September 24, 2004
Last of the summer light

Go to work in the dark. Come back in the dark. Those days are approaching rapidly. The world outside the window is depressing in the winter months. And “Mother Nature” teases us with tantalisingly fleeting moments of summer-like weather this late in September.

The flourescent yellow of the ambulances glow in the strong morning sun. The scratch-graffiti on the windows do their best to obscure the view.

But the sky is blue - and I have to entire upper deck to myself, for now.

Gleaming in the bright early-morning sunlight.
(London Ambulance Service station on bus Route 79)

Click on the media player below for a relatively appropriate musical accompaniment to this posting. It’s encoded at a fairly low bit rate (64kbps stereo) - so should stream OK for most people. Turn up the volume.

It’s a sample of an absolutely stunning and magical arrangement of the opening allegro of La Primavera (Spring) Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”, Op.8 No.1-4 - played by the Belgian Flanders Recorder Quartet. Yes - it’s played on the humble recorder! Those of you who thought that the recorder is a crappy instrument used only for learning music when you were at school will think again when you hear this! (The full CD can be purchased online at Amazon - at a bargain price of only £4.99.)

Posted by jag at September 24, 2004 11:42 PM

Nicely put. September always feels like falling down a hill in slow motion, somehow.

Posted by: Vanessa on September 25, 2004 03:34 PM

I know what you mean.

Posted by: Jag on September 25, 2004 04:32 PM

Vivaldi must have gotten his inspiration for that piece from the bird songs of spring, hearing it played by recorders reminds me alot of the birds I used to hear doing their early morning chirping
in springtime New England.

Posted by: Fritz on September 25, 2004 06:31 PM

Hi Fritz: I think I know what you mean also! The bird-like “bursting” of recorders in that piece make me long for the freshness of the Spring dawn chorus!

Posted by: Jag on September 25, 2004 09:15 PM

you have no idea how much I am enjoying you rblog - especailly the photos - they are making me homesick! (for slough) well ok the UK in general if you find the slough bit far fetched - but there are those who miss that place! please keep pposting photos of london - I used to live in Kensington square - its a beautiful part of london. I was livign there at the height of the BIBA days - and the early 70’s! i am an OLD lady - lol!!!
ps I am going to post in about staion jim - the stuffed dog at sough station- do you know about him and the history behing him? check my blog to see. hugs krissie

Posted by: krissie on September 26, 2004 12:27 PM

Must be early in the morning to have that many motors on station at once.

Either that or they are all broken, and are waiting to be fixed (which is probably closer to the truth).

Posted by: Tom Reynolds on September 26, 2004 04:57 PM

Hi Krissie: As it happens I do know about “Station Jim” - he is still there - in a glass cabinet on Platform 5 - and I see him practically every day! (As this is the platform that trains to Ealing Broadway stop at.) Will check your pages - and will also try taking pic of Station Jim too! Thanks for your feedback - it’s nice to know that Slough is being missed by someone in the world! :-)

Tom: Thank you for your comment! Yes - it was around 6:45am - not sure that they’re waiting to be fixed though - it’s a really busy station - the ambulances career past my house (with lights and sirens) seemingly every five minutes. I think it’s the “Kenton” branch - and is principally a LAS training centre I think - on a road called “The Mall” - which although is in Kingsbury - is technically in Kenton.

Posted by: Jag on September 27, 2004 11:26 AM

6:45 explains it then… Shift changeover is at 07:00, and after a twelve hour night shift Control try to leave you alone for the last half hour (putting off those “I’ve had a cold for the past three weeks” calls). Also there are less manned motors on at nights, at West Ham we have one motor running at that time of the morning (if we are lucky), so all those ambos would be unmanned until 07:00…
…when all of them go out at once, and stay out.

Posted by: Tom Reynolds on September 30, 2004 12:32 AM
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