It’s pretty much a given that everyone thinks that 2016 has been a sucky year. It’s been a pain in the arse for a multitude of reasons for a multitude of people. If you had a hero in the world of entertainment, then you dreaded opening up your favourite News Site in fear of finding that they had died. If you are into Politics then you may have been in hog heaven at the constant barrage of either Brexit or the American Election coverage.
It has been a year of polar opposites for everyone. It didn’t really matter what side of any particular fence you sat on, you probably knew that if you opened your mouth and put fingers to keys and posted to the Internet, someone, somewhere would take offence and you would be embroiled in a wicked slanging match over who was right and who was wrong.
Basically, 2016 has been one long Flame War that no side could win. (more…)
A couple of weeks ago we took a family day trip to Margate. I hadn’t been to the seaside proper for a few years and we left in the morning with no real plans of what we wanted to do on our day out. This was the biggest mistake of the day. Having no plans as three adults, left us at the mercy of sitting on the beach for an extended period of time. Not my idea of a good day out.
When I was a kid I enjoyed the seaside and trips to the beach. It was a real treat as a child where my Mum and Dad had a day off that coincided and we would take off to Skegness for the day. The weather was not always the greatest, but as kids we didn’t care. We were just excited to go and play at the seaside. The Arcades and the Pier (which was an extension of the Amusement Arcades on the Promenade Seafront.
I remember vividly one trip that included my Maternal Grandmother where a trip to the pier included a trip on a Rocket Ship ride where it would simulate the take off and the jerky movements one would associate with space travel. Today, this would include some kind of Virtual Reality 3D movie being played with deafening sound, what we got all those years back, was a tinny set of speaks and a grainy film played on a 50-inch screen at the tip of the Rocket Ride. Now, it would be quaint, then it was The Rock & Roll Space Ship ride. It is abiding memories like that that make visits to the seaside a memorable day which ever location we chose.
A model representation of the Astro Liner Rocket Ship ride.
For me, this trip was a chance for me to try and kick-start something creative. I have been a bit “backed up” when creativity has been my focus lately, and I thought a trip to the coast would give me an option to try something different.
I used to be really into iPhoneography and if you look on this website (under the Photography tag) you’ll find some of my past photographic endeavours. I had no plans for what I would do when I got there, but I knew I had to open my eyes more than just looking where I was going. I have to say, it was kind of nice to just stroll around somewhere looking at “things” in a different way than a normal day-tripper would. One thing I did notice though, was the number of people out in Margate on Wednesday with Cameras. I think I noticed them more than I ordinarily would, because I was trying not to stand out.
In the past I have been very wary of Street Photography, as I have always thought it to be very intrusive to the general public, who generally don’t ask to be photographed and in the main rarely get the chance to object. I didn’t want to be that person who photographed strangers with no thought of others feelings. During the afternoon, I came off of the beach and went and sat myself up on the promenade that overlooked the beach. What I noticed whilst sitting on the floor, that no two people look the same from the calf down, but they all tell a story. What are people doing at the seaside on a hot Wednesday? Are they local? How far have they come?
Lots of questions popped into my head, so I decided that I would take my phone out and just start taking pictures of whomever walked by, but it would only. Be their below knee that would be seen and then it could be up to any possible future audience to decide what those people were doing at the seaside that day.
In all honesty, looking at the pictures now a few days later, I am not sure a truly achieved what I set out to do, but in the next few days, I’ll post the ones I like the best and you can decide for yourself. Did I waste my time? Is there something in the saying Art is in the Eye of the Beholder? Or was it just creepy that I sat there taking pictures of people’s feet?
By the way, I do not have a foot fetish at all, why I chose the feet and not the back of people’s heads is just that I could sit on the floor and secretly take pictures without drawing to much notice to myself.
