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?!
The Lido tower is an iconic monument in Margate. It’s usually photographed with the sea behind it but I love seeing it from every angle and direction.
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.
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.
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.
It was a gorgeous autumnal day today – so warm that it felt like an Indian summer. It’s strange because the weather has been lovely since the start of the second lockdown, following a particularly wet and windy October. It was an unseasonably warm spring this year too, when we had our first lockdown. Some may moan that it’s cruel to have fine weather when we are more confined, but I actually think it is like the planet is trying to lift our spirits and get us through this. It did feel almost like a bank holiday today, as if people were embracing lockdown and the chance to stop the world for a while and take time out again. Especially with the news that the furlough scheme will be extended to the end of March next year. Maybe there was also a sense of hope and palpable relief in the air too, as it became increasingly apparent that the United States would be electing a new President and so will be able, to some extent, to shake off the shame and horror of the past four years.
Maybe this means that political change will be in the air here too. After all, they say that if America sneezes the rest of the world catches a cold. And Biden is no fan of either Brexit or any friends of Trump. So a change of direction may be necessary for our Populist government, which suddenly isn’t quite so much on trend anymore. It seems the wheels of change could start turning.
I have an exhibition on at York Street Gallery until Wednesday 23 September (exhibition open 10.30 to 12 noon on the final day). It consists of 30 images relating to Ramsgate’s coast – from the beaches to the harbour and the boat building.
The exhibition includes my new ‘palette’ pictures, in which key colours from the image are picked out as swatches accompanying the photograph. These are available framed, with signed mounts, or as simple ‘poster prints’.
There is also an array of my popular mini prints and a wide range of greetings cards for sale in the gallery.
I will be shortly adding the images to the website for online sales. But feel free to get in touch if you would like to buy anything you have seen.