Thursday, April 30, 2015

Notes from the Walk to Work

Remember the photo I posted at the beginning of March, showing the demolition of a building on my way to work? Well, this is what the building looked like late last week, and now, even that tiny part in the back is gone. The whole thing is just a flattened mound of rubble.

Turns out it was a parking garage, and as you can imagine it was built to last, of reinforced concrete. I guess that's why it's taken so long to knock down. I can't imagine what the council -- which owns the property, I believe -- is going to do with all that crushed concrete and tangled rebar.

And here's Snowman House, where a tenth-floor apartment fire back in February prompted at least one passerby to pull out his video camera. I was in Florida when the fire occurred, so I didn't hear about it until I got back. The woman who lived in the apartment escaped but it's still gutted, with plastic tarps flapping at the windows, and I'm not sure whether the nearby units are habitable. A wooden construction wall just went up around the base of the building, so maybe the council is about to do some repairs.

My walk to work is always interesting! In fact, yesterday, I had a terrific -- if painful -- lesson in why I should always keep my camera at the ready. I was walking up Abbey Road when three teenage girls in school uniforms passed me going the other direction. One was blowing up an inflatable sex doll while the other two giggled uproariously and one reached over to squeeze the doll's breast. It would have been the best photo ever, and I even had my camera with me, but it was in my bag buried beneath my book and umbrella and I just didn't have time to react. I'm still kicking myself.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Note for Grammarians

This is another shot of our garden, taken yesterday morning. In the foreground you can see lots of our plants, including our bluebells and grape hyacinths. In the background, beyond the fence -- and the reason I took the picture -- are the crabapple trees two houses away. They're blooming brilliantly right now. It's great that we get to enjoy them too!

I discovered a nifty web site yesterday morning. Some of you may have noticed that I seem to rather randomly capitalize the words in my post titles. Well, believe it or not, I really am trying to follow capitalization rules. I don't always get it right, but the effort is there. This web site will capitalize your titles for you, as well as offer the rules behind the verdict (capitalizing nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs, for example, but lower-casing articles, coordinating conjunctions and prepositions).

Pretty cool, if you're into that kind of thing.

The eurasian jays have been hanging around our yard a lot the last few days. They're really into our suet feeder. We've seen at least two of them, sometimes tussling over who's going to get to the food.

We're still running our heat. I keep thinking we'll be able to turn it off, but then we get a blast of chilly weather. It's been in the low 40's (F) at night -- and I've been insistently wearing shorts when I walk Olga in the morning, which is a rather chilling experience! It's spring, though, you know?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Soho with Students, and a Massage

I chaperoned yet another group of student photographers yesterday, on a field trip down to Soho. These were high schoolers working on a project that combines older and newer images of the same streetscapes -- they looked online for old photos of the area, and then we revisited the locations and shot them again. They'll fold the two pictures together using Photoshop. A cool idea, right?

While we strolled the streets looking for their specific addresses, I shot a few streetscapes myself. We had nice dramatic skies.

Soho is a funny place to walk around with students, because it's so rife with bars and sex shops and whatnot. It's completely safe and even gentrified, but it retains remnants of its edgy past. I didn't hear any of the kids make a remark or see them bat an eye. I guess they're used to it. They're city kids.

Last night I finally had another of my gift massages from Dave. Remember how he gave me five massages for my birthday, way back in November? Well, I took three before the massage therapist moved out of the UK in February. She passed along the remaining two to her business partner, and then I misplaced the partner's contact information, so it's taken me forever to try to book another one. Finally, I stopped in over the weekend at the massage studio and picked up her business card, and sent her a text.

Frankly, I wondered whether she'd even honor the deal. I expected to be told that she knew nothing about it -- I thought there was a good chance we'd lose our money. But no, she knew who I was and we made an appointment with no problem. (I suppose I often expect the worst so I can be pleasantly surprised when things work out well. It's a Reed family trait!)

Anyway, the massage was nice, though it was a little odd -- the therapist started and ended with my legs, and she didn't do my feet or head at all. And now I smell like coconut oil. But as I optimistically told her, "That's OK -- it's almost summer!"

(Photo: The corner of Old Compton and Moor streets in Soho, yesterday.)

Monday, April 27, 2015

More Heath, More Dog

Can you stand more pictures of Olga?

