To someone living in the small English town of Bath, this would surely be the most ordinary scene. Even tourists visiting this fascinating historical place don’t come to photograph these very ordinary houses. But I love this image. It is all the simple and wondrous things about my motherland. Despite visiting in the cold grey drizzle of late October last year, I was enchanted by England. The ever-present bicycles, the small houses built together like co-joined twins, the colourful doors and the chimney stacks. Almost every time I saw those pretty little stacks all sitting in a row I would stop and take a photograph and thoughts of Mary Poppins filled my mind. During my 6 days in England I never stopped marvelling that all the cliques about England were real. People really live in these tiny houses with a fireplace in each room, drink tea constantly and pay taxes to the Queen.

To me, England is all the stories I ever heard as a child. Fairytales and Christmas stockings and where people lived before they were sent to Australia for stealing bread. It’s where Robin Hood lived, biscuits were invented and not to mention the language that I love to use – English. Australia is a young nation, and we don’t have a strong sense of national identity. We don’t really have our own traditions yet, no fables or children’s stories, and we celebrate Christmas right in the middle of summer with a seafood barbeque. Visiting England was like peeking behind the curtain of our disjointed culture and seeing where all those stories and traditions made sense. I never stopped being enchanted by the sight of all those cute little chimney stacks.

I find it fascinating that the people who live on this cold grey island at the edge of the world had the drive and ambition to ‘discover’ America, Australia, colonise large parts of Africa and Asia, invent the production line, the printing press, the telephone – and now the language of this small group of people is the international language of business and communication throughout the modern world. While people in other parts of the world live as they always have, growing vegetables and making houses out of bamboo. Incredible. What drives the Englishman to always see what is around the corner?

This image was observed, not carefully crafted. I was actually obsessed with the long row of houses across the road from it that was built in an impressive curve. I glanced at the other side of the road, observed this cute scene and got that small adrenaline rush that forces my finger to press the shutter trigger. It has turned out to be my favourite image from my whole visit to England. Simple but true.