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Community photography

England in summer


Last month, I turned art critic and did a review of an exhibition at Walsall art gallery. Yesterday, I was out photographing the carnival in the park. It was a nice afternoon and it’s been a long time since we have seen such a good turnout. I’m sure many people went in the evening when things had cooled down a little.

I don’t think people were spending a lot of money. I didn’t anyway. I felt guilty that I hadn’t supported any of the many charities that had stalls there. I went to the one that supports the park and bought a few tombola tickets! We do need to support local charities and local business. Events like this bring people together, too. The History of Wednesbury page on Facebook arranged a meeting and I met up with a few people who are interested in local history. That’s important too, our history gives us a sense of our identity and the Black Country has a very colourful history. I had an email from Argentina a couple of weeks ago. There is a railway turntable there that was made in Wednesbury over 100 years ago and an enthusiast sent me a picture. We get a lot of interest in the Black Country from around the world. Many towns and cities are experiencing the problems that we had 50 years or more ago, especially with pollution.  Maybe we can teach them something about ‘smokeless zones’?

There was a report of a ‘nail bomb’ exploding near a mosque in the Black Country this week. The police seemed to overreact to the incident and closed roads and so on. We do have to take racism seriously though. It seems the prime minister had a secret policy to make Britain a ‘hostile environment’ for unwanted immigrants, so who knows what these closet racists might be up to behind closed doors? I’m not too well today, but my guests today would have been from overseas. I don’t want them subjected to the same discrimination that people from the EDL, UKIP and the more extreme sections of the Conservative party seem to favour. We have lots of workers here from overseas, professors in our universities, doctors in our hospitals and International students who pay a lot of money to be here. I have messages from around the world, people want to come here and see for themselves and experience our culture. It is a culture of tolerance and we make our guests welcome.

The hot weather does send some people a little nuts, unless that’s the ice cold lager. Most of us though, are in a better mood. It seems the traders on the stock market were in a better mood this week. I might change my strategy of buy when prices are low and sell when they are higher, to buy when the weather is bad and sell when it’s sunny! Politicians keep talking about the green shoots of economic recovery, this could be the real thing. My lawn is growing well, if nothing else.

Anyway, enjoy the nice weather if you’re in England. West Bromwich Manor House and Oak House are both open this afternoon. There are lots of places for an afternoon out and you don’t have to spend a lot of money either.

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