Memories

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.

margate-wednesday-2

I Got Chil(is)

If you were to meet me in the street today, you would get a grown version of Billy Bunter, but I enjoy my food. I always have. I rarely turn food away and the times I do it is for a reason:

Hairy Pork Belly Strips
Asparagus (anything)
Anything with Chilli’s

(more…)

Project 39 – Week 7

Well it finally looks like summer has finally arrived and I feel like I couldn’t wish for winter to arrive quicker. Even though I have been steadily losing weight for the past few years I still detest the oppressive heat that summer brings. The close muggy feeling that midday temperatures bring.

Oh well, can’t complain all the time.

A couple of weeks ago I was asked to guest edit the wonderful This World In Mentalist weekly roundup of Mentalist Blogs. I chose a blog that mentioned about getting out in the Garden and getting the grass cut and the beneficial results of doing that. Well yesterday I did just that and lo… I felt better after. I felt a sense of something accomplished. OK my arms and wrists ached, but that’s a by-product of a possible reoccurrence of Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, not a great deal I can do about that. The last place we lived had a deceptively large garden that was virtually impossible for us to keep under control. It would take an hour just to get the first corner done and then we’d all be too knackered to carry on so it would get left. This garden is so much better and manageable.  It took me around 45 minutes to get the majority of the garden cut, and if it hadn’t been for the aforementioned pain I would have done the edges with the strimmer and finessed the job off. Maybe another day when the evil that is the sun has buggered off.

George Osbourne… Gonna… Wanna… ARRRGGHHHH

Last week George Osbourne gave his Spending review speech to the House Of Commons and I sat and watched in credulous along with the rest of the country, but I was dragged from my induced madness by the man’s total lack of diction. I made this post in response to a friend’s post on Facebook:

Screen Capture from Facebook

My FB post about George Osbournes Diction during the Spending Review Speech

A while later, I was skimming my Twitter feed and I saw this video tweeted:

Stephen Fry is a bit of a hero of mine. He is an open champion of Mental Health issues and has been for some time, and he happened to become the most vocal at about the same time I needed the most help understanding where I stood with my own health.

The Irish gave the bagpipes to the Scots as a joke, but the Scots haven’t seen the joke yet. – Oliver Herford

You know, hate is a strong word that I am trying to eliminate from my vocabulary slowly.  There is one thing that as much as I try will never be eliminated from my hatred column though:

BAGPIPES

These horrid soul sucking beasts from the netherworld create the sound of a wildebeest standing on its own scrotum and not having the dumb sense to get off of itself. Having said that, there is one, just ONE exception to this rule: AC/DC.  The track “It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna To Rock ‘n’ Roll)”. That is the only justification I had until this past week for Bagpipes, that until I saw this video:

Please note: He had the sense to keep it short. “Well done that man”.

Giddy as a 15 Year Old Kid Again

Back when I was a very VERY spotty 15 year old kid I remember eagerly coming home from school one September afternoon hoping and praying it would be there. That one thing I had been busting a gut string wishing would be mine. That was the Bon Jovi album New Jersey. That would be my first album, the first one that was all mine. When I got home from school my mum was stood by our stereo and as I opened the living room door I heard the opening sounds of “Lay Your Hands On Me“, and it was then I knew… “It was there… It was mine”. I didn’t listen to anything else for days after. I think I annoyed my family more in that week than I had bugging them about getting the album the day it came out in the weeks leading up to its release.

Yesterday Black Stone Cherry helped me relive that feeling for a while as they posted to their Facebook timeline a Fan captured video of a new track from their forthcoming new album that they played at Download last weekend. The track “Me and Mary Jane” is a certifiable BSC classic in the making. The video below isn’t the greatest, but it gave me enough goosebumps to be that 15 year old kid again.

(Video Removed Due to You Tube Take Down Inconsiderate People)

Finally, this past week we went to a local event run by the church my Brother and his family go to. I’ll be making a post about it next week as I have some stuff I want to say about the event, but as always It gave me a chance to take some photos, and I even managed to get some video using an iPhone app that gave some great results, more of that next week. This photo is one of my favourite subjects, and I think his favourite pastime is to pose for photos. This is my Nephew Gibson. I have tweaked the image in the iPhone app PhotoToaster.

Gibson.

My Nephew, Gibson

Until Next Time…

Carpe Momentum

Quite recently I have gotten in touch with a very old friend with whom I had pretty much given up on ever speaking to again. It’s great to find friendships from years ago that could pick up in moments as if no time had passed. This got me to thinking though. There is no visual history of our friendship from back then. There are no photos of us together, there are no videos of the madcap stuff we used to get up to. I know that if videos had existed then we would be You Tube stars in a week.. at least that is how my memory places my past.

I have a message for Parents and Kids.

First the Adults, Make sure your kids know about the need to document their lives. I don’t mean make them sit down and write a daily diary, but the big things and the small. Give them the option to have a Camera. It doesn’t have to be the biggest or best with all the features David Bailey uses, but a little point and shoot. If they have to have a mobile phone, make sure it has a half way decent camera on it. They will thank you in the future when relationships reignite after the last flush of youth has flown.

Now to the kids reading, If you have a camera, USE IT. Use it for good, use it to remember the good times. Make sure your SD card is always needing emptying, but it will be a lifetime of regret f you can’t relive those memories when time passes and you are older, it takes five minutes to transfer the pictures off of a card. Take pictures of your friends.. have friends take pictures of you, get a random bloody stranger to take pictures of you and your friends. You will never regret having to many memories but you will regret the missed chances that you can never get back 20 years down the line.

My youth was never conventional and I so regret not having a few pictures of the late night concerts we used to put on in the Library Park, (even the night we were moved on by the Police Lady that seemed to be following us around). I regret not having a picture of My Best Friend sitting on my shoulders as we watched Iron Maiden at the Assembly Rooms in Derby. Those moments are gone, take my advice and Seize The Moment whilst they are still in the moment.

Until Next Time…

Outside The West End

I was in the back of a car travelling through London at approaching evening Rush-Hour. We were stopping and starting through traffic and each street looked the same and it just seemed to be an endless string of closed down shops or grubby looking Take-Aways.

Out of nowhere a theatre appeared. Yeah, you read right, a Theatre.

A Theatre in a Random London Street

Out of no where it appeared.. A Theatre.

All theatres are a little space of magic to me. I haven’t set foot inside a theatre for quite a while and that disappoints me. It doesn’t matter where or for what, stepping through the doors to an auditorium always fills me with a feeling of excitement that lasts for days afterwards. It’s a special time. For those 2 hours that you are sat in the dark taking in the joys being offered it’s like nothing else matters. The feeing of being somewhere else is just magical.

(The image was taken and edited using Camera+ straightened using PhotoToaster and Filtered with Snapseed)

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