Villas

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I’d gone to Barcelona expecting to see but not particularly admire Gaudí (all the mosaics! why the bulging lines?), but of course I was blown away.

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I’m still not sure I can keep up with the reverential tone of the audio guides at La Predrera and Casa Battlo and their sheer excitement about spines of mystic creatures, but I do like the imagination mixed with practicality in these spaces.

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A tiled courtyard where the colour of the tiles graduated from cream to dark blue to respond to the sunlight and window sizes change floor by floor to filter out the fierce summer light.

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A ventilation system copied from the gills of fish, or deliberations of different zones by using different flooring.

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Even the roofs and terraces were calming rather than creepy when you’re in them, and the facade of Casa Battlo is really mesmerising – even if not every visitor is that interested in them!

All photos November 2018.

Familiar comforts

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Barcelona, November 2018. Of course I feel comfortable here – these 19th century neighbourhoods were literally made for people like me to walk around and buy a cake before going back home to our comfortable apartments. It’s the same reason I enjoy Berlin or recognise certain neighbourhoods in London. Mental familiarity plus beauty. I wonder how others experience these streets.

Blue rays

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Baltic herring market in Helsinki as shot for FARE magazine; irises by Ohara Koson; photo by @poshpedlar

At this time of year I always think of Wilfred Owen’s poems, that we studied in school, and that refer to the air growing bluer as dusk falls.

Shoreditch

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One of the (many) suspects for Jack the Ripper, and also a rather odd man who changed his name in his 60s, Sickert is probably best known for his sketches and paintings of 1890s and 1900s London. This is a snippet of the orchestra pit at “The London, Shoreditch”, long before the hipsters moved in.