Early evening in Derby. This young man asked me if I could spare some change. I said “no sorry” I couldn’t but I was lying. I had some change in my pocket. I walked around the corner and felt guilty so I went back and gave him twenty pence. He thanked me. “What are you doing out here?” I asked him. He was homeless, “why are you in a wheelchair?” I questioned further. He is a diabetic and has bad legs. They get ulcerated and sore. Unless he could get twenty quid for a bed and breakfast he would be sleeping out this night. I’m not sure if I believed him but I wasn’t prepared not too if you know what I mean. He was to have the benefit of the doubt. I asked him if I could take some images and he kindly agreed. I took a couple of him in his street surroundings while he shouted the words “cheesy penis”. Shouting the words “cheesy penis” he said always made him giggle and he obviously wanted me to capture him smiling. We chatted briefly and I asked him If I could do a portrait, “what just for 20p?” he replied. I told him I don’t pay people to take their pictures as a rule. I gave him a bit more change, wished him well and took his portrait. His name was Chris.
My new found confidence in approaching people is beginning to pay dividends. I’ve had to go to Derby these last couple of weeks. It’s a long and personal story I won’t bore you with the details but I’ve made the opportunity to have some short walks with the camera. Frankly I’d rather be on the coast walking on the beach with the wife and dog. Summers are too short in England but as they say, life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.
This gentleman ( above) allowed me to make an image of him. I was attracted to the t-shirt. I find that approaching them with a compliment usually works well. If you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all as my old Grandma used to say. I think it was her anyway.
At the moment I’m interested in the following:
Book : In Loving Memory of Work by Craig Oldham
Campaign: Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign
I found myself at a small Royal Wedding garden party yesterday which is a bit ironic because I’m not a Royalist. I quite like Harry, he seems ok but then he ought to be really what with his privileged background. He shouldn’t want for much these days but then you can’t always buy happiness. His father should never have allowed him and his brother to be made to walk behind their mother’s coffin after that awful car accident at their age. Apparently all those people who line the streets waving little Union Jack flags the police call them ‘cat stranglers’ i.e. people mad enough to strangle their cats !
I took my camera along to this garden party. I thought it might give me something to do as well as simultaneously hiding behind it. Also a tentative documentation of the event even though where I was is a bit of a sensitive area. As it was I got these two images which I quite like and that was it, all I got.
My new approach is paying off I feel. As I said to a mate of mine, there’s only so many shots of people sat on benches or hanging around street corners doing very little you can make. Not that I won’t continue with those. As I’ve said before I think, nothing stays the same, everything changes. Speaking of which this year 2018 is shaping up to be a memorable one and not in a particularly nice way for personal reasons with which I’ve got no intention of boring you with. The saving grace for me is that I have my wife, my dog and my photography to keep my feet on the ground and some stability in my life. As long as I have those I should be ok. Keep the company of the wife, keep walking the dog and documenting the flux of life around me. A loving embrace is often needed. Keep making images friends.
Rhubarb is getting a bad press at the moment here in Chesterfield. Traditionally they say here in England that the only thing of a pig you can’t eat is its squeak or grunt if you prefer. Rhubarb being a faggot seems a contradiction in terms but hey that’s Chesterfield for ya !
Here for your education is the Wikipedia explanation of the word Faggot.
Faggots are a traditional dish in the UK, especially South and Mid Wales and the Midlands of England. It is made from meat off-cuts and offal, especially pork. A faggot is traditionally made from pig’s heart, liver and fatty belly meat or bacon minced together, with herbs added for flavouring and sometimes bread crumbs.