I’m taking a terrible, but lovely, series of photos of my route to work over the next couple of months.
They’re terrible because I’m using my phone and I’m a bad photographer whatever the tools, but lovely to me because they’re sentimental. This is my London as me and many other people travelling into Victoria see it, even on the grey days. I’ve had conversations with fellow commuters, and I know that it’s not just me that gets a kick out of the band-name graffiti scrawled on the walls as you come into the station. Loads of other people have spent the day with “It Only Takes a Minute Girl” stuck in their head thanks to whoever painted that lyric on the side of a house. I’m not the only person who goes ‘Awww’ when we see the dogs residing at Battersea Cats and Dogs home being brought out for walks. I want to have a record of some of these things before they are cleaned up or are turned into a soul-less shopping centre.
A week or so ago the company I work for announced that we will be moving buildings. I don’t know precisely where to, yet – not for the next year, anyway – but we’re to be uprooted and shunted away from my now very-familiar corner of London to a more suited area (in terms of both clothing and location). So, there’s the possibility that in January I’ll be bidding farewell to the commuter route that I have been taking for about six years now.
Yeah, six years – I’ve fallen into a stagnant routine; I’m a corporate whore (I really sort of am); I’m too settled. But truly, when commuting has the potential to be the most stressful part of the working day (see HERE), there’s a lot to be said for having a route that you can take blindfolded, and for which you know every possible alternative should the usual trains break.
And I shouldn’t have made that crack about making the journey blindfolded. It’s a fairly lovely route, by London standards, with the river and the views and the general beauty and colour splashes of urban decay. I (like most people) tend to spend the travel time with my face stuck in a book or my phone or my computer, so it’s been a while since I really looked at it.
But the week we got the news about moving offices, I forgot to take my phone to work and had no book, and I prefer to avoid reading the free newspapers for reasons of politics and journalism standards, so I passed the time gazing out the window and getting surprisingly sentimental.
Whether or not I’m still on that route by the end of January, that’s the arbitrary deadline for the series, but this will be a nice project. That’s assuming no one on the train gets too annoyed (people are only reflections at this point, but in one discarded picture, I caught a bloke frowning right into the lens) and that my phone stays alive long enough.
If you’d like to see more (there’s only about five photos at the moment) or keep track, you can go here to take a look: From The Train
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Oh, and if you’re a fan of photography and want to see some genuinely good work (not mine), look at the entry before this one…