Stranger #8 – Neil

Stranger #8 - Neil

Meet Neil

Neil is Senior Reserves Manager for the Essex Wildlife Trust. We met at the Geocaching event at Langdon Plotlands. He is the person at EWT who has been promoting geocaching and is keen to get more caches set at other locations. He has been working for EWT for about 16 years. We talked a little about photography, and I explained about my ongoing Project 365 (which has got rather out of hand) and my 100 Strangers. He has recently bought at DSLR for his daughter and was interested in resources to help her learn more about photography. I cheekily pointed him towards my blog and tutorials! He readily agreed to be a stranger, but asked if he could have his picture taken in front of The Haven, a little museum which has been preserved on the Plotlands, and is a reminder of how people lived there in the 1930’s and 40’s (I took a look inside later on, it was very interesting). The light was a bit harsh, and Neil looks rather serious in this picture, but I think it was because he had the sun in his face at the time! Thanks for encouraging geocaching on EWT reserves and for chatting, it was great to talk.

Stranger #7 – Jean

Stranger #7 - Olive

Meet Jean

Jean is a friend of Stranger #6 – Olive. She told me they met on the internet through SAGA Zone – which she said (with a mischievous giggle) was like “Facebook for the Over 50’s”. They started lunching with other local SAGA friends and have also been on holiday together. Jean sees herself very much as “Olive’s assistant” when it comes to geocaching – she was bitten by the bug about a year ago. She was made redundant a while back, and at 63, now has a job with Age UK doing shopping and housework for those in need – around 16 hours a week. That sounds like a lot of housework to me! Thanks for taking the time to chat Jean, I enjoyed our meeting.

Stranger #6 – Olive

Stranger #6 - Olive

Meet Olive

Olive and her friend Jean (stranger #7) were attending a geocaching event  at a local nature reserve, Langdon Plotlands. Geocaching is a fun hobby which is enjoyed by people of all ages. Cachers are a friendly bunch too, and we got chatting in the Visitors’ Centre before we all headed off to find the treasure. Olive is a sprightly 76, her birthday was last week. She told me she has been geocaching for about 3 years, and had spent the last 4 years in and out of prison! When I looked shocked, she explained that she has two jobs. One as a driver delivering prescriptions for a pharmacy, and the other interviewing people for government surveys. A recent one involved talking to the prison population, and she has visited at least 15 different prisons to carry out her work. Thanks for agreeing to be my 6th stranger, Olive. It was great to talk and meet up again around the reserve on our hunt for caches.

Stranger #5 – Gary

Stranger #5 - Gary

Meet Gary

After photo club, it is customary for a few of us to head to the local pub for some extra socialising. This evening Gary was the barman. His daughter works there regularly, but he was standing in for her tonight as she was on holiday. As well as pulling our pints, Gary was happy to chat. He knows the photography bug – from the perspective that he’s a “photography widow” – his wife is nuts about taking pictures. Apparently he has to buy her expensive camera gear and then ends up carrying it for her when she’s on a shoot! I asked if he was ever tempted to take some shots himself, but apparently not. Maybe one day? Thanks for pulling a good pint and taking time to talk, Gary!

Stranger #4 – Victoria

Stranger #4 - Victoria

Meet Victoria

This evening I went to my photography club for a workshop. We have had an influx of new members, and I haven’t been able to go along for a few weeks, so I had not met Victoria before. We chatted about her photographic ambitions – she’s a mum of three and her youngest little boy is already a model (he’s nearly two). She would love to be able to take portraits of him but admits she is very new to photography, having taken it up in the last year or so. Thanks for being my impromptu model, Victoria – it was great talking to you, and I’m sure it won’t be the last time.

Stranger #1 – Keith

Stranger #1 - Keith

Meet Keith

Yesterday I was in Brighton for the one-day Ampersand Typography conference. Today there was an extra event for those who wished to participate – a guided typography tour of the town. I hadn’t met Keith at the conference yesterday, but we got talking during the tour today. He was using a very nice Leica M9 and a Leica film camera too. It turned out that he is a photographer from the USA, currently living and working in Switzerland. He enjoys people photography. When I explained about the 100 strangers project, he was very happy to oblige as my first stranger! It’s feels good to finally get the project started at last. Thanks Keith, great to talk to you.