Thames Stroll

Strolling along the Promenade - London 1967

March 6, 2013

I don't want to overload you with memories from my distant past while I was living in England, but I thought this little story was too good to pass up.  

(See the note on my project in my last essay.)


When in London, I used to head off by myself, with my camera, to discover what I could about the city.  I would end up in the strangest places sometimes, but on this day I was walking beside the Thames looking at people.  Winter in 1967 on the Thames Promenade was not a busy time.  It certainly was free from tourists.  

This couple was happily ambling along chatting with one another.  As they got closer, I realised how completely engaged they were.  Then I saw their clasped hands and it was clear that they were a couple very much in love.  The signs of love were not what you would see with younger couples.  The signs here were more subtle, more discrete.  They were probably in their late 50’s, born around 1910.  From their dress, I assumed they were very British and had probably lived in England through the two world wars, the first as unaware children and the second as very aware adults.  They were probably too old to go to war in the 40’s, but no doubt experienced it in many ways, if they lived in London.

I saw this often, this love between two older people, but only because I was looking for it.  The reason for that was that such couples reminded me of my own mother and father.  The signs of romance were, it seemed to me, quite Victorian, but real nevertheless.

Looking at this picture now, I try to think of what these people did in their lives.  The man has the appearance of a university professor and the woman could be the same.  I wonder if they were married or if this was a more recent love discovery?  Whatever it is, it looks sincere to me and still makes me feel good to see them so happy and absorbed in one another.