Italy 2020 – Caravaggio, Spanish Steps and Pizza

Continuing my account of my Italian holiday, featuring Caravaggio, The Spanish Steps and a remarkable Pizza experience.

Welcome to the latest post in my series about my Italian holiday (2-11 September inclusive), which deals with the second half of the final full day in Rome before we moved on to Tivoli.

THE CARAVAGGIO

After finishing at Domitian’s Stadium we headed towards the Spanish Steps, and along the way we passed the church of Sant’Agostino, the main feature of which is a painting by the artist Caravaggio. It is very dark, and there is little light unless you pay 1 euro to have it briefly lit up. For obvious reasons flash photography is forbidden (I am in any case not keen on using the flash on my camera, so no hardship for me).

Although the main feature of the church it was not the only one of interest, as this gallery, which covers from leaving Domitian’s Stadium to leaving the church should show:

THE SPANISH STEPS

We completed our afternoon’s activities with by walking to the Spanish Steps and then back to our apartment. There was, as always in Rome, much to see, as the gallery below indicates.

EMMA’S PIZZERIA

For that evening’s supper, our last in Rome before moving on to Tivoli the following morning, we were booked into Emma’s Pizzeria. I opted for ‘Bufala con prosciutto’, a pizza with buffalo milk cheese and prosciutto. It was a ‘white pizza’ – no tomato in the topping, which suits me fine. Roman pizzas have very thin and crispy bases, which I also approve of, so all in all this was a great success (indeed we had lunch there before heading to the airport for our flight home at the end of the holiday, and I made precisely the same choice).

I end as is my custom with these posts with a waterfall video from Tivoli:

Sunday in Cornwall

The Sunday of my Cornish holiday.

INTRODUCTION

We have reached the Sunday of my Cornish holiday. I am going to cover the day in three sections for reasons that will become apparent as the post develops.

SUNDAY MORNING

From my point of view most of this day was taken up with editing my pictures from the previous day’s excursion (see here and here), but Fort Picklecombe also provides regular opportunities for taking photographs, and I also took a number of these opportunities. 

HarbourBreakwaterBreakwater IILighthouse and sailboatShip and breakwaterFlying birdBird flying near breakwater

We were going out for Sunday lunch, and at about 12:15 we got ready to leave. We were lunching at an establishment that doubles as an art gallery and is located in a set of Nissen huts in a village called Maker. Here is their Sunday menu:

Menu

In the event we did not have starters, and each of us went for a different main course – I went for the slow-roasted pork shoulder, my father for the beef and my mother for the hake. It was a long wait to be served, but that was because they were cooking the vegetables from fresh. The pork was excellently cooked, with crackling that was both crunchy and flavoursome, and the vegetables were excellent. The roast potatoes however were not as good as they would have been had I cooked them – the potatoes had been peeled but not chopped, hence were very large and therefore somewhat lacking in the crunch factor. Overall, considering all factors, I rate this meal at 7.5/10. Here are the rest of my pictures from lunchtime:

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A good picture of the Nissen hut in which we ate.

Decor

Our Table
Our table.

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A bad picture of a Nissen hut (as you will note not much of the art on display here could really be considered good).

MapYYSea ViewSea View IIThrough the treesLake view

Then it was back to the fort, and back to photo-editing, although in between editing pictures from the previous day I captured some…

RAINBOPICTURES

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The A(nna) Train station

Originally posted on Annas Art – FärgaregårdsAnna:
Thomas at aspiblog has a fun challenge. Design a station challenge. My imagination started to making pictures right away. I want to do a real drawing of the things I have in my head after reading the challenge post. But for now this sketch is all…

Here is Anna’s preliminary sketch – I look forward to reading and seeing more about her dream railway station…

Annas Art - FärgaregårdsAnna

Thomas at aspiblog has a fun challenge. Design a station challenge.

My imagination started to making pictures right away. I want to do a real drawing of the things I have in my head after reading the challenge post.

But for now this sketch is all I had time to do today.


Imagine a station were the floor is painted like the ocean so everyone feels they can walk on water, the red carpet is rolled out for everyone that chose the green way to travel for saving nature. That is the A(nna)-train at the station where people who think green travels.

