Life Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors Cultural Quarter

Leicester has a Cultural Quarter in the city centre. Where there used to be seedy sex shops, dodgy clubs, dilapidated factories and a bus depot, there is now a gallery, performing arts centre, artists workshops and the Phoenix Cinema showing arty movies.* But the jewel in the crown is the amazing Curve Theatre, designed by Rafael Vinoly. Unlike other theatres, “there is no traditional backstage area. Audiences can enjoy the full theatre making process, peek behind the scenes and maybe even spot an actor or two dashing from the stage to their dressing room or enjoying a coffee. The curved façade is made from 1,192 tonnes of steel and 46000m² of glass.” (Curve website).

Sadly, stringent covid-19 restrictions have prevented the cultural quarter from performing over the past nine months. I walked through the empty streets in the rain this morning, on my way to the open fruit and vegetable market, and took some photographs of doors – what else?

No dog fouling. Or if your dog does foul, pick up its business and dispose of it properly.
This is a door leading to a thin lounge bar, the Exchange.
Alexandra House. I like the carved brickwork around the entrance.
Carron Buildings are about to be redeveloped, in keeping with the Cultural Quarter.
Doorway to a back yard.
In need of further renovation

Leicester is trying to market itself as a vibrant, “green” city. #EscapeTheEveryday poster shows the gateway to St Mary de Castro church, close to Castle Gardens.

*I found an old photograph I took of a newspaper billboard (the Leicester Mercury) drawing attention to the concerns of sex shop owners over the detrimental effects of new the Curve Theatre in 2008.

Life Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors in Colour

With the current lockdown, Tier 4 covid restrictions, there haven’t been many opportunities to take photographs. Here are a few colourful doors from Leicester city centre

And another, less impressive, but leonine, none the less.

Being a “detectorist” is a popular hobby in the UK. This involves using a metal detector to discover metal objects – Roman coins to tin cans. In Leicester, there is a similar fad using a magnet to “fish” for metal objects in the canal or River Soar. Occasionally, the magnet fishers will find armaments from World War 2, such as grenades. There used to be a stash of munitions north of the city, but no one knows how these fell/were dumped into the river. Usually, the magnet fishers just pull out scrap metal.

Life Thursday Doors

Thursday River Doors

The River Soar flows through the City of Leicester. The surrounding area to the north is quite flat and forms a flood plain, the water meadows. The path running alongside the canal was close to being flooded by the excess water from recent rains. There were few doors to be photographed.

A temple dedicated to corrugate iron sheeting.

There were several canal boats moored alongside the path.

There are a pair of doors on the right of the narrow boat, near the name.
This is a tug boat on the canal. It reminds me of a mobile toilet, with a port hole and padlock.
Another metal door.
Long exposure to show the rushing water flowing around the signpost.
Burst its banks
Dessicated blackberries. They look like they have been mummified
Berry in suspended animation, surrounded by lichen-coated branches
Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors Leicester

With lock down and tier 3 restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus, I have had little opportunity to photograph doors. But on a shopping trip to the open market in the city I managed to snap a few pictures with my mobile phone.

I am not sure that this door is still in use. I like the shiny, enamelled bricks (reminds me of a gents public toilet). The carved stone coat of arms above the door doesn’t give any information of the provenance of the building. Something to do with St George, I think.
Anyone for tennis? Again, this door doesn’t look like it is in current use.
And across the road it from the previous door is this royal blue door, with some signs of previous knobs and handles. The fanlight is curved glass. But I found it strange for it to be named “Deuce” (two) with Roman numerals III on either side.
This is my favourite door of this series. British sense of humour.
Thursday Doors Venice Zambia

Thursday Doors Best of 2020

These are a half dozen of my favourite doors from 2020, the year of Covid: Zambia to Norfolk to Venice.

The door to our luxurious honeymoon room in South Luangwa
The door of the container which has been adapted to become a prison cell in Mfuwe
Beach huts on the North Norfolk coast, pretty in pink and purple
Jackdaw – Jackdoor in Venice
Door in the backstreets of Venice
The door of San Marco in Venice

Life Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors Autumn

Second dose of my walk around the local park. Another door.

Fir tree with Christmas lights and a PVC door.

Yes, I know. It is a boring suburban door. Let’s have some more plants.

Hoar frost on the dead grass and fallen leaves

Toilets are vital. They were shut in the first days of the pandemic, but now are open.

Social distancing in the toilet is a given, really.
Anaemic sunlight illuminating the mist in the park
Well wrapped up, with woolly hat, shalwar kameez and parka for a constitutional walk around the park
Life Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors Autumn

The days are getting shorter and colder. But every once in a while, dull, grey clouds are banished by the cool winter sunshine bringing bright blue skies. There had been a frost overnight which was melting by the time I started my walk to the local park.

This is a geranium leaf, dusted with frosticles. I just made that word up.

On my way to the park, I passed some doors – the raison d’etre of this site.

Carriage lamps, drainpipe, mock Tudor, garbage bin.

This door might be black and white, but there is plenty of colour in the park.

Another door belongs to a photographer.

Micro Weddings? Only 15 people can attend during the current Covid-19 crisis

A few more pictures from the park.

Frost turned to dew on the grass

More next week.

