JOURNAL - JUNE 2019 - Custard Pie Championships, Kent, England.

The train pulls out of Euston and once more I am transfixed by the backs of the buildings, the graffiti and the unkempt and unseen bushes and foliage; the dirty brickwork and a view of the city not seen in guidebooks; a view ignored and rarely taken note of - but I see it, all of it, and make my mental notes along with the odd photo here and there. I have always loved this view of the city; from the sunken tracks out of the station nestled and welled between high grey-bricked Victorian walls, through to the residential blocks of the inner city and onto the suburbs; fleeting glimpses of people in their gardens, relaxing, reading, playing - a second or two before they and everything else is replaced by fields. Not long out of London in any direction, you’re met with the vibrancy of green that are English fields. In London, most of the places that I visit to photograph are not too far from an underground or overground station, but heading further out of London I oftentimes find myself having to get a cab to wherever it is that I need to be, sometimes a few miles out - further every now and then. The distance from the station to the venue when I head out of London sometimes determines if I can go at all. If an event or place of interest is taking place in the middle of a field with limited access and far from a station, I know I will either have to get there extremely early in order to travel accordingly or to book a cheap room in a local bed and breakfast in order to give myself plenty of time and as little stress from rushing as possible. This year's adventure out of London landed me not too far away in a town in Kent, the venue itself being in a field about five miles from the train station. A taxi was of course needed and as always, the conversation with the local driver was pleasant enough.

There are events in London that try their best to bring slices of England and the traditions of the country, into the city itself - a reminder perhaps, for those that have long since resigned themselves to their limit, that there is still an England beyond their cradle; an England that hasn’t much changed, and an England where the silly and childish events of yesteryear are still taking place. But in the city they are not quite the same - they’re a carbon-copy of what’s really out there. And I love getting out there to see it. And when I do, I’m always in a state of awe of an England that I have forever called home, but have become so foreign and unaccustomed to. It’s a strange feeling when I’m in it - I recognise everything about it, yet feel lost and new to it all at the same time. I think I have simply not seen such things for so long that it all becomes somewhat alien to me. But I enjoy my time at such places, however brief the visit may be.

I find a great sense of serenity and calm in seeing the rolling fields of England rush by my train window having been denied such a view in the city; an insurmountable pleasure in escaping my own cradles and limits in such journey’s that brings with it an eagerness to be as open and exploratory to what’s in front of me, when out on the streets of London ... to simply let myself go in all my photographic endeavours.