I want to think of this idea a little bit more. Maybe there will be more drawings on this theme. I think it’s fun. Join the challenge you too!

Anna

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A Competition to Design a Station

An invitation to my followers to demonstrate their design skills.

INTRODUCTION

The official competition is being run by Crossrail, and is open to people aged between three and 15. I am using this blog to open an unofficial version of the competition to all my followers.

THE COMPETITION

People in the age range to qualify for the proper competition can visit the site here (the competition is open until Sunday). For those not eligible for the official competition you can use this post to present your ideas, either in pictures if you have the skill and inclination, or in words, or as a combination of both. If you put your thoughts into a post of your own, include the link in a comment and I am sufficiently impressed I will reblog.

 

Tunnelbana

The latest in my series of posts about my holiday in Sweden. This post covers Tunnelbana in detail, thereby providing a framework for my remaining posts about Stockholm.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the latest installment in my series of posts about my holiday in Sweden. To set the scene for the rest of this post here is picture:

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TUNNELBANA AND MY HOLIDAY

Although I made some use of the Tunnelbana at the beginning of my holiday, it was during my last full day in Stockholm at the end that I really got to know they system, having decided that in addition to exploring the city I would do some serious travelling on the system. I had seen enough even early on to realise that it was going to warrant a post.

Although I had spent little time travelling on Tunnelbana in my first spell in and around Stockholm I did get some pictures…

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A Tunnelbana train – notice the articulated units, each the equivalent of three standard carriages (this train consists of two such, at busy times they sometimes have three).

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The escalators at Huvudsta.

A SYSTEM OF TWO PARTS

If you consult the system map included below the introduction you will note that there are three lines, coloured red, green and blue on the map. The red and green lines are older, and their tunnel sections, which make up a small minority of their length, are standard tunnels. The blue line is newer, and bar one station on the Akalla branch is in tunnel the whole way. It is the blue line that features the cave like station sections.

A BYZANTINE INTERCHANGE

The only place where all three lines meet as at T-Centralen, and the interchanges between the blue line and the others are very long at that station. With only three lines meeting plus an interchange to mainline railways the arrangements here are not as labyrinthine as at the Bank-Monument complex in London which is probably the world record holder for user-unfriendly interchanges. Thus, when out on my own on that last full day I decided that I would avoid T-Centralen, making use of the interchange I had noted at Fridhelmsplan between the blue and green lines and the cross-platform interchanges available between the green and red lines at Gamla Stan and Slussen. The Fridhelmsplan interchange involves going up a travalator (it is not an escalator as it is smooth rather than stepped) but is very straightforward, unlike the multiple escalators and horizontal travalator of the T-Centralen interchange.

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GAMLA STAN

Having changed at Fridhelmsplan I took a green line train to Gamla Stan, where I went for a long waterside walk which will feature in another post in this series. It was after this walk the my serious explorations began.

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My first target was Ropsten on the red line…

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The first of four pictures taken at Ropsten.

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On on-train map.

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My next move once I reached a suitable interchange point was to switch to the Green line and head to one of its terminus stations. The train I boarded was headed for…

FARSTA STRAND

This journey was almost all open to the air, with parts of it being quite scenic.

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At Farsta Strand I went for a bit of a walk to get a feel for the area.

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This floor is on the way out of Farsta Strand

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A mainline railway train nearby.

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Four overhead shots of tunnelbana trains.

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The station frontage at Farsta Strand.

From Farsta Strand I travelled to Fridhelmsplan where I changed to the blue line, having seen enough of the other two and having decided that I wished to see the whole of the blue line.

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This shot has already featured in this series of posts, as a response to an MJP photo challenge.

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Back on the blue line.

