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

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
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