Apologies in advance for being repetitive, but what can I say -- this is my life on the weekend! And look at how beautiful the West Heath woods are now, with those tiny fresh green leaves on the trees.

We had a good long walk while Dave went to work to supervise a practice exam for his students. We didn't see many squirrels, to Olga's consternation, though she did chase a few critters that I suspect were rats.

We found several patches of bluebells...

...and Olga was outstanding in her field!

Thanks to Sabine for identifying our mystery flower, known as snowflake or candytuft. I am very glad to know what's growing in our back garden!

The news from Katmandu, meanwhile, is so terrible. I suppose there's not much we can do, short of making donations, but still -- the devastation is staggering. I'm thinking about a guy I briefly worked with in India in early 2009, who is Nepalese and whose family still lived there. (He's second from left in that photo.) I hope he and his family are OK.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Mystery Plant, and French Class

Does anyone know what this plant is? It cascades over the garden wall by the back door and predates our residence in this house, so we have no idea what it is. We didn't even know it would bloom until these white flowers appeared in the spring. Our garden is a continually unfolding mystery!

Here's a close-up (above), with dewdrops.

Oh, and our apple tree is blooming... are, finally, our bluebells. Spring is quite an event in our yard!

The daffodils are pretty much done. I deadheaded them yesterday, as well as our camellia bush. The flowers on the camellia are briefly pretty, but any time in the sun turns them a rusty brown color, so the overall effect is not so nice. Most of the blossoms on the bush wind up looking brown.

I had my first French class at the Alliance Francaise yesterday. There are eight of us in the class, and our lesson centered around masculine and feminine endings for words, using dating and romance as a theme. I wanted to say, "Hey, two chanteurs can date too, you know. It doesn't have to be a chanteur and a chanteuse." But I didn't go there.

Seriously, it was fun, although I can't believe how rusty my French is. I am scared to try to say anything, I sound so terrible. Fortunately, most of us in the class are similarly fumbling around. I hope I can at least develop more confidence and take it with me to Paris on the Eurostar!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Links, with Dragonfly Pajamas

-- Want to buy the house where I grew up? My mom has put it on the market. The real estate listing is here. It's furnished differently now than when I lived there, and my old bedroom has become a guest room. (It's the one with two twin beds, if you browse the photo gallery.) A lot of that furniture came from my grandmother's house after she died in 1989. I haven't lived there for 31 years (!) except in the sense that it's the family homestead, and honestly, I still don't feel nearly as upset about the sale as I expected. Not yet, anyway.

-- My blog pal Ellen wrote a great post on Earth Day about the insanity of our germ-phobic, dirt-phobic, safety-obsessed modern culture, which cuts us off from nature and harms our health and well-being. It was prompted by a report she heard on public radio that the average modern child spends only 14 minutes a day outside. Read it! I wish I'd written it myself.

-- The kids in the social justice group at the school where I work put together an amazing video highlighting the ways in which individuals at school have been victims of oppression, or free of oppression (if they're lucky). They asked people around the building to write out a message that touches on a personal experience with oppression, then photographed us holding our messages. Yes, I'm in the video! You can check it out here. I may be the only person who used an objectionable word outright.

-- I have to say goodbye to my pajama pants (above), which I bought at the Banana Republic at Rockefeller Center in New York in 2008 or so. I've worn them a lot. Then, last week, a huge hole opened up in the back. Definitely too much air conditioning for respectable wear! Into the trash they went. Sigh.

-- And finally, one of my photos on Tumblr has gone positively viral. Most of my photos there get a handful of "likes" and reblogs, and a few have had several dozen. But this one has been reblogged or liked 15,754 times! Insanity! It's funny what catches on. I like that photo, but it wouldn't be the one I'd choose to define my photographic career.

(Top photo: Bathroom renovations in West Hampstead, a couple of weeks ago.)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Work Stuff

I've got nothing much for you today. By the time the week winds down and I've been sitting at my desk in the library for four days I'm nearly out of things to talk about, unless you want me to whine about my latest efforts to chase down overdue materials. (And you don't want that.)

I like this job, though. I like the simplicity of it -- chatting with the kids, helping them find the right books. I've found that I don't need to be a disciplinarian nearly as often as I initially feared when I started. I have very little job stress, which is saying a lot.

I just signed my contract for next year, so I'm in it again for 2015-16!