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THE BLUE LINE

Back on the blue line I decided that my first move would to be explore Kungstragarden. I will be putting up a whole post about Kungstragarden, because there is so much to see at the surface there. The station is practically a destination in its own right, as the following pictures will indicate…

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All of the 39 pictures in this set were taken at Kungstragarden (yes there is that much on display there at the station alone)

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The surface building

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Having explored Kungstragarden (and had lunch there), my next move was to get a train to…

AKALLA

The journey to Akalla and then back as far as Vastra Skogen to change to the Hjulsta branch featured the only above ground section of the blue line, and plentiful art works some of which I was able to capture with my camera. Of course at Akalla and also at the change point of Vastra Skogen I had the advantage of not being on the train the whole time.

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The first of several decorative tiling arrangements at Vastra Skogen (I do not think that when the individual pieces are this big one can fairly use the word mosaic).

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My last travelling of the day was from Vastra Skogen to Hjulsta, and then back from Hjulsta to Huvudsta where I was being accommodated. I only got a few pictures from this last section of the journey.

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FINAL THOUGHTS ON TUNNELBANA

Tunnelbana is a superbly efficient system, and the artwork which can be found everywhere on it, and especially the cave like station platform and passageway segments on the blue line boost it from the merely utilitarian (itself a level considerably above that usually attained by London Underground these days!) and make it a genuine attraction. Unless you are going to be catching a train from Stockholm Central I would recommend that you follow the approach I took on my day of exploration and avoid using T-Centralen as an interchange. I also recommend that you obtain a free Stockholm map (it includes the system diagram that appears at the top of this post). I have seen three underground systems that in different ways can claim uniqueness – London is the original, St Petersburg is further below the surface than any other, and Stockholm for reasons outlined above and (I hope) demonstrated throughout this post. I conclude by saying that I hope you have enjoyed this virtual tour of the Tunnelbana as much as I enjoyed both the real thing and creating this post.

Some Autism Coverage in the Lynn News

A grateful acknowledgement to the Lynn News for their coverage of the Autism Awareness Cup accompanied by a minor ethical quibble and also some images from today at work.

INTRODUCTION

At the end of this post I will be sharing some images from work today, but it is mainly about the Lynn News (and, one ethical quibble aside, positive about them).

THANKS FOR THE COVERAGE BUT AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT WOULD BE NICE

On Sunday the inaugural Autism Awareness Cup took place on the astroturf at Lynnsport, and on Monday I produced this blog post about the event: https://aspiblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/11/the-autism-awareness-cup-a-new-event-takes-root/

Before creating the blog post I had also created a facebook photo album about the event.

Having published the blog post I then produced this email:

AAC Email

For clarification of the intended recipients, here is a second image…

AAC Email

Today the Lynn News produced the following:

AAC

You will note that save for the misplaced while between cup winners and Holland every word of this article appears in my blog post. While I thank the Lynn News unreseverdly for printing a story about this event, which will be the first of many, I would have been even more grateful had there been some acknowledgement, and maybe a mention of my blog.

SOME IMAGES FROM TODAY

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Two Days of Imaging

Some highlights from yesterday and today at work.

INTRODUCTION

Yesterday and today were both work days for me, and I stayed overnight in Norwich as I was attending an evening meeting in that fine city. I will not be covering said meeting in this post as I plan to write about it and about tomorrow’s protest against the possible closure of the Fermoy Unit in detail in another post. All my images today are presented as ’tiled mosaics’ – to view an individual image at full size click on it.

THURSDAY

Thursday was all imaging for the May auction. I finished the militaria imaging before moving on to some other stuff. Here a few highlights from these lots…

After the militaria I dealt with the coin lots that were unsuitable for being scanned…

There was then a mixture of items to finish the day…

FRIDAY

Some of the last lots in the April auction (this Wednesday in Norwich) were located, and there was some interesting stuff for the May auction to image as well. I start with some of those April lots…

Now for some of the lots for the May auction that I imaged today…

 

Heritage Open Day 2: King Street

The second post in my series devoted to Heritage Open Day – this one covers King Street, starting from the Tuesday Market Place end and finishing at the Custom House.

INTRODUCTION

This is the second post in my Heritage Open Day series, and takes in King Street, virtually every building alon which had opened its doors for the occasion.

BEHIND THE ARTS CENTRE

There was some remarkable stuff on display between King Street and the river, accessible from two directions.

