While we're in the same place for the next few months we've invited guests to contribute to There & Here by telling us what they love about their favourite place in the world. Our guest this week is Al from Dublin.
What I love about London is that it was an inspiration for me.
My London and my reasons for loving it are slightly more dour than one my expect from ones favorite place. London was an inspiration for me to get to where I am now. It crippled an ego, spent all my money and got me quite lost, but I love it for doing that. I no longer live there, though I may again in the future.
London for me was shopping in markets, drinking strange beer, learning to cook,blagging housesit's, sneaking into student bars, underground burlesque & caberet clubs, buying old cameras, haggling, polaroids, trips to Brixton, Portobello Road, lunch in the park, walking the Thames, having my own bar in the attic, cream tea, avoiding galleries, avoiding art, being broke, having friends from home stay over, playing far too many computer games on sunny days, London Bus, 'staff' Underground tickets, the bus and train and boat journey over and back to Ireland, knowing where I was going, not looking like a tourist all the time and being jealous of Londoners dress sense.
Al moved to London within a few weeks of finishing his Fine Art degree in Dublin, to become a photographer. He'd been working all through college with relative success, enjoying parts of photography and hating others. He shot mix of fashion and portraits, corporate, events and weddings. And everything else in between, wherever he could get a job. Having landed in London with great ambition, he soon realised that what had worked for him in Dublin was far from what would work outside of his comfort zone. His degree and college and friends back home meant nothing to job prospects. He couldn't send in quotes for jobs and assume they were going to come back to him. He didn't have a portfolio, he hadn't studied over there and hadn't made the contacts his competitors had, he didn't have experience in commercial work, and he didn't want to work where he did have experience and his ego had held him back from assisting. London changed that, and made him realise where he wanted to be, it put him a rough path on how to get there, it was an experience, and in the end, he loved it.