I’ve not done one of these for a while so here we go. I originally thought I’d only have 4 or 5 but got a bit carried away, as you can see. These photos cover 4 continents and about 3 years of my life. Some of the hues come from nature, some are man made and others are the result of nature’s affect on man’s creations. I’m always drawn to photographing things with red tones, because red is a favourite colour of mine, but I’d not realised I had so may different oranges until I started going through to select some.
Warning: This post contains images and information you should find disturbing and upsetting.
I took GCSE history and in that we covered world events that took places from 1945 to 1989, essentially The Cold War but we focused on Britain, the USSR and America, because there’s a lot to fit in in a short amount of time. We skimmed over the Korean War, Vietnam War and learned nothing about the Khmer Rouge and their treatment of their own people. Why is this? Perhaps, again, it’s a case of time constraints, perhaps it’s because Britain wasn’t overly involved and if it doesn’t contain our own, we don’t really care. We have too much going on of our own.
For example, news reports. Whenever there is a disaster of some kind, for example a plane crash, the report might say something like ‘Two hundred and eighty seven people were killed in the crash, including 4 Britons, 2 Americans and 1 Australian…’ Now I know that the fact that British people died will be important information for their families, but I feel that by pointing out the nationalities of 7 people makes it seem that the other 280 don’t count, they aren’t worth mentioning further but now that we know our countrymen were affected, we’ll sit up and listen.
When I was in the Serengeti last March/April time Joe, the Yr 5 teacher, came up with a game to keep us amused. Any time another safari car came by you had to wave at the occupants of the car. Easy enough you would think, but the game was to keep on waving for as long as you could, beyond the comfortable limits of being polite. You won if you managed to wave for the longest time, especially if the others waved back. If they didn’t they were normally termed ‘miserable bastards’ and waved at anyway with a fixed grin on our faces. It was like a car version of this:
Long car journeys when I was small always involved waving at other travellers, people in coaches, other children trapped in the back of cars being dragged by their parents to god-knows-where and, of course, truckers. You were most successful if you got a trucker to honk their horn at you as you drove past. Sometimes this would be accompanied by Dad’s truck driving country song mix tape. Later, in our battered space cruiser, the Fairport Convention album ‘Glady’s Leap’ got stuck in the tape player and so was on repeat for about 3 years. When I hear this song, I can still picture myself staring out of the moon roof, trying to count stars as we went Driving In The Dark.
I’ve been playing the waving game a little bit since getting here. It’s one of the things I do to entertain myself when I’m plodding around on my own. It seems to work well on boats, although everyone else gives up a little quicker than I do, but then they don’t know we’re playing. If they did, they’d probably try a little harder.
What I have noticed in most of the places I’ve been to, around the UK, Western Europe, Tanzania, Kenya and now Thailand, is that children still delight in getting a wave out of strangers driving or sailing by. In Tanzania, children would rush to the sides of the road waving frantically, on the motorways of France, Spain and Germany they press their faces up against their car windows, hands madly shaking back and forth. In Thailand there’s a mixture of the two, kids by the side of the road, perched on scooters, in the front of pick up trucks. And anywhere you go you are greeted with huge smiles. If only we were by more adults.
The rain falls steadily on the roof of the shelter. Four large drips fall in the doorway, I had to make my way through them as I came in. The rain has built to a sudden frenzy and is relentless. There are small rivers running along the road and down the hill. I back up against the wall of the shelter as the traffic rushes past, bring up tidal waves from the run off they pass through.
There’s a woman in a seat to my right complaining about her job again. She’s a cleaner and she “won’t be finished until 5!” Last time I was here at this time, on my way to another festival, she was here complaining about her job. Someone had not shown up so she would have to do extra. Fair enough. I asked her if they had anyone they could call at short notice but she just shot me down and kept moaning. I left her to her misery and drank my coffee.
I am multitasking in the quiet coach. The external dvd drive has failed in its main purpose and the stand-up disc lies dormant in the shiny black casing. So instead of watching funny people and quietly chuckling to myself I’m finishing The Metro’s Sudoku, chewing on my pen lid as I try and work out the logical positioning of the numbers – the ‘Easy’ one is always the hardest for me and the one I make most mistakes on as it takes a while for my brain to click back into that form of thinking. Actually I’ve spotted an 8 in the wrong place. Shit. I have also been fixing the track names on my newly installed itunes as I hate it when one album comes up in 7 different parts because of one or to listing errors. I am listening to the revolving selection of tracks from my collection, something from a Now album, then some jazz, musicals, punk, rock… It’s a bit more fun letting it sit on random. Occasionally a song will come on that I think I should add to a playlist. It will be titled ‘Film Soundtrack’ and I will walk around listening to it pretending I’m in a film about my own life. I suspect I’ll find it hard to pick only 15 songs, the sort of standard for an OST.
There’s a man standing on the platform who looks like Damian Lewis. But he’s obviously not, he’s younger, a bit blonder and it’s not my luck to be at a train station with Damian Lewis. He’s fixated on his phone.
The lady to my left has long flowing brown hair. The sort of hair that you only normally see on L’Oreal ads that has been bought by emaciated Russians. I don’t think she bought it. She is texting frantically and has bronze, swirling embellishments on her brown shoes.