Snap Around…

There are times when taking in your local antiquity market can be a real surprise, like this one in Spitalfields. Now I don’t spend the time here that I would like to, so this visit became a real eye feast. The guys here offer the buyer just around everything that you’ve never imagined. From out of date publications, typewriters long forgotten, jewellery that only the brave would wear, to stuffed animals and full size human skeletons from medical research institutions; I’m assured. It’s a wonderful bric-a brac of British life and our celebrated history that can only be attributed to these wonderful Isles.

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Snap Around…

You know, there are times when your left eye catches something that your right eye was not covering. Like suddenly stumbling on this guy trying to put across his point of view on Speaker’s Corner. I always say, if you got something to say, someone should listen, anyway it’s pretty real to get it off your chest…

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The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 54… Consolidation

Those words of Charles that were said downstairs revolved around in Esme’s head. She sat on the edge of the bed in their little room and pondered. “Surely, Charles did not really mean what he was saying. This was not him. It couldn’t be him. She knew him. He would never offer those sort of views and yet now, he was saying goodnight to the Porrit’s downstairs and would be here soon. She would say nothing, that was decided in her mind. His footsteps were heard now on the narrow staircase leading to their room, he would be here in moments, loving and always protective for her as ever. There should be no reason to doubt him…Non at all!”

He quietly entered the room making sure his entry would not disturb her and was slightly surprised to find her awake. He moved over to her and gently kissed her on the check. ‘Do you mind if we stay a little longer here with the Porrit’s?’ he asked softly.’

Somehow her eyes were suddenly full of warmth and her smile did not portray those earlier thoughts. She braved her words and looking into his concerning face said: ‘Of course I don’t mind. I rather like being here with you and being away from London for a while, and I just love Bill and Margarita. They have made us so very welcome.’

‘Then it’s settled my princess. When you want to return. We shall!’ Charles was aglow and seemingly settled in his own mind. And for the present Esme felt this moral comprise was perhaps the best solution. She had for the present, no particular desire to return to London. She wanted more time. More time to unravel this peculiar world of dreams and reality. And more than ever, that driving force that made her part of it.”

She thought of Charles and his dedication to her through those terrible times in her past, his support and determination to be with her was unending. Whatever, his thoughts and determinations were now, she had to be there for him, and him alone. There was no question of her unfailing love for him.

‘We could go back up to the ruins in the morning, if you want to, and try to make an understanding of all of this.’ She knew now that this would be the only way to repay his loyalty and love for her. ‘We are in this together’ she added, ‘Both you and I.’

‘Yes, we are, my love, to the bitter end!’

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Snap Around…

You know, looking back through my drawer of memories, there were times when I was asked to photograph in some strange and unusual places, like this eerie Dry Dock in the Jarrow Dockyards, and of course, special permission had to be sought on this occasion. Well, this I had, and now, it was just me, my camera and this huge hunk of tonnage! If the day ever arrives when you feel you are the most significant thing on this planet, forget it! You’ve only got to stand and face this magnificent beast…

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Snap Around…

Sometimes you just go to a drawer and pull out those old memories. You look at the picture in front of you and soak yourself with the days of camera film and splashing around in a darkened room with trays of photo developer and fix. This shot was borne of that era. That one moment when everything in your view just comes together for a great shot. I guess I’m very lucky in my life to have been able to bridge two different world’s of still photography and because today’s digital revolution is truly spellbinding.

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The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 53… A Concerning Time

‘That’s truly incredible.’ stated Bill. He looked quite astonished at Charles. ‘Are you telling me that your friend e’r… Tobias is behind all of this. I just really can’t believe it. Because this Rebecca Haigh business and visions nonsense has been going on for years in village gossip.’

‘No Bill. I’m not saying that. Somehow, we have all become part of this, and that, somehow Tobias can tune into this fantasy world in such ways that can effect our thoughts and what we think we see. I’m scared for all of us and for what we now are beginning to understand and for where it will take us. I just don’t feel there is a way out. There can be no running away. This strange world will inhibit each and every one of us. I’m certain of it!’

‘What you are saying Charles. declared Esme. Tobias is really here and that these are tricks he can play in our minds?’ she looked at him for some reassurance.

‘Maybe, I just don’t know. If he is here, he could be just tuning into local superstition. But for what reason I can’t imagine.’ He looked thoughtfully at the others. ‘Perhaps, it’s all just nonsense in our heads. This house of ruins must surely evoke the wildest of imaginations in everyone, and really, there is no harm done.’

‘Come on Charlie. Now you’re talking sense, there is no point in upsetting ourselves’ stated Bill, who then presented a somewhat comically distorted face.

