The Black Dog



Caravan Diaries

Caravan Diaries 24th August cont’d


We potter around the caravan getting the toilet system up and running with the required liquids blue and pink, and get off for a walk around 4pm. Down on the beach we set off in the direction of Bempton Cliffs. In the distance we can see Gannets spiralling around the cliff face. Bempton Cliffs is a wonderful RSPB reserve atop a 300 foot chalk cliffs. Quite spectacular. At the right times of year you can see Gannets, Fulmars, Razorbills and Puffins. On the beach I make some images of old concrete structures gradually sinking into the sands and being eroded slowly by the sea. Apparently concrete never sets ! This coastline is steadily being eroded by the tides. There’s little anything can be done. Second World War pillboxes hastily erected from which we’d have shot at the Nazis as they stormed up the beach to buy their buckets and spades from the beach cafe are now sinking into the beach. Up on the cliffs and in the fields  more pill boxes wait their fate. Time is an abstract concept.



Not an Anthony Gormley !
Harry my faithful Border Terrier rolls in something decomposed. Last time we were here he managed to sniff out a dead seal with which to sweeten himself up for the ladies with. This time it’s something similar but less recognisable. He stinks to hell and back.
When we get back my caravan neighbour from Preston has been in to Filey and had a new tattoo done. This one is on the front of his neck over his adam’s apple . It looks bright and fresh but without looking closely I can’t make out what it is. I might pluck up the courage to ask him If i can take his portrait. Since I would have thought most people have tattoos with the intention of them being seen by others I can’t see why he’ll object. Nothing to lose by asking except maybe a few teeth ? Now we know his name is Phil we find ourselves sandwiched between two Phil s. A Phil sandwich.
Later Phil on the other side kindly comes round with his TV and lets us test our aerial and booster box to confirm that we do need an updated digital setup for our own caravan.


The wife wishing she was in Rio for the Olympics !

Caravan Diaries – 23rd August

Caravan Diary 23rd August 2016

We walked on the beach all the way round the bay to Filey. I left the cameras back at the caravan. I knew that i’d regret it because there’s always images to be found out there. I wanted a hands free day though, just me, the wife and the dog. Was it Winogrand said in an interview something like ‘ there are no pictures when I don’t have my cameras’ ?


Over at Filey the Lifeguard Station was quite busy. Two youngsters were sat on the front with their feet in the ‘Weaver Fish Bucket’. I was stung by a Weaver fish in the sea at Scarborough back during the weekend of August 16th 1977. I remember this because a weaver fish sting is extremely painful and the death of Elvis Presley the same time will always be associated by me with the sting of a weaver fish. Apparently they came over from the Continent during the hot summer of 1976 and it appears they’ve been on our shores ever since. Funny that we’re on the East Coast which voted overwhelmingly for Brexit. Is it me who sees a little irony here ? Weaver Fish Out. The lifeguard told me they’d had ten that day  ! …………..ouch !


This little bastard burrows in sand waiting to sting unsuspecting children paddling in the sea !

The wife thought I’d put a fiver in my pocket and I thought she had. Neither of us had but fortunately I had just enough change for two mugs of tea. The Cornettos would have to be missed.

We’ve got some neighbours now to the right of us. They’re from Preston and probably a little older than us. He’s heavily tattooed, on his legs, all down his arms and back with blue stars on his bald head. He’s been struggling to get a signal on the caravan TV, the wife likes her TV he tells me.


24th August 2016

The heavily tattooed man from Preston, Phil has spent the best part of the last two days trying to get his TV working for his wife who looks to have had a stroke so can’t move around much. The telly is her lifeline. I’m a helpful person so I get involved. I’m a little bit reticent because I don’t want to get in above my current understanding of caravan television setups. Besides my man from Preston looks like he could get a bit fierce if I unwittingly punch a hole in the side of his caravan. Maybe it’s the tattoos ? In trying to solve the problem he’s been off to Filey and bought a TV off some bloke in a house for forty quid and a new Universal Remote from the supermarket. All I suspect somewhat unnecessary. After a bit of prodding and poking not to mention some thought I find the booster box in the cupboard of his caravan, switch it on and suggest they coax connect their outside aerial into their TV via the booster box. Hey presto it worked and ten minutes later Phil’s wife comes round to thank me profusely, her face lit up like a Christmas tree. They were unaware of this booster box in the cupboard.