As requested, here is a photo of me in my kurta, sitting at my desk yesterday. The kurta went over well -- I got many compliments! Maybe I should wear it all the time?

(Top photo: West Hampstead, yesterday afternoon.)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Kurta and Fox

One of the parent volunteers in the school library where I work is from India. A few weeks ago, she brought me a kurta, an Indian garment that looks something like a long, loose shirt. Her husband had just gone to India and she had him return with kurtas for me and one of my coworkers. Such a nice thing to do!

I wasn't sure when I was ever going to have a chance to wear it. But tonight, as it happens, there's a South Asian festival at school, featuring food and dancing and other events. So I'm going to break out the kurta and wear it to work. It's now or never.

Olga and I heard the neighborhood fox again this morning, barking his wheezy bark. Here's a picture of him creeping along our garden wall. I shot it yesterday morning just after writing my blog post. He really doesn't like it when Olga is out in the garden early in the morning. She seems to disrupt his plans!

(Top photo: A pair of snails in Kingsbury, March 31. I didn't pose them -- they just happened to be positioned like that! I think there was snail courtship going on.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Barking Fox, and Back Garden Updates

Olga just had a little verbal altercation with a fox in the back yard. I let her out to do her business and she rocketed over to the back corner of the garden, where she always goes. I thought, "Hmmm...maybe I shouldn't have given her those pieces of pork chop last night?" But then I began hearing a very peculiar barking sound, like a dog being strangled, and Olga was running in furious circles and trying to jump up the back garden wall.

I went outside and walked to the wall, which I can just barely see over. I looked down the length of it and there, perched atop the ivy-covered bricks about fifteen feet away, stood an obviously alarmed fox. He stared at me and periodically let out a sharp bark. I, of course, did not have my camera.

I shooed Olga into the house so the fox could pass through our garden unmolested, but he must have found an alternate route. Olga is on red alert.

Speaking of Olga, I realized last night that I need to periodically check the Facebook page for our dog walkers. Look at these great photos they posted:

I love seeing what Olga gets up to during the day with her dog-walking pals! (And I realized why she's always so full of wood chips -- several of the photos show her gnawing sticks.)

And speaking of photos, thanks for your comments on my photo book! I really appreciate the positive feedback, especially after all the time it took to put that thing together. I'm glad you all enjoyed it so much.

And speaking of reader comments, I have to give credit to jenny_o for pointing out that the mysterious blue flowers in our back yard are forget-me-nots. I'm glad we didn't mow them down! They certainly are prolific. We've got them not only around the roses but also growing on the edges of the lawn and even through cracks in the patio stones. I don't mind -- the blooms are nice.

Oh, and as commenter Jennifer pointed out on that same post, the parrot is indeed a ring-necked parakeet. They're well established in and around London in large feral colonies, and I've seen them in parks. I'd just never seen one on our bird feeder before! (And I haven't seen it since, either.)

(Photo: A driveway in Kingsbury, North London, on March 31.)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Alchemilla, and a Photo Book

We have a plant in our garden called alchemilla, or lady's mantle, and its most interesting feature is the way its leaves react with water. It's like they put on jewelry.

Dave planted lots of these and so far they're still tiny, but they're pretty durable and I think they will flourish. In fact I'm pretty sure I've seen them growing wild around here. Maybe they've seeded from gardens or maybe they're native, I don't know.

I'm pretty sure this same plant used to grow wild in the courtyard of my Peace Corps house in Morocco. In this photo, I think it's one of the plants my neighbor was pulling up to feed his animals. I never imagined we'd be buying it someday to plant in our garden!

Yesterday was mostly low-key. I got lots of little, errand-y things done. For example, I went to the post office to mail some gifts for my nieces that I bought in Singapore -- they've been sitting on a shelf in our dining room for the past month.

Also, my new photo book arrived. It looks great! I'm not really planning to market this one publicly, but if you'd like, you can look through it here. (Just click "preview" on the book cover, then the "View Fullscreen" icon in the lower right, and page through like you would a real book.) I'm happy to have most of my favorite travel pictures -- film and digital -- all together in one place!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Slow Sunday, with Laundry

Dave is home from Belgium safe and sound. I didn't feed him my lentil soup. Instead we had Indian takeaway, which gave me heartburn. We get our Indian food from a particular restaurant up the street, and I don't know what they put in their sag paneer but every time I eat it, I wind up feeling heavy and acidic, like I ate six D-cell batteries.

