Clive and Canary Wharf
I sent off the work I did, which felt nice. Then we took the Jubilee line to the snazzy part of town where the rich bankers hang out, sunny Canary Wharf in Docklands.
Met Clive, an old caving friend of Keith's who we haven't met up with for ages. Good to catch up as Clive works hard researching his book - the eternal work that never seems to get finished - all on the shortest of shoestrings. He lives 10 minutes down the road from here..... This blip was taken whilst we waited for him to arrive, just outside the tube station.
I was a little irritated to see I'd chopped most of the feet off in this shot - it was the best otherwise. Then I thought that it was entirely appropriate. The buildings are so high, the natural world so far away, the lack of grounding in the passers by was nicely illustrated by their footlessness.
It's an impressive area all right, plenty of incredible buildings, lots of esthetically pleasing things to explore, and a lot of attention has been paid to details. Lighting, mosaics in the floor, roof gardens open to the public and so on. I hate the way the sky is disappearing, behind me there are two new towers going up and they will block out a huge chunk of what little sky remains. I've heard these sorts of constructions being called "sky stealers".
But I constantly feel the tension between those who have, and those who have not. It feels like a slap in the face to go from all this excess and then see people sleeping rough in sheltered corners and in doorways, literally at the other end of our tube journey.
I find it hard to really enjoy the opulence and the riches, when there is such poverty in the same breath. It feels like this section of society has lost its way, all the glossy magazines advertising consumer disposables adds to the sense of rootlessness - the distance from the natural world seem to be immense.
Obviously, my Socialist, Christian, northern upbringing hasn't prepared me for meeting with this sort of wealth! Nor my working life either! Sweden has pockets of very wealthy people, the gap between haves and have nots is widening there too, but there isn't a lot of it about in the village or the nearest town. I feel unprepared, and discomfited.
We are now back home, the family are playing cards, mince pies have been consumed and things are returning to familiar dimensions.