Where the pipes are – Along the Thames in London

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

As the day started to come to an end, I decided to head down along the bank of the Thames to see what I could dig up. I had heard these stories about pipes made out of clay as well as bones (eeek!) that can be found during low tides here. As I hopped about the area with Nikon and tripod in tow searching for my next HDR acquisition, I had almost forgot about what was beneath my feet as I carefully navigated the riverside debris.

Just then, off to camera left behind me (or is that camera right……I always get those confused), I saw a lady with a little satchel that appeared to be combing the area for goodies! Curious as I am, I left my post to see what she was scavenging for. Sure enough, she had her own little stash of these cool little pipes. She proceeded to tell me that some of these were actually over a hundred years old! I have no reason not to believe her as I have never seen anyone smoke anything out of these bizarre little “bone-like” pipes. They were pretty cool!

After a little chit chat, she gave me one as a little gift to take home. After lugging it (well, not really LUGGING it….I mean really. It was a weee little pipe!) all over England and Ireland, I decided to pitch it before coming home thru the airport security. Yeah, the full cavity search is not the sort of thing one likes to set themselves up for!


Just to ramble on here a bit (because I can I guess….)

I also vividly remember the hundreds of Londoners hanging out just on the other side of the Thames enjoying a few pints with their colleagues. I use that word as they appeared to be stock brokers, lawyers, accountants, insurance salesmen, or some other sort of paper pusher. (Geeeezzz, hope I didn’t offend TOO many people here). I remember this gathering of suits and ties tonight as something is still pretty fresh in my mind from a tour I had today.

My little one had an introduction to a middle school today that she will be trying out for in a few months for next years school year. Its a pretty good arts school here in South Florida and a little bit of a challenge to get into. This concept of a middle and high school that you have to try out for is new to me, but I think its really the way of the future. I can remember being shuffled along thru my years of school with virtually no intense direction or creative guidance as we were all herded out the door with a piece of paper and a swift kick in the ass as we were told to go out into the world and make money. Good luck kiddies!

OK, maybe it wasn’t THAT bad, you must agree that as a country, we have all but beaten the arts out of the creative mind in exchange for the training the masses to “fit in” and “meet the standards.” After that, and the massive amount of debt that the average college grad accumulates, its then time to do nothing but go to work and try to make piles of money to get out of this insane pile of debt all while chasing the accumulation of more stuff. The maddening cycle continues then for so many. For me, college past year 1.5 never happened as that was the time I decided to create my own business, but I can feel the pain of so many others.

OK…sorry….might be a bit too deep for this photoblog, but still worth chatting about…

I felt pretty good after this tour is what I am trying to get at basically (finally Mike!)

The director of admissions began his talk to the hopeful students and all of the parents with a few comments that I resonated with. Like I mentioned earlier in this post, he talked about his own feelings about how society has placed the arts on the back burner in exchange for training the youth of today to pursue the dollar. But really, it is in fact, the creatives of society….if nurtured and allowed to express themselves freely and passionately, who are truly the ones who are the architects of a new tomorrow and are the only ones who are (in my opinion) going to get us out of some of the messes we are in today! The the creatives create..and nurture that. Seems to be missing in most schools these days…….

I had a newly found optimism for this world as I toured the halls of this school though. Seeing teachers and students with a passionate twinkle in their eyes all while deep in creative thought, focus, and expression.

Yeah…..I have a good feeling about tomorrow, or at the very least, a better one  🙂

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