Well, it seems people did want to see some more of the idiosyncratic photos from London’s snowday, so I’ve put the better ones up gallery-style with comments, including the ones from the original post.

Leaving the flatview from my window

After a busy morning building a snowman in Tabard Gardens and a rather wasted 20 min walk to class, I returned home for my camera. The walkways were new since I left, and I think this was the first morning when I woke up without the rumble of traffic.

The Roebuck on a snowy morning

Ah, that would be The Roebuck, our local pub. It’s apparently historically important as having once been the last pub between London and Canterbury, but I just thought the paint and bricks showed off the snow nicely.

Tabard Gardens

This was what most of my morning looked like. I got up early to get my HIV report sorted and turned in, but then we got that email, so I went out and built a very lifelike snowman in the gardens. When I returned after going to Waterloo, there was no trace of him. Either he was pretty brutally smashed, or he just stood up and walked away.

knotsThis isn’t a great picture, but I took it because of the amazing collection of knots on the tree. Many of the trees here are like that; perhaps it’s from being pruned so regularly.

garden walk

To take my mind off my missing snowboy, I took a few more pictures of the gardens and other people building snowmen.

snowy morning in the park

This a much less populated view of what was going on all around the city. I never got tired of the white roofs and snowy trees, as you will see. This shot particularly recalls my  characterization of the boroughs in snow: white and proper. The city proper is another matter.

Guy's Lecture TheatreThat’s Guy’s Lecture Theatre making the background building look so much like a lego bulldog. It’s on something like the 29th floor of Guy’s Hospital, and there’s only one elevator. Boy, am I glad I don’t have lecture there!

green light to home

Looking down the other side of the Roebuck as I headed out for Westminster, I couldn’t help wondering why the traffic light was green; the road has been blocked off for ages.

Trinity Street

As I left my flat for the second time that morning, I looked back along Trinity Street and noticed the trees.

On seeing the picture, my friend Kevin asked if that was TARDIS in the background. I wastrying to keep my new lodgings under wraps, but you guys are just too keen.

feet!I was just trying to calibrate my camera, but this might give an idea of how deep the snow was: about six inches. My jeans were sopping wet before I’d hit Borough High Street. Totally worth it!

court garden

Along Trinity Street there are two big, walled gardens, and this looks through the bars of the first one. Those guys had a massive snow fort going which you can just barely see. They made the blocks by packing snow in the bottom of a recycling bin. Perhaps fortunately I missed the ensuing snowball fight.

skinny buildingI pass this building a lot, and I’ve always wondered why it’s only one room thick.


This is another everyday sight on Borough Road, and it really opens up in the snow. The single line of footprints was also intriguing.

roofs on Borough Road

next door to the close

As stated, I love roofs,  so I couldn’t pass up taking a close-up of the ones here. So much of the city is built on top of older bits that such arrangements are common, so it’s an architectural dream for someone like me.


The architectural heritage here just really amused me. Again, this is not at all unusual, but see how many centuries you can count. Go on.

life, building, and the eye

This really shows the life that you get in London. Everything is condensed, and something is always being built.

Walrus Snowman

The enterprising barkeeps from the Walrus Social House started the epic walrus after breakfast, and were still going when I happened by. Note the little guy on top.

Walrus and Co.bridge corner

There’s the barkeep and friend, and the nearby corner of the rail bridge. It’s chaotic and a horrible photographic composition, but that’s the way it is in real life, and the way I like it; I don’t think in frames.

long tunnel 1

long, flat tunnel 2I admit the first time I walked under this bridge, I was really intimidated. At the time I had only a sketchy idea of where I was in relation to my flat, it was pitch black out, and I had decided to explore rather than waste time going all the way up around Waterloo and back down. On subsequent visits I’ve been more easily able to enjoy the grungy, rusty beauty of the thing.

Big Ben

It’s clichéd, I know, but it was such a pretty greyscale of a shot that I had to take it.

walking on the Thames

Normally I would never see this many actual Londoners out and about, although there would be about four times as many tourists. It was odd, but I saw very few tourists all day. However, the city was overflowing with kids toting sleds, students texting pictures to their friends, and serious Photographers (the sort that come in two varieties: indie and middle aged) with gigantic zoom lenses and cameras I’d have to work out for weeks to use without a tripod.


It was blizzardy out there, so this was all I could see of Parliament. The Thames isn’t quite at high tide yet, and I can’t help wondering if a flood would stop the MPs.

