Monday, October 22, 2018

The Blue Dome

Another goal of my walk through Chiswick on Saturday was to see the Russian Orthodox Church there, and specifically its beautiful blue dome. I usually see it while speeding past on the Great West Road on the way to Heathrow, and I'd never photographed it. I've been waiting for fall, because I thought it would look good against a blue sky and framed by autumn leaves.

The exterior of the church, which has a mouthful of a name (Cathedral of the Dormition of the Mother of God and the Royal Martyrs) is actually not all that interesting architecturally, aside from the dome.  I didn't go inside.

The Royal Martyrs, in case you were wondering, is a reference to the Russian royal family killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918. There's a cross erected in their memory in the church courtyard.

Yesterday Dave and I went to lunch with our friend Chris at a favorite pub in Notting Hill. I had a pint and then Chris insisted on ordering a bottle of wine, and of course Dave isn't drinking these days because of his Crohn's. So Chris and I wound up splitting the bottle ourselves, and let me just tell you, that was the booziest lunch I've had in a long time. We argued about Brexit, as usual. Chris is a leaver, but he went the day before to the huge People's Vote march, a massive demonstration in favor of putting the Brexit deal to a second vote. So he was primed to talk about it. I may be imagining things, but he seems to have grown more sheepish about Brexit as it's become apparent that Britain is giving itself the shaft.

(I considered going to that march myself, but since I can't yet vote here, it seemed inappropriate somehow!)

About the only other interesting thing I did yesterday is plant some cyclamens in the pots on the front porch. The zinnias that inhabited those pots had faded and gone scraggly, so I dumped them. To everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn).

Here's a short video showing Olga having an exciting encounter on our morning walk yesterday morning! You gotta admire her enthusiasm. She's all in.


  1. I have just taken the trouble to translate Olga's barking using the Duckworth-Lewis method. What she was saying was, "Come down here you little furry bastard and I'll rip you to pieces!" How charming!

  2. I've seen so much anxiety among my U.K. friends over Brexit that it's giving me flashbacks of Trump's election and waiting for him to take office. I sincerely hope it doesn't turn out that bad for you all.

    Gorgeous dome, I like the blue against the blue sky.

  3. That blue dome has it all over our boring New England spires.

  4. I love the blue dome, is it painted or are they blue tiles I wonder.
    Sorry to hear that Dave suffers from Chrohn's, our daughter in law has this and its no fun.
    As for Olga, all vids and pictures welcome, just love seeing her.

  5. The dome is great! If there's one thing that religion has done which is positive it's to create some nice architecture.
    Oh, Olga! One of those days you'll get a squirrel! And then...what will you do with it?

  6. Love that dome, and the way you framed the shot with the blue sky. Yes! Reading about your lunch and splitting a bottle of wine made me wonder what the typical alcohol content of wine is there. There was a time when wines in California were 11 or 11.5%, but now it is usually above 13.5 and more like 14.5% or 15%. That's a lot of alcohol. Love seeing Olga!

  7. that is a beautiful dome. and my Minnie goes berserk at least once a day every day when she sees the turtle sunning on her board. I'm like, dog! give it a rest! I wonder what the hell is going on with the human race. things are going to hell in a handbasket just about everywhere. I'm voting today.

  8. Some of these dogs go nuts about squirrels. My daughter's Schnauzer just went nuts when she found a squirrel.

  9. I love the color blue on the dome! The perfect blue.

  10. Squirrels do seem to drive Olga crazy. The shot of the blue dome with the autumn leaves is very nice. Just as you imagined it?

  11. That dome IS gorgeous! I love YP's translation of Olga's barking. Ha!

  12. I don't understand why it took people so long to launch a major protest when it seemed like the majority of people were in shock that it really passed. And, that was a long time ago, politically speaking........

  13. That is a beautiful blue dome against the sky! I confess to not really understanding the whole Brexit thing but understand the "leavers" to be similar in belief to other "nationalists" the world over. Fearful and averse to the great demographic changes in the world. Lately, the only thing that calms my anxious mind is to read about the history of struggles of minorities, of women, of people who've been oppressed and the people who have always been fighting for freedom. Oh, and I'm into reading about anger -- specifically women's.

  14. YP: I think that about sums it up. There's no doubt she has bloodshed on her mind!

    Jennifer: Brexit is our Trump, no question. But it's unfolding in such slow motion that I've had time to adjust. I'm more resigned than anything at this point. I was in shock after the referendum in 2016.

    Marty: Those spires are beautiful too, in their own Protestant way!

    Briony: It appears to be tiled or shingled, though they may be painted, too. And yeah, Crohn's is no fun. I could not agree more.

    Ms Moon: Yes, it has inspired us in that sense -- to lift our artistic achievement. I suppose that's a worthy goal!

    Robin: I didn't know that they'd become stronger! Interesting! It's like marijuana too -- I hear that's much stronger these days. This particular bottle was a Primitivo from Italy.

    Ellen: Ha! I can just imagine Minnie thinking, "I HATE that turtle. I'm going to GET that turtle."

    Red: It's funny that no one needs to teach them to react that way. It's all instinct!

    Colette: Isn't it great against the sky?

    Catalyst: Well, I imagined yellower leaves, to be honest. But the trees around there are still pretty green, and kind of going straight to brown. So you just have to work with what you've got, right?

    Bug: I never knew YP was so skilled at translation. :)

    Peace Thyme: Well, there HAVE been many demonstrations since the referendum. The focus now is on bringing the finished deal (such that it is) back for its own vote, on the theory that people who voted for Brexit could not have known what it would cost us. Now that we're closer to a deal with the EU those costs are more apparent, though the deal itself is still far from final and hung up on some very significant sticking points. Some people want a second vote that includes an option to abandon Brexit entirely, but the leavers get apoplectic when that possibility is raised!

    Elizabeth: It's interesting that reading about anger is satisfying and motivating to you. Yes, our leavers are definitely in the same nationalist camp. I hate to generalize but they seem to be largely people to harken back to the days of a prosperously industrial Britain, that post-war halcyon period when everyone was working and there was a sense of national strength and purpose.Somehow they expect Brexit to take us back there. I'll believe it when I see it! I think instead it's simply going to isolate us and make us even less relevant as a country -- not to mention fuel internal strife with the Scots and the Northern Irish.

  15. Gorgeous dome picture!

    I read only yesterday that Brexit was almost sorted, only two minor issues need to be resolved, one is "how" and the other is "why".