Sometimes you take a photo and years later upon seeing it again, memories flood back, you delve back into the box of old pictures and huddle on the bed amongst a disorderly history of your life. The lid goes back on the box, the box goes back on the shelf and you will probably find that box in another three years and go through the whole process again.
These three photos I took whilst I lived in my home town London. My family came from the two ends of London – the East End, Stepney – true Cockney within the sound of Bow Bells, and the West End, Bayswater, home of Paddington Bear. I love London and moved to Peckham, down the Old Kent Road back in 2013. I thought I would live the rest of my life in London, but life brings other adventures and this year I have finally said good bye to London and maybe forever. Its complex and good timing with Brexit – I am Out before everyone else has voted In or Out. How it will affect my new life in France, I have no idea right now. But it was for me the right vote for me personally to stay in the EU.
So these three pictures, of Rudbeckia? A flower I get drawn to and love. Those big yellow heads and black centres – Black-Eyed-Susans or Cone Flowers as they are known, get me every-time and I have to photograph them. These were taken in Burgess Park, off the Old Kent Road in London. The park is huge and there is an area of wild flowers where I used to practise with my first digital camera and realised, like a moment of great clarity, that I loved taking pictures of flowers. Just flowers, any flowers, dead flowers, wild flowers, hedgerows and meadows.
These Rudbeckia brighten up a small pathway that used to be the site of the Grand Surrey Canal, long gone as many old things go. But like the box of photos, every time I see them, it reminds me of happy days in London, of old places, of my history.
And one final link for me, the flower is named after a Swedish Botanist. His university was granted a very large donation by Gustavus Adolphus in the 16th Century. The military genius who invented modern warfare, helped the Roundheads beat the Cavaliers, was and still is one of my history heroes. On my shelves at home you will find alongside books on flowers, writing, cookery, a huge selection of history books about late 15th to mid 17th Century Europe. A past hobby that I will delve back into when the camera gets too heavy to carry and the bones begin to creak. Rudbeckia – my plant for memories too.