Waterloo Station progress photo update

Since late 2015 I’ve been taking photos of the progress of the Waterloo Station redevelpment, from the same location, which, should you be interested, I’ve written about HERE.

I take my photos from the mezzazine balcony overlooking what was the Eurostar terminal, now platforms 20 to 24.

Here’s my latest photo, taken on Tuesday last week. As you can see, work in not yet complete on the staircases to the lower level that will eventually become a retail and restaurant area. Otherwise, it looking like the platform redevelopment is nearing completion.

Wild orchids emerging, though sadly not abundant

Late yesterday afternoon I ventured from Hangmoor Hill down into Folly Bog.

I did find some Heath Spottted Orchids alongside the heathland track on Hangmoor hill, though in far less abundant numbers than in previous years. Also, those that I saw were far less vigourous in their growth than those that I’ve seen at this time of the year in the past.

Must say that the bog isn’t as boggy as it has been in the past, and so I got deep into the bog. Obviously, standing in one spot for too long means sinking into the bog. Also, as cattle have trampled the area, creating humps and hollows makes it difficult to negotiate. – a soggy shoe resulted.

Enough about the bog. On a more positive note, I did find emerging Early Marsh Orchids in Folly Bog. Again, not as abundant or as vigourous as in previous years. Here are my phone camera images, not geat photos I have to admit, at least they’re a record.


Decisions, decisions

With one vote only for the European Elections in 2019. Oh, what do?

Do I spoil my ballot paper with a rude comment, fall for the blandishments of The Brexit Party, or not put a cross anywhere?

I did decide to vote, and essentially I voted for the excellent Daniel Hannan. I do hope he gets in, though that’s not certain in these uncertain times.

An entertaining visit to the Cutlers Hall

On Monday this week, we were in a party from the Arts Society Camberley visiting Cutlers Hall in London. The Worshipful Company of Cutlers is one the ancient Livery companies.

Formed by Royal Charter in 1416, its purpose was to protect the interests of those involved in trading and manufacture of knives, swords and other implements with a cutting edge. It looked after the welfare of guild members, set standards, and helped educate and train new members through apprenticeships.

Some of the ancient London livery companies are wealthy, though most are not, and are significant benefactors to their communities. In our visit we were introduced to the history of livery companies, and all were involved in enacting Cutlers traditions of the passing round of the Loving Cup, and the Rose Water Bowl. In true Wallace and Grommit style, it was a grand day out. Here are some of my photos of the visit, though, silly boy, I forgot to take a photo of the exterior of the building and have relied on Wikipedia for the photo.

Surrey Heath launch a lottery to fund good causes

Surrey Heath Borough Council announce,

Surrey Heath Borough Council is launching its own online community lottery to benefit good causes.

Tickets will cost £1 with 60p going towards local good causes, compared to 28p in the pound for the National Lottery. The draw will be weekly with a jackpot of £25,000 for a matching sequence of six numbers, other prizes being £2,000, £250, £25 or three free tickets.

There are two parts to the Surrey Heath Lottery scheme. Local good causes are able to set up their own lottery page, and will receive 50p in every pound spent by players using this method. A further 10p in every pound will go into a general Surrey Heath good causes fund, with the remainder being put towards prizes, operating costs and VAT.

Players who do not wish to support a specific cause can still take part in the Surrey Heath Lottery, with 60p of their ticket price going into the general Surrey Heath good causes fund, which will be distributed by the Council.

The lottery was officially launched at an event yesterday (21 May) at Camberley Theatre, attended by SHBC Leader Cllr Richard Brooks, Surrey Heath Mayor Cllr Robin Perry, and representatives of local good causes.

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Painting of the week No.23: The Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals

It’ll come as no surprise that I’m posting an article in my Painting of the Week series, having recently been to both the Wallace Collection and the National Gallery.

For Painting No.23, I’ve chosen the painting The Laughing Cavalier by Frans Hals [1584-1666] in The Wallace Collection. The beauty of seeing the actual painting, as opposed to viewing it online, or in a book, is many fold. You get to appreciate the size of the painting; you can view it from afar, and you can get up close to the painting, so close you can see the painters brush strokes. Looking closelly at the brush work makes you realise what a bravura work it is, the deft and quickly executed strokes.

The Laughing Cavalier is acknowledged to be Frans Hals finest painting. The striking image is enhanced by the Hals choosing as aspect of the portrait, where you’re looking up to the image. The confident stance of the sitter – it’s not known who it is a portrait of – with hand of hip, and the hint of a smile, and dressed in his finery, makes it surely among the most memorable of portraits in existence.

I took the opportunity to look closely at the painting, where the detail of the lace and embroidery on the sleeve is outstanding. It was painted in 1624, which means it’ll soon be 400 years old, an age that amazes, given that it’s survived the times of war, revolution, and more.

To learn more about this painting, here are some worthy sources of interpretation,