Maybe it's time to change Indian restaurants.

Yesterday, before Dave got home, I took Olga back to the Heath for another romp. Once again, she had a blast and subsequently experienced Heath-induced fatigue. She's still in bed.

Otherwise, it was a very domestic day. I hauled our blankets down to the laundry to be washed, thinking that I would make a great photo, struggling down the sidewalk with two king-sized blankets! (It would be very Cindy Sherman to photograph myself.) I watered the garden, tweaked my newest photo book a bit and read some of "Shantaram."

And now, back to work!

(Photo: A side street off Brick Lane, on Friday.)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

A Scarcity of Lentils

My plans for lentil soup went awry yesterday when I discovered that brown lentils are apparently a rarity in West Hampstead. Tesco and Sainsbury's don't even stock them, and Waitrose -- being the only supplier -- was sold out. Can you believe it? I never imagined it would be difficult to track down lentils.

Instead I used a package of orange lentils, the kind in Indian dal dishes, which we've had hanging around in our pantry for ages. They made a rather flavorless soup, despite the addition of onions, tomatoes, potatoes, salt, pepper and cumin. I threw in some tabasco when I served it, and that made it somewhat palatable.

I had a pretty busy day. I spent the morning working in the garden, trying to weed out the grass growing among our plants. Problem is, there's so much unexpected other stuff growing there too -- like the grape hyacinths and the bluebells, which came up from the roots -- that getting the grass out by itself is a challenge!

I even mowed the lawn. I bet I haven't mowed a lawn in 30 years. As I was pushing the mower around, trying to keep the power cord out of the way so as not to cut it and electrocute myself, that lyric from the Monkees song "Pleasant Valley Sunday" came into my head -- about the "weekend squire who just came out to mow his lawn." That's me -- the weekend squire. Just days after yammering on about my Bohemian aspirations.

I took Olga for a walk to West Heath and Sandy Heath. We could not have asked for a more beautiful day, and the bluebells on the Heath are already blooming -- unlike the ones in our yard, which are still just in bud. Olga had a terrific time chasing squirrels and wore herself out.

I couldn't get "Pleasant Valley Sunday" out of my head (on a Saturday). As earworms go, that's not such a bad one.

On the way home we passed a house in Hampstead that is apparently undergoing a gigantic renovation project. God only knows what they're doing to the house -- the yard is a mess of demolished brickwork and whatnot -- but I was impressed to see this durable little primula, a remnant of the garden, blooming as if nothing had changed.

We passed this amazing forsythia, looking like a huge sea anemone waving its tentacles from behind that garden wall. Pretty impressive -- to me, anyway. (Olga was noncommittal.)

When we got home, I watched a movie and Olga slept, and slept, and slept. (And hogged the remote!) I don't think I've ever seen her so worn out. In fact, she's still in bed as I write this.

Dave returns from Belgium today. Do I dare try to feed him my bland orange lentil soup?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Street Photography with Middle-Schoolers

Yesterday I helped lead a group of eighth-graders on a street photography walk in East London. We started in the classroom, with me showing a series of my own photos and talking about why I think they work -- the light, the color, the composition. Then we all hopped on the tube -- about 30 of us, including three other teachers -- and headed for Shoreditch.

We put together this outing because many kids were absent Friday on trips for their foreign language classes. Those who weren't needed something to do.

We went to Spitalfields Market first. I think the kids were really into it. (Some of them enjoyed the opportunity to concurrently go shopping!)

Then we had lunch and walked over to Brick Lane, where we spent another hour and a half wandering. We let the kids go out in groups of three without a chaperone hovering over them, and they liked having that freedom. (I also liked the freedom of being able to wander on my own.)

I tried to emphasize the importance of watching for details, and finding the odd, quirky and humorous. I think this sticker is someone's comment on the increasing gentrification of that neighborhood. (And holy cow, has it changed! It is so different from even just a few years ago, with new apartment blocks and trendy shops.)

When we got back to the classroom, we uploaded our photos to a common web site where we can look them all over. I'm going to give some feedback to each kid. Some of them got amazingly good shots! And as usual at the conclusion of a field trip, I am merely thankful everyone returned in one piece.

