Paddington Basin Development


I enjoyed another thrilling day wrestling with technology. After a few hours last night the iMac update ground to a halt. First thing this morning I phoned Apple again and got started once more. Today the process continued for a little longer, but again took an unwelcome rest. James Peacock, my local consultant is going to have to come and collect it.

My next task was to order and pay for Christmas presents from the Disney Store. The nearest was in Southampton. They had four of the main item in stock. They couldn’t accept payment over the phone; and they could not save an item for us. I could buy the present on line. I went on line. The item was not included in their pages. I’ll leave that one there.

I am due possible laser surgery on my left eye. I need to book the appointment on line. Apparently this is an easy process. It didn’t prove to be. Each time I typed the address given on my form, I landed on Google explanatory pages. I’ve no idea how I managed it, but I did eventually arrive at the booking system, and obtained the first available NHS appointment. This is in April.

Not to be deterred from my determination to illustrate this post, I transported my Windows laptop to my Epson scanner, and set about scanning my next batch of colour slides from the Streets of London series, produced in May 2005.

Everything was correctly plugged in, but no scanner icon appeared on the screen. Further investigation revealed the message that the driver was unavailable. Given that I thought I was the driver, that seemed at first to be out of order. Further head scratching made me realise that I had never used the ten year old scanner on this laptop. From the depths of my memory I remembered that a CD contained the relevant software. I found it. Things were looking up. This ancient bit of kit loaded perfectly, and I was up and running.

Sheldon Square 1

Sheldon Square, W2 has appeared before, especially featuring the other realistic sculpture walking towards this chap standing on the left.

Sheldon Square 5.05

Neither of the two shirted gentlemen will ever be provided with an umbrella like the real live woman walking towards us.

Sheldon Square 2

This sculptural group is not striving to hoodwink passers by. Much of the paving in this up-market development was, in my view, laid too soon to allow sufficient settlement. There also appears to be a dearth of drainage. Pools are the result.

Paddington flyover 1

My counselling room in Beauchamp Lodge enabled me to look across the Harrow Road roundabout

Paddington flyover 3

and  the flyover

Paddington flyover 2

that spans the canal

Paddington flyover 1

and the edge of the square.

Paddington flyover 4

I was able to watch cars, vans,

Paddington flyover 6

industrial vehicles,

Paddington flyover 5

and bendy buses travelling along Harrow Road or the A40. What could easily be mistaken for two red buses is in fact one. Bendy is the colloquial name for articulated buses. They were introduced into London in 2001, some 20 years after several other countries. Most Londoners would probably agree with Boris Johnson who believed they were unsuitable for the city. They were all withdrawn by the end of 2011. I believe that Sadiq Khan, the current mayor of London is being urged to bring them back. As a fairly frequent traveller on this method of transport I observed many people securing a free ride. It was possible to enter the bus by means of the exit door situated at the centre join. The buses are operated by a single person who, with so many standing passengers, had no chance of preventing this abuse.

Blomfield Road W9 5.05

Blomfield Road, W9 forms a junction with Warwick Avenue which leads up towards the huge roundabout featured above.

Park Place Villas/St Mary's Terrace 5.05

The grand terraces of Park Place Villas and St Mary’s Terrace stand in stark contrast to the buildings shown at the start of this post.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s smoked haddock, piquant cauliflower cheese, creamy mashed swede and potato; with runner beans and carrots for a splash of colour. I finished the cabernet sauvignon.

57 responses to “Paddington Basin Development”

  1. I cycled to and from work for decades until bendy buses nearly killed me twice. I retired. I hate them. No actually that’s not right. I HATE THEM. There. Much better.

  2. That certainly is a contrast in architectural style. And what a quirky sculpture. I suppose it has some relationship to the activity carried on in the building. My commiserations on your computer and shopping woes.

  3. Derrick it seems you are having as much trouble wit your imac as I am having with my Windows 10! Is there no technology we can use that will not drive us to drink? I’m beginning to think we should all revert to pen and paper and write letters again……..

  4. It’s so different from the Paddington I remember from 45 years ago. And I HATE shopping on line. I keep thinking of all the small businesses that have folded because people stay at home. Amazon opens in Australia this week – the end is nigh.

    • You probably remember travellers overwintering there. I avoid shopping on line at all costs – I like to see what I’m buying, and enjoy the relationships we enjoy with local shops. Unfortunately we are miles from most of today’s outlets and they are hell to get to, anyway. Many thanks, Paol.

  5. Good luck with the technology problems, Derrick!
    I like the term “bendy buses.” My husband and I are trying to remember if they still have them in Philadelphia. Even the regular buses have a difficult time on some of the city streets, and I imagine it’s far worse in London.

      • Thanks, Derrick. We’re pretty settled. It seems to be the easiest move – out of about 13. The vegie garden was easy to dig and I planted all our “saved” precious plants by planting them fairly immediately (things such as gigantic white and red dahlias which we love – and can’t find replacements for…). The house is a lot bigger than we thought, so things seem easy to position. Only the dog seems to be having trouble with the cow with two calves just over the fence. Am posting a post the day after American Thanksgiving (NZ time) to show my proclivity for the reclusive! Things are not as “intense as your and Jackie’s piece of earth, but perhaps smaller yet more expansive in it’s spaciousness! i.e. it’s bloody empty!.

  6. Ahh those were the days. Remember when you had to use a floppy disk to even boot up up your little screen in the days before ‘windows’ was invented. And then you had to go off and make a pot of tea during the intervening minutes while it loaded. ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. We’ve had ‘Bendy Buses” for yonks, it always amazes me watching them thunder through the Bilgola Bends on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, and they never hit a cyclist………… no matter how hard they tried!

  8. I am glad you found the โ€˜driverโ€™ that led us to those architectural images. I must say you were fortunate the driver, consigned to some bureau in a CD which is now considered ancient in the technological landscape, knew his way around Windows 10. Most old drivers are hapless faced with the extant avatar of Windows, not unlike the ones who drive the bendy buses featured above. I wish you luck with High Siberia or whatever consciousness you are planning to bestow your laptop with.

  9. I liked the views from your counselling office, Derrick. Wow, so cool you even thought about capturing them on your camera film.
    I liked the brick buildings at the end with cream trim and terraces! (Park Place Villas and St. Mary’s.) ๐Ÿ’ฎ ๐Ÿ•Š

  10. I’m scanning slides inherited from a lady who travelled far and wide. Often the sky in her photos is inhabited with small hairs and lumps of uncertain origin – which turn out to be dust on the slides. My scanner, a Canon 9000F mkII has a nice feature that can remove said irregularities through a prescan with infra red (FARE). The problem is that the time taken to scan anything quadruples. So, I scan, take the good ones, clean the poor ones with a brush, scan again and then if still bad use the FARE feature – and go get some tea whilst I wait.

    • Thanks very much, Chris. As you may know, I have been scanning my own slides as far back as the 1960s. I find the retouch facility on my iMac to be very useful in taking out blemishes. Naturally these comments of yours took me to your blog, which I am now following

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