A Room with a (new) View

It was late yesterday afternoon when it struck me. Sitting in this very chair I was worrying away at a problem. Something was different. Very different. And suddenly, there it was, gone! The tree. Regular readers will recall a recent post in which I showed you this view:


It is difficult to miss the tree obscuring the left third of the frame. Somehow however it did not register with me that this was the new view:New View

I used a wider lens but look in the bottom left hand corner. You can just see the stump of a tree. We are transformed! Now I have very mixed feelings about this. Certainly the timing is bad. This tree would certainly have had nesting birds. Probably common species but nesting nonetheless. It was full of insects and insects are interesting to me in their own right. They also constitute a fast food outlet for the birds. There is no obvious reason to cut down the tree. The act was almost certainly illegal as the tree is on government land and is not owned in deed by the residents.

To the good we now have more light and a much wider vista. I am sure birds will perch on the stump and give me the occasional photo-opportunity. And as the stump (plus a bit more) remains it may well grow back over many years. I conclude that perhaps I am happy with the new view but would have done this brutal surgery only in Winter when the birds do not nest.

It is good to be back in the Land of Blog. I recall with great fondness Noggin the Nog. Perhaps I should adopt the nom de plume Thor Blogson. I offer today a few more snaps from London. Each time I leave Hong Kong it emphasises to me how bad is our air quality. Older Brits will remember Britain’s awful air when dirty coal was the predominant fuel and little care was given to what we could tip into our rivers. The result was winters of smog and what were euphemistically called ‘pea soupers‘, a toxic recipe of fog, soot and sulphur dioxide.  I well remember the chimney sweep coming to our house. I was just too old to be sent up the chimney myself. Chim chim cheree.  Last week London’s air was bracing but clean. I could feel a little sting of cold in my lungs. I was happy though to inhale deeply and enjoy it. Apart from the move away from dirty fuels central London has benefited from a reduction in traffic. This has been brought about by the introduction of a congestion charge. If you wish to drive in central London you may do so but you will pay handsomely for it. Residents are exempted of course. Vehicles pollute less too. It is a stark lesson in how negligent the HK government is as it permits our sad state to persist. It cannot be blamed for everything. Much of it is airborne and a gift from Comrade Big Brother just over the border. I put the HK government’s attitude into the category ‘benign contempt’.

First up, a wide shot of the doors at the Bank of England.BOE2

Then something that amused me for several seconds. This sign is attached to what looks suspiciously like a stone wall. Try as I might I could not see the slightest trace of a fire exit.Keep Clear

Another shot of Liverpool Street Station in glorious sepia. Hardly a soul to be seen.Liverpool Street 2

And finally a reminder to those out there who think 200 years or so of history is a lot. I suspect the plaque is a little more contemporary than Gregory de Rokesley but I was impressed that he was Mayor of London eight times. Of course he never had to stand against Ken Livingstone or Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. The latter is allegedly the Prime Minister in waiting and the former is a keeper of newts. I suspect the court jester Johnson may be a better man than the salamanderist. We could exhume GdR for a ninth run at mayor if Boris occupies Number Ten.


And there I must leave you. I am now treeless but with a lungful of particulates.


25 thoughts on “A Room with a (new) View

  1. Well after all these comments, dare I say arguments? Here is my tuppence worth. I love the bank doors. Now why does the bank of England have the staff of mercury on its doors? I thought that was reserved for medical professionals and travelling sales-people (notice the careful gender neutral terminology).

    I remember the pea-supers. Had a close call with some older louts with chains one foggy day. In the ‘old’ days we could smell London as we returned from a fortnight on the coast.

    Just think Boris as PM and Charles as king – what a show!

    • I suspect the medical side of the BoE is in case you have a heart attack when you discover that interest rates are going up and the pound is going down. Of course the pound in your pocket has not been devalued.

  2. HK looks so clean and fresh (but warm) from your photos, but I have hard about the bad air quality. I hope they can find measures to control traffic (and maybe industry too). And that you’ll manage without the tree that used to be in your views. Me too I love trees, even if I have a room with a view.

