The Lovers, the dreamers and me

Another Ed’s challenge, this time rainbows, so a repost of recent one.

Rainbow and CranesIn my defence this was taken on my Nexus 7 through a window in need of cleaning.

Sight Lines and Angles

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The Shard dominates the south bank between Tower Bridge and Southwark Bridge. Whatever other feelings it may inspire it is also useful if, like me, you like to learn an area by getting thoroughly lost in it, and then need to find your way back.

In it shadows you can find odd moments like this where any number of interpretations of angular shapes collide. This is in the little cut through from the north end of Borough Market to Hays Galleria. The Shard is of course ever present.

With this handy reference point I have started to learn my way around Bermondsey. Perhaps not something a Finchley boy should admit to.IMG_1343_edited-1

Back on the civilised side of the river and looking back at the Mayoral Folly, More London Place, and it.

Minimalist London

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As a North Londoner I am having to make a slight geographical adjustment, the South Bank is not South London. The Sarf, is a barely habitable hinterland populated by barbarians and connected by nonsensically curving roads. Horse and cart country in the space age. The South Bank is a vibrant enclave of architecture and culture, with odd artistic gestures thrown in.

The block in the above serves no purpose. It just is. Perhaps the South Bank does share some characteristics with South London after all.

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The mayor’s office is a lopsided little folly, and it is approached by way of this grey amphitheatre.

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And then of course, because I was wondering around on the 11th of the 11th I hopped over the bridge to look at some poppies.

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Contrast and Glass

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I took my camera gear into my office yesterday hoping to do some shots across London but the engineers weren’t available to get me onto the gantry. On the plus side I got to play tourist in my home town and snap some contrasts on my walk through the City and West End on the way home.

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Sometimes it would be rude to refuse the shot just because it is obvious.

The walk started with this near St Paul’s, it pits earthly love in contrast with heavenly love. I’m now toying with this image as an alternative cover for Older Gods.

Young Love

Young Love

Cross Cultural Living and the Poppy

I was born in London, and apart from university and a year working away, I have lived my whole life there. My parents were born in India, and moved to Pakistan. If you trace my roots back far enough you will find yourself on the eastern shore of the Arabian Peninsula. I am a Muslim, I am a Shia. I wear a poppy on and around Remembrance Day, and it has never been a dilemma.

I have seen the armed forces of this country, my country; go to war against people who share my faith and my ethnicity. And yet every year I wear a badge proclaiming solidarity with those soldiers, sympathy for their suffering, financial support for their welfare, and it has never been a dilemma.

I bought poppies for my kids because I think they should learn to be part of this tradition.

There is a difference between the execution and accountability for public policy. The boys and girls who go to war are not accountable for the policy, they merely execute it, and whether that is hostile action in Helmand or distributing aid in a disaster zone, they are required to follow their orders. The accountability lies with the politicians who choose to send them.

I believe Tony Blair to be a war criminal, and I would support lawful action that sees him brought on charges to The Hague. But that does not criminalise the people he sent to war, nor does it diminish their courage. Nor does recognising that courage diminish the injustice and the suffering of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

With a longer historical lens it is worth remembering that soldiers from the subcontinent were present in both the great wars. They fought and died with as much courage and determination as any other race, creed or colour, and yet their actions are rarely remembered or lauded. I wear the poppy in part for them, because it is shameful for them to be forgotten.

So don’t be surprised that there are two badges on my coat, one proclaiming my Shia Muslim faith, and one my wholesale participation in British life, for I am both.

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