Thursday Doors

Thursday Doors 2011 Chicago

With the restrictions of Covid, I have dredged my memory banks to find some interesting doors. These pictures I took almost ten years ago in the Windy City. For all the fans of the television show “ER”. When I was teaching medical students, I would ask them to watch the show for the medical content and I would use it as a teaching aid.

More doors all of which seem to be leaning to the right:

Life Thursday Doors Zambia

Thursday Doors Camera Problem

With the plastic grip attached

Two years ago, I decided to buy a new camera. My trusty Canon 6D has served me well until I tripped over a tramline in Amsterdam. I had the camera around my neck and it got the ground, damaging a dial on the top.

I fixed it myself, but it fell off again, and I lost it. So I bought a replacement and fixed it on with Araldite glue. Unfortunately, this also fixed the dial in one position. I can use the camera, but I decided to buy another.

The Canon is full frame, and heavy, especially when lugging around lenses. So two years ago, on Black Friday I bought a micro 4/3 camera, a Panasonic Lumix G9. This has served me well in my travels (Myanmar, Thailand, Mallorca, Budapest, Venice).

It is supposed to be “tropicalised” to cope with dust, humidity, heat, snakes, etc. However, a few months ago, the blistering heat of Zambia melted the glue of the plastic grip covering the hatch where there SD cards are housed.

The grip has become unglued

I didn’t want to repeat my adhesive disaster, so I asked on line for advice. Panasonic were hunkered down behind Covid-19 proof firewalls, but I eventually got in touch with an authorized repair shop.

To glue the plastic skin back on was going to cost me over $100! I’m not going ahead with it. I can use it as it is, without risk of anything falling off or getting damaged. Grrr.

Life Thursday Doors Zambia

Thursday Doors – Honeymoon

It was so hot that we opened both front windows for the car journey back to Kapani, regardless of the effect the wind would have on our hairdos. When we arrived, we looked at each other and smiled. At times we both thought that the wedding would never take place. But the marriage certificate was safe in a brown envelope on the back seat.

We showered and changed into comfortable clothing suitable for the bush. Andy at Mfuwe Lodge had very generously offered to let us stay there for the first night of our marriage. We had tea, then changed back into our wedding suits for a photoshoot. Ian S took the pictures, by the lagoon and around the lodge, when the light improved. We changed back into bush gear and drove down to the Luangwa River bank for “golden hour” photographs, followed by dinner at the lodge.

Carrying my wife over the threshold

The next morning, Anne went on an early morning safari drive, followed by breakfast in the bush. Afterwards, she had a relaxing massage and pedicure at the Bush Spa, overlooking the lagoon. Meanwhile, I went off to work at health centre and doing a community children’s clinic. I collected Anne in the early afternoon and we drove back to the doctor’s house. Later that afternoon, we held a reception in the bush, at Kalawani Salt Pan, for drinks at sundown, observing social distancing, of course.

Crowned eagle

The following morning, we met Fil at the Park gate at 6am and did some serious birding for three and a half hours in her open Land Rover. We were very lucky to see a pair of crowned eagles at Elephant Loop. We had Fil’s muffins for breakfast at Norman Carr’s memorial in the ebony grove by the river. He set up the first national parks in Zambia (Kafue and South Luangwa in 1960) and built a camp on the east bank of the Luangwa River for tourists at Kapani. This is where I have lived for the past three trips volunteering here. Glenn, the present manager of Time and Tide, offered us a night at Chinzombo, another luxury resort just a few kilometres down the river from Kapani.

Our bedroom at Chinzombo

Many thanks to Andy and Glenn for their generosity, we really appreciated it.

Thursday door – a gap in the canvas door to the bush lavatory, a flush toilet, not a thunderbox.

The term “glamping” – glamorous camping – is a perfect description of Chinzombo. There are just half a dozen chalets, each with their own swimming pool, overlooking the river. One massive tent contains a double bed, armchairs, writing desk and voluminous mosquito netting, the other contains a stand-alone bath, shower, toilet, handbasins and storage area for clothing, with leather straps and pouches in the style of a safari tent a century ago. The walls of the dining area and bar are decorated with fascinating photographs of Norman Carr’s life at Kapani.

The door to our luxury chalet at Chinzombo

After crossing the river in a boat, we had an evening game drive with Arron guiding. He showed us three leopards and a pride of lions. We could have followed the lions as they set off to hunt, but we felt it was better to leave them alone to kill their supper, as ours was waiting back at Chinzombo. We ate on our private deck, beside the pool, with hippos grunting and hyenas wailing in the bush around us. It was a magical, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The following day, I took Anne to visit the Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust, half an hour’s drive away. En route, we stopped off to see a grey crowned crane colony surrounded by mopani forest. Anna and Steve welcomed us but we almost didn’t get to see the education centre as a herd of elephants were already visiting. We looked round the impressive centre when the elephants moved off before taking gin and tonics to the river bank for sundowners, accompanied by baby vervet monkey and two small baboons. Anna and Steve rescue animals and return them to the wild.

My replacement, Dr Zoe, arrived at the end of the week, ending our honeymoon. Four days later, we drove to Lusaka for the flight back to England (and fourteen days of quarantine).