Small pleasures of my walk to work
As most Londoners will tell you, the commute to work (for all except those who are lucky enough to live in the centre of the city) is very frequently something closely resembling Dante’s vision of hell: People everywhere, packed tightly into incredibly undersized train carriages rumbling slowly in the subterranean layers of the city, all dignity lost in these sardine-can surrounds as you become very closely acquainted with the smallest details of your neighbour’s facial pores, their morning’s perfume (or lack of it), and more often than not the opportunity to guess at what they ate for breakfast. Being used now to the commute, I tend to take it in my stride, delving like most fellow commuters into the depths of my subconsciousness during travel, ears indoctrinated by the ipod headphones pushed firmly into my ears, and mind transported to the other-world of whichever novel I am reading at the tim. However, when the commute is particularly bad, it can really exert the potential to ruin the rest of the working day that follows, not least when problems on the journey make you late for work.
As with so many of the benefits that come with summer, one of my greatest pleasures and equally my greatest of reliefs is to be able to hop off the tube a stop early when the weather is fine, and take the walk, from Embankment station on the River Thames, through the grand streets adjoining Whitehall, and amble along with my freshly made coffee to my place of work on Parliament Square. One of the best things about this walk is the route it takes me along, through the Whitehall gardens which adjoin the embankment, and continuing past some of the grandest of the Governmental buildings, including the infamous entrance to 10 Downing Street itself.
Despite taking the same route ever day, I never tire of the sites before me: the red phone boxes lining Whitehall, and the lines of red buses which so often pass along the same street; the highly ornamented lamp-posts and building facades; and the flowers and verdant grass in the river-side gardens, including the old twisted tree whose branches have to be held up by huge crutches reminiscent of a painting by Dali. The charm of these sights are, like so many things, increased in the sunshine, and as we have been having many blissful sunny days in London recently, the photos which follow are a small selection of the shots I took one particular morning as I took my usual stroll to work; coffee in hand, and this time my camera in the other.
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