Loftus Road, December 2008. I think I was about five or six years old when my dad first took me to see Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road. We were playing West Ham in a largely uneventful game that finished 0-0. Not the most auspicious start to my QPR journey and yet the place had me completely hooked, from the colourful language of the locals and the smell of sizzling burgers, to the team’s gorgeous blue-and-white-hooped shirts (best kit in Britain!) and the compact stadium itself with seats right on the edge of the pitch. As a teen I used to make regular trips in from Buckinghamshire and no matter what crazy corner of the world I lived in I’d always make it back for at least one or two games a season. This shot was taken when I was unexpectedly interviewed before a home match against Watford. I can’t remember what I was asked, or indeed anything I said, but it must have been more interesting than the game itself, another drab 0-0.
Hyde Park, September 2015. Every time I come to London I’m always amazed all over again at how green it is. I try to go and visit a different park each year and I’m nowhere near getting through everything. Hyde Park is the city’s obvious biggie at a whopping 145 hectares. Nabbed from The Church by Henry VIII in 1536, it was initially used for hunting, duels, horse racing and most popular of all in those days, public executions!
Hampstead Heath, April 2017. There are worse things one could do in London on a sunny Sunday afternoon than lying about on Hampstead Heath shooting the shit with an old friend. A sprawling area of open fields, dotted woodlands and rolling meadows; this is yet another London oasis that allows locals and visitors alike to get away from it all and unwind.
Greenwich Market, April 2017. “Let’s meet up in Greenwich!” she said, “I love Greenwich!” And so it was decided. I hadn’t been to Greenwich since I was a kid, with only a vague memory of my dad taking me onboard The Cutty Sark. Back in the present, it was an absolutely gorgeous day and the people were out in full force, strolling along The River Thames, lunching outside Trafalgar Tavern and lying on the grass in front of The Royal Naval College. Greenwich Market was pumping too, with its world food stalls, cupcake stands and organic coffee huts. Meanwhile, in the market’s bustling Admiral Hardy Pub, rosy-cheeked beer-swilling men cheered on their chosen horses as The Grand National got underway on a series of giant screens.
Gay Pride March, July 2003. In the summer of 2003 I was leading a group of Belgian teenagers around the city, when we came across a huge gay pride march. As moody teens, I half expected them to be a bit embarrassed or dismissive. But instead, they insisted on following the march and getting their hands on some of the giant OUT signs, which also referred to the occupation of Iraq. This photo, taken just around the corner from Downing Street, was also their idea. “Being gay is ok, being in Iraq is not!!!” shouted Wouter, a serious-looking doctor’s son from Mechelen.