Taken at Barnes Pond, Barnes, South West London
'We're having a heatwave, a tropical heatwave' Irving Berlin
The weather has been transformed this week from below average summer weather to the hottest day in July ever recorded. Living in London when the weather is boiling is not as enjoyable as being in the country. There's so little air, it seems everyone and everything is sticky and sweaty. This is the only time in the year I yearn for a swimming pool or even a garden sprinkler to cool me down. During my primary school years, I had a game with my next door neighbours called school showers. We'd come home from school and, without changing into swimming costumes, would be drenched from head to foot with a hose or a watering can wielded by their mum. And it felt so good! On Wednesday, the hottest day since records began, we went out to Barnes Green to enjoy the unusual weather. All the world had obviously had the same idea as there were people all over the place, sunbathing, pic-nicking or relaxing in the unexpectedly warm sun! I took this photo of the Damselfly on the Pond. It is a flighty creature so I was pleased to get this still picture. He or She had obviously had the same idea as the humans around the Pond as it was chilling attached to this leaf!
Taken in Richmond Park, South West London
'A Bicycle Made For Two'
Last Sunday, we made a jaunt to nearby Richmond Park to enjoy a breath of fresh air. Richmond Park is like a Jigsaw puzzle, as there are so many varied segments that make up the whole. Although I have visited many times over the years, I still feel like there are hidden corners that I have yet to discover. You can explore woodland gardens with flowing streams and sheltering trees in the Isabella Plantation. Walk out on to blasted grassland with nothing but a dome of sky on the top of one of the hills. Or quietly watch a herd of deer and their young frolic under the ancient oaks. My favourite way to enjoy the Parks is on two wheels, as you can feel the wind on your cheeks while having a reel of beautiful scenes going past to enjoy. On this visit, we hired a tandem between three of us and took turns in riding it. It was my first time riding a bicycle made for two but it was immense fun. Once you have the knack of riding as one, you can enjoy all that the Park has to offer. I took this picture whilst I was walking behind the tandem. Everything seemed to be bursting into life with bright green bracken and baby butterflies.
Taken in Battersea, Central London
'Moon over Battersea'
For the last couple of weeks, we have been waiting for a clear night to film for our Edinburgh show, English Cabaret Hour, which we are currently in the process of putting together. Every night has been overcast which can make for dull photos. Finally on Tuesday, the weather was sunny, making the scene colourful enough to get the footage we wanted. We travelled into Vauxhall as the subject of the footage is the many empty buildings by the river. It was very dramatic as the sun sent shafts of light through the clouds, throwing buildings into shadow. We stood on Lambeth Bridge with wind battering our faces. It was disconcerting to see so many new buildings and cranes cluttering the sky line. We walked through the deserted pavements among the flats and towards high rise building sites of Battersea. On the way back, it was stark to see the sheer number of empty flats with no lights on. I took this in the direction of Albert Bridge. As the light was beginning to dim in the sky, the cranes were silhouetted against it as were the empty buildings. I took copious pictures of this as I was delighted by the moon, sunset and the lit bridge all in one shot. It's a pity there is no one living there to enjoy and revel in it.
Taken at the Old Vic Theatre, The Cut, London
'Theatre as an escape'
Amid the bustle of London where the world can sometimes feel too much, there is an escape in the form of theatres. You can escape all your worries and take a trip into the unknown. Buy a ticket at the box office and you have a pass into an alternative universe, populated by characters you have never met and places you have never seen. Stow your bag under your seat and get comfortable for your trip to the land of your choosing. In this digital age of smart phones and gadgets, it is even more important than ever to keep theatre alive for younger people as the theatre audience population is getting older. This may in part due to the high ticket prices but I also think that the younger generation haven't been told how to walk into a box office. As I well know, it can be a daunting prospect. The Old Vic has a brilliant scheme which allows young people to come for £12 in a variety of places in the auditorium. We need more people to know about it so more people can experience the spine tingling pleasure of watching a live performance. I find going to the theatre like Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one. I relish each scene change, song and spontaneous moment and then come out feeling refreshed and full of new ideas. So, suck it up, go and buy a ticket! You won't regret it!