Just before the snow hit my home city of Cardiff pretty hard the other week, I headed to London by train and bike. Not to escape it (honest!) but to shoot pictures and do a bit of networking at the Outdoor/Cycle/Boat show at the Excel in the docklands.
After a couple of days cooped in at the expo I’d had quite enough, so my mate, with whom I was staying, and I, took a walk in the snow. First port of call was Greenwich Park where the meridian and observatory is. The place was heaving with kids and adults and sledges. It’s unusual to have extensive snow cover in the UK’s capital and also to fall on a weekend so everyone was making the most of the opportunity.
The snow was falling heavily and really softened the view from the height across the small valley there with all those taking part appearing like something L.S. Lowry would paint.
Up close though, at the foot of the slope you could see the smiling faces.
Apart from the echo-less noise of tobogganers the park’s long-term inhabitants shrugged under the weight of the snow and as it drifted around trees it showed off the unusual contours of some.
We made out way past the observatory back down the avenue and out the gates over to Blackheath Common. The snow was coming down quite thickly then.
After a quick cuppa and bite to eat a decision was made to try and get a train into London proper. Thankfully our journey into Waterloo was unhampered by the weather although the contact with the live rail was arcing as it was somewhat covered in snow. Swapping the temporary warmth of the carriage for the Thames’ South Bank we joined the throng of people enjoying the icing-sugar dusted cityscape.
After crossing the road at Westminster Bridge and attempting to make a picture of the iconic view of the Houses of Parliament with runners on the walkway in the foreground, I pulled back and found a more unusual take on the scene.
There was an image to make with a runner on the walkway as my friend pointed out.
The light was fading fast now and we crossed Westminster Bridge and caught a Number 15 one stop up to Charing Cross. I didn’t get the iconic shot of an old Routemaster bus – one was just leaving as our bus stopped on the other side (there are only two routes running these now and one is the 15 down The Strand). Onwards into the station then…
Unfortunately the trains going in the Blackheath direction were now being adversely affected by the snow so we got one to Maze Hill and walk up past where musician Manfred Mann lives and back through Greenwich Park just before the gates were shut.
So, just time for a few closing pictures on Blackheath Common: this one, hand-held and with the snow lit with some flash off camera pointed up away from the lens.
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