Saturday, May 25, 2013

A walk to the Post Office

Our local Post Office has closed. A brief resurrection and then finally, nothing doing. Now, we have a bus ride to use the 'national treasure' we seem to have so carelessly let slip away.

I chose to walk to Byker.

UPDATE 28th May 2013.

The older and easier way to share photographs is either gone for good (or bad!) or I am not sufficiently bright to work out how to attach the newer one. So I am using a reliable off site programme.

Walk to the Post Office Pt 1

Goldspink Lane winds suddenly downhill and stops just before the narrow gorge of the Ouseburn. The tower block peeping above the trees opposite is in Heaton. This gorge winds through the city; from Jesmond Dene to the north, beside Armstrong Park and Heaton Park then through the Victorian era constructed culvert to the Lower Ousburn and thence, the River Tyne. On a pleasant Spring day it seems a nicer, healthy alternative to waiting for a bus.

As I walk I try to notice what Ian Nairn might have commented on in those Observer newspaper articles I read half a century ago and which formed the basis for my own enthusiasm for the urban scene.

The contrasts are great. Since we find these familiar we are perhaps too ready to think these ordinary. But to my eye there are always surprises, contradictions and provocations to thought.

For example, here are four images all taken on the same day on a walk of about a mile.

The woods beside the Ouseburn 

The old Ouseburn 'road'. This would have been 
used by carts going down to the Tyne

Today garages and 'lock-ups', were such as these built for horses?

Nearly there: Old and new on Shields Road

These seem to me to reflect an important aspect of living; the complexity and varied character of the environment, brought about through happenstance, over centuries, not the instant, fleeting and deterministic. This unplanned 'collage' of natural, ruderal and by-passed living styles is for me attractive, even compulsive. It gives a texture to life as nothing planned can.

Maybe the training planners receive is to blame; the all or nothing approach of town halls everywhere.

Monday, May 6, 2013

At last, the beginning is here

It seemed it would never arrive, Spring that is.

Even the ordinary is, for a week or so, made extraordinary

Weeks of cold winds made it seem buds had been freeze framed on their branches and stopped mid way for good. However, the sun has battered down the wind or increased its temperature just enough.

Battlefield in Spring time looks lovely, even if delayed.