I’d never been up Primrose Hill before.
Nor had I stood atop its pinnacle, to be caressed by its panorama of London’s cityscape.
But as I hiked up the gradient, the view swelled with each step from tree-obscured plainness to peripheral expansion; once enclosed by its urban pastures, Regents Park was then trampled and overlooked beneath my foothold, whereas Central London shot up like accelerated plant growth, ground-levelled to sky-scraping within minutes.
Even without having been there, should I not have expected a scenery-admiring crowd already at the top of Primrose Hill, volleys of camera triggers pressed against the stone dial marking its circumference, crossfires of exposures swapped between posing figures, their swathing backdrop and lenses?
It appeared hardly any eyeballs weren’t buffered by an LED screen or viewfinder.
Except for the couple.
His fingertips flinched in pulses – to stroke her back. Their shutters flickered – blinking eyelids shading their retinas in between prolonged exposures. Beams struck across their face – not because they were posing, but expressions of contentment from each other’s company, from marvelling the current moment’s surroundings with their own eyes.
Theirs was a presence I felt: like a brisk sunny interval on this gloomy January afternoon.