The Seaside

Photo of Margate Beach

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.

Model of a Space Ship Seaside Ride

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.


Reflections of 2015 (Part 1)

I originally wrote this on New Years Day and it kind of got out of hand (more so than usual for me). What started as a run-down of the past year and a quick look to the upcoming one turned into a 2000 word essay. So I have split it up into two “more manageable” ones. Here is Part 1 about Last year. Part 2 will follow in a day or two. Happy New Year!


Goodbye 2015

Here it is Day One of the New Year and I am late posting my round-up of last year. Can’t say things don’t change eh? I had planned for this post to be done well before the New Year happened so that I could do a separate post about this upcoming year and a few goals I have in mind. More of that in a while though. (more…)

I Am Addicted

(Read that post title to the tune John Bunyan’s “To Be A Pilgrim” – not that it has a bloody thing to do with this post)

Just over three weeks ago I went to the Doctors to keep a self made promise I made to my Mum. I am the kind of person who likes to try and keep his promises where ever possible, but sometimes I over egg the pudding, and occasionally I let my gob get in the way of common sense and offer more than I can deliver. This is one of those time, folks.

They'll Kill ya Folks

They’ll Kill ya Folks

Without airing everyone’s granny pants to the world, its’ time for me to give up smoking for the benefit of everyone in the household. To be supportive to Mum who has had to give up over night and has done it cold turkey and has been smoke free for close to 100 days,. For me health wise, I am getting no younger and with that natural health problems are just hastened on with adding cigarettes to the mix. Then there is the financial side to the whole thing,, it’s bloody expensive. (more…)

A-Z Update

A-Z 2015 Challenge Banner

Folks, I hate what I am about to write because dammit, I was having so much fun.

I am going to have to drop out of this years challenge.

I have had a pretty major family emergency come up that has over the weekend.  I won’t go into details, but needless to say, it has pretty much sapped my will to continue writing in the style that I have been over the past couple of weeks for the challenge and as for having the time at the moment, I just don’t.

I’ll try to post an update on how things are going with me later in the week and maybe if things allow I may try to get a prompt from somewhere and write a post to ease the boredom.

I want to take this chance to thank absolutely everyone who has stopped by the blog, new and old over the past 10/11 days. Those who have liked a post, re-tweeted a post. Left a comment or just read and run. You all have lifted my spirits and given me more reasons to keep on writing in the future.

I will complete the rest of the challenge later in the year when circumstances allow.

Until next time…

Rejected About Me Page

I am trying to spruce up this blog a little. Updating a few things here and there, making a few changes, updating the links on the Links page and moving things around. One of the main things I wanted to change was the Your Host page. It was written in a state of frustration. I was sick and tired of trying to come up with yet another About Me page and plaster it up and make it some kind of humorous. It has been there for a couple of years. In the early hours of one morning when I couldn’t sleep (count the many that have been recently), something flipped in my head (it was probably  the sausage roll that I had eaten an hour before, but shush don’t tell). I pulled out a scrap of paper and started a list of things about me.

Then I started writing.

What follows couldn’t possibly be used as a serious About Me page due to its bad taste, but hey, taste is subjective I guess.

How do you write about yourself without sounding big headed? You kill yourself, of course!

Your Host

Paul in a TARDIS Hoodie

Paul in a TARDIS Hoodie

Ladies and Gentlemen, we are gathered here today to bid a fond farewell to Paul Hurwood, who was a good man, for the most part… he was a heavy git to carry from the car to the front of the church.. he always did like his pie and chips, not to mention the odd gallon of coffee a day.

For those who knew him well, knew that he was never happier than when he was in plugged into something loud and angry, making his feet tap and his ears throb. From a young age, he had the beast of Rock and Roll in him. Despite his father’s best efforts to get him to play musical instrument, he took up the drums and didn’t do that too well either… there is nothing more sad than a failed drummer, except that of a failed Bass player.
After music came Science Fiction, in most part Doctor Who. One would often find Paul running around with a replica sonic screwdriver pointed to the sky,  screaming at the clouds for “The Doctor” to hurry up and come take him away from the “BLOODY MADNESS“. We were never sure “What Madness” and “Which Doctor“,  we are sure that the medication was working towards the end of his long and eventful years.
In his spare time, Paul was passionate about advocating for others who had problems with Mental Health issues.  He saw it as his “Duty” to stand up for the little guy and give a voice and a place to breathe for those who had none and nowhere.

His indefatigable way with life often masked a deeper issue. He rarely slept, due to Insomnia, so he joked that he had to be ready “FOR THE BLOODY DOCTOR”.  Always a joke to had for something so serious.

During the Internet years of his life, his passion for knowledge began to bloom. He found he learned more during the latter portions of his life than he did in all the years he attended formal school. He once told me “School was great for the basics, but the real stuff is online in the REAL WORLD”.

He leaves behind a Wife and Mother,  who have refused to die despite being twenty years older than him. They are now 120 and 122 years old respectively and would not die first as they didn’t want Paul to have any fun without them being around. Paul’s final words to them was  “Bugger”.

Also left behind, are his Brother Nik, Esther, and their children. They may have had their roller coaster times, but, when it mattered, they were at their strongest when they stood side by side and were united as a family.

Paul was a rather young Grandfather, 25 to be precise. It took him by surprise.  He wasn’t expecting it, especially considering he had never had any children of his own.  We are taking it that marrying a person 20 years his senior will have that effect. The 8 Grandkids all added a bunch of grey hairs to his beard over the years, mostly by their butchery of the English language on Social Media.

Ladies and Gentlemen, at this point in the service, we’d like to ask if there is anyone who would like to say anything about Paul?

*Fart* “Pepsi Max please and a Chicken and Stuffing wrap.”

Thank you, Linda.

*Cough* “Can I have my Cup of Tea now? They said there would be Tea!

Thank you, Kay.

With that, we leave you with your thoughts….

So  there you have it, the not fit for purpose About Him page that wasn’t fit for printing. No doubt there will be certain comments made from certain quarters, but hey.

Until Next Time…

13 Years

13 years ago, I was no longer a stranger in a country that I dreamed of visiting for pretty much all of my life, but after that day all I really wanted to do was go home. The dream had been spoiled. Mickey Mouse and Apple Pie was no more and the movie screen was dim and the Cowboys and Indians were riding off into the sunset for the last time. On September 11th 2001 reality had come home and I didn’t want any part of it. (more…)

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