Brave boat

I know the Thames isn’t too dangerous even when the tide’s coming in, but I laud the captain for going out when the entire rest of the city, including the Underground, had shut down.

Roofs in Westminster

As noted, I really, really like roofs. Around here, there’s just so much depth to them. Which book was it where the strange man kept complaining that nobody ever looked up? Was that Dr. Dolittle?

Cold Shoulder

Here’s Mr. Winston Churchill giving the cold shoulder to an admirer while his comrade chases a pink balloon. Very mature, gentlemen.

Westminster Abbey and St. Margaret's Church

This one I took of the abbey, with trees and the spire of St. Margaret’s conspiring to make it look even more spiky.

Pilgrims' Gate tallHere and below is the Pilgrims’ Gate of Westminster Abbey, surmounted by the famed Rose Window. In truth, I wasn’t entirely happy with either shot, but the subject matter is so gorgeous that I decided to put them both up. It really looks more like a winter palace than anything else, doesn’t it?

Pilgrims' Gate long

by the Pilgrims' Gate

This is the gate just next to the Pilgrims’ Gate. I think those might be the Apostles looking down, but I didn’t count. Anyway, the fact that all of this intricate stonework was done with no modern tools never ceases to awe me.

Brasilmanstoned snowman

These were two of the snowmen who went up outside of Parliament. The first one is my favorite, but the second…well, I’m unlikely to ever see a joint-smoking snowman again, so I’ll go ahead and call him unique. The guitar was impressive.

full AldwychI took a detour through Trafalgar Square and the Waterstone’s bookshop there, which accounts for my good mood the past couple of days. When I surfaced, I headed down the Strand and up to the British Museum (which was closing early as I walked up). I still don’t know what this building is; for a while I thought it was the affiliated with the courts, but I’ve never seen anyone go in or out, whereas the courts usually have someone about. The statues are lit neon at night, though, which is pretty nifty.


Those guys must be cold.

Window on Drury Lane

The Happy Go Lucky Funeral Parlor was shuttered against the snow, but the neighboring restaurant was as green and alight as always.

green window

This window is just up from the restaurant, and I was amused by how green it was despite the snowstorm. The steam from the vent came from a woman cooking just inside the window. Although I would have loved to have gotten a shot contrasting the outside chill and inner warmth, I didn’t think she’d appreciate it, and I settled with capturing the plants.

On Drury Lane

I took this one on my way home from Bloomsbury. The British Museum had closed early because the bus and tube systems were down, so I poked around in the London Review Bookshop before heading back. I pass this place at least once a week and really want to go in, but have just never done it. Restaurants are a two person affair around here.

other side of Aldwych

This is on the eastern side of Aldwych and abuts the Royal Courts of Justice. I loved the delicacy of the scrollwork compared to most everywhere else in the city.

archesRoyal (spiky) Courts of Justice

Looking up is always a good idea, but here you’d miss much of the more interesting architecture if you didn’t.

Royal Courts of Justice again

As a sidenote, the Royal Courts of Justice are really spiky.

St. Paul's statues

By the time I reached St. Paul’s, the world was pretty purple. I don’t know who the statues are, but I see them so often that I should look into that.

St. Paul's steeples

The steeples and dome of St. Paul’s also I see every day, although I have yet to climb the big dome. It’s 500 steps or some such, and apparently the climb is one way, with a separate staircase for descent, so you can’t decide you don’t like heights halfway up.

Victoria braves the stormGlasses help

Neither of these is a great shot, since the storm had started up again, but it was such a Victoria pose. If you look closely, someone placed a pair of specs on the statue. She looks better that way.

cranes and steeples

I admit I’m in love with cranes, so I couldn’t pass this up. It was taken right out front of St. Paul’s.

cafeWith the recurrence of the storm, it was getting really cold out, and my jeans and head were soaked. The waiters and waitresses in the cafe, however, looked toasty. I envied them.

staircase in the plaza

This is further testament to my love of complicated spaces, so bear with me here. This staircase is just off the plaza in front of St. Paul’s. I don’t know where it leads, and probably never will.

high tide

This is a broad view of the image I originally posted, which is below. Usually the fog rolls off the Thames, so it was interesting to see the blurriness reversed.

