In my adult life, London has been my home longest. My flâneur wanderings through the city leave me ecstatically overstimulated by the rush of humanity and the chaos of unfamiliar shops, signage and goods for sale. Even in neighbourhoods I know well, the churn of street commerce and businesses opened and closed and opened regularly affords fresh opportunities for discovery. After each expedition, I retain a palpable visual geography of every place through which I have passed. Contours, colours and whole casts of characters summon up a physical response. When I view a map, place names evoke instantaneous images and complete scenes compile in my head. I remember Sunday music seeping from of a prodigiously tall and long brick church discoloured from a hundred or so years of smog; city girls shorn of their pumps scrunching their toes in the grass of Highbury Fields; tracing the path of the vanished Fleet River in Kentish Town and an abandoned railway line in Highgate; partial rainbows over the Serpentine; roast lunch at Kenwood after hiking through a soaking rain on Hampstead Heath.
The pictures in my shop this month piece together a taxonomy of remembered spaces and a life experienced and, one hopes, fully lived. I love London.
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Read: Tales of a Flâneur Newsletter 03 - September 2011