Cherry Blossom at the Ikon

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Every year I take the same photos in the same places. Blossom season is my favourite time of year, and after a childhood of moving every eighteen months to four years with my dad’s job, as an adult I have come to really appreciate the beauty of living in a place for many consecutive seasons and knowing the way the light will fall on my favourite haunts. I love that I have years and years of blossom photos taken in this same square, charting my progress from absolute beginner to where I am now. I love that I know the square’s best angles, and the best times of day to photograph it. It doesn’t make it boring for me, but rather it’s a great source of comfort. I know this city, it is my city, and it looks so beautiful in spring.

The trees bloomed two weeks later this year than last and I have been checking the buds every time I pass through the square. This week I am spending as much time there as possible, to make the most of the blossom while it is at its best. This morning I took my tea – a controversial morning choice of Brazilian Maté rather than my usual Assam – in a thermos flask, and sat out under the trees, people watching, until the light came around and provided this gorgeous side lighting. I arrived too early because I hadn’t factored in the time change – our clocks moved on Sunday morning – but it was worth the wait.

I had an hour to wait for the light to change, so I sat with my chipped enamel mug and watched as a family of three arrived, dressed up for portraits. The mother and daughter stood together beneath the trees in matching pink outfits, the little girl all of six or seven years old and very happy to do as her mother asked, cutesy poses and all. A little while later three people arrived and began filming clips for what I presume will be a music video, walking up and down beneath the trees while mouthing the lyrics to a song they played on a little Bluetooth speaker. I didn’t take my phone or mp3 player with me, so I just sat and enjoyed my tea while watching these scenes unfold, the site team cleaning and tidying the square ready for the day, and the light tracking over the rooftops of the high buildings bordering the square. Oozells Square is a big building site at the moment and incredibly noisy even at 8am, but I turned my back to the construction work and just enjoyed the view of the blossom on what was a lovely and warm spring morning. Eventually the light trickled into the square, just as the music video shoot was coming to an end, and so I put my thermos away and pulled my camera out of my bag, and got to work myself.

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