(Photos: These are all mine, not by students. Top, third and bottom, Brick Lane. Second, Spitalfields Market.)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Finding My Way

Some time ago I mentioned that I was thinking about trying to digitize my old journals. Well, now that I'm finished with my favorite old negatives, I've been experimenting with the notebooks. I pulled out my oldest existing adult journal, from 1989, and began reading and transcribing the first entry.

I'm already exhausted. Good Lord, I was a tiring human being. So much youthful angst and anger and venting. I was unhappy with my job, I felt unfairly treated by my friends, I just complained and complained. Occasionally I made note of important life events, like the death of my grandmother, or happy outings to thrift stores. But mostly I was struggling with who I wanted to be, and how I wanted to live my life.

I struggled with money right after college. I was making something ridiculous like $17,000 a year. But I paid off some minor bills and then got a slight raise at work, prompting me to move from a one-bedroom to a two-bedroom apartment. I thought I'd enjoy the extra space and finally use all the stuff I'd collected during my collegiate years of thrifting. But almost immediately I was dissatisfied, and wanted to chuck it all.

I got a laugh from this entry, from March 19, 1990:

"I've been entertaining a really far-out fantasy these past few days. I'm going to quit my job and go into the Peace Corps. I will serve a year. Then I will return and clean people's houses for a living as I work on my creative writing. I will grow vegetables and raise farm animals and rent an old, white, small house in the country. I will get an earring. I will become Buddhist."

I was 23 when I wrote that. I definitely knew I did not want to be just another salary man, with a two-car garage, 2.5 kids and a dog. I kept reinforcing the idea that I just wanted a modest job that would pay my bills and allow me to live my life.

Isn't it funny that ultimately I got exactly that? I did the Peace Corps, I practiced Buddhism, I got an earring. (Two of them!) I never cleaned people's houses, but after all my years in journalism, here I am, working in a school library -- certainly a relatively modest job. And special bonus: I got Dave! I made only brief forays into vegetables and never did farm animals, which is just as well.

Anyway, I'm still on the fence about transcribing all this writing. Aside from the fact that it would be a lot of work, I'd struggle with the editing. I don't want to transcribe (or make public, God forbid) all my complaining and angst, but at the same time, I wouldn't want to whitewash my experiences. It's worth remembering that I struggled, that I was trying to find my path and I was occasionally unhappy. Right?

So, I don't know. Maybe I'll just keep the notebooks bundled up in my closet.

(Photo: Discarded furniture in Colindale, March 31.)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Camellia and Parrot

I dead-headed some of the flowers in the back garden yesterday, and picked up all the fallen blossoms around our camellia bush. This was one of them -- nearly flawless, still, with just a few brown nicks to show its age. The bush is still going strong and has lots of buds, so I suppose there are more flowers to come.

Our amaryllis have finished their first round of blooming, but we have a new flower stalk coming up from one of the bulbs, so we'll get one more bunch of blossoms this year.

What is this on the bird feeder? Where do we live, Brazil?!

The shadows in our foyer, that big room just inside the front door that we can't figure out what to do with...

And finally, here's Olga, and that patch of blue flowers that we've allowed to grow beneath the roses in the back garden. Dave mowed around them because they're so pretty!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Cruelty and Humor

I am still plowing through Richard Flanagan's "The Narrow Road to the Deep North." It is possibly the bleakest book I've read in a long time. It's about Australian prisoners of war in a Japanese labor camp in Burma, and I am quite sure I could never have survived the conditions that are described in this book: starvation, disease, brutality. I suppose you never know until you're faced with them, but my life thus far has been way too soft to prepare me for any reality that harsh.

I didn't even start reading the book until about a week after I had supposedly "started" it, and then it took me about 75 to 100 pages to get into it, but now I can't tear myself away.

Dave is leaving on a school trip to Belgium tomorrow morning, so I'll have several days on my own to do some reading and work on some other projects. I'll miss him but I'm also looking forward to the alone time. Lentil soup! (Dave hates lentils, and they hate him.)

Also, this is a week of heavy photography at school. I took pictures of several teachers and the entire tenth grade (all at once) yesterday for more library reading posters -- a project begun by one of the other librarians. It's been fun to shoot portraits, because that is so not my thing. They've turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself!

And Friday, I'm helping to take a group of eighth-graders on an all-day photography expedition to East London. I have to put together a little presentation telling them about street photography, and then we're all going to go do some shooting around Brick Lane and Spitalfields. Should be fun!

