‘This Is A Modern World’ – New King’s Road, SW6 (0840)

An old man, unshaven and standing (with the aid of a stick) in his pyjamas, observing the unfolding rush hour. Leaning against the frame of his front door, perhaps speculating on a former life as a breadwinner beating the clock. A new (different) generation, but fundamentally the same as it ever was.

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‘The Remains of The Day’ – Ewell & Surbiton

Noting the sole surviving fragment of Bourne Hall (a fireplace), now snug in the local museum, complete with ‘eternal flames’. Further on, platforms 1 and 2 at Surbiton station bear witness to the former (1940s) kiosk, now transported to a heritage line. A rectangle of tarmac and 10 metal studs mark out its former site, like a kind of sarcophagus. 

‘Post-industrial’ – The Wandle & The Thames

Subtle (embedded) traces of the working river. A pub with an ambiguous name. A bird or a mechanism for loading and unloading cargo? Further down The Causeway, a metal sign at the point of aquatic convergence, revealing a small canal, interred in the 1930s. Out on the main (liquid) highway, two vessels work their respective loads downriver against the incoming tide. Aggregates and the city’s waste. To build and dispose. A précis of the onetime veritable smorgasbord of trade that wound its way across the oceans and tributaries.

‘Shifting Sands’ – Whitehall

A policeman on patrol, a sleeve of tattoos gripping his automatic weapon, sunglasses wrapped around his vision and offset by a ‘baseball cap’. The stall set out just yards away selling traditional ‘London, England’ (sic) merchandise to tourists (including models of the traditional bobby). How and when (if ever) to update the time honoured global perception to that of the 21st century asymmetric conflict design?

‘Hook, Line & Sinker’ – Lower Sunbury (1730)

Passing two men (late 60s) on the riverbank preparing for the night ahead. Setting up camp for a battle of wits with a quarry of elusive and wily carp. A military operation with olive green trolleys bearing (olive green) tents and top of the range tackle. The evolution of hunting, from basic tools for survival, to the financial investment in the pursuit of snaring the species for kudos.