Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Highgate Cemetery, London

Note: Please use Chrome to render the photospheres properly. Also, please donot open it on mobile devices - Chrome crashes! Apologies for the same.

The Highgate Cemetery is definitely one of London's hidden gems. It is an enchanting place, with a wonderful juxtaposition of thriving flora upon memorials for the dead.

In the middle of the East Cemetery.

Being one among the "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries consecrated in the 19th century, it is a treasure trove of anecdotes about the Victorian attitude to death. This is a must-visit if you have the time - if only to listen to the wonderful London-centric tales that the volunteer guides weave.

Entering the "Egyptian Avenue" - a depiction of Victorian fascination with discoveries of ancient Egyptian treasures.

Some of my favourite stories include the one about "The Only Dead Elephant in the Fair", an account about the ingenuity of George Wombwell, who's tomb has a realistic majestic lion Nero made out of stone/concrete(?) resting on top of it, and the tale about the many fights of Tom Sayers, whose tomb is guarded by a huge stone mastiff, Lion, who was apparently the chief mourner at his funeral which reportedly attracted over 80,000 people.

An brief introduction to the site - given in front of the tomb of coachman James William Selby, who still holds the coach record of seven hours and fifty minutes for London to Brighton return journey.

The only reason I came by it was because I found out 18 months ago that my most favourite person in this whole wide dimension, Mr Douglas Noel Adams, is buried here. Well, atleast his ashes are. Not that he would care. But I did visit the headstone, and strangely, felt very emotional just being there, looking at all the pens and dolphin dolls balanced on the pale grey rectangular memorial. One comes across many charming stories of names that have become a part of the history.

The Circle of Lebanon - an aesthetically designed group of family vaults supporting a 300 year old Cedar tree.

Do check out for more information.

PS: The reason most of these photospheres are incomplete/crap is because I went there as a part of a 1-hour tour, and we hardly had any time to stop and take photos. That said, the guide did suggest that one could talk to the management and arrange a private photography tour. Do drop me a mail at if you are interested, and we could possibly arrange a proper photowalk :)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Photosphere Test 1 - Ada Salter Garden in Southwark Park, London

Google, being the super awesome entity that it is, has enabled sharing Photoshperes on websites other than G+ and Google Maps. Given that I have been shooting almost exclusively in the Photosphere format over the past few months, and given that nobody sees my pictures anyway, here's my first shot at sharing a P-sphere that I shot last week.

Thanks to +Adam Lasnik for being an awesome guide in discovering the awesome phenomenon that is helping me to better capture the scale of the world around me.

And thanks also to +Thomas Mutton for helping with the fundae for embedding this - given that I have never, ever tried any coding in Java/HTML, or that it has been over 5 years since I entered a line of code, or that I'm simply quite mad, it would have been impossible to get this correct without his advice.

As far as the location is concerned, it is the Ada Salter Garden in Southwark Park, London. More fundae regarding the same below because I'm a lazy bum and don't want to type:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Familiar story?

"Like most colonies, [Belgium] had imposed on [Zaire] a stifling bureaucracy, the sole function of which was to refer decisions upwards to its colonial masters. Focal officials rarely had the power to do things, only to prevent them being done until bribed. So once the colonial masters are removed, the bureaucracy continues to trash around like a headless chicken with nothing to do other than trip itself up, bump into things and, when it can get the firepower, shoot itself in the foot. You can always tell an ex-colony from the the inordinate numbers of people who are able to find employment stopping anybody who has anything to do from doing it."

DNA in "Last Chance to See".