down my 30 year fear of playing the intro and solo for Johnny B Goode, though. Hopefully there’ll be another chance there soon.
An hour free to take photos around Deptford Creek and all my Fuji gear in the camera bag…but no memory card. I suppose I should be grateful it doesn’t happen all that often. Here’s an iPhone shot of a particularly low tide, looking down the creek from the Laban centre towards Ha’penny Hatch.
Alec Soth’s Sleeping by the Mississippi at Beetles & Huxley: stunning prints, on display for free just off Piccadilly.
Giles Duley interviewed on A Small Voice podcast: Ben Smith’s podcasts rarely disappoint, but this one I thought was outstanding. Giles Duley tells his extraordinary story incredibly articulately, and I can’t recommend it enough.
Brian David Stevens’s Beachy Head photobook – a somber but not melodramatic look at a difficult landscape; fine work at a democratic price point.
I’ve never been massively excited about sunset pictures, but it’s hard to resist when Greenwich Park is a short evening bike ride away and the sky looks like this.
In other news, I now have a Facebook page for my photography; ‘Like’ it, if you like.