I just couldn't think of anything to write about.
I've said it before and I’ll say it again, I love London.
I really do.
Barring a three year hiatus, while banished to the UK’s West Midlands, I've worked in London since 1998, and it has never failed to lift me when I've really needed it.
How could it not? Look at the craziness of the contrasts in this Skyline…
Where else in the World can you stand in one place and look at so much history? Just out of shot is a piece of Roman Wall – so it goes back into the thousands of years. Thanks go to Google Streetview for the image..
It’s such a mixed up bag of old and new. So many cultural influences in one place; so many cultures, all of whom carrying a voice, all of whom considered equal. Well, theoretically equal, if only that were really true.
But it is a truly diverse city – full of wonder and full of joy – you just have to open your eyes and your mind.
It is also a city being rebuilt. Buildings are dying and being reborn all the time. Cranes are almost as much a fixed feature of the Skyline as the Shard is. Walk down any street for more than a hundred meters and you’ll find yourself walking next to some blue boarding. You know the boarding I mean – the safety net of the modern day builder’s yards. Behind these boards hides an uncertain future, climbing slowly towards the clouds.
You become numb to them. You stop wondering what is behind them.
Let this post be a lesson.
NEVER STOP WONDERING.
Less than a hundred meters from my office, a new tower has been going up for what feels like forever. The boarding long since became invisible. Until today.
I actually don’t know how long the boards have been down; my tube station is in the opposite direction so I haven’t walked along this way in a little while. Today I popped to get my haircut during my lunch break and nearly got myself run over by a bus when I stopped dead in my tracks half way across the road.
The boards have come down.
What they were hiding is beautiful.
Look at the space it is taking up – how much office space could be stuffed in to this same area? The financial pressure to use the space for the main housing building, which might make money back, as with the rest of the dour buildings that shade Leman Street, rather than wasting the space on art that will never recoup its cost, must be huge. And yet here it is. How brilliant is that? No sense, no logic, just pure imagination. The imagination of artist, Hamish Mackie, finding a link to the site's distant history.
I talked a while back of my private moment of beauty when I watched a Pigeon bathing in a fountain. This time I decided to get my camera out for you. I'm not specifically a horse person, I’ll have the occasional bet on them and (don’t hate me) I'm not totally against them turning up in my frying pan – but this blew my mind
Though not before I almost got myself killed again… I was so taken aback by what I’d discovered that I almost tried to share it straight away. A man was walking past, his head bowed down in the correct London fashion, deeply engrossed in whatever his earphones were telling him, and I found myself reaching out to stop him. I wanted to show him. I wanted to give him the joy that I’d just found.
Just in time I remembered where I was – great city it may well be but talking to strangers is strictly not permitted, especially if you are laughing uncontrollably and appear somewhat over excited at the time….
I stood entranced, for far too long, considering I still needed to get my haircut, but it was time well spent.
There should always be time for joy.
Open your eyes.
And if you ever get the chance, visit London. Come see my horses.
Find out about them here - http://www.berkeleygroup.co.uk/press-release/six-bronze-horses-unveiled-at-the-best-new-public-square-in-london