I think the town I live in lacks some cultural opportunities. The art gallery rarely seems to have anything interesting on and only opens three days each week. It closes altogether in the winter. I think we could make a bit more of an effort to get funding from the Arts Council for a summer exhibition. The Royal Academy of Arts has a summer exhibition and so why shouldn’t we? Yes, today I’m sharing my thoughts with you as I usually do on a Sunday morning. I have art and culture on my mind this morning.
I’m going shopping today and so I’ll add to my box of food for our ‘Breaking Bread’ food bank. While I think it is ridiculous that we need food banks in a country as rich as Britain we have to help because we can’t change government policy. My small contribution will help and it is the little things that count.
I met Jen Coley at a soirée of music, poetry and spoken word at Wednesbury library recently and she offered to contribute some poetry to my blog. So here are a few poems, the first is inspired by autumn. It is poetry for the weekend.
It can cost a fortune to be a dedicated follower of fashion. Many people want a look that is associated with something considered fashionable. However, we can often achieve the same look, essentially the same style, without breaking the bank. It is the overall look that is important not the detail. I take photos and those expensive designer labels can’t be read or identified in the photos, it is the overall look that is seen. Your taste in clothes says something about you. So think about the style and also about colours. Depressed people and negative people tend to wear black and dark colours more than the light and bright colours.
This week Wolverhampton Wanderers announced a deal to show their matches on pay-to-view television in China. Is this a good idea? Well, Wolves new Chinese owner Jeff Shi must think so. Do I think it is a good idea? Well, I know many Chinese students at the University of Wolverhampton quickly become Wolves fans when they come to Wolverhampton, their halls of residence, Randall Lines, is close to the Molineux stadium. We have to start building bridges with China and with other nations. We can’t become isolationist.
Sandwell Valley Country Park is the nearest bit of countryside to Wednesbury and a popular place for a day out. I often go there to take photographs. Parking charges will be introduced at my favourite beauty spots starting on the 1st of November. They work out to around 40p an hour because the council are short of money. I doubt if it will raise much money after they have paid for the meters and the wardens. There could have been better ways of making money from the park. Forge Mill has a lot of potential.
It has been announced that the Midland Metro tram system will be extended from Wednesbury to Merry Hill via Toll End and Dudley. Work on the new ‘super hospital’ in Smethwick, also called the ‘Metro’ will be speeded up, too. The government will go ahead with HS2 as well which will sort of link with the Metro tram system in the Midlands. Who will benefit from all this infrastructure construction? The big construction companies will benefit, but I’m not too sure about anyone else.
A walk in the park
I went for a walk in the park this week. Life can be a little hectic and so a little walk can be calming. I’m told by a friend that he misses the park now he lives in the countryside. You would think there would be more places to have a nice walk in the countryside, not fewer. I have experienced that problem, rich landowners don’t make people welcome.
Yes, it’s heritage weekend and yesterday I went to the local art gallery and museum to listen to a talk by local historian Ian Bott on the mansions of the Black Country. Most of those are long gone or there are plans to turn them into flats like the Redhouse in Redhouse Park and Great Barr Hall. The art gallery and museum only opens a few hours three days a week. Meanwhile, in London, they get shed loads of money for the arts and heritage.
We’ve all seen those simpering L’Oreal adverts with the fake smile that accompanies the “because I’m worth it,” quote. These over-paid stars actually try to convince themselves that they are worth their obscene rewards. They might think they are worth it, but do they feel they are worth it?
I’m getting better at photographing events and last Tuesday I was at the local library for an evening of poetry, spoken word and music. I shot some video last month, but this time, I wanted to take still photos and use a professional flash because the lighting was mixed and that is always difficult. I used a wide aperture for nearly all the shots and tried spot focusing on individual people. Then I decided to try something different and removed the flash and fitted a soft focus filter, boosting the ISO up to 12,500.
We have heard a lot about aspirations in the past few years from the government. Remember the ‘Big Society’ idea that was meant to promote a new kind of civil society based on capitalist ideas. We did see a few Community Interest Companies spring up but that was about all. The higher aspirations that are most talked about are concerned with aspiring to a higher income level and social class. (more…)
It was carnival time again in Wednesbury yesterday and I was there to take a few photos again. I try to promote events around Wednesbury and take photographs at charity events. We need to improve our communities and heal rifts, not provoke hostility and division.
I’m getting a little tired of the fallout from Brexit. People voted in a referendum and the people decided but on what evidence and did they understand the debate? Democracy is supposed to be government by the people but if we are honest the people of the United Kingdom rejected the European bureaucracy precisely because it is undemocratic. Yes, we elect MEP’s to the European parliament but they are then just representing themselves. They get fat salaries and expenses and we hear little from them until the next election. The media ignores them and they debate irrelevant issues like how straight bananas should be. We have a pseudo-democracy without education, the people do not understand the system or the issues. (more…)
This is a bridge over an arm of the Walsall canal at Wednesbury. Will this exist in 50 years time? I have put a copyright notice at the bottom showing who took the photo and when.This helps preserve my rights as photographer.
It is Sunday morning and the sun is shining here in the Black Country despite everything. So I will start the day by sharing my thoughts with my readers because the news was a little revolting. I’ll start with a nice picture to cheer you all up.
This is a weekend of celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday. I photographed this event yesterday which went well until the heavens opened. I’m getting to be quite a good sky watcher and weather predictor and was in my car driving home when the rain came down. That was my backup plan. (more…)
A weekend of events
In a few hours a weekend of events will begin here in Wednesbury, where I live. This is the one today to raise money for surgery for Sam who needs an SDR operation to help him walk. Being the Black Country, I expect people to pull together and make his dream come true. (more…)
Britain’s image as a green and pleasant land has been turning into a tarnished image for quite some time. Now there is a nasty nationalist fever sweeping the land as the referendum on Europe approaches. This fever seems to be headed up by the infamous nastiness of Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Gove, aided and abetted by those creepy clowns, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson. (more…)
It’s Sunday morning and so once again I share my thoughts about my plans and life in general. The sun’s shining and so I intend to go out today and take photographs while there is less traffic. I think there might be narrowboats on the canal, they always make a good subject. (more…)
Children and young people have their role models, adults that they respect and who influence them. The adults they listen to might see the world as a bad place to be endured and will pass this belief on to the child. A good role model will help children and young people develop positive beliefs. (more…)
Should young people get lessons on how to enjoy life when they are at school? I don’t mean endless partying or always being on holiday but choosing a career that suits them and one they will enjoy. There are many people that enjoy their work, from gardeners to doctors, but there are also doctors who are obviously in the wrong job and take it out on their patients. (more…)