diamond geezer

 Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Well, there you go, that's London's lost rivers duly blogged. Twelve rivers that used to be visible but no longer are, all of them investigated, photographed and summarily digested. What a pointlessly stupid thing to do. I could have had a life over the last 11 months, whereas instead I've been out regularly traipsing through London's suburbs, scribbling things down in reference libraries and staying indoors of an evening to write everything up in far too much detail. And for what? There are no rewards, save that of a job complete. Yes, I know you've enjoyed it. But you're in the minority, you know that. Most people couldn't give a damn about parks in Peckham and backstreets in Acton. They'll have come back to the blog this morning hoping I've finally shut up about rivers, and be mortified to see me dribbling on about them for one more day. I have rock solid evidence, too, of your increasing lack of interest. The first set of river photos I posted this year - for the Westbourne - got more than 500 views. Every set since has had fewer viewers than the set before. Counter's Creek got 300, for example, the Effra 160, the Walbrook barely 120, while this latest set for the Tyburn's not even scratched 100 despite four days of plugging. I guess lost rivers are just too niche a subject, so why would the world be interested? What I should have done is tweeted all the rivers in 140 characters or less "Hackney Brook: OMG the Emirates, Clissold Park and some house where Marc Bolan lived - who knew?" because that would have been a lot quicker, and much more zeitgeist. Anyway, look, I've enjoyed the full in-depth investigation, and I feel far better educated as a student of London psychogeography as a result. Plus I've now been everywhere on this map that's marked light blue, which is a feat I bet you can't match. I should also warn you that if we were ever out walking together (which I admit is unlikely) I could now bore you silly by continually pointing at bits of ground and saying "that used to be a lost river, that did." If I've hit your home patch over the last year, I'm delighted. If you've seen bits of London in a different way, great. And to the reader who emailed me the idea in the first place, thanks, it was indeed a great idea. Sorry I delivered it all wrong, and not in any way how you'd have liked it. Now all I need is an equally pointless quest to embark upon next year. Any thoughts?

» North of the Thames (from west to east): Stamford Brook, Counters Creek, Westbourne, Tyburn, Fleet, Walbrook, Hackney Brook, Pudding Mill.
» South of the Thames (from west to east): Falcon Brook, Effra, Neckinger, Earl's Sluice, Peck.

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