| Photo Diary | Lake Life

A little while ago, we escaped to live deep in a forest of Finland for a little while. My aunt and uncle have a wonderful home beside a crystal clear lake, and there, we filled ourselves with happy days and sparkling air, amid a soothing stillness that felt almost dreamlike.

We experienced the ritual of Finnish sauna and can confirm that plunging our heated bodies into fridge-like waters is exhilaration personified.

Our lake like moments felt good.

Good for our bodies. Good for our minds. Good for our soul. Finnish people really enjoy the abundance of nature they have on their doorsteps. We have a lot of respect for that.

Autumn was inching in as we left Finland and though the days were getting cooler, we left refreshed and with the warm glow of time well spent, in good company and in the midst of beautiful nature.

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| Life | DSCO Moments

DSCO (made by the awesome VSCO people) is my newest fixation. It's a bit magic. It turns every moments into smile inducing GIFS. Simple to use and the results are so satisfying. 

I have an instant like for things that encourage us to slow down and appreciate the quiet moments in life (like when we made the sun dance through a jug of water). These are more precious than we know.

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| Explore | Hidden Haven

I forgot that I was in London for a few moments. 

Eyes squinting from the blinding sun, birdsong cascading through the air and the sight of the most charming and unexpectedly cute café that I've come across in (just about) Zone 2. The heat was rising in waves from the walkway, distorting the imposing tower blocks in the distance, and the toddler and I were glad for the balmy respite we found in the Woodberry Wetlands.

Woodberry Wetlands opened to the public for the first time in 200 years in May this year. Its history is one that reflects the social evolution of London and if you are interested, you can read about it HERE.

Any extra bit of green space that is accessible to the public gets my thumbs up and as much as I enjoyed our day out here and am looking forward to returning with Hiro (and a better camera. Using an iPhone while pushing a buggy is never as great as I wish it to be), something in the back of my mind distracts me from the placid beauty of the wetlands.

Woodberry Down....Woodberry Down......

Yeah. I remember. I remember THIS story. 

That once notorious and run-down estate (so much so, that it was used as a stand-in location for Warsaw's wartime ghettos in Schindler's List) comes to mind and with it a rush of mixed emotions.

The Guardian reported that by 2031, around 2,000 council/former council homes will have been demolished and replaced with more than 5,500 units on the estate.  Good, perhaps for London's housing crisis yet I cannot help my inner voice screaming 'SOCIAL CLEANSING!!' We all know that London has gone beyond gentrifying traditionally low-income areas. Affordable homes developers promise are actually speculative investments for the wealthy and so not really homes at all. We need homes.  The sad thing is that Woodberry Down’s residents were initially told that this regeneration was for them. 

Like I said, I am looking forward to returning to the wetlands. This time, I will try to focus more on the achievements for nature.....I will try!

| Links For The Curious |

Woodberry Wetlands Website

Municipal Dreams' writes about the Woodberry Down Estate.

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| Explore | The Hidden Park

Most Londoners don't seem to know that the Thames Barrier has its own park. Opened to the public in 2000, it lies on the north bank of the Thames with a commanding view of, yep you guessed it: the Thames Barrier. The Park was designed by Parisian landscape architect Alain Provost and London based architects Patel Taylor. It included some ambitious and dramatic ideas such as a trench of undulating hedges that lead up to a Pavilion of Remembrance, dancing water fountains and of course an impressive view of the Flood Barrier.

The site has a toxic past, quite literally. An armaments factory, tarmac plant, chemical and dye works once spouted and spewed their pollutants into the land here before they were cleared for the Thames Barrier construction site. Decontaminating the land before it could be transformed into what we see today must have been a colossal challenge.

Years have come and gone and the once manicured park had begun to shrug off its designers' intentions. Interesting isn't it? How a designer's concept and best intentions are only ever as good as how they are maintained? Interesting how a design and intention can be altered entirely by the passage of time and how people interact with it?


So here is the reality of the Thames Barrier Park as we saw it on our recent visit.

Located right beside Pontoon Dock DLR station, the park is in a neglected section of the Docklands that is now undergoing a surge of regeneration. 

The once finely trimmed hedges are now a little dishevelled and the wooden decked areas are splintered and broken in parts. The air is different here too, I can't put my finger on it but I know for sure that it doesn't have that laid back feel you get in London's more famous parks. Guess what? We can like it just as it is. The view that it is named after, the feat of engineering that is the mighty Thames Barrier is still the most prominent sight. However, the view it has of the once magnificent abandoned Millennium Mills is poignant. 

