Monday, March 27, 2023

Goodbye, Flickery Lamp

I saw this street in Kensington from the bus window on the way home from my walk on Saturday. I had to leap off the bus at the next stop to get some pictures! Aren't those beautiful magnolias? (When I say magnolias, I don't mean southern magnolias, but Japanese or saucer magnolias -- the predominant kinds around here.) The women in the foreground had the same idea -- they were taking selfies and then asked me to take some pictures with their phone. They're examining the results. They don't look too disappointed, do they?

We switched to British Summer Time on Sunday and my internal clock is a little out of whack. On top of that I've had some weird dreams about Florida -- Saturday night I was back in my childhood home, and last night I was living in a mysterious apartment and an old friend came to collect a '60s yellow couch that she'd given me. My friend owned that couch in real life and I haven't thought of it in years. In the dream I was embarrassed because when we moved the couch there were stains all around it, like I'd spilled coffee or wine or both. My carpet never looked like that in real life, I swear.

Maybe I had that dream because I'm on a cleaning and purging binge. Yesterday I put a couple of things on Freecycle -- some random old bottles I'd found here and there, and this lamp:

It was given to us years ago by the parents of one of Dave's students. (This is the flickery lamp, though to be honest I'd forgotten it was flickery because we never used it anymore. When I listed it I said I wasn't sure how well it worked, which is true.) By the end of the day everything was gone. Freecycle is fabulous.

I took out our trash yesterday and found that the Russians had thrown some nice stuff in the bin -- some drapes still folded in a plastic package, and some wine glasses in a box. I took a closer look at the glasses, but they had lime residue around the rim that would never come off, and they were also as big as goldfish bowls. More glass than I need! So I left them there. I am seriously trying to downsize and resist my collecting and saving impulses.

I also took Olga to the cemetery, but we did the short version of our walk, through the back half of the cemetery only. The weather was drizzly and Olga didn't resist coming home early.

Finally, Mr. Pudding suggested several posts ago that we look on YouTube for drone videos of our neighborhoods. And yes, indeed, there is a video of West Hampstead. 

The drone takes off from Kilburn Grange Park and flies northwest over West Hampstead, giving you a good view of the three train lines that run through the community carrying the Jubilee Line, the Overground and the Thameslink regional trains, among others.

You can see our neighborhood most clearly at around the 12:35 mark. The street curving through the center of the frame is our high street, lined with all our shops and with West End Green (looking like a cluster of trees) at center left. Our house is center right, an inch or two in from the edge. To be honest, I'm not sure which one it is. Those roofs all look the same from that height! The houses across the street from us overlook the tennis club, the green lawn and courts you can see at the edge of the frame.

Have fun flying over West Hampstead!


gz said...

I remember those lights!
We had an IKEA one...just the thing for a small kitten to adventure up inside. No wonder it flickered.
IKEA ran out of the replacement shades for those...I wonder why?!

River said...

I didn't watch long enough to see your street, 20 minutes is far too long to stare at rows and rows of tightly packed houses.
Is that light designed to flicker or did it develop a fault? Flickering would drive me insane.

Steve Reed said...

GZ: Too much kitten destruction, I guess! I didn't realize it was an IKEA lamp.

River: You don't have to sit through the whole thing! Just click on the progress bar at the bottom to jump ahead.

Andrew said...

You sent me down a magnolia rabbit hole. We have Negri, that I badly call something else, Denudata, Grandiflora and the most common one, Soulangeana. We may have Japanese magnolia, but I've never noticed them.

I don't mind that lamp. It suits the corner. Will something else go there?

I'll skip to 12.35.

Moving with Mitchell said...

I love that you got off the bus for photos! I might have done the same. Uplifting. And, yes, those women look quite pleased. I've been enjoying drone footage like this lately. A friend in Colchester just bought himself a drone and is having a ball. I'm tempted.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Is that music playing all the time as you walk around West Hampstead? I wish the drone guy had picked a better day to showcase your district. Colour and definition would have created a better impression.

Colette said...

I truly love those Japanese saucer magnolias.

Bob said...

I love those drone videos. After reading Yorkshires post, I found one flying over Camden but it was most the small downtown area; there are other sights to see here.

Love the Magnolia tree; they look a little like Pink Dogwoods here n South Carolina.

Vivian Swift said...

Your photograph of the magnolias is superb! I love everything about it -- the perspective of the shops in the background, the way the magnolia blooms filter the scene from end to end, the "characters" in the frame (the two women looking at their selfies is exquisite), the shape of the cut out on the road, the pops of red in the phone booths and the mail box -- I even love that you've got a MacDonald's and a Lloyd bank in the scene. I printed out your delicious photograph from January 27 of a rainy street in a Winter afternoon and I've hung it near my desk so I can look at it every day, and now I'll have to print this one too -- your talent for composing a picture and for choosing the perfect moment to snap is awesome. I'm a fan.

