Good Trip... Bad Hip

I’m sitting in my hotel room in London, nursing a very painful hip, and contemplating my strange day.

I woke at 6am to find news that due to a surge tide caused by last nights storms out in the North sea the Thames Barrier had been raised during the night to defend London from flooding. Now this is what the Barrier was built for, but they have only closed it something like 100 times since it was built (about 20 years ago) so its not a very frequent occurrence.

So, armed with this piece of news and with the intent of spending the day on a photoshoot of London, I left my hotel in Kensington at around 8am with the idea that I would try and get to the Thames barrier for the next High tide in 12 hours time and with a little luck they might close it again, which would obviously make for an interesting picture.

I walked through Kensington gardens and found some swans, then made my way down past the Albert Hall on my way to the Chelsea Embankment photographing anything that caught my eye as I went.

I then wondered along the Embankment past Battersea power station and on toward Pimlico where I intended to hop on the underground.

By the time I got to Pimlico at about 12, my Hip was throbbing and I could hardly lift my left leg to step up and down the kerb on the pavement. I decided to take a break and found a pub just across the road from Pimlico station. I took a couple of Ibuprofen painkillers and had a well earned pint. While I waited for the painkillers to take effect I reviewed the 65 shots I had taken so far.

Half an hour later I limped into the station and got on the tube to Westminster, a few shots of Big Ben, Winston’s statue and the Milleneum Eye, and the pain in my hip was getting worse. Back on the tube and across London to North Greenwich and the Dome… Probably the most expensive tent in the world… Big disappointment, as the site has been bought by a cell phone company (o2) and although the dome is still there they were doing a lot of building work all around it making it was difficult to find a good spot to photograph it from without getting earth diggers, cranes, hoardsings etc in the shot… Ho Hum… now it was about 4pm and I still had to get to the Barrier, at least that was the intention, it was about a mile away down river and the only way to get there was on foot…. Big problem! it might just as well have been a hundred miles away cos my hip was now screaming at me with every step and I could hardly walk the length of myself let alone that mile, and then the thought struck me… I’d have to walk back… No Way, forget it dude!

I got close enough to see my destination in the distance and photograph it at my cameras maximum zoom, but its still pretty much just a speck. I limped back to the station and headed for home for a bath and something to eat and feeling a bit sorry for myself. My only solace was that they didn’t close the barrier again as the storms out in the North sea had died down during the day, so I never would have got the shot I wanted anyway.

Now I know what they mean when they say you have to ‘Suffering for your art’

Journal Comments

  • Rhys Herbert
  • Catherine Crimmins