We will remember them

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned out backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.-
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams before my helpless sight
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin,
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,-
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

– Wilfred Owen

Graves at the American War Cemetary in Cambridge

(This photograph was taken at the American War Cemetery in Madingley, near Cambridge. You can see more pictures from our visit there here.)

Below London – a trip to the Clapham South deep-level shelter

You know when you book tickets for something and forget you did…? This happened to us, when we looked at our calendars and realised that we had tickets for a Clapham South subterranean shelter tour, run as part of London Transport Museum‘s Hidden London. So, we headed along one night after work and congregated at the entrance to Clapham South Underground. But this wasn’t a tube tour – instead, it took us down to the tube level, 36.5m below street level, but into huge, cavernous tunnels built during World War Two, as a response to heavy civilian bombing during the Blitz.

Our surroundings seemed [remarkably] modern and sleek, with some incredibly well thought-through details considering the rush in which they were built. One of our favourite features was the double helix staircase so that people could descend twice as quickly in the event of a raid.

Clapham South Deep Level Shelter

Although ten of these shelters were planned, ultimately eight were built, by the London Passenger Transport Board and the Ministry for Home Security between 1941 and 1942. They were a response to the inadequacy of tube stations as refuges from bombing raids, after 111 people were killed at Bank station. The tube stations were often not sufficiently deep, and in addition were liable to flooding if a water main was hit. Although not built quickly enough for the Blitz, they were used during all the bombing that followed by V1 and V2 bombs, and were also a temporary solution for those who had lost their homes through Blitz attacks.

Clapham South Deep Level Shelter

Show me more from this day

Blink and it’s gone – the Bloodhound SSC

I was very fortunate last week to be able to see the Bloodhound SSC (Super-Sonic Car) make its world debut in London. By pure chance I had the afternoon off work for something else later in the evening, and happened to hear about the two-day event that was happening in the East Wintergarden venue in Canary Wharf. So, with my last-minute ticket in hand, I headed over to check it out… [I had to work, on the other hand, so couldn’t go. Pity. Fortunately there were about 300 photos of cars for me to look at… However, they actually turned out to be fairly amazing, so do keep reading even if you’re not an engineering fan!]

Canary Wharf tube

For those who haven’t heard of it before, the Bloodhound SSC is a British engineering project to break the land speed record (which is already held by the same team, headed by Richard Noble), with the ultimate aim being to travel at over 1,000mph. The car being unveiled today is the “product of eight years of research, design and manufacturing, involving over 350 companies and universities”. Jaguar are one of the key sponsors, and have provided many vehicles for research: the car below was used to test the use of parachutes as a braking system, a method that was eventually abandoned in favour of air brakes.

Jaguar test car for Bloodhound SSC

But I’m teasing you – it’s time I actually showed you pictures of the beast itself! [I can hardly wait.] And here she is:

Bloodhound SSC

Show me more from this day

Supermoon eclipse

Today we’re dropping in with this quick photo – we got up at 3am on Sunday/Monday to watch the supermoon eclipse, and brought the camera with us. Being in London, it never felt like it got completely dark, but this time lapse is an interesting take on the movement, moody colours and different angles of the eclipse. See you again in 2033! [Can’t believe we’ll be almost 50 by then…]

Supermoon eclipse


Thanks to lovely Michelle (Petite Tea Lover) for nominating us for the Liebster Award!

Liebster award

For those who haven’t heard of the Liebster Award before, it’s awarded to new blogs just getting started which the nominator feels deserve more attention or recognition. The rules are:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
  2. Answer the 10 (or 11) questions given by the nominator.
  3. Nominate and link 10 (or 11) bloggers.
  4. Notify all the bloggers you’ve nominated.
  5. Create 10 (or 11) new questions for your nominees to answer.

So let’s get started on Michelle’s questions…

Why did you start blogging?

He had just bought a fantastic camera [it was a Canon 600D, a good starter DSLR] and was starting to take [apparently] great pictures, and I thought more people should see them. Around a similar time, one of our friends complained that he didn’t know how to have a great day in London on a budget, so we thought we’d combine the two in a “days out” blog, with hopefully some artistic pictures.

She was working in communications and social media at the time, so suggested starting a blog – I liked the idea of having something to focus on (no pun intended) to give my photography more direction as I was getting into it, and this was the perfect opportunity for that.

What/who inspires you?

In terms of the blog, I think we inspire each other [cheesy…]. It’s tempting on a Saturday morning to lie in until lunchtime (and we do, sometimes!) but some of our best and most memorable days have been when we’ve convinced each other to get moving, with a great idea for a day out or something to see. Also in terms of photography, we draw each other’s attention to different things, and we love that. Now that I have my lovely little bridge camera (grateful girlfriend!) it’s a really collaborative hobby, which is even better.

Photographically, I’m inspired by fascinating details, whether it’s a window frame or a street lamp, and how they interact with the broader scale around them. I love beautiful architecture and hidden historical magic. On days out I love immersing myself in the history of the people, whether it’s a family who lived in a stately home or photos of slums in the 1800s at the Museum of London.

It’s great that we both have ideas of things we’d like to do, and often they overlap which is helpful! She has also been really supportive in encouraging me (and being very patient with me) in pursuing photography. 

In terms of what I like photographing, I’m particularly inspired by architecture and nature. London is a great place to explore a huge array of different architectural styles mixed alongside one another, but there are plenty of other places further afield with great architecture to enjoy as well. I’m quite a fan of modern designs; for example, one of my favourite buildings in London is the classic Gherkin, and I love the buildings at the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia. I also love walking and photographing beautiful scenery, particularly in my homeland of Yorkshire.


Show me more from this day

Cats everywhere – a visit to the London Cat Village

We’ve dropped in on a Sunday night because we couldn’t wait any longer to share these photos… Don’t worry, there aren’t too many words to read here, just some incredibly cute cats from the Cat Village in Shoreditch.


With cat cafés popping up around London, there’s some competition, but we’re pretty certain that this one is up there with the best. Particularly now, as they have a ten-week-old litter of kittens roaming around…


Show me more from this day

A sunny stroll in Hampstead

We’re north Londoners, it turns out [for the moment at least]. I’m not quite sure why, but what it does mean is that we have the joy of Hampstead Heath on our doorstep. Every time we go we ask ourselves why we don’t go every week – I guess those National Trust properties won’t visit themselves…

After a short walk from Gospel Oak Overground station, you end up here at the top of Parliament Hill, looking out over London. Spottable are the Shard, St Pancras station, St Paul’s and other highlights of the London skyline.

View from Parliament Hill

Facing the other direction, though, was another popular activity – kite flying. Ostensibly for children, there were a fair few parents not too keen to give up the reins…

Kites over Hampstead Heath

Show me more from this day