Stage two of my weird idea of walking the length of The Thames saw me get up at silly o’clock on Bank Holiday Monday morning to travel to Putney Bridge and walk along the Thames to Tower Bridge. A nice 10 miles stroll (huff, puff, sigh, puff), going from the western part into the heart of the city.

The walk started with nice greenery at Wandsworth Park and soon again at Battersea Park, but apart from that, it was nice (and probably excessively expensive) apartment blocks, nice wide promenade walks and frequent bridges across the river all the way to Westminster where office blocks and large corporations take over from the apartments.

One of the images in the slideshow shows a set of glass-covered buildings with roofs shaped liked the wings of seagulls. I can just imagine the discussion that must have taken place down the local pub, just a stone throw away from Alber Architect’s office, as the junior architects were having their Friday pint

Bob: I’ve got it. Let’s pick a nautical theme. You know… river, boats, nauticalism (Bob has a tendency to invent new words when he’s had one too many)
Carol: Oh what a wonderful idea, Bob. You’re so clever!
Dennis: Yeah, we could cover the entire surface in sickly green glass and say it’s meant to remind people of the colour of the Thames on a stormy day
Carol: Oh what a wonderful idea, Dennis. You’re so clever!
Bob: I know, and then we could make the roofs look like birds wings (Bob laughs hysterically)
Carol: Oh what a wonderful idea, Bob. You’re so clever!
Dennis: We could say they’re sea gulls!
Carol: Oh what a wonderful idea, Dennis. You’re so clever!
Bob: Who’s round is it anyway, Dennis?
Dennis: Get it? People won’t just have to walk in bird shit, they’ll be living inside large glass and concrete birds themselves! Even the birds will live in birds, geddit?
Carol: You’re so funny, Dennis
Bob: Mine’s a Pride, Dennis!

I’ve got no idea how they sold the idea to Albert Architect, and I have even less of an idea of how he sold the idea to the developers. But anyway, the buildings are certainly recognisable and unique!

After Westminster Bridge, the route went along the Southbank with its street performers, musicians, book stalls, ice cream stalls, pubs and crowds from early to late. There’s a feeling of being in the middle of a big city enjoying itself, and it’s easy to spend a couple of hours there with a camera or just looking at people.

Having logged my heavy tele zoom all the way, through sun, rain and even hailstones, I finally got a reason to use it. Not that I couldn’t get close to the performers, but I just love the way it can throw the background completely out of focus.

Towards the end of the walk, just across the river from City Hall, was this strange view of an old church desperately being completely surrounded by much larger glass and steel towers. It felt like these new alters to the God of Mammon were completely overwhelming God’s church as it tried to get just a little sunshine. Could it mean that people in “the square mile” believes more in money than in faith, and that their clericals are bankers rather than priests? Surely not… (!)