Out & About

Red Brick, Green Trees, Blue Skies and Water

South London

Before the season turns.

Those awkward first green days of autumn, when the air has too much edge for summer, but it’s still warm enough out that I get sweaty in my jumper. Still, I’m glad I made it up here before we lost the trees.

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We went to a family party in Shepperton, at a hotel that seemed pretty and unexceptional until we rounded the corner and found the river. Is this the same Thames that slopes through the city?

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We drove back through the cooling streets, red brick shrouded by green trees, so long and smooth, neat and calm. All the houses like orderly boxes. People live their lives here. I forget that. This is a home, even if for me it’s exploration. And what a relief to be moving through somewhere not-my-home, to be moving at all!

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A few days later, I went with my mum to Wimbledon Park, where we all used to go on visits to the area when I was a child. Of course it’s been too long, too long.

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I was fully prepared just to call this post ‘Red Brick and Green Trees’, but when I saw my pictures full-size I realised the blueness was there too, like a background, a neutral. There is always sky, and the water of the lake looks level with the grass, like you could step out onto it.

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And so, I am in London again now, and I wonder if these months at home really happened at all, or was I actually here the whole time? Did I never leave? Is it because I’m still depressed, that I think so fluidly, so dreamily, or is it because I’m human? These days I feel like I never want to stop experiencing the world the way I do now.

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