I’ll admit that, when I first began watching construction work, it was just to accompany three little boys who had an insatiable curiosity about how roads were dug up and relaid, and how buildings were put together.
My sons have long since grown into men. I don’t even know if they bother watching diggers any more. But I’m busy gawping at cranes.
Construction has many downsides, one of them being that much-loved buildings may need to be demolished first.
When a crane installed itself outside my flat, I was a tad concerned, as was Mishmish.
But then I had the chance to observe the beauty that is a tower crane at different times of day.
While the crane operator got to know the colour of our pyjamas and what we liked for breakfast, we got to know the crane and the things it picked up.
Eventually, it was time for the tower crane to be dismantled. The operators waved goodbye.
Sad? Not really. There are other cranes. London is full of them, as are other booming cities.
Of course over-development is a worry. But now, when I see a crane on the horizon, I no longer think of it as just a blot on my photo.
It’s hard to capture the loveliness of autumn in words, still less on video. I totally failed to immortalize a magnificent tree that shed most of its leaves over a period of a minute, creating an orange snowstorm. Here’s the tree now.
It being the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, I can at least show you these.
Autumn marks la rentreé, the beginning of the academic year and serious work. I spent many hours here, most of them wondering what the lecturer was talking about.
And what could be more romantic than walking to class or work among the bright fallen leaves?
Watch out for dog turds lurking underfoot, though.
New beginnings are in evidence everywhere, with cranes on the horizon, and buildings popping up all over the place. Alas, fresh starts mean the fall of the old order.
If you were at Newnham College, you may just recognise your old room among the ruins.
The new buildings will be splendid and useful, I know. I trust the people in charge of the change, and I’ve seen detailed plans as well as the architectural model.
But other new starts are less certain, and a hard winter may be on the way.
To take your mind off our crazy world, here’s a two-minute video of the demolition of Strachey.