The process of doing this for twenty minutes or so has revitalised my enjoyment of photography. I just need to get my act together and get out and do more of it. I spoke to a colleague at the peer support group that I help run on a Friday (I really must tell you more about that sometime) – and he suggested expanding on the original idea of not really knowing what people’s circumstances are from something as simple as their shoes. The adage of Walk a Mile in Someone’s Shoes to understand their life. I like this idea, and expanding it to explore Mental Health, it is something I have begun to think of the logistics of doing so.
Until next time…
To aid page loading times, I have created a gallery of the images I have spoken about – If you click the image below, you’ll be taken there. Hope you like them.
To preface to this post I want to gently remind anyone who reads this, that I generally refrain from talking politics outside of my living room, and even then it is usually me making fun of our elected (or not so elected) leaders.
I occasionally wonder if there are many people who feel like me that posting anything seemingly controversial on Social Media or on a personal Web Space. It has taken a lot of thought Today for me to sit down and really think if I wanted to post this. In the end I have come to the conclusion that whilst I am fully entitled to use my space however I choose; losing my mind and going on a tirade rant won’t solve anything… so here goes.
When I went to bed last night, I was Paul Hurwood, generally likeable chap who gets on with most people. When I woke up this morning and logged on to social media, it appears that I am now a racist and bigoted freak who only wants to see my country go down the pan! To be perfectly honest, at first glance, I didn’t feel any different; just the same ol slog to get my sluggish mentally interesting brain to cope with the facts of the pre-coffee morning.
Once caffeine had been imbibed and the realisation of what actually happened over night sunk in properly and the ramifications of the result emerged, I started to see more and more negative views of the result and how much people who voted as I had yesterday had ruined the great name of Great Britain.
For an ideology that had spent the past few weeks preaching and screaming from every roof top that inclusion throughout Europe was the best way forward, they are sure doing a pretty thorough job of making me feel like an outsider who deserves to be thrown off the Cliffs at Dover.
Do the people you were friends with last week no longer matter because we had a differing view point? Would they be feeling the same if the result had been the opposite? Why is social discourse so hard on Friday, when on Thursday they had so much to say?
I honestly didn’t think that the EU Referendum would spark the outrage and rancour that the Scottish Independence Referendum did 2 years ago, but I was obviously wrong, because this feels ten times worse, communities are breaking down, families are being yanked apart and all because we disagree on politics… A rich mans game that is so far devoid of honour and reality that to be this divided on one issue is quite frankly scary as all hell, the fact that we have devolved so quickly makes me wonder if going to live on Summerisle (The Wicker Man) a really good idea.
I gave my Niece and Nephew a lift home from school yesterday and whilst waiting for the cab, they were discussing their day at school and they got to the topic of Dystopian Writing. Little did I know that I would find in less than 24 hours that this country would be heading for the greatest dystopian breakdown possible.
For the record, I am neither a racist nor a bigot. I voted leave for reasons of my own, but I can reassure you (and if you know me AT ALL you would know this) it isn’t because I want less foreign people in my homeland, I don’t want to close my borders, and I think Nigel Farrage is a dick – he missed the lesson in politics school about not being a dick and having the smooth talking bastard gene removed at birth didn’t help him in the slightest.
If you have read this far, and still have the same view of knowing me now that I decided to vote Leave yesterday, then I have absolutely no problem with you deciding that I am no longer the kind of person you want to associate with. Feel free to unbookmark my site and unfriend me on social media. But, please if you have the courage to say goodbye first, I’d like that opportunity first.
This very short story was written over three years ago during one of my slumps and quite possibly done during the very early hours of the morning. I originally posted it to abctales.com just to see what kind of feedback I would get. I had no confidence in fiction writing (and I still don’t).
I have never been afraid of age. I have been afraid of what happens around me as I get older, but as far as my getting older is concerned; it’s never really bothered me. I have progressed through my life taking one day at a time and only planning as far as absolutely necessary. I have never really seen the point of long term plans. I guess my old age will kick me in the arse come pension time. (more…)