What does “a great view” mean to you?
Is it a sunset? The waves crashing onto a beach? Snow capped peaks on the horizon?
I don’t mean your favourite sight: sleeping babies / plates of amazing food / empty washing basked / the name of your football club at the top of the premier league table, but a view. A proper view.
Mine is in London and it was whilst looking at it for an hour yesterday with a mug of tea that Mr B said “but it isn’t very pretty is it?”. No. No it isn’t pretty and that is possibly why I love it so much.
First of all I have a thing about roofs. I don’t know if it is the property person in me that has this “thing” or if it is something romantic linked to Mary Poppins. But I love them. Looking down on the bit of a building that you were never supposed to see.
The air vents. The chimneys. The sky lights. The air conditioning vents. The amazing tiling. The higgledy piggledy ness (yes that is so a real word) of them all.
And this view completely satisfies my urge to look at them. I often walk along streets and look up but it just isnt the same as being able to look down on them from the 11th floor of an apartment block.
But beyond the roofs there are all sorts of things to look at.
The train in the foreground with yachts just beyond, moored in a private harbour.
Million Pound apartments next door to two blocks of social housing.
“The Design Centre” full of aspirational ideas next to wasteland.
A derelict building with two amazing chimneys that is about to be redeveloped into more housing.
Landmarks like the BT Tower in the distance, with the Shard and the Gherkin just to the right, out of shot. With other buildings that dominate the skyline but that you have no idea what they are.
Also out of that shot is a tiny church that sits right on the bank of the Thames. Looking like it is about to be swamped by the buildings behind it, and the river in front at high tide.
And the river Thames. Constantly moving.
I could sit and stare at this view for hours. Hours. And actually I have done that on the odd occasion. It is my favourite view in the world.
Not my favourite place to sit, that is in Barbados. But this is my favourite view.
Because it isn’t pretty.