Thursday, 5 January 2012

The Dark Side of the Viaduct




Not being at work this week, I've been setting up little adventures for myself. Today, after I had dropped my daughter off to catch her bus to college at 07:50, I headed straight on up the motorway for St. Catherine's Hill and the Hockley Viaduct. I wanted to see what the place would look like in an early morning light, rather than the customary late afternoon light. It was still dark and it was raining, but I like being outdoors at times and in weathers when others usually are not and, besides, the chances were that it would clear up as it got light.

It didn't; at least not straight away. In fact, it got worse. Halfway up the south end of the hill near the viaduct, overlooking the motorway cutting, I had to shelter in the trees from heavy rain driven horizontally by a very strong, gusting westerly wind. The trees were creaking and rattling so much it sounded like some weird musical performance was taking place around me. But it blew over, and around 09:00 the sun came up over Twyford Down, and there was a beautiful strong south-easterly light for about an hour. I went back down the hill and photographed "the dark side of the viaduct" for a bit.

Then it rained again, and I drove home for a nice hot cup of tea.





14 comments:

Bronislaus Janulis said...

Aaahhh, but the question is, did you use your fancy new phone?

And did you wear your waterproof?

Adventures are all well and good, but one must stay dry.

Mike C. said...

Bron,

No, and yes, respectively! Though I forgot to put my waterproof leggings in my backpack, for once, so had very wet legs...

I think waterproof leggings combined with decent boots are brilliant -- you can tolerate almost any conditions if your legs and feet are not getting cold and wet. Except in very cold conditions, I usually wear wellingtons (fashion note: I like the black "Argyll" style with the red band at the top, and would rather have wet feet than wear green ones).

Mike

Bronislaus Janulis said...

Gore-tex or waxed cotton?

I'm a fan of Gore-Tex, though I do think wool is better than the poly fleeces.

Leggings? Gaiters?

Kent Wiley said...

Yeah, green Wellies... Can you give us a read on the "type" who wears them?

Nice pix, BTW.

Kent Wiley said...

Oh, the 3rd & 4th photos don't link to larger versions. There seems to be a link in place, but nothing is referenced when pointing at them.

Mike C. said...

Bron,

I have both, prefer the waxed cotton, but they're too bulky to roll up in a backpack. I've never felt the need for gaiters, though I can imagine they're a help in some conditions.

Kent,

Thanks for the heads-up on the images, I'll investigate. Green wellies *used* to be identified with the upper-class huntin' and shootin' set (ditto Barbour jackets) but now everyone wears them -- it's actually harder to find decent black wellies. I just think they look ridiculous...

Mike

Gavin McL said...

Photo 2 - I do like that yellow sun on the red brick. The contrast with the dark tangled tree is good.

On the topic of class based outdoor attire. I worked for awhile in a derelict shipyard in Jarrow on the Tyne. (Those not familiar with British labour history should google the Jarrow Crusade or March) The main employer in the area was Barbour producer of every toffs favourite waxed jacket. The irony

Mike C. said...

Gavin,

Yes, there is something special about that second one -- I printed it large and have been contemplating it all week.

It's curious how quickly posh brands can plunge down-market, e.g. LaCoste, Calvin Klein and that horrible beige Burberry check. N.B. Barbour have a distinguished alternative history as scramble biker's wear.

Mike

Gavin McL said...

And working class brands move the other way.
The young Italians in our office often wear Belstaff. That used to be confined to sensible motorcyclists who didn't want to splash out on something fancy.
I once worked on an American pipelay barge and on arrival was kitted out in slightly oversized Carthart work wear. On my return to the "beach" I soon put it out despite its praticality as it took up so much room. About a year later I spotted a Carthart boutique in the West End. The were charging a weeks wages for the outfit I had thrown out. Never come to me for fashion advice!
Gavin

Mike C. said...

Gavin,

Ah, yes, brands... That's a whole new post. I am so resistant to wearing "branded" clothing that it has become increasingly difficult to find new clothes. I still have the old-fashioned idea that if I am to be a walking advert then I should be getting those items free, not paying a premium for them...

Mike

Gavin McL said...

You need uniqlo.

Though a quick check on their site shows that most of their stores are in SW London.
Good quality, no label/logo at reasonable prices.
Though the sizing is a bit "small" as they are Japanese.

Mike C. said...

Gavin,

Not heard of them before. I must admit, I find the whole business of buying clothes deeply tedious, and tend to wear the same few "outfits" (i.e. combinable items which happen to get washed at the same time) day in day out for both work & leisure (but not sleeping). Hey, it's a look (just not a good one, as my daughter would say).

I also balk as much at paying silly low prices for clothes made by virtual slave labour out East somewhere, as I do at paying a premium for "brand" goods, though the Uniqlo prices do look reasonably in the middle.

Mike

Gavin McL said...

Yes - The responsibility of having money - distributing it the best way possible.
Uniqlo do seem to do a reasonable job on the Corporate Responsibility side. but who knows

How's picture 2 coming along?

Gavin

Mike C. said...

No. 2 is holding up well -- I find it's the only real test of a truly solid picture, to print it out in exhibition size, and live with it for a week or two. Number 3 is doing well, too.

Mike