All posts tagged: Banal

All change, yet again.

I was in Birmingham last week, the city of my birth. And just to remove any confusion, I’m talking of Birmingham in the West Midlands of England. Every time I visit there has been change. The city seems incapable of standing still for just one minute. Perhaps that’s how it should be, afterall, Birmingham is known as the driver behind the industrial revolution of the 18th and 19thC. and was for many years, the home of manufacturing in the UK earning it the aphorism of “The City of a Thousand Trades”. It’s not an old city. Its growth, fed by the industrial revolution, came as a result of hundreds of thousands of ‘immigrants’ from the farming communities in surrounding counties. My own forebears on both sides were “Aglabs”, agricultural labourers, from Staffordshire, Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, together with true ‘immigrants’ from Ireland. Birmingham is a crucible, and always has been. With that growth comes continual change. As a reason for change, added to that of growth, is development – in the shape of technology, working methods etc. …

Once we were friends.

I have early memories from when I was a child, of furniture, amongst other things, being dumped on waste ground. This was post-war Birmingham. In the inner city, there were “bomb sites” as they were called, where houses, shops and businesses had been destroyed by bombing. The city was slow to change so many of these remained into the 60’s. People would dump, prams, bikes, old mangles and just about anything else on these sites. As they were getting rid of the utilitarian, kite marked, wartime furniture and replacing it with the ‘latest look’ tacky objects, furniture would make a temporary appearance too. If it wasn’t carried off by somebody who was worse off than the person who dumped it we used it as a trampoline, or ocean liner or wartime tank or medieval castle. Inevitably it would be set on fire – especially around Guy Fawkes night, November the 5th.     There were no council run waste tips when I was young. There are lots now, which is why I’m surprised people feel …

That was the year that was 2018

As the calendar year draws to a close there is a temptation to take stock of where you’ve come from, how the journey has been and where you have arrived at. So here goes… This has been a year of change. I suppose you could say that about most years, but I do feel this year has been about re-evaluation and change. Simplification and stripping back have been recurrent themes running through most of what I have done over the past 4 years but none more so than this year. That extends to camera gear, clothes (though don’t take the ‘stripping back’ too literally here), car, the accoutrements of daily life even my watch; all becoming as simple as possible. Simplification even changed our travel destinations. Sue and I haven’t travelled long-distance this year. No trips to the far-flung. Southern Spain and Greece have been our chosen countries this year. That, in itself, was a sizeable change. However, more significantly, photographically I have been working on other projects. For those who are curious: I have …