It was a beautiful day in Kent today, and somebody made the most of it by taking a little blue rowing boat out onto the most beautiful tranquil waters. But first I watched somebody wheel it across Margate Sands to drop it off before a woman jumped into the boat and rowed slowly out to explore the calm, gentle waters. I felt rather envious watching her make the most of Lockdown, at one with nature on a lovely clear day.
Later we all heard confirmation that the lockdown will be ending on 3rd December. I wonder how many people will be sad to see the end of days like this, when free time meets perfect weather and tranquil waters.
In recognition of the stay of execution for ‘Another Time’ – the statue by Gormley installed near the Turner Contemporary – of no less than 10 years, here’s a photograph of the stoic and solid figure that gets engulfed by the sea twice daily. There is something incredibly moving about watching the figure standing firm in spite of being overwhelmed by the sea. Although I’m happy about the extension, as I would miss looking out for him every time the tide is out, I do pity him having to endure 10 more years of it. I can’t help but wonder what he will look like in 2030, and what this country will look like too.
I’ll never tire of seeing Ramsgate harbour. It has such a timeless quality, especially during lockdown when the roads are quiet. I almost expect to spot Van Gogh or Tissot painting or drawing somewhere. I can certainly understand why both painters loved the town – how couldn’t you with these fine views?!
This was taken in Cliftonville (Margate), but it reminds me of Whitstable. It’s lovely seeing the dog walkers on the beaches. It makes me laugh the way I hear the owners talk to their dogs. The joy in the dogs at running on the beach and swimming in the sea is addictive and seems to rub off on the owners too, and me as well. My favourite today was an ecstatically happy dog called Elvis, who just couldn’t get enough of the sea.
This photo obviously wasn’t taken today, but I’ve been working on a new batch of greetings cards and am thinking of including this one. There’s something very English about it, in a Martin Parr kind of way. It’s that sense of determination in the people frogmarching along the side of the bathing pool – that they will enjoy themselves and simply ignore the cargo tankers moored menacingly nearby. I just love the colours of the photos too, especially the inflatable rings, which just happen to match the girls’ bathing suits (though I’m sure that was deliberate on the wearers’ part). And there’s just something about people walking in a line that I like!
I forgot to post anything yesterday so I will have to post a bonus picture at some time. Anyway, here’s today’s post – showing a slightly bleak but beautiful shoreline. Every time I go to photograph the Gormley statue ‘Another Time’ in Margate the heavens open and I find myself being battered by wind and rain cursing my life as a photographer. It happened again today and I wasn’t entirely happy with the photos – if it wasn’t my hair blowing against the lens it was rain battering against it. Still I quite like this slightly blurred picture, thanks to the rain, which gives it the painted quality that I like. Sometimes bad weather can be your friend, even if it soaks through your shoes and down your neck.
Today is Friday 13th – but that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad day. For some it has been a day for good deeds.
This morning I visited Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet’s new ‘shop’ at St George’s church hall, and marvelled at all the healthy food they are selling at very affordable prices. It’s a wonderful community initiative saving food from landfill and keeping Ramsgate folk healthy.
Next I got wind that one of my favourite local artists was doing an online silent art auction for Children in Need. Being in ownership already of no less than four of Michael Samson’s wonderful paintings, you could argue that I should give others a chance. And I thought the same thing, for about two minutes, until I saw ‘Winter Sunshine in Sandwich’. I’m afraid then all chivalry and reserve went out the window. The gloves were off and the sleeves were rolled – that panting was going to be mine!
Not surprisingly I was outbid. It’s a pretty special picture after all, with hints of Lowry, Monet and Pissarro. I fought back courageously, telling myself I was doing it for the kids as much as for my living room. And then…..victory! The painting was mine!
So, as a slight diversion from my usual photo posts, here is the new addition to my art collection. (Sorry for not sharing it earlier – but I think you’ll understand why I held back until just after the auction had finished…)
Coincidentally, a couple of my photographs are in an art auction today too, as part of fundraising for POW. So maybe karma was on my side.
There was something very reassuring about seeing Ramsgate Town Council at work putting up the Christmas lights when I popped out to the post office today. Like there was still hope for us all that normal life can resume. But at the same time I felt sad when they said that there would be no switching on event this year. I loved last year’s event, and felt so proud of Ramsgate for being so community minded. Christmas is going to feel very empty this year without all these events. Oh well, at least we have the lights.