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Lockdown 2 Day 16 – Extra Time

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.

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Lockdown 2 Day 13

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.

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Lockdown 2 Day 12

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!

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Lockdown 2 day 11

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.

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Lockdown 2 Day 7: Remembrance Day in Ramsgate

Today I was honoured to be again the mayor’s official photographer for Ramsgate Remembrance Day. The services were pared back this year, because of Covid 19, but Raushan still laid a wreath at the Destiny War Memorial in Albert Gardens, and then another one at the war memorial in Ramsgate Cemetery. As did members of the Ramsgate Royal British Legion.

There is something incredibly poignant about Remembrance Day services. It seems to take place at an apt time of year, when winter is making itself known but hasn’t yet taken over. There is a fragility in the air, and a battle between life and death around you, which seems to match the occasion. Almost all of the participants this year were elderly, which makes the occasion more poignant. It reminded me of going to a funeral, when not only do you mourn those whom you have come to pay your respects to, but also those who were there at the last such gathering, and whose absence is now sadly noticed. But at the same time you’re happy to see those who have come, and to have survived another year yourself. So there is a blend of sorrow and joy. I love photographing the events. It reminds me of how my dream job would be to be a political photographer, capturing a leader during their period in office. I hope that one day Raushan becomes our Prime Minister – I know she would be a good one! And that she’ll remember me when she is.

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Lockdown 2 Day 5

It is the time to eat ice cream

Beer is out; ice cream is in (during Lockdown anyhow!) And where better to go than the lovely, historic Morellis in Broadstairs?! There is something very comforting about frequenting an ice cream parlour that has been around for decades – even if it’s just to get a cone or cup of comfort to take away.

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Lockdown 2 Day 4 Remembrance Sunday

This is a bit of a cheat picture as it was actually taken at last year’s Remembrance Day service in Ramsgate. There wasn’t an official service this year because of Lockdown so I thought I’d recycle an old one. It isn’t your usual sombre Remembrance Day picture, taken while the soldiers were waiting outside the church to parade through town. I like it because it just seems so real and it reminds you that the people who choose to fight for us are real people, whatever their rank. (It feels a bit strange seeing people so close together looking at the image now. But of course we were all oblivious to the silent enemy of Covid 19 then.