After my success with Stranger #37, I walked a little further back towards Admiralty Arch. On the way I encountered Owen and his wife Jenny (Stranger #39). They both stood out as being characters in the way they were dressed and were happily chatting to each other. I explained that I would like to take their portraits and they readily agreed. Owen is a photographic technician at a local college, which means he sets up studio equipment for the students or advises them how to use their cameras, amongst other duties. I made quite a few pictures of him as he was talking, but this was the first – and the best – when he quite spontaneously pointed at his mug with those great red gloves! Thanks for participating, Owen.
Len was stranger number three from today’s outing, walking along The Mall with his family (Strangers #33, #34 and #36. They were all very generous in agreeing to pose for a few pictures while they were enjoying their day in London. He was certainly wrapped up well against the weather! Hope you enjoy the rest of your stay in London, Len.
I met Tracy today on the end of the pier at Shoeburyness. She was with her husband and son who were trying out a new telescope her son had been given for Christmas, spying on the boats chugging past! Her red scarf and hat, along with matching lipsick, immediately caught my attention. We chatted for a while about the telescope and her life. The family have recently returned to the UK from Queensland, Australia after spending 4 years there. They came back so that her son could have treatment for a serious medical condition. He is now on the road to recovery and looking forward to using the telescope to watch the stars as well as the boats. They are hoping to join a local astronomy club. Thank you Tracy for taking the time to chat, it was great to meet you.
Today I met Tony while I was at the Billericay Christmas Fair in the town. He is the Squire of the Mayflower Morris Men who were performing at the event. I managed to catch him before their first set and had a bit of time to chat. He has been involved with Morris dancing for 27 years. He showed me all the mementos of his Morris career pinned to his hat. One was made from the hair from a horse fetlock – given to him by his daughter, as he used to work with horses. Thanks for taking a few moments to talk, Tony.
Today I went to the Museum of Power in Langford with some friends on a photowalk. There were vintage cars, motorbikes and traction engines on show as well as the usual static steam engine exhibits. I got talking to David, who was there showing his hand-built miniature traction engine, McGrew. He took five years to build it from scaled down plans and regularly takes it to steam fairs and country shows. David was very enthusiastic about his machine and quite happy to chat. Thanks for your time David, it was a pleasure talking to you.
Today I went to Portobello Market on a photoshoot with the London Flickr Meetups group. I met Michelle in the market, selling delicious home-made cupcakes at her stall. She is a professionally-trained chef, but since becoming a mum she has been running her own business, Minklez catering. She has had a stall in the market for about three years and loves the vibrancy of meeting people there. I bought one of her baby cupcakes – which was delicious! Thanks for taking the time to chat, Michelle – I wish I could bake half as well as you!
I seem to have neglected my Strangers again recently; the last was in November when I met Lucia. Today I went to do some street photography with friends from GNPC. We visited Columbia Road Flower Market, Spitalfields and Brick Lane in London – all great opportunities for people watching. On our way down Brick Lane, this dapper gent was merrily dancing along the pavement to some rap music. He was soon joined by a couple of other guys who seemed to know him and they looked like they were having a great time. My picture of the trio made it for Day #1511. But afterwards, I thought he was too good a character to pass up, so I managed to have a quick word with him. His name is Johnnie Walker and he lives locally to Brick Lane. He initially introduced himself by saying “I’m nobody” – but then concurred that he was, at least, a pretty snappy dresser! He is often to be seen in the area and loves the East End and its friendly inhabitants. It was great to see someone who appeared to have such joie de vivre, and wasn’t afraid to show it. Thanks for bringing a smile to many people’s faces this afternoon, Johnnie – the pleasure was all ours.
I was wandering around Heybridge Basin this evening before meeting some friends for a photoshoot. There were quite a number of foreign yachts moored up, a bit unusual for the area. I met At as he was sitting on his boat enjoying a beer in the evening sunshine. We got chatting. He’s a Dutchman who sailed over from Hoek van Holland to Harwich with his friend three weeks ago. The voyage took about 17 hours overnight, the sea was very rough and they had to cross busy shipping lanes. It was a bit scary, but At was glad that it took less time than he had imagined. His wife and daughter had joined him later (presumably arriving the sensible way by ferry!). They were staying for another week and then heading home across the Channel once more. They very graciously offered me a drink, and I was sad that I had to decline as I was going to be late for meeting my friends. Thanks for telling me your story, At – and I wish you a safe journey home!
Chris was camo’d up to represent a Viet Nam veteran with the 3rd Force Recon Company USMC. He’s been re-enacting since 1986 and is now a Corporal. While we were chatting, his friend came over and proposed to me! It turns out he just wanted me for my camera though… so I had to gracefully decline.
Rhian was the daughter of Stranger # 15 – Lynne and her uniform was new as well. She was apparently a Russian Militia Captain – the “only cop in the village”. I thought she looked very smart in it. Her red hair certainly matched the braid and badges! Thanks for having your picture taken, Rhian.