It’s been around five months since I’ve visited the United Kingdom and every conversation in which I have engaged since my return has been laced with my blatant intention to move there one day. After being asked repeatedly why I’ve decided to do so — my initial response being a shrug and an unexciting, “it’s just really nice; you have to go there to know what I mean” — I’ve spent the past few months attempting to rationalise this seemingly temporary infatuation with a place in which I have barely stayed long enough to call my future home. My rationalisation process can be loosely translated to repeating the post-production process for these images around nine times until I’ve felt as though I’ve conveyed all the palpitations and tingles I felt abroad. And yet, there is no lens wide enough and no string of eloquence capable of transferring the scenic and emotional experience to one that simply has not visited the United Kingdom save for their popular culture sensitivity in appreciating films like Sherlock Holmes or Harry Potter.
During our visit, we tirelessly wandered the streets of a surprisingly sunny London. Quite ironically, my excitement of visiting the United Kingdom was partially owed to the fact that I had conveniently escaped a dreadful heatwave back home in Sydney. We stayed in the busiest street of Liverpool and woke to the sound of buses and the sight of crowds waltzing in their fluffy coats and thick scarves. The most peculiar part of the entire trip was how seamless it felt immersing myself in the culture. There is something so enriching and creatively provocative about the history of the buildings that is both fascinating and, to some extent, romantic. Funnily enough, it wasn’t the likes of the iconic Big Ben, London Eye, or Tower Bridge, that stood out to me. Much to the contrary, the most profoundly captivating parts of the entire trip were my glimpses of quiet alleyways, little boutiques, the movements of locals and how they always seemed to have something more important to attend to, the brutal chill, the bizarre temperature change when stepping out of a department store, the tight-packed subways during rush hour, and even the way light danced so differently to our harsh Australian sun and ever so subtly caressed the grand yet intricate architecture. [Flails limbs at the selected images included in this post.] So here it is, the first part of my travel diary, which is long overdue, although I did post about Tate Modern a while ago, which you should check out, too.