This week’s blog is Ornamental Passions – “Devoted to the unexpected details that help to make life in the city worth living” and often cited as a blog, other interviewees in this series enjoy. From the battle between good and evil carved into Grosvenor Place to the Bishop commemorated on Dirty Dicks, this blog is fulll of gems we could all easily miss.
If you had to describe your blog in less than 15 words how would you do it?
A celebration of the architectural frills and furbelows that liven up London’s streets.
Why did you start blogging?
So I can claim to be a streetwalker when people ask me what I do at vicarage tea parties.
What about London inspires your blog?
Architects and sculptors have been adding wonderful details to London’s buildings for hundreds of years – it is the world’s finest free art gallery.
What’s your favourite find so far to date – and is there anything you’re still hunting for?
I almost cracked up when I focused my telephoto lens on a statue hundreds of feet above Portman Street to discover it was the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I don’t really hunt for things, more cycle around with my eyes open, but identifying some of the sculpture is sometimes frustratingly difficult. I have so far failed to find anything about the line of portrait busts in Mount Street, for example.
What would you advise p eople to do to notice the details in London you do?
Look up – there is a world most people never notice above shop level.
Would you feel more or less connected to London, or missed out on things without your blog?
I have always loved London’s architecture and history, but doing the blog has meant I now carry a camera at all times and record what I see.
How has your blog connected you to another community of bloggers in London? The world?
People all over the world have commented on posts, but obviously it mainly appeals to other London fans.
Tell us about another London blogger you like
Caroline’s Miscellany is great for history and a focus on Deptford, where I lived for a while.
And for some general London chat…Where do you live and why do you love it?
Nowadays I live on the south coast but travel up to London for work about once a week. I used to live in Blackheath and Charlton.
What’s your favourite place in London?
What do you know about London noone else does?
33 Eastcheap, a fairly gruesome Victorian warehouse, is the site of the Boar’s Head Tavern, mentioned by Shakespeare as Falstaff’s local pub. Under an arch in the middle is a small carving of a boar trundling through some shrubbery. It’s little discoveries like this that make researching the blog so rewarding.
Have you ever been sick on the tube?
No, but once or twice it has been a close run thing so I cycle everywhere these days.
Anything else we should know?
There is no rhyme for the word ‘orange’.