‘Well you are right Bill, of course. Perhaps I was talking about the supernatural in terms of the spirit of the soul. That the spirit lives on in a way and after death becomes an energy, a force in it’s own right. Not in any some creditable form that we take to be an apparition, but a spirit force able to move within a kind of blackness zone and yet, aware of surroundings and it’s actions. True, many people today believe in spiritualism and there are growing groups around the world devoted to these thoughts. There have been many documented funerals where mourners have felt the spirit of the soul rise up and leave the body of the departed. In fact, my mother was such a believer when at the time my grandmother was laid out in our front parlour. I’m sure the spirit or the soul, whatever name you want to give it lives on in each, and every one of us and that it never fades away. I’m certain there are many people in our mysterious world who can tune into this astral plain, like so many famous “mediums” whose predictions have prove to be correct. I feel that Toby, wittingly, or unwittingly is part of this gift to us and I think if a person has the ability to look forward into our futures and can see into our past’s… Then they have a proper understanding of our present.’

‘This is tall stuff and all very morbid Charlie.’ replied Bill. ‘I think we are scaring the girls.’ He took a glance at their concern faces. Lets keep away from the ruins and just forget about it?’

‘You are right Bill of course… And I feel sorry for the girls. But I don’t think it will be that simple. In fact, I don’t think it will be possible!’ answered Charles.

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Snap Around…

Ok, the holiday season is upon us and it’s the time you just wanna sit back and enjoy the ride. And it’s a time when visitor numbers drop a little on PGC because these guys have got something else on their minds, like having a good time. Why not! Now, I came across this ornate style of Italian garden at Stockwood House Gardens in Bedfordshire some time back, but thought this could do with another shake out. Just for the sake of it and for the rest of us stay at home’s to sit back and enjoy…

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Snap Around…

There are times when my local park can throw up some really interesting watching for me, like this team of young fella’s who recently won a TV talent show.

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The Shriving of Miss Esme Stamp…

Episode 52… Plain truth

With Charles insistence on just a darkened room. Bill suggested the old stone smoke house at the back of the cottage. ‘We’ve not used it since we moved here and there are no windows, so it may suit your purpose Charlie.’ With thought of having brought most he needed with him, he returned to the car for those items that would be useful. Once his photographs became stable from the dim light of his occasional striking match, the pictures seem to be taking on very different images from those he had seen at the ruins. Through Esme’s mind set, he could see the those fine green laws, those beautiful dancing ladies. This magnificent house of true splendour. A place of dreams. A place of hope and love abounded in its every crevice, every fragment of its brick and stone. Now it was there, alive and in those pictures.

‘Look, this is the plain truth. Look at the photographs.’ All of you. ‘This is what Esme saw. For some reason, I was not part of the vision. Somehow, Rebecca Haig planted those images within my shots of the ruins. I don’t no how. Perhaps, she can’t get into my mind. Perhaps, this was her way for me.’ The other three sat around the kitchen table, at first not able to speak, concerned for the truthful reality. That this was a very special place. Moments passed, before Esme spoke very quietly. ‘Then, here we have it. Bill and Margarita’s feelings are right about this place, and those of the villagers. But why, could I hear her wonderful words and see those beautiful images, and yet, Charles did not! Why me? I have no connection with this place!’

‘No… But Tobias does,’ broke in Charles. ‘He is your Guardian Angel. ‘He has charged himself as your protector. He brought you to me when your life near closed on that terrible common. He gave you life and energy. He gave you back to me.

‘Is that why I see him in my thoughts. Because he wants to protect me. Why? I’m sure he has trickery and cunning. Why me?’

‘I’m sure he knows you mean so much to me and that I love you so very dearly.’ Suggested Charles. ‘I’m also very certain that he has ways and powers that are uncommon to me. Odd forces that he can summon at will, and yet, it seems to be a power devoted to helping and healing and not used for evil purposes, although this power that he has, can sometimes be invoked as a correctional tool where there is evil afoot. When I first met him, he arrived quite with purpose at my photographic business and asked if he could live on the premises with me and in return would help me develop my business connections, offering help in any way. His only friend seemed to be a old dull coloured parrot he had with him. A creature, it seemed that would closed both its eyes and slept for most of time. Anyway, I liked him and thought it would be a welcome to have his company, assistance and a somewhat lazy bird.’

Bill and Margarita were silent. This spellbinding side to Charlie was quite unnatural in their minds. To them. he always had been a person of creation and complete self interest.

‘Please go on Charles.’ Said Esme. She could read the Porrit’s thoughts in their faces, but she knew self interest had long since vanished from Charles mind. It had been replaced with her love. That she was quite sure of.

‘In time,’ recalled Charles. ‘I learnt from Toby that his parents had died in a house fire in West London some years before and that he and brother Barney had managed to survive.  Just out of interest and for no other reason than idle curiosity. I read up on the local authority records at the town hall because it puzzled me, how did they survive and their parents did not? Tobias had said no more. So with the records of the event in front of me. I was astounded to read that there were no survivors from this fire and it was believed that all four, two adults and their two young boys had perished, although, the children’s bodies were never discovered and yet, no child has ever come forward to declare themselves… As one or other of the brothers.’

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British Lost and forgotten Films of the Past…

The Flying Doctor…1936

A British made film set in Australia and featured the events of a Doctor that flies around the outback with a Helicopter. Somewhat, a lack lustre affair in the production, it faired better with Australian movie fans than here in the UK. Charles Farrell is the Doctor with a supporting array of character actors of the period. Production was from Gaumont-British.

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