With the weather being so hot this week we have had all the studio windows wide open. We have wonderful views - on the far horizon we look out to the Greenwich Observatory in the East; over to the Cutty Sark and the Naval College in the North East; and around to the towers of Canary Wharf in the North.
In the nearer distance we see the train and the DLR lines, the Laban Dance Centre and of course Deptford Creek with the beautiful lifting bridge which sits on the Ha'penny hatch between Creekside and Norman Road. So much of the history of Deptford is tied up with the Creek - it was an important Royal shipyard from the 16th to the 19th Centuries and the water must have been full of ships and barges coming and going. Although there are no docks left on the water now, the tidal Creek still has a strong presence and there are odd buildings that point to this history - like this old warehouse across the water with its bubblegum pink door. Gravel barges still unload at a permanent crane on the bridge on Evelyn Street, and the cries of the seagulls remind you that we are just a stone's throw from the Thames on its way out to the sea.
One of the things I love about working here with all the windows open is all the sounds of activity - the trains coming and going; the saws in the timber yard just across the Creek; the trucks in our neighbouring yards loading and unloading; and far away the sound of planes taking off from City Airport mixing with the gulls. They are noises which if we were at a closer distance would be grating and distracting, but at an arms length create a wonderful productive sense of the the world at work. When we have the loom or the cone winder or the blanket stitch machine going I like to think that we are adding to this pleasing gentle hubbub of activity.