All change on Upper Richmond Road

There really is a remarkable amount of construction going on in London at the moment.

Of course, the tallest buildings get the headlines - the Shard, Leadenhall building, 20 Fenchurch Street and so on. But there are cranes over suburbia, too: the housing shortage means seemingly every last derelict or obsolete building or bit of brownfield land is the site of a mid-rise "mixed-use" development.

This is well encapsulated by a third-of-a-mile stretch of the Upper Richmond Road (South Circular) between Putney High Street (for Putney Station) and East Putney Station. I take a look at what's being knocked down, what will soon rise in its place, and what my backseat-driver opinion of it all is.

Putney Plaza demolition

Azure Window, Dwejra Bay and Gozo's wonder coast

Gozo has some amazing coast.

Most famously, Dwejra Bay, with Fungus Rock and the Azure Window, Blue Hole and Inland Sea.

Divers in the Blue Hole, Azure Window

Around Gozo

Xewkiji church dome in the distance, Gozo.

Xewkija dome from Ġgantija

On the buses, part 2: Coast of Malta

I'll write text about the coast of Malta, someday

Dingli cliffs and radar station

Valletta

This was the Valletta I set out for -- a city glowing warmly in the Mediterranean sun.

It was not the Valletta I flew into.

That was a grey, rainy place. It was something of a massive disappointment.

The winter of 12/13 in London seemed to last six months, bitterly freezing temperatures lasting well into what should notionally have been 'spring'. I was desperate for respite, not just for warmer temperatures but clearer skies, and the unbeatable feel of sunshine on skin.

And annoyingly enough, spring had finally broken out in the days before I left. And here I was, paying a lot of money to fly back into dreary drizzly dreck? Noooo!

Valletta from Upper Barrakka Gardens

Richmond, Easter Monday

I hadn't made any plans for Easter weekend, and without plans, I tend to procrastinate. So it was that it was already late afternoon by the time I eventually spurred myself out of the house, and with little time before the sun set, I opted for a nearby reliable favourite place to stroll: Richmond.

It didn't let me down, with a mix of classic views delivering as expected, and a few happy new chance sights too.

Richmond Canoe Club

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