Pig in a poke

man with bag for life

I’ve been wondering all day at which point our Prime Minister David Cameron decided he’d like to become PM ? Was it after he stuck his dick in a dead pig or before ? I don’t know about you lot but when I was much younger, in my youth, yes I’d go out and get drunk from time to time, but behaving badly with a dead pig as part of some bizarre initiation ritual to join some club was not in my or my mates oeuvre. I did stick a crayon up my nose at infant school when a lass told me to but I was about six at the time and I did learn never again to do a daft thing   just because someone told me to. Don’t get me wrong, I love  a bacon sandwich and nice bit of pork and cracklin when I can get it but that takes the bloody biscuit. I hope he washed it before he stuck it in the dirty git !  I did some pretty daft things in my youth but that certainly was not one of them. Neither was snorting cocaine from my mates very hairy backside ! Then again I wouldn’t have been able to afford cocaine even if I’d have heard about it back in the early eighties.A few pints of well brewed Wards beer was more my choice of fun enhancement.  My mates and I liked a few beers and we could be a bit mischievous but rather than concern ourselves with being bloody annoying to other people we went to see live bands a lot; The Jam, Big Country, Nine Below Zero, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, John Cooper-Clarke, The Undertones etc etc.
Now I’m not one for believing the newspapers and this one certainly takes some believing but it is revealed in some biography about Cameron by some disgruntled ex Tory benefactor who apparently Cameron passed over for some top job in Government. So either Cameron didn’t stick his dick in a dead pig or the Tory benefactor has a somewhat depraved and vivid imagination besides being pretty pissed off that his money didn’t buy him a post. Either way, as per usual neither of them come out of this particularly well and this Eton educated idiot is running the country.

I don’t know this man. I don’t know his name. I don’t know his past and I don’t know his future. The image is not really about the man in the picture at all. The photo above reminds me of my current favourite t-shirt. It’s a quote from a song on the album Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, ‘Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way’. 



A town called malice ! – street confrontation

The following incident I’m about to relate happened on the 16th March 2013. I didn’t realise just how long ago in the year it was until I referred back to my notes. It was such a memorable moment of 2013 for me that its  so  ingrained in my memory that I thought it happened much later in June or July.

It felt like a fairly inauspicious day; dull, cold and overcast but I live in a typical Northern English  town with a gritty history and a problematic future, but  it’s my town and I was born here and I feel a need to document it photographically, following in a  certain tradition of street photography which continues around the world to to this day.

I’d not been in town long and just taken an image of a young girl wearing a red jacket  leaning against a wall when I was approached by a group of teenagers. One of the group, a youth ( youth A )  was taller than the others but I’d estimate that none of them were yet 18 ( at the time of writing this I’m 51 ! ), allowed in Public Houses or classified by law as adults. Certainly as it transpired they were incapable  of intelligent thought, logical deduction or rational argument.  Youth A began to verbally abuse me calling me a paedophile while the others, male and female started throwing things at me. I was hit above the eye by a baseball while on the ground I caught sight of some biscuits and a plastic cigarette lighter. I turned my back on them and walked back  a couple of streets into the centre of town. They followed and Youth A approached me again with a smaller Youth B who was as rude and uncompromising as Youth A if not more so.  I told him that if he thought I was committing a  crime then they should accompany me to the Police station and we’d discuss the matter with them. Not surprisingly they didn’t seem bothered about that  but Youth A expressed a desire to take me to the top of the nearest multi storey car park, beat me up and smash my camera.  He stood at the side of me and announced ” I’m going to hit him”.  An elderly couple who’d heard this exchange asked me if I was having problems and the group began to tell them of my assumed wrongdoing. The elderly man told them they shouldn’t be taking the law into their own hands and I walked off while my aggressors were distracted.  Ten minutes later in another part of town I was approached again and so ensued a game of cat and mouse while simultaneously having thing thrown at me. I eventually lost them in Marks and Spencer and made my way home, a little shaken and unnerved  at my ordeal.

A few days later I returned to town and unwittingly walked into the path of Youth B who immediately began to threaten me. He was with another youth  ( they’re never on their own ) whom I didn’t recognize.   This time I didn’t even have my camera ! Youth B is considerably smaller than me so I was somewhat surprised at his behaviour and his attitude to someone obviously  older than he and larger in stature. Perhaps that observation had just not registered with him or he was just too damned stupid ?  I walked off after again he  declined to accompany me to the Police Station a stone’s throw from where we were presently stood.  I had the same  more forceful conversation a few days later with Youth A, again on his own,  who also declined and had the temerity to accuse me of harassing him !

