Suddenly, Snow: Brockley at Night, a set on Flickr.
The opportunity to take these photos of the streets of Brockley in the snow, with the pavements empty of people and the streets almost empty of traffic, came to me unexpectedly at 2.45am last night. As I was about to go to bed, I noticed, through a window, that the outside world looked white, and, on closer inspection, discovered to my delight that it was snowing.
Five minutes later, I was dressed and venturing out into the night, discovering that the snow had been falling steadily for a few hours, and was settling, although I also discovered that it was very wet, and that the chances of it lasting beyond the morning were vanishingly remote.
I was out for about an hour, and I basically did a circuit of my immediate neighbourhood in Brockley, in south east London, up Tressillian Road to Hilly Fields park, then down Harefield Road to Breakspears Road, down to Brockley Road, and then back up Tressillian Road via St. Margaret’s Avenue.
It was a great privilege to be out at this magical time, and to be able to capture some of my impressions of the snowfall, a wet carpet that created a dream-like silence that is hard to find at any other time.
On my return, I posted five of my favourite photos, and then caught a few hours sleep before waking around 9am to discover that the snow had indeed largely disappeared, and heading down to the Houses of Parliament for a press conference held by Defend London’s NHS, a new coalition of campaigners — including MPs — calling for an end to the destruction of the NHS in London.
It was a very useful and informative event — and I’ll be writing about it soon — but it could hardly have been more different from the world of snow and silence in which I had been immersed just hours before.
I do hope you enjoy this photo set, the 77th in my ongoing project to photograph the whole of London by bike — and, occasionally, on foot! I’ll be back soon with the continuation of my photos from September — another contrast to this set — adding my impressions of Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square to those of Regent Street that I recorded here. I’ll all be posting more photos from New York, from my recent trip to campaign for the closure of Guantánamo on the 11th anniversary of the opening of the prison, and also a final set of photos of Brighton from my visit two weeks ago.
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, Ruth Gilburt wrote:
Magical Brockley x
Neil Mckenna wrote:
Some great shots there Andy. And good call having the initiative to get out there and into it. Great to do things like that and sometimes perhaps especially on your own. A kind of meditation to it.
Ruth Gilburt wrote:
you could have buzzed on my door for a hot choc – I was awake at 3am still! x
Dessie Harris wrote:
Hey Andy, what came over you to venture out at 3 in the morning when most of us were still asleep oblivious to the snow? I know why, you wanted to go out and enjoy an early morning drive devoid of all traffic and people…and of course, to take this wonderful photograph…wow, how very amazing x
Thanks, Ruth and Neil. Magical Brockley indeed! And Neil, you’re spot-on about the meditative aspects of this particular journey.
Thanks also, Dessie. You’re right about everything except the mode of transport. Usually I’m on my bike, but last night I just walked. The car drivers I encountered were on the main road – and they looked even more detached than usual from the elements. I have realised over the last nine months, since I began cycling for many hours almost every day, that we really are meant to be outdoors much more of the time that most of us usually are.
Dessie Harris wrote:
Thought you were driving Andy…was wondering why you went out so early in the morning, thought perhaps you were trying your new ferrari, i was running on snow at 8.30, slightly slippery but enjoyable!!!
This is my Ferrari, Dessie! http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyworthington/8456288205/
Dessie Harris wrote:
Gosh….this must be the latest model, usually Ferraris are yellow or even red….this is truly unique, thanks for sharing x
Yes, it’s a very thin Ferrari, Dessie. The air conditioning is extraordinary. You’d almost think you were actually outside, exposed to the elements!
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