I really can’t remember exactly when I took this photo, but J’s recent photography exhibition stirred a nostalgia in me. He made me want to look through all my old photos, all taken with my old Fuji. Some are good, others are just OK, and older ones are just rubbish. Ah, the good ol’ days, when I took snaps without a care in the world. I take better pictures now, or so I hope, but there’s nothing wrong in them, it’s a step I had to take. To a certain extent, that simple camera ignited my interest in photography. When J used what is now ‘my’ trusty EOS 30D, I carried my little Fuji everywhere with me. The beauty of it was that before we had smartphones with what are now considered to be pretty good cameras, all we had were little-but-still-on-the-bulky-side point and shoot devices. They were adequate but it was nothing compared to SLRs. I’m guessing that this shot was just a souvenir snap with that Fuji.
When I ask a friend how they are, they’ll inevitably reply: ‘Busy.’ I’m guilty of it too – it’s a symptom of the modern world. But it only confirms the need for quality time spent with the people you love. The more you do it, the more you understand it’s what really matters – good times with friends and family are the most effective panacea for a busy week/month/year.
Ryan Chetiyawardana, a.k.a. Mr. Lyan
Now that’s a great introduction to a book, isn’t it? Meeting the people who matter most in my life over good food and drink is certainly one of my preferred ways to slow down. I believe that in life we need just a few dear friends, and having a good chat over a relaxing lunch is one of the most uplifting things ever.
It was only during my years living in Surrey, just outside the M25 and studying in London, that I appreciated what a real commute to work was like. I remember my very first day on the train from Woking to Waterloo. It was, without wanting to exaggerate, a total nightmare. It took me a little more than three hours to get to Kensington. It was chaotic – it always is to be honest but that day was awful. All the lines had delays and many services were suspended or cancelled. It was my first day of lectures and I was going to be late. I arrived just in time…and famished. I hadn’t taken any lunch with me so I grabbed something quick from the nearest food store. I cannot remember if it was a sandwich, a salad or a bag of chips, but it felt hurried.
Let me start by saying this was a tough one. When Quarto asked me if I would like to receive a review copy of a book called Savage Salads I immediately thought now there’s a pleasant coincidence. ‘Tis the season for salads and a little heliolatry (just a little), though we didn’t feel like it at all today. Arguably every season should be salad season, but summer is when I give fruit and vegetables the run for their money. Greengrocers and veggie trucks on the island are full of delicious produce, and that is to be celebrated.
I’ve said before that I don’t take as many photos as I would like whenever I’m in my favourite place. And the second trip to London last month is another confirmation of that. Going through the album I managed to edit a few which I liked, but unfortunately I had to discard quite a number. Which left me with these.
There’s no place in the world that I’d rather be. Last year I was lucky to visit London a couple of times. The last visit in particular was a favourite, made even better by getting to see our friends. The visit to Androuet was the cherry on the cake. These first set of photos though were all taken a year ago. They have been sitting in my photo files for ages. I was waiting for the ideal time to post them, but I realised there’s no time like the present, so here they are.
I’m finally sitting at my desk after a very busy couple of weeks. I’m back after one of the most enjoyable and hectic few days in London. It’s always lovely to visit, primarily because I get to catch up with my closest friends. London is a happening place – there’s always something new to see and do and this time was pretty special. Here’s why.