The former flour mill closed down in 1992 and has since fallen deeper into a state of dereliction. You can read about its history HERE. Millennium Mills is known to every urban explorer in London for sure. Location scouts and film-makers have also had the epically proportioned building on their lists for decades. It's been the setting for Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket and Terry Gilliam's Brazil to name but a few films.

The newspapers say that £3.2 BILLION is being pumped into the regenerating the area. Whilst construction sites dominate the skyline, so much remains still derelict.

|For the curious|

An Urbex perspective of the Millennium Mills

Millenium Mills in Arctic Monkey's bonkers video.

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Collecting Colour, Pattern + Texture.

This fascination I've developed for colours, patterns and textures has become a strange sort of mania and it has altered how I see and engage with my surroundings, mundane or not. These days, it is second nature to stop and take photo of things that have most people scratching their heads over as they watch me snap away in awe.

I am obsessed, more than obsessed with colours, patterns and textures that appear in my everyday life. 

Corrugated shutters just the right degree of rusty....

THAT sun bleached fence against THAT crumbling wall....

The happy accidental geometric shapes a shadow casts.....

The almost perfect greenish-bluish-greyish door...... 


Walking anywhere with me must be such a trial. Eyes scanning, taking in everything, camera twitching, always playing catch up because certain details are far too irresistible to leave un-captured (they might get 'fixed' or removed by the next day!). 

The trouble, (if you wish to call it one), is that once your mind and eyes train themselves to enjoy these often overlooked details....Something magical happens. A connection is made and you just won't stop finding the wonder in the seemingly banal and mundane.

Which is why I find myself with a ginormous, albeit disorganised archive of images. Some find their way onto Instagram where they catch the attention of fellow colour, texture, pattern obsessives. This would explain the influx of requests we receive from design/art students and the occasional studio to use images. We never mind. We like being asked. So long as we are credited - it's all good!

Most of my collection just gets lost on my hard-drive. I thought about putting them on the blog and while I may do this ocassionally, the archive is so huge that I am certain it would become tiresome for people less into this kind of preoccupation. Then I came across the hugely inspiring PATTERNITY whose manifesto reverberated across my pounding heart:

"Patterns are something we come across every day. 
We wear them, we walk over them, we even eat, drink and think them – we always have and we always will – but it’s unlikely they demand too much of our attention…
At the heart of everything we do at PATTERNITY lies several fundamental thoughts:
  • Can the way we look at the smaller details enhance our understanding of the bigger picture?
  • If we visualise the unseen, can it drive forward innovation?
  • Does being more mindful make us happier and healthier?
  • Can challenging our perception of the everyday positively affect the world around us?"

Apply the manifesto to colour and texture and....I can no longer feel satisfied with decanting my photos into a sightless void. So I've spruced up my abandoned TUMBLR and have dedicated it to my obsession. 

I am doing this mainly for my own satisfaction.  When I imagine a digital catalogue of all my collected images neatly labeled so I can flit from one theme to another - well I get all giddy with smiles. That said, I would be just as happy if it became a resource of inspiration and curiosity to others. I hope that it might serve as a nudge to mindfulness which encourages change in the way we see things. Because by sharpening our awareness of the vast details in our everyday surroundings, we can only enrich our lives on so many levels.

You can access my TUMBLR from the menu just below the homepage or here: WORSHIPBLUES' COLOUR, PATTERN & TEXTURE REPOSITORY 

Thank you so much for looking! 

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| Night Lights | Yick Fat Sights

Once upon a time, Kowloon's Walled City imposed itself on Hong Kong's skyline. A fascinating vertical and pretty much lawless slum that blighted daylight and enclosed a host of dubious activities. It was eventually decanted and demolished and today a park remains where it once stood.

The Yick Fat building is reminiscent of the Walled City without the controversy and illegality. Dense, steep and vertiginous. It is on all accounts, a sight to behold.

Hiro managed to visit the area one night. The skyward views are staggering.

Hiro says;

"I really like seeing the random patterns of occupancy in these residential towers. The Yick Fat building is like nothing I've seen before. I wish I had the chance to revisit by daylight".

| How to find The Yick Fat Building |

Find Yau Man Street and head down the alley towards Quarry Bay Street.

| Links For The Curious |

Fascinating film on YouTube documenting Kowloon's Wall City. 

What the Yick Fat Building looks like by day.

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