It’s now the last day of Elska London Shoot Week, and I’m feeling really good this morning, mainly because soon I’ll be able to leave this city. I suppose that’s rather dramatic, and in truth things had gotten better since the shaky start to the week. I met some nice people, had some laughs, took some great shots, and enjoyed a streak of hot, sunny weather. But yesterday it went downhill again.
During a shoot with Michał G, he asked me why I left London a year and a half ago. He told me how he loved the city and couldn’t imagine wanting to leave. I explained that it was about the high cost of living, the crowdedness, general passive aggressiveness (which Brits are very good at) and the Brexit-empowered emergence of racist people from our of their holes. At that moment a woman yelled at the bus driver to give her more time to exit the bus, and I said it illustrated another bad thing about London - people being in a hurry (the driver) and others being angry (the passenger). Michał however said she was not yelling, as I said, but was just speaking an appropriate volume so that the driver could hear her. I suppose it was fair, and I was being oversensitive, and perhaps trying to put my prejudices onto the scene.
However, only half an hour later I got into an actual fight, which isn’t something that happens often with me (I’m a very calm guy). Michał decided to climb a tree and a man nearby came to protest, saying he was calling the cops if he didn’t get down immediately. I had to step in, shouting at the man about how he needed to calm down and stop being so bloody agressive, because it would only stress Michał out, making it possible he could hurt himself on the way down. Which then did happen.
So we left, put it behind us, and bought a bag of chips. I might have had some if it wasn’t for the ocean of mayonnaise that Michał poured onto them. Anyway, we got onto the tube, Michał headed to a date, and I headed to the next shoot. Then just before I arrived I got another last minute cancellation. It was another guy in Brixton (Doug F), one of my favourite London neighbourhoods. So I had some dinner, went back to the hotel, and just as I got into bed, I got another cancellation (Jason W), this time for the following morning. This was to be in Surrey Quays, another very special neighbourhood, the place where I first lived when I moved to London as a teenager, and the place where I met my husband.
I’m sure that by the time the issue is put together and ready for printing, I will have found a way to be more positive. But for now I just want to get today over with and go home. The saddest part is that London is supposed to be my home, even if I have for the past year and a half lived in the USA. This is supposed to be where I feel comfortable, safe, nostalgic… but all I feel is stressed out. Anyway, time to get down the tube hole. Konstantin Z awaits, and I’m quite confident he won’t let me down.