(Photo: The world is just funny sometimes, isn't it? An office in Colindale, March 28.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Local News and Demolition

car crash on Friday, apparently caused by a couple of joyriders in a stolen Mercedes, demolished the gate at St. Mary's Church in Kilburn. When I walked past on my way home from work that afternoon, this was the scene. The fallen gate has since been removed, the glass swept away and the rubble straightened, but not fully repaired. I hope no one was standing in the vicinity at the time!

Speaking of demolition, our other shocking local news is that this pub, which I've photographed several times, was torn down suddenly and with all its furnishings still inside after the local government rejected plans by a developer to build flats on the site and instead was taking steps to preserve the building. (News articles here and here.) The Westminster government is now trying to figure out how to penalize the owners, but they no doubt don't even live in London (their lawyer is in Tel Aviv) and have no interest in the community. What incredible chutzpah!

I often suggested to Dave and our friend Gordon that we try that pub. Too late now! Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today, as they say.

Stuff like this makes my blood boil. If I were the council I would crack down on these people hard. Prohibit them from building anything else in London, ever. Some people are arguing they should be forced to build an exact replica of the pub, but that seems kind of silly. You can't rebuild something like that.

I experienced similar outrage ten years ago when the owners of the Sutton Theater in New York put up scaffolding to do "repair work" and then jackhammered away all the architectural details on the facade, subverting any possibility that preservationists would want to save the building. They promptly tore it down and built a condo tower on the site.

Oh well. Let's close with something happier. How about the cactus in the library where I work, blooming beautifully right now?

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Rainbow Box, Explained

I took this photo on Friday on the way to work. I was trying to do something with the shadows on the wall, which were cool, but then a truck drove into the frame at the last second -- and I kind of like the results. Forbidding, sort of, don't you think?

I have had a crazy weekend. I spent Saturday morning cleaning out a tiny gardening shed attached to the exterior of our living room wall. When we moved in it was literally ankle-deep in dirt, old barbecue charcoal, old carpet and plastic bags. It's also been the storage place for a plethora of chemicals and fuels, and is redolent of gasoline. Rather than continue to wait for it to explode, I decided to get rid of all that stuff. I removed three trash bags of debris and will call the hazardous waste people to come for the insecticide. (When I moved one bottle I was dismayed to discover it had been gnawed by mice -- which I noticed only when the contents sloshed all over my hand.)

I also Skyped with my mom on Saturday -- she's got a real estate agent and plans to put the family home in Florida on the market next week. She still seems fine about the decision, as am I, though who knows how we'll feel when someone produces a contract.

I also worked on my new photo book. I haven't really explained this project. For a long time I've had a vague intention to put together a sort of retrospective travel book, with photos taken from my old film negatives as well as newer digital archives, encompassing trips with friends and family over more than 30 years. As you can imagine, it's a hell of a lot of material. I spent much of last weekend sorting through negatives, and I had 85 frames scanned this week. The results were mostly good, and I spent Saturday and Sunday compiling further digital images and uploading it all to produce a book through Blurb. I wound up with a 130-page tome -- and I was super-selective, if I do say so myself.  (There's only one image on most pages.) I've ordered a draft copy, which is supposed to arrive by April 24.

Finally, I took Olga to Hampstead Heath yesterday. The weather has been spectacular -- sunny and cool and clear. Londoners are in the streets! I'd take more photos, but I am a bit photo-overloaded at the moment.

Oh, remember the hippie-ish poetry and art books I wrote about a few days ago? I looked online and found out what the collected set -- dubbed The Rainbow Box -- looked like in its original packaging. Here it is! (The wonders of the Web!)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Kids' Mural, 1978

I am immersed in a photography project today -- making a book of some of my favorite travel pictures, past and present -- so I'm going to leave you with a mostly pictorial post.

On my walk to work each day I pass a mural painted by children on the Abbey Road bridge, over the train tracks. It's a fanciful creation filled with animals and various characters. Cat and butterfly, anyone?

At least the crowds are all smiling.

Hmmm...did Charles Schulz get royalties?

Apparently this artwork has been around for a long time! I'm amazed it's lasted more than 35 years. Maybe it's been refreshed once or twice?

The circus animals look even more caged due to the pedestrian safety railing separating the sidewalk from the street.

There's an elephant in the room!