That London


The wife’s rubber stamped my proposed trip to London, and so has the dog. My brother whose dying for a bit of company ( yes even mine ) is quite excited at the visit and so am I. I’ll sleep on his living room floor in front of his wood burning fire. He’s offered to take me out for a meal on the Friday night; some Hare-Krishna vegetarian option not far from Soho.

Last time I got down there I had a swell time ( as they say in the States ) and I came back with some pleasing images. Looking back at them they’re not much different to my usual stuff but there’s nothing like a change of scenery to sharpen the visual senses. Make you open your eyes wider. I find in London, street photography to be easier. People tend to keep themselves to themselves and there’s a lot of subject matter to go at. Everyone is stranger. I think  a lot of my images capture the shear mundane nature of life. People not doing very much. Standing around looking dazed and confused. There’s no decisive moments. There’s no surreal juxtapositions.

My list of things to take with me. I’m going in the car.

  1. Sleeping bag, self inflating air mat and pillow .
  2. Toothbrush
  3. Clean pair of pants. My Calvin Kleins, very comfortable. A man needs to be well housed down there.
  4. Clean pair of socks with good soul cushioning. If it aint got soul !
  5. One pair of jeans. Not sure about these. I want to blend in but if the weather gets shit then I’d be better off with these ……….. even though I might look like I’m going up a mountain than heading off down Brick Lane !
  6. One pair of Berghaus walking trousers – better than jeans if it rains ( see above )
  7. Walking shoes – I’m gonna be doing some serious walking. My shoes of choice are my Brasher walking shoes. Very comfortable and Goretex waterproof. Don’t look out of place in the city either.
  8. Vest
  9. Long sleeve t-shirt
  10. My Rohan micro-grid fleece. Black, light and incredibly warm for it’s thickness
  11. Berghaus mountain jacket. London can be a swine to dress for. One minute you can be freezing on the street  and the next you can be sweating buckets on the underground. It’s filthy place as well.
  12. Fleece hat. Normally wear a cap but as its winter.
  13. Buffy – a hooped peice of stretchy cloth you can do all sorts of things with but I mainly wear around my neck to keep it warm. It can also help as an impromptu lens cleaner.
  14. Gloves and fingerless gloves. Need to keep that shutter finger free.
  15. Money and credit card. London leaches money out of ya. It can be a miserable place without cash.
  16. Camera: Nikon D300 and 18 – 70 mm zoom lens. I wish I’d been able to afford a full frame if only because the lens mm calculation thing confuses the hell out of me.
  17. Camera:  Lumix GF2
  18. Camera bag
  19. Spare batteries, lens cloth etc.
  20. Notebook and pen.
  21. Wet wipes. There’s nothing worse than having to find some skanky toilet in the centre of London that’s out of roll and soap. I usually make my way to the National Gallery or some similar institution where the toilets are cleaned regularly. The art aint bad either.
  22. Two bags of crisps.
  23. Two milky ways
  24. One jar of marmalade ( sent by my Mum to give to my brother)

That should do it. Even so there’s probably something I’ve forgotten.

I’ve not decided on an itinerary, but I’ll get up with my brother, toast,  coffee and train into the centre from his place in the suburbs. From the train station I’ll just walk and take and see where I end up.