Take a free copy


Oxford Circus – London 2015

My dog keeps licking his penis and making himself sick which is a bit disconcerting but the most inconvenience is that  we have a very light coloured carpet and while the wife does a splendid job of cleaning the bile up with warm water and carpet mousse, inevitably there are an increasing number of feint stains which we can’t cover over with rugs and things. I’m hoping we can get a good ten more years out of this carpet when we might be able, with the help of a cash windfall, to afford another one. The dog seems to be going through one of his cycles which no dog book I’ve read cares to mention. Well it is moving on to spring, and he hasn’t been ‘done’ and so naturally his balls fill up and he does leak. Now I know, kind of, what it must be like to live with a bull elephant in heat. The wife has threatened him with castration or ‘ the cone of shame’ a plastic neck cone vets use to stop their charges licking healing wounds. My mate texted me about the dog’s penis licking, “well we’ve all done it mate ! “. It occurred to me to merge my other blog about my dog ‘The Harry dog blog – life with a dog,life with a border terrier’ with this one as I don’t get time to write on that one, concentrating my efforts on this. Well it’s my blog and if I want to merge a dog blog with a photography blog I bloody well will.

The Photography for Beginners course I’ve just been teaching as come to its end and once again I’ve had some good feedback:
“Andrew was a great tutor who added great knowledge to my interest in photography” 

” I have loved this and really enjoyed Andy’s teaching and would love to learn more about photography both using my camera and the art form in general ” 

A mate of mine once said to me, ” ya know Andy there comes a point sooner or later when a person has to take responsibility for their own Education”. He was so right ! You never stop learning. Education should be about giving people the facts which are irrefutable and proven beyond doubt i.e. those scientific facts, as well as encouraging people to question and challenge what they think and others think what they already know. Education should not only encourage people to have opinions but to take responsibility for their own learning. People who think they have the answers are dangerous, especially those whose beliefs are based on religious teaching and doctrine. Damaged people are dangerous as well but that’s another discussion. The thing is, the more I learn the less I realise I know. The more I know, the less I understand. This believe it or not is one of the great facets of education and learning.

Dogs dream


Saturday 8th March 2015

The works party. In order to supplement my photography I do some part time work. I can’t party like I used to. Age has caught up with me but I managed the three course meal of hors d’oeuvre , chicken ( the safest option ) and chocolate torte  and some feeble dancing. The woman sat next to me, a guest of her friend, was a retired teacher. She had got out of teaching at sixty while she still had her sanity and before they had managed to bastardise her pension. The endless paperwork, meetings and Ofsted reviews had done for her. One time a five year old threw a television at her. No support from the parents either. In her early career she’d taught in Brixton, London where the black parents were very supportive of the teachers role. Latterly she’d been a supply teacher up in Nottinghamshire where the Primary school kids thought a supply teacher was a good excuse to riot. I wouldn’t recommend anyone go into teaching Primary or Secondary school these days. It’s not worth it.

A friend asked me to look at her camera which they couldn’t get working. Her son had been mucking about with it and she couldn’t get the flash up. I didn’t have my glasses on but I took it to the toilet and managed to get it in to Program Mode and force the flash on. It was one of those red compact cameras with anti red eye and all those other do it for you functions. I’m assuming most of the images taken will be on Facebook by now.

Fortunately as I wasn’t asked I managed  to steer clear of talking photography. Most people think photography is just weddings, christenings and birthday parties. Their eyes glaze over if you tell them you do social documentary or landscapes just for fun of it when it comes around to them asking what you do. My favourite subject of conversation is my dog these days. My retired teacher friend told me of a story she’d heard on the radio. The radio dog expert told the listeners that you have to remember a dog is a dog and recounted a story of a woman who had a dog which slept with her in the bed ( not on it ). One night she’d felt a punch on her nose and woke up to find her dog had bit her nose off and eaten it. It then ran out of the room and the poor woman was pouring blood everywhere.  The dog had been dreaming apparently and the woman was left nose less.