The River Thames: The Solace of the Shore and the Fire of Sunset, a set on Flickr.
This is the 54th photo set in my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike, capturing the second half of a journey I made with my son Tyler from Waterloo, back to our home in Brockley, in south east London, on Sunday October 14, 2012.
The first set is here, and it is also part of a series designed to capture glimpses of London in autumn (or fall, as my American friends describe it), which I began with photos of Halloween and of the turning leaves in Hilly Fields, my local park.
In the first part of this journey, we travelled through Bankside and Borough, which was both lively and crowded, and into Bermondsey, along Shad Thames and past the Design Museum, into quieter streets and the Thames Path that, eventually, takes intrepid cyclists out to where the ever-widening Thames estuary meets the North Sea. In this second part, we found ourselves in Rotherhithe, at low tide, with a red sun falling towards earth in a lurid sunset, and the shore beckoning us beside the only boat with a mooring on this particular stretch of the river.
As in my previous escapade along the shore of the Thames, in Deptford, by Convoys Wharf (which I also wrote about here), I was transported to another place — timeless, calm, enchanting — that I find priceless, an unfathomable concept in the particular coarse times we are living through, in which greed is the only valued commodity.
I hope you enjoy the photos. Next up is a set of photos taken in Brockley Cemetery a few weeks ago — another liminal place where, fortunately, the dead, and the living nature reserve that has grown up around them, appear to be safe from the soulless marauders bent on razing to the ground as much of the old fabric of London as possible, to build more speculative housing and “mixed-use” developments of offices and shops, a zombie pursuit that must surely, at some point, run up against the inconvenient truth that most working people have only a finite amount of money that can be extracted from them, after credit — the engine of the false boom of the 2000s — was axed when the bankers and their political servants almost bankrupted the world in 2008.
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK) and of two other books: Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion and The Battle of the Beanfield. To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed — and I can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Flickr (my photos) and YouTube. Also see my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, updated in April 2012, “The Complete Guantánamo Files,” a 70-part, million-word series drawing on files released by WikiLeaks in April 2011, and details about the documentary film, “Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo” (co-directed by Polly Nash and Andy Worthington, and available on DVD here — or here for the US). Also see my definitive Guantánamo habeas list and the chronological list of all my articles, and please also consider joining the new “Close Guantánamo campaign,” and, if you appreciate my work, feel free to make a donation.
Yesterday evening, when I posted one of the photos above – “The Shard and Tower Bridge from Rotherhithe” – on Facebook, I wrote:
So while I’m juggling tasks here – writing my latest article about Guantanamo, thinking of the right phraseology for another article about President Obama’s victory, and posting photos to Flickr, I thought I’d post this image, which is attracting some interest there – a beautiful sunset from one of my favourite parts of the River Thames shoreline, in Rotherhithe. Enjoy!
Eduardo Morgado wrote:
It’s beautiful! Keep up the good work 🙂
Thanks, Eduardo. Good to hear from you.
Patricia Sheerin-Richman wrote:
Hope it gives you and others inspiration for the next chapter in the fight to close Guantanamo, get Shaker Aamer released back to Britain and for justice for Talha Ahsan and Babar Ahmad…
Thanks, Patricia. There are so many struggles – I am, for example, just back from a meeting to save my local hospital from destruction, initially through the dismantling of its A&E and maternity services – and you have highlighted three others that are of great concern to me. I have learned, however, from experience, that it is important to be as healthy as possible in order to resist these injustices most effectively, and cycling and taking in the beauty that life has to offer, even in a huge city like London, is very much a part of that for me.
When I posted the full set, I wrote:
Here’s my latest photo set – of a wonderful early evening journey along the southern shore of the River Thames, through Rotherhithe, in south east London. The sunset was extraordinary, and, as it was low tide, I also had the opportunity to explore the wonderful shoreline where a solitary boat is moored. This is the London I love, and I hope you enjoy seeing it through my eyes!
Giacomella Jackie Milesi Ferretti wrote:
beautiful indeed Andy, thanks for sharing!
Alex Grace wrote:
One of my favourite walks/places 🙂
Thanks, Giacomella and Alex. Great to hear from you!
I’m so glad that you’ve done this project, hopefully getting R&R for your indefatigable spirit.
Also, I found out the other day that Clive Stafford Smith is an American! USA! USA! At least I no longer have to admit that two of the most courageous voices against American lawlessness are Brits.
Yes, the wonders of dual citizenship in Clive’s case, eh, Mark? How the authorities hate people whose parents had the nerve to come from different countries!
Thanks for your good wishes regarding my R&R. I certainly need it after so many years at the Guantanamo coalface, and also the last two and a half years of our own Tea Party government – the most wretched dregs of British Conservatism that it is possible to imagine.
Houda Andalus Cheikh wrote:
These are fantastic. Well done!
David J. Clarke wrote:
Had thought that it would be a good place to take a metal detector – but there is undoubtedly tons of detritus with only limited historical value. Enjoyed the pictures.
Thank you, Houda and David. It’s great to hear from you, and I’m delighted that you’ve been enjoying the photos.
Beverly Hendricks wrote:
Beautiful, evocative, well composed, photos, Andy. I haven’t visited the shore there, but just beyond (I believe) in the Bermondsey area, I’ve spent loads of time around there and loved it. This makes me want to explore more.
Thanks, Beverly. What a lovely message. Yes, Rotherhithe is well worth exploring, and the river’s very quiet there.
Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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