I love our balcony …
I love our balcony; it gives us wonderful outdoor space with what I consider a great view and it floods our flat with natural light all day long as it is south facing, a must for art making. As most Londoners will admit outdoor space is a dream and if you have it you are envied. I have a container herb garden of rosemary, thyme, mint, sage, and parsley, great to taste but also a feast for the eyes and nose. Every summer I try to grow another couple of plants, this year I’m growing everlasting sweet peas and tomatoes. There is great enjoyment and satisfaction to be had from growing things from seed, a joy when you see you plants thriving. Last week I came home and as if from nowhere my sweet peas had popped their first blooms, pale pinks and bright pinky-purples that glowed luminously in the early evening light. I was very excited and got my camera out to record this first for me in growing sweet peas; and then I just carried on photographing the whole balcony. This balcony that is very mundane, made of metal and wood, but it has bought us such pleasure over the years, so I’ve made a photo collage of that moment in time, a moment of happiness.
Our balcony overlooks railway tracks, you get used to the noise, and the tracks are green corridors through this city, teeming with life. There is a lot of life down there, the seen – foxes, cats, magpies and pigeons, and the unseen – mice, rats, small birds – which sing their chorus at dawn and dusk, and call to each other throughout the day. On the other side of the track are mature trees that screen houses and low rise flats, a beautiful old red brick building, and an old church with a decorative steeple. We have a fabulous open sky view, so much space to watch the starlings’ acrobatics each summer as they come to feed on the clouds of insects; seagulls wheel above us daily waiting for their chance to feed at the local outdoor fish market, we see geese and ducks migrating as the year grows old. Lately we have seen Chinoock helicopters flying around, I assume in preparation for the London Olympics. We have a resident magpie couple that strut their stuff in spiky shoes on the metal warehouse roof beneath us, they perform heart-stopping dives off low-rise buildings and float across the railway track to perch on building outcrops in the sun showing off the blues, purples and greens in their black feathers. I love this balcony.
(All images and works under copyright © Catherine Cronin)