A couple of other-worldly manifestations from 2015. What is it? Where does it come from? What does it want?!
For this Friday’s flashback, an unseasonal flash-forwards to the high days of summer, with these pictures snapped in August 2012, when the funfair arrived on the Tankerton slopes and the evening was filled with the pungent pong of hotdogs and frying onions, and likewise with the happy screams of young people being whirled about on various rides.
Two alternate views of Harbour Street here in Whitstable, in all its glittery splendour. These photographs were taken on the night of December 3rd, as we did our usual quick circuit around the quiet, windswept town.
An unlikely subject for a photograph perhaps: a couple of drain covers and a thin covering of snow, but this graphical little composition must have caught by eye back in January 2017, when I was out and about in a wintry Katowice, Poland.
A little festive offering today, throwing back but a few short days to the last weekend in November, when we gathered with a few of our neighbours for the grand switching on the Albert Street lights… Well, if not grand exactly, then a nice touch nonetheless, with the residents in our short row of terraced houses agreeing to string cascades of glowing icicles along the length of the street. There were even hot mince pies and mugs of mulled wine to stave off the cold – and it was cold, of course, the wind coming straight off the north sea to flap our coats and chase us back inside.
Another old song dating from a downbeat, if highly creative, period of my life, and another break-up song at that! I actually remember the melody for this one, which moves me towards doing something constructive with some of these out-pourings, if only to ensure against forgetting them completely.
there was a man
there was a man and the world was his oyster
woke up with the sunlight still dreaming of choice
the things he would do just given half of a chance
the songs he might sing and the dance he might dance
there were some who believed he could fly
there were some who believed he had wings
here was man, most people said
a man with a talent for just about everything
only here’s the mystery. Here’s the part I don’t understand
because he vanished one day, and the world went away
and I know this because I was that man.
(and I think) that man left my life the way you did
and not late one night or by the slam of any door
but like a warmth slowly cooling, like some thread in me unspooling
like conviction becoming much less sure
I think the man that was me left alongside you
and just like a ghost I think he’s following you still
but if I wait here maybe he’ll come back
because, maybe, just maybe you will
there was a man and the skies were the limit
touched the stars with his fingers and the moon his to win
its light on his face and its silver his prize
the heavens in reach and those stars in his eyes
there were some who believed he was born
to start like a spark some great fire
here was a man it was often heard said
a man with plan for climbing now even higher
only here’s the crying shame. Here’s the part which feels like a sham
this man let go of the stars, let the moon float away
and I know this because I was that man
there was a man and his heart was wide open
like a door needing no key, like a gift freely given
unconcerned with the risk, unconcerned by the fall
from the podium high, from these ivory walls
there were some who believed he’d been crowned
like some prince in some old fairytale
here was man these same people said
a man with a love so sure it just couldn’t fail
only here’s the trick up the sleeve, here’s the ending no one had planned
‘cause how his heart broke, how his heart cracked and died
and I know this because I was that man
The latest Kick-About got me looking through an old archive of photographs, and images taken in Katowice, Poland, in particular. For this Friday’s retrospective, I’m offering up a collection of architectural highlights from my two visits to the city; the wonderfully cinematic Spodek (“It Came From Outer Space!“); an equally filmic old house, shrouded in drapes of black plastic; a view of the cathedral from the rain-wet atrium of the Filharmonia Śląska building, and the formidably organic-looking memorial commemorating the three post-WWI Polish armed uprisings against the German authorities of Upper Silesia in 1919, 1920 and 1921.
I’m slightly torturing myself with this image, taken in some dusty French town in the late summer of 2011. I can almost feel the stored heat coming off that chalky white wall…
So not ‘throwing back’ very far this Friday, only as far as a few weeks ago, when I started thinking about all-things ‘firework-y’. Our house is full of dried allium heads, great big starbursts sitting atop various jugs and containers. I thought I’d have a bash at bringing out some of its visual associations, principally that ‘Laser Hazard Sign’! Zap!
Taken back in the Summer of 2011, these photographs capture a very particular atmosphere of a favourite place. To create the soundtrack for these images, I’d need to combine the gentle – sometimes raucous – clucks of dusty, restless chickens coming from the farmyard next door with the buzz of a nearby cicada. I might include the whispering of the leaves in the line of poplar trees at the bottom of the hill, and the buzz of wasps, hungry for the sugars produced by the scant grapes on the old vine. Much harder to convey would be that special dry heat blowing in through the open shutters, sometimes bringing with it neat convoys of swallows, the birds circling the glass lamp before darting quickly back out of the window.