Tag Archives: England

Oh to be in England…

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Headed south from London to the depths of Surrey yesterday. A catch up with a friend I’ve known for almost 30 years. A walk in the most English English countryside I’ve been in for a while. Rolling hills , snowdrops, catkins, muddy paths through green fields. Lovely.

Soaking up the sights, sounds and smells of that little corner of England we walked and as we walked we traversed the areas of our life – relationships past and present, feelings, fears, work, death, joys. There’s such an ease that comes with so long a knowing of someone.

Carrot and honey soup. A strange concoction but a tasty warm break after the walk. Stranger still given the wooden spoons provided. Lots of big tables where other pairs like us hunched closer together to create a bit of privacy in the imposed sharing.

Then dropped back at the train station to head back to London. All topped up with the warmth of our friendship and the beauty of this little piece of England.

Only in England

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What a great photographic exhibition it was at the Science Museum in London. Only in England. Photographs by Tony Ray Jones and Martin Parr. I loved it.

Tony Ray jones died at 30 in 1972. What else might he have produced had he lived longer ? The images selected were great. His representation of Englishness. Images of stoic holidaymakers braving bad weather at the beach, seaside guest houses, women knitting in deck chairs on Brighton Beach, men in ill fitting suits dressed for an occasion. Dogs and owners. A fond humour.

The commentary said “he had an eye for bizarre social interactions and incongruous narratives”. I love that description. This would be a great example :

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A man in a suit drinking tea, not fazed at all by those around him.

And Martin Parr, inspired by his work, produced lots of images from the community around him in Hebden. Bridge. A mouse show in 1978. Yes, a mouse show! A man in a suit proudly holding a cabbage aloft- the winner in some competition of locally grown vegetables. Ladies in hats in a Methodist church hall pews eating scones and drinking tea to celebrate a church anniversary.

I left inspired and wanting to get my little lumix back into my handbag to catch the moments, the incongruous narratives I find around me.

A link to the exhibition – but as a novice blogger I fear I haven’t done it quite right!

http://www.artfund.org/what-to-see/exhibitions/2013/09/21/only-in-england-photographs-by-tony-ray-jones-and-martin-parr-exhibition?gclid=COjzxdeY-bsCFQXLtAodlV0ATg

Great Sunday!