Saturday, May 23, 2020

Architectural Details

There's a house I pass on my walk to work -- a sort of Boo Radley-ish place, with peeling paint, a weedy garden and a generally unkempt air. Over the doorway to the front porch is a stained glass window, and for ages I have wondered what this window looks like. From the street, of course, you can't really tell -- it's like looking at a stained glass window in an unlit church from the outside. Everything looks mostly black.

Yesterday morning, knowing it was my last day of walking to work and thus my last opportunity to check it out, I walked right up onto the porch and took a picture of it. I tried not to be too surreptitious, because I didn't want to look creepy or suspicious, but I also tried to be as silent as possible. If Boo Radley ever knew I was there, hopefully he didn't mind.

I also took a picture of some beautiful old tiles on the outside of a vacant restaurant. Like the building around the corner from us, this is another never-ending renovation. This place has been closed and under construction ever since we moved to West Hampstead in 2014. As far as I can tell, one older guy -- presumably the building owner -- is doing all the work. At least he hasn't demolished the tile.

I braved the grocery store the other day. Dave is amused by my shopping because I sometimes buy random stuff we've never tried before. I just like to experiment. I came home with a green, oblong melon on this most recent outing. "What kind is it?" Dave asked. "I have no idea," I said. (I've since come to believe it is a Santa Claus melon, known in Spanish by the somewhat unappetizing name of piel de sapo, or "toadskin." We haven't tried it yet.)

I also bought some Cornish sardines, packaged with a parsley sauce. Not like little canned sardines -- these were fresh and much bigger, more like a good-sized carrot. Anyway, Dave made them for dinner last night, and we're not a huge fans. They tasted OK, but they're bony little devils.

We watched the movie "Moffie," a South African flick about a young gay man conscripted into the military in the early 1980s. (As apparently all South African men were at the time.) It was a good movie, but fairly hair-raising in places.


  1. Great tiles...fab colour. P is doing our shopping and he also is experimenting occasionally. A couple of days ago he bought back some packaged slices of water melon ....bright that water melon? Very refreshing. Not something I have ever bought.
    We had a robin building a nest in our shed, and he/she got brave enough to come in while I stood silently in there watching, but after coming face to face with it....about a foot mistake...mine.....the nest has I think been abandoned for a less busy place!

  2. You didn't want to look creepy and surreptitious? May we therefore infer that you put a bed-sheet over yourself?...Only kidding! Sometimes you have to be daring to get the images you want. Lovely stained glass fanlight - such workmanship!

  3. Piel de sapo! We had never had or heard of those melons until we moved to Spain (although they're apparently commonly available in California). They are SO delicious, sweet and mild. I like them even more than honeydews. We've never had a bad one here... and they last a long time. I hope your first experience doesn't disappoint.

    That window and those tiles. So beautiful. I love that kind of detail.

  4. You went onto the porch?!
    And I am too shy to take a picture of No Man Lord's cross from the sidewalk. That's why you're a photographer and I'm not!
    I love the tiles. I have a box of tiles somewhere that I bought once of turtles and of waves. I've never done a thing with them. I probably never will at this point.
    Let us know how the melon is.

  5. Santa Claus melons are great but we only see them once in a while.

  6. sardines are big in Portugal. we could only get fresh ones once I think at one of our noon meals and they were really good. I bought some tinned ones for Marc since he likes them expecting them to be the little one crammed in together but turned out they were big, maybe three or four to the tin.

    and yeah, you went up on the porch? which had to be enclosed if there was a doorway to the porch. I don't think I'd have done that. the stained glass is OK, looks modern, but I love those green tiles.

  7. Beautiful tiles and glass. If only buildings still had their finishing touches..or that new ones would have them to start with!

  8. Both those tiles and the stained glass are beautiful. I'm glad you were bold enough to get that photo. I wonder how that melon will taste. Maybe similar to a honeydew.