Boud said...

We have magnolia soulangeana here which grows well, gets huge and beautiful, and almost every year gets frost nipped after a couple of days of blooming. The star magnolia does much better. I suppose the smaller, later, blossoms escape the frost.

I'm not a fan of drones, disturbing wildlife and people's privacy just out of, I guess, curiosity? Old fogey here, you kids get off my lawn!

Ms. Moon said...

I have to admit that I find drone video extremely unexciting. I like the street views that show the people and the trees in blossom- like that picture you took with the Japanese magnolias. It could be a page out of a magazine. Great shot!

ellen abbott said...

the japanese magnolias are beautiful. we always called them tulip trees. those appear to be all dark pink. a different variety I guess than the ones around here that are pink on the outside of the petals and white on the inside.

The Bug said...

We're pinking up around here too - does the heart good! And I love the lamp - not enough to figure out where to put it if I had come across it, but still it's fun & funky.

Ed said...

I'm not sure how anyone can live in a place with so many people living so close together but I am really glad that enough of you can to leave me some space out here in the countryside!

NewRobin13 said...

The magnolias are so beautiful, and it was so kind of you to take a pic for those two women and the trees. Ah springtime!

Ellen D. said...

There are a lot of people living near you! My neighborhood is so different from yours.

Sharon said...

I love the trees and I really enjoyed the video. That video was very nicely done and I like the way he labeled the stations so you get an idea of where you are.
I have my own flickery lamp. It just started doing it recently. I can't decide whether to take into the repair shop or just get a new one.

Allison said...

We had those magnolias in Washington state. They are prolific bloomers.

Beth Reed said...

OOOh I love the Magnolia tree, it is one of my favorites. I loved riding the bus in Las Vegas, where I could hop off anywhere to see something, or take photos of the odd things that crossed my path or even the not so odd things, like capturing a thrift store or anything else that crossed my mind and the women in the photo looks happy they got some good photos. Job well done!

Kelly said...

You inspired me to do some cleaning out and purging over the weekend. Thanks! Now I just have to get it to the thrift store.

Those trees are gorgeous!

Jeanie said...

I love this video -- he did a great job and it's fun to have an "overview" of where you live and how it fits into the world as such. I need to pop back and watch the whole of it!

Margaret said...

Although I don't know what they are, I adore the flowering trees around here. My alma mater, the University of Washington, has some famous trees in the Quad. I walked by them in springtime for four years and never paid any attention. I would certainly be taking photos now. (too crowded these days though)

Catalyst said...

Sorry, I didn't have the patience for your drone video. Forgive me.

Steve Reed said...

Andrew: No, we're keeping that corner bare now.

Mitchell: We've toyed with getting one, but there are so many restrictions on where you can fly them and how.

YP: To be fair, West Hampstead often looks exactly like that. :)

Colette: I do too! They must not grow well in Central Florida. I don't remember ever seeing them there.

Bob: You should post the Camden video anyway! I'm just realizing I live in the Borough of Camden in London and you live in Camden as well.

Vivian: Great to have you back on the blog! Thanks so much for your kind words about my photos. I read somewhere that a good photo is all about the edges, so I really try to pay attention to the frame and how all the objects of the photo fit within it.

Boud: No, I get it -- there are a lot of downsides to drones. I'm curious about them from a photography perspective but I understand why people dislike them.

Ms Moon: I like drone videos for variety, but they DO get monotonous after a while.

Ellen: Yeah, I think it's a different variety of magnolia. But I am not an expert!

Bug: It's good for someone who wants a free lamp!

Ed: Ha! See, I like the urban vibe. It takes all types, I guess.

Robin: Fortunately they seem pleased!

Ellen D: And yet this is nothing compared to my old neighborhood in Manhattan!

Sharon: It doesn't take much effort to rewire a lamp. I'd say fix it if you can! (Or have someone else fix it.)

Allison: For a very short time they're at their peak, I guess like most blooming trees.

Beth: Yeah, the city bus is amazing, isn't it? So great to not have to drive anywhere.

Kelly: Yeah, I have a box of stuff to get to the thrift store as well!

Jeanie: Well, watching ALL of it might be a tall order. :)

Margaret: Isn't Washington famous for fruit trees? Maybe they were some kind of fruit (or ornamental fruit) tree.

Catalyst: Ha! I'm not offended. I didn't film it! You CAN jump ahead to the 12:35 mark, though, if you just want to see my 'hood.