Today morning, I woke up with an overwhelming desire to go on a boat ride. I don’t know why, but there was this yearning to be on water and allow for its soothing motion and rhythm to take over. But today was also a Wednesday, a weekday and a working day. It didn’t feel right to give in to the temptation to take leave from work and go to the Gateway of India for the nearest boat ride I could take.
Instead, I went to work. But thoughts of the boat ride kept intruding between editing documents and meetings, and during lunch and and coffee breaks. Well, if only thoughts were boat rides, I would have gone on a real one … So, I did the next best thing — photograph therapy.
Once I reached home, I raided my digital photo library to look at all the trips that I have taken on water. One of the trips stood out for sheer novelty and beauty — a boat trip on the River Thames from Richmond (in Southwest London) to Hampton Court in July 2009. The novelty lay in the fact that this the first time I got the opportunity to observe how boats navigated river locks. This boat ride was part of an explorer day organised by London Walks to first explore Richmond, then take a boat trip along the Thames to Hampton Court Palace, for the second part of that day’s activities. It is a journey that took about an hour-and-a-half through a very picturesque route and in typical English weather It — sunny, cloudy, and rainy at the same time.
Come on, join me, as I take that boat ride from Richmond to Hampton Court once again with some photographs and a video. 🙂
After a brief walk through Richmond and a visit to Richmond Palace, we set off for the riverfront. The walk along the riverfront to Richmond’s main quay, where we were to board our boat, had a more European feel than that of an English one.
The Thames is a tidal river and until a couple of 100 years back the tide used to come only till the Tower Bridge area in central London. But due to embankment in the London city area, the river has become deeper and the tide now goes up to a place called Teddington, about 22 miles away. This necessitated the building of a lock there, which is a device that raises or lowers boats between stretches of water of differing levels in rivers or canals. The Teddington Lock is manned 24×7 by lock operators who allow for the smooth passage of boats and barges.
As our boat approached the lock, I managed to get a vantage place on the boat to film the lock in operation. The almost 6 minute video begins at the point where the Lock Operator has just set the mechanism to let the water in to raise the level. t’s rather difficult to explain the experience of watching the boat rise, rise, rise and then the lock gates opening and going through them. It’s just incredibly indescribable.
The view on the other side of the Teddington Lock is one of calm and relaxed luxury, at least that is what it looked like to me. We passed beautiful houses, landscaped grounds, moored boats, people watching the world go by, rowing teams hard at practice… The ever-changing weather was a delight to observe too !
What a vastly superior experience that boat ride was. The changing moods of the riverscape, the smooth gliding motion of the boat, the birdsong, the sun playing hide and seek with the clouds, the cool river breeze — all contributed to a sense of well-being that I had not felt in a long time. And as I relived the memories of the ride with the help of the photographs, the same sense of calm and well-being I had experienced then returned.
Three cheers to photograph therapy. It is really good and I should, perhaps, try it out once in a while. So, tell me, what do you think of photograph therapy? Do you also indulge in it? 🙂