First Snow in London, a set on Flickr.
This photo set, the 72nd in my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike, rather sprang upon me yesterday (January 18), when, while still sleep-deprived and rather jet-lagged after returning from my ten-day visit to the US to campaign for the closure of the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, on the 11th anniversary of its opening, I had to make a visit to my local hospital in Lewisham, in south east London — whose A&E Department, and other frontline services, are currently under threat of closure — and was thrilled, in an inner-child way, to discover that it was snowing.
After taking a few photos en route, I reemerged after an hour or so to find that the snow was still steadily falling, and so, after pushing my bike back up the hill to Brockley — to mend a puncture I had received during the short journey to the hospital — I set out to capture some photos of my wider neighbourhood in the snow, taking a well-worn route down the hill to Lewisham, along the River Ravensbourne to Greenwich, and then down to the River Thames and back, a two-hour journey, at the end of which I was half-frozen.
The photos I took yesterday are divided into two sets. I’ll be posting the second, focusing on Greenwich, as soon as I can, but first up is a set featuring the photos I took in Ladywell, Brockley and Lewisham in the morning and the early afternoon, as the snow fell, transforming the familiar into a wonderland, or, if you’re inspired by the sensitivity of the 19th century American Poet Emily Dickinson, into a landscape heavy with the weight of mortality.
It was wonderful to be out on my bike again, after ten days in America, when I walked as much as possible to compensate for being separated from my wheels. I’ll be posting photos of my walks in New York and Washington D.C. soon — as well as another set of protest photos, from an anti-drones protest outside CIA headquarters, to accompany the Guantánamo protest photos I’ve already posted — but for now, here’s a welcome back to London in a way that only winter can provide.
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.
On Facebook, D J Sanchez Montebello wrote:
Nice work, Andy.
BTW: Thanks for your efforts while visiting the U.S. East Coast.
Thank you, Sanchez. Glad you like the photos, and thanks also for your interest in my recent visit. I am more hopeful than last year that there are initiatives that can be pursued to contribute to the closure of Guantanamo, and I look forward to working on them as this year unfolds.
Christopher John Webster wrote:
really beautiful Andy…
Thanks, Chris. Good to hear from you – and good to be back on the streets of London with my camera and my bike, however much the latter seems to be prone to punctures!
Writer, campaigner, investigative journalist and commentator. 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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