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Rachael, one of my companions for the day looking closely at this curio.
Rachael, one of my companions for the day looking closely at this curio.

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WHEN TWO BECAME ONE

The premises of Kenneth Bush solicitors does indeed consist of two buildings that were joined together to become one. It also had fine garden, in which stall selling homemade cakes and biscuits.

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A CONCEALED TREASURE

When you first appoach them, the premises of Metcalfe, Copeman & Pettefar don’t look like they are going to be massively impressive, but you soon discover that on the inside you are looking at a Norman building…

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The attic, not accessible, but those beams are very impressive from below.
The attic, not accessible, but those beams are very impressive from below.

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This mirror was working rather  too effectively - you get the photographer as well the photograph!
This mirror was working rather too effectively – you get the photographer as well the photograph!

This view is not pretty - I include only because it is Baker Lane car park, and just out of sight to the top right as you look is a set of iron stairs which lead up to an intermediate level outside space up from which a spiral iron staircase leads to my own outside space.
This view is not pretty – I include only because it is Baker Lane car park, and just out of sight to the top right as you look is a set of iron stairs which lead up to an intermediate level outside space up from which a spiral iron staircase leads to my own outside space.

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INSIDE THE ICON

The ground floor of the Custom House serves as King’s Lynn’s principal tourist information office, but beyond that there is a mini museum, which was accessible that day, and as our next planned activity was watching a Napoleonic era militia in action nearby we decided to have a look to fill the last few moments before that started. Custom House marks the end of King Street, after crossing the lower Purfleet the road bifurcates, one fork becoming King Staithe Square and then the quayside and the other Queen Street which feeds in to the Saturday Market Place. Here are some final pics from the Custom House…

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I had to darken this considerably to get the text to stand out.
I had to darken this considerably to get the text to stand out.

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It isn't only Lord's that has a Long Room! (I concede that this one is not quite so impressive as theirs!)
It isn’t only Lord’s that has a Long Room! (I concede that this one is not quite so impressive as theirs!)

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Walter Dexter's painting of the Custom House in his day. Later for comparison there is a photograph taken by me on September 6th 2015.
Walter Dexter’s painting of the Custom House in his day. Later for comparison there is a photograph taken by me on September 6th 2015.

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Banknotes Press Release

Before I get into the main meat of this blog, here is an important and interesting piece from Tom Pride, political blogger and satirist.

Given that banknotes played a starring role in James and Sons last auction on March 26th, and that those notes were part of a very large collection, the second and third parts of which will be sold on April 29th and May 27th, it was inevitable that a press release focussing on banknotes would be required, and yesterday was the day I sent it out. The official post on the James and Sons website can be viewed by clicking here and has already been widely shared on twitter. Meantime, here is the press release itself in both word and jpg form…

Banknotes Reach High Prices at Norwich Auction

This is the press release in jpg form.
This is the press release in jpg form.

Also yesterday I had to produce some images of a new donation for the Great Charity Centenary Auction, some of which I now share…

These five shots are of the same item, in two different settings and with various degrees of editing.
These five shots are of the same item, in two different settings and with various degrees of editing.

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Also yesterday I dealt with some of the very few items for the April auction that have yet to be imaged. A full catalogue for this auction is available for viewing by clicking here. Here are the highlights from the lots I imaged yesterday…

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A Difficult Day at Work

I spent today imaging items for a Timed Bid auction which will go live on Monday (check out http://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/search-filter/auction-catalogues?AuctionType=3 at that time). I managed to get everything I needed to do done in spite of the fact that my work computer was functioning at about the same level as the West Indies batting had been when I listened to commentary from the cricket world cup before setting off for work!

The items covered a variety of categories. This set of Royal Doulton plates was the very first lot I imaged today…

??????????While these could appeal either to pottery enthusiasts or lovers of railwayana, they were beaten for breadth of appeal by lot 2085, which has stamps, postal history, medals and art (at least) covered…

?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ?????????? ??????????This French medallion (lot 1502) came out well…

??????????I finish this eclectic selection of images with some stamp album lots where I decided rather than photographing whole pages to focus on smaller quantities of stamps…

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