Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Blood + Swans

Watching the picturesque scene of a swan and its cygnets at Friar's Quay, Norwich, I glanced down and realised I was practically standing in a pool of blood. There didn't seem to be any connection between the birds and the blood - no signs of, ahem, fowl play. Indeed, Friar's Quay is only a few minutes' walk from both Magdalen Street and the frankly horrifying Prince of Wales Road - both of which can resemble a war zone on a Saturday night (these pictures were taken on a Sunday morning), and both of which would be improved by some kind of nuclear annihilation - so alcohol-fuelled 'hijinks' are more likely. What I can't quite fathom is the message scrawled in the gore: 'Up Blood'? 'UR Blood'? Was the writer also the bleeder? A passer-by with a strong stomach?

Anyhow. The baby swans were cute.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Ranidaphobia (Fear of Frogs): Guist ROC

Darkness. Dankness. The slow dripping of water echoing around the blackness of the bunker. Scattered bottles, graffiti scratched into the walls. Shadow. The hatch above ground wedged open: I have no real idea how securely. I am on my own. The signal on my dimly-lit phone, gone. Blackness. The darkness moves as I turn. Then, piercing the silence - a scraping, metal against stone. Behind me.

My heart lurches. I think: somebody? I think: the hatch closing?

Nope. A bloody frog jumping out of a rusted tin can, scaring the utter hell out of me.

(For actual details on the ROC [Royal Observer Corps] sites, have a look at last week's 'Forewarned Is Forearmed' entries. This one is in the fields outside of Guist, Norfolk).

And the source of my near heart-attack,

Austerity Graffiti for Austerity Britain

I liked this one.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Keep Calm and Carry On Demolishing the Local Landmarks: the Bintree and Twyford Village Hall

Village halls always feel anachronistic to me, harking back as they do to notions of nationality and community that barely seems relevant these days. Although, in the current climate - a visual hyper-patriotism on the eve of the Jubilee, the Olympics, Euro 2012, with British flags and 'Keep Calm and Carry On' merchandise plastered across everything - the image of tea and cake at the traditional village hall summer fete feels bafflingly 'in.' No small poetry in the image of a pair of Union Jack underpants dumped behind the to-be-demolished Bintree and Twyford Village Hall, then.

"Maybe Everything That Dies Some Day Comes Back:" Pictures Through the Windows

Ironic, considering I don't drive, and am not in cars or buses all that often, but I do enjoy those raw, blurry landscape photographs taken through the windows of moving vehicles. Think of the cover of Springsteen's 'Nebraska:' lo-fi, slightly on the huh, artless, for some reason almost unbearably sad.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

"The Door Was Open So We Entered and Prayed": Wood Norton All Saints Church Visitor Book

The small, pretty All Saints Church at Wood Norton, Norfolk. I try not to photograph non-derelict churches too much, for two reasons: (1) they have all already been documented by better photographers than me, who know the subject, and (2) I'm not even sure doing jusice the sense of quietly dignified, rural community history is strictly possible. For me, at least.

Anyhow. I'm a bit of a sucker for looking through visitor's books, offering as they do a different, often transitory, approach to a church history. It's not uncommon to read comments left by visitors from other continents, and is fascinating to see reasons for their stopping by, and their reactions.