A day by the barrier

As the sun was setting, Hubbie and I were sipping organic lemonade at Summer with Monika on Pitfield Street, enjoying remnants of a balmy early summer evening. ‘We could do it indoor but I also wanna shoot them outside too’, I chipped in. We were then brainstorming how the photo shoot we were planning for my knitwear should be art directed. ‘Yeah, they could look really great against some rugged backdrops’, He mused…

‘Why don’t we go location-hunting tomorrow?’

While finishing our drink, we mulled it over and decided that we were to visit Thames Barrier next day.

The marvel of modern engineering…

Alminium cladding of the piers was gleaming under the midday sun.

Their curve reminded me an ancient creature, ammonite. And brightly coloured gate mechanism resembled a fantastic science-fiction automaton. I shan’t bore you with my descriptions of the technical details of the barrier. If you are interested in them, please read in here.

We had a small picnic at Thames Barrier Park. The park was equipped with well-manicured lawn and an interesting landscaping. The locals seemed to love this family friendly space very much and as a result, it was almost litter less despite the park didn’t have many bins.

Mr.B loved the place too…

He was pottering, sniffing around and blinking in the bright sunshine. One time, he must have found a spot with an irresistible scent. He started to rub his body against it frantically. Oh no, what is it, Mr.B? I hope it’s not too gamy…

The park was very beautiful but we found the place was a little too pretty and sanitised for the backdrop of the photo-shoot. So we decided to investigate the opposite side of the barrier.

Reaching to the other side of the Thames turned out to be a bit of an ordeal. A huge traffic was building up around the roads leading up to Blacknell Tunnel and our progress was agonisingly slow. The sound of air-conditioner working in a full power was deafening and white-hot sunlight was glaring in our faces as we waited patiently in a snail pace traffic.

A view of Thames Barrier from the south side…

The other side, where Thames Barrier Information Centre was located, was much quieter than the park side. There was absolutely no car in the visitor’s parking when we arrived and only a handful of families were having a picnic by the river bank. 

A plant of Tate & Lyle Sugar with a huge ship floating on the river, ready to receive the cargo…

Is it a river bus? We saw some ships did a u-turn and went back up the Thames. However, this vessel carried on down the river…

Hubbie and I admired a view from the information centre as we shared a can of Fanta and a small tab of Pringles…

Beyond the barrier, we could see Canary Wharf and the Millennium Dome under a sky full of amazing looking clouds. The scene was a pure pleasure to behold.

‘They do look great but may not be suitable for our project’, we signed as we spotted a sign stating that any commercial photoshooting without a permission was prohibited within the compound of the barrier or the adjacent park. The barrier looked amazing but it wouldn’t be any use if we couldn’t get closer, would it? We shrugged and headed to the car park.

Our location hunting still goes on. If you have any suggestion, please chip in. It will be much appreciated!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Sun, Glorious Sun!

What a fantastic weekend weather wise it was!
The sun was shining and the wind was warm and gentle, I had to pinch myself just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming!
While my mum’s place, Nagano, was still firmly stuck in the snow & chill (in Nobeyama, they recorded below -20 ℃!), my neighbours were strutting around with vests & shorts. Can this be really right? I was glad that it was no longer grey and damp but also apprehensive about this unpredictable climate…

A morning stroll with Mr.B on Saturday.
He wouldn’t have needed a jumper then…

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Our fry-up at the Shepherdess the Caf.
I sat with my back towards the sun and felt my nape singed slightly…

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Then came Sunday, I met up with Letizia at Embankment and visited South Bank together…

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Well, we were one of those who were not good at taking selfies. The sun was in our faces and we were taking this image almost blind. Plus, it was my bad hair day so a beanie was the must. Well, enough excuses said.

The Thames was teeming with ships laden with tourists…

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The sight was so enticing and tempting as such, we momentarily contemplated if we should hop on one of those river-buses and travel to the Hampton Court or Greenwich.

A leisurely walk along South Bank.
The tide was low then and some people were venturing down to the river bed and exploring through whatever the Thames decided to leave on its shore…

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This guy was busking with his amplifier by his side. The amp was rather hazardously close to the water and made me wonder what would happen if he were zapped…

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Any table in the sun was hard to come by on the day like this and we queued nearly an hour to get ours. However, the sun went behind the high-rise building nearby as soon as we were seated. C’est la vie, huh?
Nevertheless, we shared a delicious bottle of rose and I enjoyed a plate of Linguine ai frutti di mare…

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Is this the arrival of the spring? Highly unlikely. But the day like last weekend reminded us what we should look forward to. And we could hardly wait for the real blooming spring!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Along the Thames…

After the exhibition, Kate and I had a quick bite at Design  Museum’s ground floor cafe.  Toasted Parma ham and mozzarella cheese sandwich. Mmm… tasted great but laden with cholesterol…

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Bye bye, Paul Smith. We enjoyed your show…

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Gorgeous Kate, standing by wind swept Thames. It was a cold day…

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I still hasn’t managed to visit Tower Bridge Exhibition. Oh well, it has to wait until next year…

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HMS Belfast

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It’s another attraction I love to visit but haven’t done it yet. I really must draw up a list of “must visit” during this Christmas.

We saw a very tall Christmas tree at Hay’s Galleria…

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It was very pretty, but alas, the appearance was somehow spoiled by over-zealous fencing…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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