  3. I don’t want to shatter a positive thought, but I believe that the clear air of London is host to very dangerous (because invisible and smell-less) nano particles, which are so small they can invade lungs and other organs very easily, causing lethal illness long term. Diesel is a prime culprit, so hopefully Central London is better with its Congestion Charge (thank you Ken).
    Boris? Very clever, a news hound’s delight, but totally narcissistic and only a degree shy of outright nutcase. Taking a long look at such leaders in history, I’d say VERY dangerous.
    Love the pictures, especially The Bank’s doors.

  4. That it should come to this. Is Boris Johnson suitable as PM? Definitely not. Is he better than most of the other contenders? Well, you have me there.
    Tree crime is a nasty one. 150 years to grow. An hour with a chainsaw and there is no saying sorry and putting it back up again.

  5. In the past two years, we’ve lost three trees, Andrew. One was a HUGE red delicious apple tree that lost its battle with fire blight. Granted, the view of the park is now enhanced because the trees are gone, but I still miss them.
    About the bank sign–maybe they’re afraid someone might burn the money?–;) Okay, just a thought; you know how ridiculous the authorities can get.

    • Official signs can be very silly at times but I’m sure that there is a good reason for this one, Marylin. I just can’t think what it could be. Its a shame about the apple tree. This tree was nothing special except for its age and residents. I am sure wildlife will adapt but it will take a while.

  6. Poor birds have it especially tough in HK! First the Swallow (?) nest removed and now a tree, possibly full of nests, chopped. Shame about the tree, birds and insects. Some who pay for million dollar views make sure they maintain them at any cost.

    • Caroline, a sea view (that is a proper sea view) doubles the cost of the house here. We spent 18m looking for something we could afford. These houses go for about US$4-5m so people do protect “their view”. (I hasten to add we didn’t pay that much!!!).

  7. To honest Andrew If I was cutting down a tree i doubt i would think too much about the ecosystem i would be potentially changing, Though it is good that you have more light.
    I like the Bank of England shot, I haven’t been to London in such a long time this is making wish to go and visit again.

    • Ben, I have never lived in London, only worked. There is so much to see that I think I ought to know the place better. A longer visit is called for.

  8. Always sad when a mature tree goes. You now have a wider vista, but I did like the natural framing the tree provided. I agree that the timing was awful for the birds. Lovely to see the Bank of England, a building I know well and the Sepia works a treat on Liverpool Street. I have had a week in Paris and back to London on Monday. Have a great weekend Andrew

  9. I hate it when trees are cut down for no good reason 😦 You do get an even more splendid view though….
    As for Boris, he’s an absolute dolt. Thinks he can charm his way to the top that lad, and in to the girls knickers. I was stood at the bus stop on Theobald’s Road and he winked and whistled at me when he flew by on his bike. Cheeky Bas**rd.
    LOVE Liverpool St Stn in sepia.

  10. we may have boris or cameron for a very long time if scotland votes ‘yes’ to independence. please scotland don’t do it

  11. Yeas, the home owners are probably the culprits. Here the chainsaw gangsters go around doing a tree in a few seconds.
    Councils have been putting up reward notices along the coast to try and catch them.. I don’t know why people prefer to look out over sheets of water than lovely trees.
    I sometimes look out over a sheet of water I hold up on a plate while in the bath to soak up water views. I soon get bored.
    Lovely Liverpool staion Andrew. Geat shot.

  12. Seriously? You really think the British public would vote for Boris? The man’s an idiot – albeit a clever one. I’ll be on the first boat out if that ever happens.

    • A clever idiot? A cunning buffoon? Or is it all just an act?Seriously, I can not for the life of me see how he could be any worse than his recent predecessors. When you contemplate how awful he might be just remember that we came within a gnat’s wotsit of having Neil Kinnock as PM. And we survived Tony Blair so we can certainly survive BJ. And what fun we would have at PMQ. A sitting PM on Have I Got News For You? Why not? We shall all be forced to adopt Boris’ haircut in the manner of Kim Jong Un. No, Jenny. I can see only see the bright side of Boris. Tourist numbers would rocket. He would be the star turn at international events. Bring on Boris, say I.

  13. Some bastard did that, alright – and not necessarily the owners of the land, either: just people with a view similarly interrupted as was yours, and who have no ethics.

I'd be delighted to hear what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s