Photographic Diary: Friday,17 August, 2012

Once more I’m beginning to feel the word deficit, and this is one way to keep writing and not get swept away in images. It will be a relief when the new series of Doctor Who starts this month and I can get down to some serious television reviews. Probably other programmes as well.

Today was laundry day, down to the last wearable garments in my possession. I always procrastinate about doing laundry because it involves walking a huge bag of it over to the laundrette. I brought a book as usual – Evelyn Waugh’s wicked satire, Decline and Fall - but decided to take photos instead, including some of the aforementioned garments whirling round the washer and dryer. It’s become addictive. I take photos of almost everything.

A few steps away from the laundrette is a disused Victorian pier, with a warning notice from the council disclaiming responsibility if you come to grief. The edges of the pier are alive with daisies, one of the things I like to photograph. Usually not with much success – can’t seem to get the necessary detail or they’re out of focus. Not expecting much of this crop. But the water was phenomenal, a deep lustrous brown, presumably from underwater blooms. I’m counting on that.

The adjacent beach has a strip of rotting seaweed marking the high tide. Amongst the seaweed were some strange patches of slime. No idea if they’re animal or vegetable – jellyfish? – but undoubtedly photogenic. There was one looking like a huge golden-brown eye for which I have high hopes. A piece of bark could also have some potential. I love beachcombing, even on this industrial strand. It was once a lido in the 1930s. See Campbeltown Then and Now for pictures.

Across the road in the other direction is Kinloch Green, home to a funfair during Mull of Kintyre Music Festival weekend. Loud, garish, reeking from the diesel generators, and irresistible. I’d never spend good money at a place like this, but the the fairground rides are brilliantly photogenic. No spoilers on this one, I want you to enjoy the surprise. But it was the only place in Campbeltown where someone questioned my right to take photos in public.

Partly my fault, because I took a photo of a stallholder’s dog without asking permission, for which I apologised and won’t do it again. Not content with that, however, she practically accused me of taking pictures of children, and compared photographing the fairground to taking pictures of someone’s house – insulting nonsense. Apparently they’d called the police on a man taking photos on Wednesday. In fact, there were very few children there, the rides almost always empty, and people get in the way when you’re trying to take a photo.  A man also asked me if I was a professional photographer, to which I cheerfully replied, “No, amateur,” and carried on.

I was still feeling upset and aggrieved when I got home. So after going to Tesco, I visited the stall again and gave the woman the blog address, for her to see the photos when they’re posted. The man who questioned me walked over, obviously one of the fairground staff, and I explained what I was doing there. In the end we parted on friendly terms – they seem like decent people if you approach them in the right way. I had offered to delete her dog’s photo, but she said she didn’t mind me using it, and even supplied the beast’s name for proper accreditation.

I feel a Stan Marsh moment coming on: I learned something today – not to be so arrogant.

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