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Breeze

Fishing boats are lovely splashes of colour on a winter’s day. I love the way the boat colours match not only the buoys but the amusement arcades in the distance, and how the rope leads your eye towards them.

It’s a magical time when the tide goes out and you get a lovely squelchy playground to explore, including these colourful little fishing boats that you can walk right up to. Flash forward a few hours and they will be totally inaccessible. When you see them bobbing up and down on the water, reclaimed as perches by smug seagulls, you’ll think it was all just a surreal dream that you had walked amongst them the very same day.

I have learned that when the tide does come back in it does so very quickly. It is easy to be cut off if you focus too much on taking photos and forget to watch the tide. Fortunately it hasn’t happened to me as yet, though I have had a couple of close calls.

This image forms part of my Daily Print series, and is available to buy here

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Making Tracks

So, with Margate being in the news for rather unfortunate reasons (apparently the Kent mutation started here), I thought I’d focus a cheerier thing that happened in the town today – it snowed! Just for an hour or so early this morning, swiftly followed by rain. I suspect it had gone by the time many had risen, so here’s the evidence that snow did indeed come to town.

Given that putting the bins out each week is about as exciting as it gets these days, a sprinkling of snow on the ground in the ground was something to celebrate. I’m sad it was over so quickly but, given that I can still feel the chill in my bones several hours later, it’s probably for the best that it was merely a fleeting diversion from the norm.

Now, back to reading books and editing photos for a few more weeks…..

This image forms part of my Daily Print series, and is available to buy here

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Extreme Social Distancing

This picture may look like it was posed but I promise you it wasn’t. It’s just two people outdoors doing their thing during lockdown 3.

The feeling of solitude and sense of possible loneliness reminds me slightly of Hopper paintings. But there is also a sense of defiance – these two are owning Lockdown 3 and are not going to be beaten by it. Well, they did have a fantastic vantage point of what turned out to be a stunning sunset – so I’d say it’s 2-0 to the girl in the red hat and the guy in the yellow coat vs Covid 19.

I just want to know when they will drop the album….

This image forms part of my Daily Print series, and is available to buy here

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Point of Interest

I started out as a street photographer, but I haven’t done much of that in recent years. This daily print project is allowing me to embrace an aspect of photography that I love again.

I couldn’t help but smile when I saw this lady purposefully park her pram and whip out her phone. I naturally assumed she was going to photograph one of Margate’s icons, the Lido, as I had just been doing. But no, it appears she is photographing the baby, oblivious of what is in the background. Which is totally understandable because I’m sure it’s very cute – but it just seems to put Margate in its place all the same. It was like the clock had been turned back and the Lido was just a forlorn reminder of what Margate had lost, not of what it had gained. I hope it isn’t a premonition of times to come.

This image forms part of my Daily Print series, and is available to buy here.

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Turner Reflection

This was taken today at sunset. I was taking the usual pictures looking out to sea and then turned around and noticed how interesting the Turner Contemporary windows were looking, reflecting the light. I couldn’t help wondering if it had been designed that way all along, or if it was just a coincidence that as the windows age they are becoming like a Turner painting, in the right light. I’m sure the architects will be happy about it anyhow.

This image forms part of my Daily Print series, and is available to buy here.

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Another Time

Every time I see the Gormley statue ‘Another Time’ I think that he must have had a premonition of Covid 19. There’s just something prophetic about the lonely person standing stoically on the shoreline, knowing that the tide will inevitably come in and engulf him, and that he must just hold his ground and take it, until gradually it goes out again. But then it will be back. There is nothing he can do but take it, again and again. He can’t beat the forces of nature. All he can is hope to survive it.

As inevitably as the tide will come in, I will keep photographing the statue, as I’m fascinated by it. For a change, this one is taken from a lower angle to show the seaweed, with a nod to T. S. Eliot’s poem ‘The Wasteland’.

The image forms part of my Daily Print series, and is available to buy here. You might also like this palette print

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A New Year

So, we’ve waved goodbye to 2020. For many of us, midnight couldn’t come soon enough after such a horrendous year. But of course it was also tinged with sadness, as it involved the final act of Brexit. My partner and I opened a bottle of champagne at 11 to drown our sorrows at leaving the EU, then promptly knocked the bottle over and spilled half of it. It seemed poignantly symbolic somehow. As did this rusty shopping trolley that I spotted this morning in Margate.

I’d already seen the trolley the day before, presumably having been pulled out of the sea and looking somewhat forlorn and useless. But some innovative revellers, determined to make the most of a bad situation, appear to have repurposed it as a New Year’s Eve drinks trolley.

I couldn’t avoid a wry smile when I saw the empty champagne and organic wine bottles inside. It seemed an appropriate analogy for this country and our deluded sense of significance and entitlement. We drink posh wine and kid ourselves that our country is superior to all the rest, conveniently forgetting that the wine was produced in France, Spain and Italy, and purchased from Aldi, a German supermarket. I bet we didn’t even make the trolley ourselves. Sewer is pumped into the sea near where I saw it though – so at least we can say that any shit on it was ours.

I know that it’s time to move on and accept Brexit, no matter how ludicrous an act of self-harm I consider it to be. But as I look back on New Year 2021, Brexit will now be symbolised as that rusty, smelly old shopping trolley covered in slime, that we’re supposed to believe is a fancy drinks trolley. Deep down we all know it isn’t, but we’re playing along anyhow, because no-one wants to admit that they we’ve been duped into making such a bad decision for our country. So instead we have filled our glasses with French champagne, and drunk a toast to good ship Brexit and all those forced to sail on her.

Of course the hangover starts today – it could well be a long one. Let’s hope we at least learn something about ourselves along the way, so that we’re never so reckless again.

This image is part of my ‘Daily Print’ series and is purchasable as an A4 print here

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Porcelain shells

There’s a path near the Turner gallery in Margate that is laid with shells. I think the shells are a new thing – if not I’ve not been very observant for the past five years. There’s something very satisfying about the crunch as you walk along and it’s fascinating just looking at them. They remind me somehow about mankind’s current predicament – there are millions of shells and some are more broken than others. Those underneath the benches are mostly whole still; those close by have fared better, while those in the main pathway are broken into little pieces. I think there’s a moral there along the lines of staying home.

I’ve faded the picture slightly, making the shells resemble delicate porcelain. Another analogy for our age.

This image is part of my ‘Daily Print’ series and is purchasable as an A4 print here

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Lockdown 2 Day 19

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.