  9. Pretty brave to go up on the porch, but if it is Boo Radley's house, I'm sure he didn't mind. He probably appreciated the brief company.

  10. I totally loved that you used Boo Radley to compare the house. It is really awesome to see the photos of the tiles and the stained glass. I totally loved looking at them but I love Boo Radley more lol.

    I am not a fish person at all. I am hard pressed to even eat a bit of Tuna. My mom and dad loved sardines. It wouldn't be a surprise to wake up early and see my mama or daddy sitting at the table eating sardines and crackers. Just the thought is very off putting to me but I have heard that sardines are very good for bone health.

    I have just got up and had a small bowl of beef stew. I had to eat something and that just sounded good. I shared half of it with the youngest grandson. Damien seemed happy with my choice and ate every spoonful.

    Do let us know how you and Dave enjoyed the melon. When I lived in Nevada I use to buy Canary melons and my family just loved them. A sweet flesh with just a hint of cantaloupe or honey dew.

    Have a fantastic day!

  11. I've not been grocery shopping in a store in months and I miss it. I've finally ordered some expensive yeast from Amazon today. We'll see if I really get it.

  12. I like those green tiles, and I agree with the rest about being braver than I to go close enough to photograph the stained glass window! I feel guilty even taking a picture of a shrub next to a house - like the owners will come out and demand to know why I'm taking pictures of their home or something :)

  13. That stained glass wi Dow is a beautiful thing. I’m bold about taking pictures in public but you have been beat. I don’t know if I’d have had the gumption to go into the porch!

  14. I LOVE that you were"bold". I take photos all the time up close and without reserve because I can get away with it- nothing scary about an old woman with white hair, portly and simple...I get away with all sorts!~ Anyway it was well worth getting up close -also the tiles are yummy. Your dinner , not so much but then fish is not a fave. Hard to believe that you have been there since 2014, Seems like yesterday you were searching... wow, time is a trickster

  15. What a beautiful window. And those tiles are gorgeous! I'm glad you decided to get the photos. as for your shopping, hmmm....You are very brave. Those new items don't sound very exciting or tempting to me. Enjoy them! You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

  16. Frances: It's so funny that you don't buy watermelon. That's an American staple in the summer!

    YP: Isn't it beautiful? Worth the risk, I'd say. And after all I wasn't doing anything your average delivery man or postman wouldn't do!

    Mitchell: They're new to me, and apparently related to the Juan Canary melons, which I have had.

    Ms Moon: I would TOTALLY take a picture of No Man Lord's cross. I think photographing something like that just shows admiration for it. I can't see how someone would mind.

    Red: Why are they called that, anyway? Are they usually available at Christmas?!

    Ellen: It depends on what you'd call modern. I'd guess that glass is from the 1920s or 1930s -- probably about the age of the house. Not that I'm any kind of expert.

    GZ: I know! Nowadays we could never afford to build buildings with all that handcrafted ornamentation.

    Sharon: Yes, it is apparently very honeydew-like.

    Robin: That's true! He was a sympathetic character in the end, wasn't he?

    Beth" My stepmother used to eat sardines on crackers. I think that was a mid-'70s health craze.

    Catalyst: I think you should! As far as I know Amazon stuff is still going through. (I hope so, anyway, because I recently ordered some used books!)

    Jenny-O: I'm sometimes self-conscious about that kind of thing, but if anyone ever challenges me (and it's only happened once or twice) I just explain what I'm doing and they've been cool with it. My grandmother used to grow roses and people would stop and photograph them all the time. She took pride in that!

    37P: Well, I figure it's sort of a public space, since that's how people approach the house. But I wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on, LOL!

    Linda Sue: Women definitely have an advantage when it comes to street photography. No one assumes a woman is up to no good, but for some reason a man with a camera is considered creepy by many!

    Edna: Well, you win some, you lose some!

  17. I've never heard of Juan Canary melon. Will have to look that up.