In the autumn of 1933 J.B. Priestley in his ‘English Journey’ passed through Chesterfield. This is what he wrote
‘ The fancy that we might be rushing on into some strange mad England, inspired by the sight of those staring people, returned to me a little later when we reached Chesterfield’
……… ‘The people who live in its shadow [Crooked Spire] ought to be folks out of the common. They ought to be careering about like elvish burghers and peasants in old Breughel’s enchanting pictures. They ought to be humourists. Every time the morning papers arrive in Chesterfield roars of laughter ought to ascend to that black barley-sugar stick of a spire. For a moment I thought there was an air of cheerful madness about the whole place, welcomed it, and said to myself that England ought to be filled with such fantastic pieces of architecture, to match its fantastic characters and books.’
….. ‘with that mad spire to live under, Chesterfield ought never to be allowed to enter industry; it should never have passed dividened, never come within sight of double entry book-keeping; but ought to have been kept as a Derbyshire stronghold of cheerful English eccentricity’ – J.B. Priestley – English Journey – Penguin Books
It’s difficult to motivate yourself to get out and make images in this weather but motivate yourself you must. It’s actually a good time if you can do it. All those fair weather photographers are tucked up in doors where it’s dry and warm. I’ve been out with the dog this morning because there’s no way he’s crapping on the carpet. The wife says he’d never do that in a million years but I’m not taking any chances. She says there’s more chance of me doing it than him. Well really !!
The above image I took back in January 2013. I watched this couple for a while from a discreet distance and took quite a few images. This is perhaps my favourite. It seemed to me like they were struggling with their relationship. Getting to grips with young love, early passions. Not sure about this, not sure about that. We’ve all been there. I know I have a long time ago. I wander what they’re doing now each of them. If they’re still together ? Eventually they kissed and made up but I got the feeling there were more trials and tribulations to come. Sometimes I envy the young, they’ve got it all in front of them. Sometimes I don’t, they’ve got it all in front of them.
January is a shitty month. I’ve never been a big fan really. Here in the UK it’s cold, wet and damp. This last week the sky has been a leaden grey. If it wasn’t for the BBC crime drama Death in Paradise I wouldn’t get any bloody sunshine right now. The temperature this last week has been about 4 degrees. Apologies if you live in a much colder climate and you’re thinking “hey that’s nothing you should try minus fifteen” or something but here in England anything approaching freezing starts to become a national crisis. We can’t cope.
Yesterday my Version Lightroom 2 decided to throw a wobbler and re-assigned the Folder drive to a different drive letter thus rendering all my images missing. Yes I know we’re on Lightroom 7 or whatever but when I buy a software package I expect it to last forever. I only use it to catalogue and work flow my images with a bit of exposure tweeking anyway. So now I’ve got to go through the whole sorry process of re-assigning the drive letter. The bastard ! The good news is that with my Windows phone now set to Windows 10 I can load the proper version of Instagram. Check me out andygreaves54. So I can up my Instagram profile. Hoorah to that !
I didn’t get a good night’s sleep last night. There was a party going on in my head, lights were flashing, thoughts were dancing. If I could have got up and put pen to paper without disturbing the wife and dog I’d have written a bloody good stream of consciousness article for your edification. Not even a middle of the night cup of tea could send my unwelcome party goers home so I just had to lay there and keep quiet and still.
I’m a bit into fashion. I think fashion is cyclical, what goes around comes around. These days I can’t afford much. If money were no object I’d be going for Armani and Boss with the occasional bit of Gucci and Prada thrown in. A man’s clothes should be simple, unfussy and well made. I can’t be doing with needless buttons and fussy paraphernalia but plenty of pockets for man things. I love a good pair of shoes. Traditional and rugged in design. Recently I’ve been getting my clothes gear from a bloke on the market at knock down prices. I love browsing the Vintage clothes shops, like I said what goes around comes around. I remember when the Chopper was released by Raleigh bikes on an unsuspecting British public. Robert whatsisname over the road had one. He had everything. The first version the handlebars were just fastened by a bolt to the cross bar. Consequently the cow horn handlebars ( see t-shirt for illustration) worked themselves loose resulting in some unforeseen road accidents. Raleigh then released a version where the handlebars were welded.
My talk on Street Photography to a group of U3A students in Sheffield, that’s University of the Third Age, went well yesterday I think. It was the first time I’ve given such a talk and before I was really nervous. My mate came with me and we went in a café before hand. I couldn’t eat or drink. When I get nervous it goes straight to my stomach, straight to my bowels. I talked for an hour. First I gave what I thought was a definition of street photography followed by a very brief potted history of the genre while showing some of the finest examples of work by photographers who I feel have certainly influenced me. One or two photographers who wouldn’t necessarily classify themselves as street photographers but at some point certainly did stalk the streets e.g. Diane Arbus, Don McCullin. The second half of the hour was devoted to showing my work and talking about my scatty approach.
As I say I think they enjoyed it. Well anyway I got a round of applause and I was paid which was nice.
I’ve had an email ( see below ) from a Mr Steve Cox of the FBI telling me I’m due a hell of a lot of money which they’re going to pay me in $15,000 a day chunks. I’ve replied and told him to fuck off !
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Counter-terrorism Division and Cyber Crime Division J. Edgar. Hoover Building Washington DC Chris Swecker,
Records show that you are among one of the individuals and organizations who are yet to receive their overdue payment from overseas which includes those of Lottery/Gambling, Contract and Inheritance. Through our Fraud Monitory Unit we have noticed that you have been transacting with some impostors and fraudsters who have been impersonating the likes of Prof. Soludo /Mr. Lamido Sanusi of the Central Bank Of Nigeria, Mr. Patrick Aziza, Bode Williams, Frank, Anderson, none officials of Oceanic Bank, Zenith Banks, Kelvin Young of HSBC, Ben of FedEx, Ibrahim Sule, Dr. Usman Shamsuddeen and some impostors claiming to be The Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The Cyber Crime Division of the FBI gathered information from the Internet Fraud Complaint Center (IFCC) on how some people have lost outrageous sums of money to these impostors. As a result of this, we hereby advise you to stop communication with any one not referred to you by us. We have negotiated with the Federal Ministry of Finance that your payment totaling $5,900,000.00(Five Million Nine Hundred Thousand Dollars). will be released to you via a custom pin based ATM card with a maximum withdrawal limit of $15,000 a day which is powered by Visa Card and can be used anywhere in the world where you see a Visa Card Logo on the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM).