A Sunny Afternoon in SW6


“What the bloody hell was that?!” I thought to myself with fury, startled a little and nearly losing grip of my camera.

It turns out it was a middle aged woman, walking down the street towards me. She’d made the demonic grunt before then muttering something about hating pictures being taken. I was in the midst of taking a shot of a building site, nowhere near the Mediterranean looking lass, so wondered what her bother was. She passed me, staring with an ill tempered look about her lightly tanned face, but said nothing more.

“Chill out. It’s a sunny day,” I offered politely in her wake.

No reply.

Well it was. Quite sunny in fact. But this was Fulham in its many splendid nutshell – the beauty with the beastliness.

I continued on, unperturbed, and soaked in the sunny disposition of the day. And it was there to lapped up, after lunch and in between commitments, the river was sparkling in a gentle way that left me warm, despite the one degree air temperature.

But it wasn’t only the river, low and kissing the edge of Putney, Fulham’s riverside neighbour. The streets were lulling me too. The clean scent of cold stone mingled peacefully with the calm sunlight, and barely another person did I pass as I wend through the small inner houses of the area and south towards the Thames. From rooftops orange bathed vistas gazed down upon me, small gardens and hidden perches calling, a little away from the bustle. Dancing lights from shiny window panes did their best to entice me too, like gentle fires, giving south facing homes a polished look of burnished gold.

The fifty something crow and her grumpy groans did little if anything to spoil the moment. But London does that to you, I find. Britain in general. It puts you in a readier mood to make the most of what the winds can bring. If it’s sunny in the UK, you’re much more likely to tell yourself to get out and make the most of it … You don’t know when you’ll get another chance to look upon a sky that isn’t grey!

All in all, the interlude in my day was short, but it brought before me a curious array of characters, all doing as I was, and taking a little time out of the day to enjoy the day …

A regally dressed businessman, casting his thoughts out into the water.

A group of gulls bathing in the shallows.

A lost looking girl plotting her next move.

A dog and its owner beaming like lost lovers.

A man sat by a deserted playground, as if keeping watch to make sure that no fun was had by any child, of any age.

And then there was me, taking my share of vitamin D, and glancing over my shoulder every now and then, keeping an eye out for the grunting woman, paranoid she was the president of some ant-photographer league.

Well, you never know.

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