The image which started all this is produced here for your edification:

girl in red-1


I had some  Council tax to pay and an insurance cheque to pay into the bank. As usual I had my camera with me .  Christmas is an interesting time photographically and I hoped I’d get the opportunity to document this aspect of the town.

I suspect I was followed into the bank by Youth A  but have no proof. Youth A was stood by the door and Youth B in the queue immediately behind me. Youth A pointed me out to Youth B ” You know who that is don’t you ? ” and he lifted his arms to mimic the using of a camera. I turned to face Youth B, ( he took a few seconds to recognize me and  I really didn’t feel comfortable with my back to him) who immediately started verbally abusing me.  As I walked out the bank Youth A was calling me. They followed me outside and this continued. Then  the two set about me. Having just come out the bank I thought I was going to be mugged and Youth B with hands in his pocket had a knife. It all happened quickly and although I managed to defend myself, was caught on the side of the head and  ended up on the ground.  Several days later I have a large bruise middle right buttock and several smaller ones across my ribs and back.

I’m getting far too old for this kind of thing  and the next few Christmas days were   spent slightly bruised and battered. Nothing that a few Ibuprofens haven’t sorted out though.

December 27  2013  – The Police Station

I thought it prudent to inform the police.  I’d like to say that they were helpful. I acknowledged that despite this being Christmas  I should have reported it straight away so they could have had someone on the scene. Next time ( if there is a next time ) I am  to either make my way to the Station or phone them using the 101 number.  I didn’t realise that the passing of time rendered a crime null and void but here’s where it gets interesting.   The two ladies on the desk ( in uniform)   spent a good ten minutes looking on the Police’s very own database for the legalities around photography in public but  were unable to produce me with any  concrete facts, Acts  or Laws really pertinent.  I did however get what I thought was conjecture and supposition based on  what I got the distinct impression,  was personal opinion. Certainly not what I would have expected at a Police Station.

1. When photographing in public anyone who appears  in the image, permission is needed by each individual in the image.

2.  The photographing of Police or any other Security Personnel is most definitely  illegal.

I’ve sought clarification from the Ask The Police Website and provided a link below. I urge you to take a read. This it would seem is all we have to go on at present ?


 Your question relates to a topic already covered on the website. Please see question number Q717 for relevant information. See below for a link to the question.





Officious Personnel

If there’s one thing ( well actually there’s quite a few) that really gets my goat is officious security personnel. Especially when they’re considerably younger than me and wear their stupidity in their ears by way of a large hole which seems to be the fashion these days.  Last week while enjoying a short break with the dog and wife in England’s city of Spires Oxford, the dog and I  were rudely ejected from one of the cities oldest colleges. Fortunately the free  St Edmund Hall Visitors Guide provided me with an email address in which to vent my frustration in a low cost way.  Here is  copy of my email for your enjoyment. Take no shit from these people I urge  you

Dear Sir / Madam

In the absence of signage to the contrary I assumed it was ok for my wife and well-behaved little dog on a lead (a Border Terrier) to visit and walk around the Quad of St Edmund Hall and Churchyard.

I was therefore sufficiently annoyed (enough to write this email) when in the Quad I was approached by a balding, bespectacled man with an unsightly hole in his ear and plastic thing surrounding it, rudely wagging his finger at me from a distance of about 15 metres, and in full view of other members of the public telling me dogs were not allowed in the area. From the same distance he then turned his back on me and walked back into the reception area.

While I can accept the ruling (and my dog really doesn’t care!) I cannot accept being treated so discourteously and on another day I might have vociferously told him so. Perhaps you would like to point out to your staff

and this gentleman in particular that while my individual tax paying contribution to the Oxford University is minute, collectively as a population of which I am a member, it’s probably extremely large and therefore a little consideration, good manners and courtesy would not be out of place. I suggest you do it soon rather than wait for Annual Appraisal time before he offends any more summer visitors.

Finally I note with raised eyebrow that I am sending this to the Alumni Relations & Development Office so I hope you will consider this when reviewing how you relate to the general public

Best wishes