Pride, colour, pattern and the photograph


It was Nottingham Pride last Saturday. I thought I’d go along again this year. So we packed up a picnic, and of course my camera, got on a train and spent a lovely afternoon at Forest Fields. It’s one place you can get out  a camera, start shooting and get tapped on the shoulder by strangers. They’re not complaining, not confronting the photographer, but asking for their photo to be taken. What a refreshing change! Lots of smiling faces, colourful sights and music. Lots to get creative about. I took 176 photos in a few hours, ran my camera battery down and flattened my own battery. I fell asleep on the sofa when we finally got home, exhausted but very happy with my busman’s day out.

I wanted to get the essence of the event. What makes a good iconic shot? I don’t know, but I try to find something a little different from the standard shots most people would point and shoot. I don’t know if I have managed to capture anything special, but I hope so. Having a good camera is all very well, but in the end, it’s the idea, the concept that I want to ‘bag’ at events like this. They’re not shots I would market on my website, but life moments I want to remember when I’m in my dotage.

Balloons at Pride

The lovely man selling balloons approached me at the end of the event. He wanted some pictures to help sell his wares. He explained he’s illiterate, yet he’s made a business, and his wife handles correspondence. Good for him! That’s what life’s all about. Of course, he can have copies of the shots, I told him, no problem. I came home on the train with a balloon he gave me, and had matched to the colour of my dress. Bless him. I just thought they made great abstract shots that would give me my memories!

Wave That Flag!

The flag, the balloons or the whistles? I don’t know which shot says the most about the day. There was colour, smiles and fun everywhere, despite protesters trying to stop the event, trying to put the LGBT community down, but look at them. Part of life, ordinary people, just different, as we all are, thank goodness. Diversity is absolutely essential to life. We couldn’t have evolved without it. Life is and should be colourful, happy and eventful if we look hard enough. Pagan Pride followed in Nottingham on the Sunday, and I would have attended that, too if I’d had the energy. It’s such a pity that we have to fight for the right to be different. Who wants to be a clone anyway? And who would decide what a clone should be? Which religion? which looks? what skills? Don’t we need them all, provided by different people?

Walk Tall whoever you are!


Spiritual Weekend with a Stone Circle

Jon spinning six feet of flaming kevlar rope


Well, I’m back. Health issues are finally improving and stress levels are down. So I made it back to a very special place last weekend. Fifteen or so years ago I was party to a once in a lifetime opportunity. A new stone circle was built in a very special farm in Yorkshire. Only about 200 people in the whole of this country of over 60 million can say that. I feel very honoured to have had that experience.Lime tree farm is now on the map as a conservation site. Its owner, Peter, is a very special man. He sees himself as guardian of the land and its inhabitants. Being there again and spending time touring the site, talking to Peter and the other members of our camp who also helped build the circle has renewed my faith in human nature. This camp came at exactly the right time. Our lives had once again been disrupted by outside influences that threatened our sanity. People who are on power trips, eager to ensure tha they enforce their attitude that their way is the right way and the only way were getting us down. All gone!

I won’t allow any more of that negativity back into my conciousness. I’ve been brought back to my pagan roots, and now, with renewed  enthusiasm I will resume my life as I want it to be. ‘Do as you will and harm none’  has always been my principle guide in life. Imagine if everyone used that principle. The people at the camp I attended all subscribe to it, and we had a fabulous weekend together in complete harmony. We all try to live life peacefully, to see the beauty in the world and try to conserve what we can of it.

I took a lot of photos. We have some talented people in our group. One of which is Jon, who spins fire on a 6′  length of Kevlar rope, purely for our entertainment. That’s todays photo. We enjoyed singing, guitar, drumming, flutes, singing, comedy and pasta donated freely because we forgot ours. We slept peacefully with our tents and camper doors unlocked. We felt safe. We left our stuff lying around knowing no-one would touch it. That’s the ideal world we should all live in.

On the site, I saw a field of wild, native orchids. Not one or two, but too many to count. They are there because someone genuinely cares. With us on the camp was an eighteen year old young man who had never attended such a camp before. He was very nervous when he arrived, but left with new friends, was accepted for who he is and went home very happy. He’s learned a lot in a short time, and I’m sure is one of the people who will continue to care when us oldies, or elders, have gone. My own son, ages twenty, also came with us. He has been through hell lately, and also learned a lot, shared a lot and found his place building the fire and keeping us all warm. He has a hard time in the everyday world because he’s a bit different. He was totally accepted by the group and had positive feedback from them. In the everyday world he gets nothing but problems and bullying because he finds it difficult to work out who are the goodies and who are the baddies.

Why does the world have to be such a mess of power trippers, ego maniacs and greedy people? What happened to caring, sharing, understanding and making time for others? Why do my beliefs attract such scorn and derision? I’m a peaceful soul. Why does trouble come and find me when I’m hiding away doing my ‘thing’?

Anyway, positivity is back, negativity is banished and photography is King. I’ll carry on trying to point people’s eyes at beauty in the world. I’ll try to lead by example and continue my quest for more understanding and appreciation of difference. Each and every human being deserves to be accepted for their differences. Forget skin colour, belief systems and sexual orientation. Those differences are what make us as a species. Without them we might as well all be snakes, cows or rabbits or any other animal. Even they have different personalities, but somehow they don’t spend their lives trying to make the others in their species exactly the same as them. And if they were, they’d die out. We need individuality. We need all the qualities that combined we have, or we’d still be living in caves and may never have discovered fire. We would have no-one to learn from. We would be extremely boring. I don’t think I’d want to be human if we were all the same.

Crow Circle

Long live difference and banish prejudice. Let’s open our eyes to beauty and be thankful we can all enjoy it.

A Day at Rock Cemetary

Rock Cemetary, Nottingham

Hello again. It’s been a while. Illness still plaguing me, but I’ll spare you the boring details. I did manage a little photography trip out recently, though. I was looking for suitable shots for one of my agencies, They supply a lot of work to book publishers of fiction, and a lot of that is horror, romance, thriller etc. So I went off to a fantastical cemetary in Nottingham called Rock Cemetary, which is literally carved into the rock. Goodness knows how hard it is to bury someone there! The effect is strange. You move around different levels of ground, surrounded at times with mini-rock faces fronted by tombstones and statues. Anyway, I got some good shots in the bag, was leaving after watching some workmen on the site moving a gravestone, and was approaching the exit when I spotted their work truck. Had it faced into the cemetary, (so the headstones and statues would have been in shot) instead of being parked facing away from it, I’d have had a shot to amuse. The sign in their truck said ‘when using this vehicle do not drop the body’. I’m sorry but I howled laughing. It lifted my spirits enough for the drive home after what had been quite a sombre afternoon.

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