Love Letter to the River


I’m looking for someone to accompany me on a farewell journey along a stretch of the River Thames along the North Greenwich peninsular. Twenty years ago, to me, the breathtaking industrial landscape of giant industrial relics from the last century held the same fascination as medieval castle ruins. A playground for wayward teens away from parents eyes. Within the last decade rock and metal and has been mostly swept away with the luxury property development process continuing at pace along the river front. A kind of a wild west childhood romance is being scrubbed from the sight with the concrete corridors of corrugated iron make way for whom, i’m not sure.

Investors in shoeboxes have decided these fabricated panels are worth more than gold. Don’t get me wrong. I have no dog in the gentry conscience vacation fight. The monument in North Kensington makes all the arguments without a single word.

To be fair, no community has been displaced, the land was there to be used; anyone old enough to remember the all consuming honk from the sugar refinery would salute the passing of that function.

The path had always been well trodden with fishers and joggers filling the fresh air. The night beautiful landscapes from the developer of the past will push through the cracks to be exploited again i’m sure it’ll be very pretty down there once it’s done.

It remains a beautiful afternoons walk for a family down by the river where dad can take a minute to take a breather from parenting and stare through the wire fence at the driving range and imagine the clubs he used to swing.

Before the fence there were anti playgrounds with kids on scramblers with their helmets out.

I just have a yearning to memorialises a ‘Wild West Coast’ before it is reborn. There is a window of time to capture the romantic aesthetic of the architectural changing of the guard, a fond farewell to replace before me what is beyond me.

When is a date not a date?

It occurred to me that, with the naval history of the area, the images yearn for a figurehead, although the lady adorning the bow of the ‘Cutty Sark’ was not so much; ‘Nanny the Witch’, a half naked leader of a coven witnessed dancing around fire in a churchyard, she was probably from ‘East Greenwich’ and I do not feel an obligation to seek that level of authenticity.

It occurred to me that it would make for a romantic afternoon to spend with someone I felt the same way about.

It occurred to me that I do not have that person in my life.

Dilema; I don’t have a date, a model would look like a model and the new buildings are rising by the day.

Solution; My goal is the portrait, the image would be for exhibiting in a gallery. So I suppose, I would only want to photograph someone who would want to be photographed.

If it was a date with a significant other, I suppose I would be with someone who thought that was romantic, only I’m not looking for a date!

Besides, I am no catch! I am 40 years old and have not had a relationship last longer than three years in my life. My longest, most committed relationship has been with alcohol and we are seeing much less of each other these days. I smoke. I pick my nose. Presumably I snore?

On the plus side, no kids, no interest in ‘happy ever after’. A couple of drinks, a handshake and a beautiful photograph is really all I want.