Roving reporter Nicola interviewed Thames-loving & living Tom Goodinge from an outdoor café in West London. She asked him if his life could speak what would it say?

Life is changing for me, for a variety of different reasons. I’m finishing education once and for all, and I'll be starting my career in international relations and risk management. And I’ve just had my birthday, with a party of 40 people at my local pub by Thames.

Summer is when I come alive. I take energy from the sun, from the long days and late evenings. I think naturally we humans hibernate in winter, without realizing it. Because it’s harder to get up in the morning and we go to bed earlier at night.  

With summer comes a lot of energy. So it’s time to play cricket, tennis, and other sports. And taking long walks. Whereas in the winter it's more like sitting in front of the TV with a blanket on. I’m making winters sound so depressing!

The ever-changing landscape of the River Thames ⓒ Tom Goodinge

My favourite walk is along the River Thames. But I’m happy to walk anywhere. I’m an urban guy, living in London all my life. So my walks are always in London. I sold my bike a couple of years ago which, when looking back, was probably a mistake. I used to cycle around Richmond Park. But those days are gone.

Really connecting with someone

In that last lockdown - the one where we were only allowed one hour’s walk a day - that was the pinnacle. I love walking by myself, normally with music or podcasts in my ears. But generally I go walking with family and friends. It’s an opportunity to chat and bond.

I find when you walk, you talk. About slightly different things than when you’re around a dinner table. It's a bit more relaxed, and you're more open. You talk about life, how you’re feeling, how they’re feeling. Which is different than when you're at the pub or at home, where you might be up for small talk and a laugh. But on these river walks, you can really connect with someone, especially if it's just you and another person.

This kind of connection is important to me, especially as I’ve just come out of university, where it’s easy to have relationships with a lot of people that are quite surface-level. You see them out partying, and that's about it, and then you might stop them for a chat when you bump into them. And it's just reminiscing about the night before. Whereas when you actually know someone well, and go on walks with them and connect with them, you have a deeper relationship.

My life speaks


With a deeper relationship and connection comes understanding. You can see them, and they can see you, as a safe space. If they have troubles, they can trust you. Whenever I’ve had difficulties or been broken up with, I’ve gone to be by the river. It's where friends have taken me to talk about their own problems or break ups.

It's important to me that people trust me. Because I don't want anyone to feel that they’re alone with no one to speak to. And if they feel they can say it to me, at least that's one person. Then they’re not alone.

Life was interpreted by

Tom Goodinge, who has a background in international relations. He is a water-loving urban boy, through and through, and wears a faceless watch that doesn’t tell the time.

Tom says to life

I love city walking, especially by the river. On these walks, it’s so easy to connect with myself and with others.

Randomly Tagged

Tom was invited by Nicola Gale, after they met at the gym and had a chat about surviving lockdown.