Thursday, February 7, 2013
Escape to East Ham
I finally got the heck out of the house yesterday for a long photo walk. I've been hesitant to go and leave Olga alone, but I have to do it sometime, and she's been fine the few times we've left her before. Besides, I was starting to feel a little trapped. An escape was in order.
So yesterday I took the tube to Leytonstone, in far east London, and walked from there south through Upton Park to East Ham. (Yes, there's a West Ham, too.) After ruthless editing, I came away with about 19 good shots. I tell you, nothing restores my soul more than getting out and walking around and taking pictures. Nothing.
It wasn't even particularly good weather. At one point it started raining, but I just popped into a little mom-and-pop cafe and had a viciously hot, milky coffee (for 80 pence, less than a Starbucks!) and by the time I was done the rain had stopped.
When I got back home again I talked to my mom on Skype -- she's stuck in income tax hell, preparing taxes for clients of a large national accounting firm that shall remain nameless -- and in between did some work and walked the dog. A good day.
I'm sure you've heard the news about the British House of Commons passing a gay marriage law. There's been some controversy about it, but far less than one would expect in the United States if such a law were proposed. It's refreshing to live in a place where these discussions are handled with such civility. Nobody has been marching in the streets with signs bearing ugly slurs or admonitions about sin -- at least, not that I've seen.
Personally, I'm not a huge advocate for marriage -- I'm happy with civil unions, as long as I have the same rights as a married couple. It's the equality I want, not the "married" label. (Some argue that you need the label for true equality, but I don't buy it.)
The U.K. already has civil unions, and Dave and I are already recognized as a couple in England by virtue of our civil union in New Jersey. That's why I was allowed to immigrate to the U.K. at the same time that Dave moved here for work. So at least in our case, the question appears settled, and hopefully no further action is required!
(Photo: Yesterday near East Ham.)