Aeolistic


The last dregs of summer

Recently, my body has been going to great lengths to tell me I’m burning out. I decided to use my day off yesterday to go out with my camera, and I feel much better for it. I walk when I need to think and process and de-stress, and yesterday that was just what I needed. I walked from Camden to the South Bank via Holborn and Waterloo Bridge, then home again via Blackfriars Bridge and Chancery Lane. It was such a beautiful day yesterday and I challenged myself to use only my 50mm prime lens, because I never use it. I think I did alright and it’s always good to nudge myself out of my comfort zone every now and then.



Larks in the park
June 7, 2010, 12:36 am
Filed under: City, friends | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Photos from messing around in Regent’s Park on bank holiday Monday. After a lunch of Indonesian cuisine and gelato from Scoop, Bethany and I met up with a few of my friends in Camden and we went and had some drinks in the park. Look how earthy and tree-loving they are.

I’m off to Kenya tomorrow night. I hope that when I get back, life takes on a slower pace. I miss having time to spend doing nothing – this week has been quite crazy in a number of ways and looking back at these photos is making me pine for the time when I had more opportunities to be silly in parks and other places. Won’t complain – Kenya awaits.



KBAI!
May 23, 2010, 6:13 pm
Filed under: City, Life, UK | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Having spent much of the weekend packing and sorting through my belongings, I haven’t had much of a chance to say goodbye to Richmond. I move out next weekend but have to get everything ready in advance because I’m working full-time. These photos are from last Sunday, when my friend Sam and I walked all the way along from Richmond to Kingston, and then wandered back to Richmond in time for sunset. I’ll miss the 45-minute walk home from Richmond – the perfect opportunity to let off steam at the end of a long day. For some reason, I doubt Camden will be as picturesque as Richmond, but it will certainly be an easier commute without the dreaded 65 bus and gridlocked narrow roads in the mornings.

Now then, now then. Off to continue wading through my masses of things. This week is going to be busy and exhausting, but I have nothing to complain about so I hope I can keep a smile on my face despite the inevitable tiredness!



By the river

(I stood and watched this coot for a minute as it struggled against the current)

Having acquired a new job (yay!), now comes the flat hunt. Inevitably, as I search for somewhere else to live, I become nostalgic for Richmond and all its prettiness. Richmond has treated me well for the past 6 months. It’s quaint and photogenic. It was always going to be a difficult transition for a girl from Croydon to move to Richmond, but it has been much better than it could have been. I guess my accent – honed through seven reluctant years at a private school – helps me to blend in, and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to live in such a beautiful area.

The real difficulty I have living here is the microcosmic nature of it all. The wealthy and the middle class have found a haven in Richmond, and here they do not have to confront the real struggles that exist within London. There are hardly any homeless people to be seen here. The streets are impeccably clean. The crime rate is one of the lowest across the country. Left-leaning as I am, I am always taken aback as I walk through Richmond and Petersham on my way home by the saturation of front gardens with placards emblazoned with Zac Goldsmith’s face. These houses vote Conservative. These houses want to safeguard their wealth and protect the interests of the island. It’s a point of view I’ve never been able to understand, no matter how hard I try.

I love to look outwards. I love meeting new people and learning things about them. I love experiencing new things and trying to gain new perspectives. I’ve never been a part of one particular group over another; I have always been a part of different groups simultaneously. Perhaps, because of this, I have never felt threatened in the same way. Even if some of my interests are not being catered for, others inevitably are. My identity is shaped by a variety of factors: being a Londoner, being a child of first generation immigrants, being of mixed race, being British, being Irish, being Indonesian, being European, being Asian, being a woman, being a young person, coming from a deprived area, going to school in a rich area, being a university graduate, being a native English speaker, being bilingual, coming from a left-leaning family, being supported by the welfare state during my childhood.

Having these (sometimes conflicting) factors to consider means I don’t need to imagine things from the perspective of others. I, and many like me, see things from a range of different perspectives and we are constantly code-switching. I have made such a transition from my childhood that I have no tradition to safeguard – my life is changing all the time, though the roots of it never change. I have no island to protect because my island is constantly expanding – not just in an economic sense, but in a sense of an increasing wealth of experiences. With these expanding horizons, I find it difficult to understand those who are staunch in their commitment to conserving the status quo.