Gold unicorns and a small boy riding a seahorse, adorning the tops of buildings. An art exhibition by school children in the cathedral. A stained glass fireman. A fire switch that was wearing a jester's hat. A sign: "Come and try a magic roll.". Secret alleyways. World's End House. A window that changed colour when you touched it. An ornate blind window at the end of a shopping arcade. Flickl photographs (with a theme of multiplicity) of: cranes covered in petals, a Japanese capsule building, Lego, mysterious cheese graters up close. A jar that was found behind a bench, containing a feather and a photograph of some trees. Walking across the Clifton suspension bridge over the Avon gorge. A sign with a flow chart of how to use a pub. A shop selling Mexican things such as Day of the Dead souvenirs and wrestling masks. Squirrels in a graveyard being fed nuts. Pools of water warning of sharp things. The large mirror ball (apparently a planetarium) and nearby fountains.


Jan. 25th, 2011 12:12 pm

More photos on Flickr: Deal.
Oxford Flickr Meet:
The Saïd Business School was glowing in green and yellow that night, as we set up our tripods and took photos. I looked around for other things to photograph and photographed the ox, but not much else. I wandered past the station and was told that I was a security risk, that it was private property, that I did not have permission and should not be taking photos there.

London Flickr meetup group trip to Deal:
The brown sea was fairly rough in Deal, the waves splashing pleasingly on the pebbles. I wandered up and down lanes that led to the sea, being surprised by the different door knockers, shaped like starfish and squirrels. There were houses that were pink, green and blue, pretty pastel shades. On Griffin Street, a stone griffin looked down at me from the top of a wall. One lane was Oddfellows Lane and another Cockle Swamp Alley. Signs told of smuggling, crime and general disrepute, but Deal seemed quite pleasant.

I peered into the moat surrounding Deal Castle. I photographed a jellyfish with eyelashes at Walmer. I walked up the pier, past the fishermen and it was not a very ornate pier, concrete and ugly, but Wikipedia says it is the "last remaining fully-intact leisure pier in Kent."

There were white beach huts with lots of fishing gear and a sign that said, "Wanted: Good Woman. Must be able to clean, cook, sew, dig worms and clean fish. Must have boat and motor. Please sent picture of boat and motor."

Briefly wandered around Dover after Deal. Such crumbling buildings near to the docks, and heading towards the town centre, a brutalist abandoned car-park, concrete with splashes of pink, houses on hills almost like in Wales, historic walls hidden amongst tall tower blocks, which seem to loom over the town far more than the castle does. I'd like to explore more.
I stood underneath my frog-shaped umbrella by the Carfax Tower waiting for Nava and when he appeared, we wandered to the Opium Den. I ate mock hairy crab there, which was not too hairy.

After that, we headed to St Giles' Fair and waited at the Martyr's Memorial for Flickr members. None appeared and the rain pounded down, so we dashed to Far from the Madding Crowd and found Flickr members there, drinking beer, with large cameras beside them. The rain didn't ease off, but I was keen to photograph the fair anyway.

St Giles' Fair wasn't at all how I imagined. It is just a funfair that springs up on a road in the middle of Oxford for 2 days. A noisy, chaotic funfair, with screaming teenagers, candyfloss, hotdogs, the smell of doughnuts, spinning rides with brightly flashing lights, cuddly giraffes waiting to be won, clairvoyants, merry-go-rounds, dodgems, haunted houses, mirror mazes, and on this occasion, lots of rain. It felt absurd that this funfair was in the middle of Oxford, and that tomorrow it will no longer be there.
A number of tripods gathered, without armbands, in the car-park of Hilsea Lido on a Thursday night, for the Portsmouth at Night Flickr meet. The lido, dating back from the 1930s, hid behind fences, unreachable and unaware of the fairy clocks on the Hilsea lines. Down an overgrown path, with flashes held at their heads, the photographers that ran looked for a moment like zombies, or perhaps just the cover of a Queen album.

The evening ended when they light-painted their names onto empty walls, ready to vanish as they did.


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