Southwark Bridge

This is the view from the base of the Millenium footbridge, which itself would probably look very familiar to any physics student. I have a thing for roofs, cranes, bridges, and lamps, it seems (I spared you most of those photos), and this shows off two of those, as well as the high tide Thames.

north bank

Looking back as I began crossing the bridge, I couldn’t help but admire the spacing.

north bank lights

The lights, especially are something I enjoy. I think it’s a combination of the shape and the contrast of blue and gold, which the snow picks up beautifully.

taking pictures of St. Paul's

There were so many people out, and everyone was taking pictures. I think this is the second picture of someone taking pictures for the day. For some reason, although we see these sights daily, I don’t think most people really pay attention to them after a while. Then something like this snow comes along and changes it all.

Tate trees

These trees are just outside the Tate Modern, and have never looked so good as in the snow. On the other side of those bushes is Shakespeare’s Globe, which unfortunately doesn’t open until May. In the meantime, though, the RSC is quartered right next to the Strand Campus, so I can’t complain terribly much. Sorry about the smudge; it was guaranteed that my lens would get wet sooner or later.


Looking from the Tate to the Globe, you see how green the city manages to be despite the snow and despite being to cramped together.

glow tree party

More Tate trees, since they looked blue and it’s the only stand of birches I’ve seen.


There are those cranes again, and the eerily spaceship-looking lights of the gherkin. At low tide, the riverboat dock wouldn’t be visible, since the river has something like a 28′ tide. As it was, though, it looked more cozy than where I was standing.

the Swan 1

The Swan 2

To be honest, I like neither of these shots particularly much because of the glare from my wet lens. The first one was with a flash, and the second without, and they seem two completely different places.

prison walk

If I didn’t walk this so often, it would probably frighten me. As is, I love how preserved this old part of the city is.

Southwark lights

On the way back, I paused by the side of Southwark Cathedral as the snow let up for a few minutes, so I was able to catch a bit of the lights. The snow really does make the courtyard appear completely unlike itself.

The Roebuck on a snowy night

Here I was, finally back home again, after about eight hours of playing in the snow and roaming the city. The next day I was happy, but very, very sore.


12 Responses to “Snowday Gallery”

  1. uber rat Says:

    Glad to see you haven’t been arrested yet. Given your natural tendency to send crowds scrambling to avoid the odors rising from your body like heat waves, I’d of thought they would have kicked you out of the country by now 🙂

    “prison walk” is the best photo of the lot. In black and white it would be nice (send me the jpeg file and I’ll try it).


  2. rhan Says:

    Oh, it’s not that they haven’t tried, but when I told them I was related to you…well, then the US wouldn’t have me back either. Apparently you single-handedly exceeded the country’s toxic emissions quota, so they couldn’t even run the jet. 🙂

    I’ll send you the file, and maybe play around with de-saturating it over spring break.

  3. James Says:

    The building that you thought was affiliated with the courts was used by the BBC World Service.

    Beautiful photographs of London. Superb.

  4. rhan Says:

    Ah, thank you for clearing that up, and for the compliment.

    I should also note that, although I attribute the pose to Victoria, the statue in front of St. Paul’s is actually a heavily-corseted Queen Anne.

  5. Tom Wells Says:

    like the pics, this was last year? I would have loved to have been there then. It snowed a bit this year nothing much though I got some good pics of the courts though.
    The world service building has been re-occupied by BBC Radio (I think) they were up by the langham hotel just off Regent St where that nice round church by Nash is. I walk around with my nose in the air looking at the roofs too I love it. Word of warning though dont trip over anybody – like I did.

  6. rhan Says:

    This was indeed last year, and I in turn wish I were there this year. It’s good to hear that someone else looks up; when the 5:00 black tide rumbles out of the square mile you hardly see anyone look higher than their bus number.

  7. James Says:

    The beauty of those photographs taken near Southwark Bridge always appeals to me. I enjoy looking at those photographs. They are magical.

  8. rhan Says:

    I’m glad you enjoy them so much! That was a magical few days.

  9. Charlotte Says:

    My daughter is living up in London, whilst I’m stuck miles away from her. It was lovely to see what it’s like up there for her, (as she is to feckless, god bless her!, to send me photos herself). Thank you! Also – I really like the composition of the photo of the corner with the rail bridge. x

  10. shinyblackdalek2 Says:

    It has been snowing over the past couple of days, so those scenes probably now look much the same as they did when you took these photographs.

  11. shinyblackdalek2 Says:

    I really love these photos. I often return to look at them. Beautiful.

  12. rhan Says:

    So glad! At some point this winter I may post some of the other pictures from that excursion, as well.

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