About john king

Early fifties, ex-pat English teacher, cum journalist ,cum musician, carving out an existence in deepest France.

Punk’s Not Dead – More Toy Stories

A few old figurines, a “punk” decor and a punky toy story.

Smurf Punk

Robot Punk

Smurf  ‘n’ Bimbo Guitar duo

Meet the band

Meet all the band – we got ourselves a Brainy bassist

In B&W and mono

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Road Trip from Cabourg to Quiberon

Last leg of our road trip along the north and north western coast of France. From the English Channel at Cabourg to the shores of he Atlantic on the Quiberon Peninsula – from Normandy to Britanny, via the Mont St Michel.

Month St Michel

On the tourist road to Quiberon, another vital stopover on the tourist trail – the standing stones at Carnac – miles of menhirs dating from 5000BC and no one knows what they are there, other than to attract tourists.

Standing Stones at Carnac

The Road to the Stones

Stone-spotting tourists

And on to Quiberon – a popular family holiday resort at he end of the Quiberon peninsula – who says peninsula also says one road in and the same road out – huge traffic jams and a lengthy wait for the delights of Quiberon

Quiberon

Black and Whire Quiberon

On the beach in Quiberon

And from Quiberon we head home to an empty fridge, empty bank account, utility bills and mountains o lessons to prepare before heading back to school. We’ll be back next year.

Heading For the Normandy Beaches

French holiday road trip from Calais to Cabourg.

We leave the UK from Dover; which is a town so unpleasant and sinister that it makes a great place to leave from – always better to start a journey from some from somewhere so awful that anywhere else is better – the somewhere else is Calais – on the opposite side of the English Channel – another miserable port town – in the news over the past few years for the vast number of migrants, in and around the town. From Algeria to Afghanistan, they come in their hundreds with one singular intention – to cross to the UK and make a life there. In between there lies the Channel – only 23 miles wide between Calais and Dover. The immigrants will try any way to get across, hopping on lorries, hiding in trailers, walking through the Channel Tunnel – any risk is worth the risk for the promise of a new life in Britain. Escaping war torn countries, or grinding poverty in the lands thy called home, they cross Europe, last stop Calais, waiting to take their chance in a chance crossing. For years, the migrants were huddled in an illegal camp knob as “The Jungle” – that was dismantled by the authorities and the migrants were “dispersed” to other parts of France, but many just headed back, intent on crossing to Britain. The migrants err around the town, along the highways into Calais or on the car parks of petrol station or lay bys on the roads into Calais. They have become such a familiar sight that what was once “shocking” is now commonplace.

On the road out of he port, mile upon mile of high wire mesh fences surmounted with rolls of  razor wire to stop the migrant eating into the port. The once sedate Channel Ferry port now looks like a prison camp.

From Calais, we head to our destination of Cabourg – a small family seaside resort on the Normandy coast, near Caen, very popular with Parisians. Welcome to Cabourg – revel in the nostalgia of what the seaside looked like a generation ago.. Along this stretch the Normandy coast is all slong, windswept,sandy beaches with iconic beach huts.

Beach huts in Cabourg

Cabourg beach front with a sepia finish

Sandcastles in Cabourg

Low tide in Cabourg

Once in Normandy – A pilgrimage to the Normandy landing beaches and a viitto the Bayeux Tapestry. Today it is raining, his is definitely not a beach day and every tourist in Normandy has headed to a museum. Lines of wet tourists snake their way around the entrance to the Arromanches museum. No pre booking by Internet, you just wait in the rain. At Bayeux, the queues are o great that they have had to close the museum.

Waiting in line in Arromanches

Rainy day for the beach

Rainy beach misery

On the Beach in Arromanches

Next leg from Cabourg to Lorient

Down to the Sea in Ships

Back from my brief summer road trip – a short tour of historic sights (sites) in Nprmandy and Brittany. Yes, rather than lolling round like a giant slug in the sun, this year we decided to do what real tourists do and be tourists (oh dear it is hard work being a tourist)

For your viewing pleasure, in this first flurry of holiday snaps – a few very unseaworthy boats. On holiday, I like nothing more than a stroll around a port, and I have a curious passion for sailing craft – the more unseaworthy the better. Snapped on this holiday (and a few previous ones) a selection of gloriously precarious and even dangerous vessels.

 

Blue sailing boat – Lorient August 2017

 

In Need of TLC – Lorient
August 2017

TLC 2

Checking up at low tide.
Lorient August 2017

 

Boat or submarine?

Yes it floats
Ile d’Yeu 2013

And now a few assorted small craft. No titles on these

Here’s one from Scotland circa 2011. Redolent of neglect. You wouldn’t treat a person like this. Why do this to a boat? Yes, boats have souls too.

Lobster fishing in Scotland July 2013

And now something a little more seaworthy

In full sail – old Tuna fishing boat

Red sails – but not at sunset

Wishing you all plain sailing

Semi Circular

Driving cross London – the A406 – or North Circular Road – a three lane 1960’s built highway that cuts a swathe through the north east London suburbs. Residential streets crooned off from the road by walls or wire fences. This is the worst of suburbia – mad urbanization meets neglect. This for me is like some kind of parallel world. I wouldn’t believe that people could live in places like this, unless I saw it with my own eyes – we are not totally detached, jet semi detached – mile upon mile of that unique “English” housing format, built everywhere by private developers between the two World wars.

After the slaughter of the Western Front, the returning soldiers needed “Homes fit for Heroes”, built on they premise that an Engishmans’ Home is his castle – the result – small “cottage like” three bedroom houses. A unique and national but non imposed housing format – I’m not even sure that Soviet Russia could have achieved such uniformity.

A few photos of semi detached house on the North Circular Road, hence “Semi Circular”

 

 

Street or Urban or more of the same as everyone else

First and foremost, a big thank you to all you other WordPressers who have been perusing and “liking” this blog, since I have been doing a majority of photo posts, there are more and more of you following my photographic exploits , I guess therefore that I might have to seriously consider adopting a more photo friendly format.

There are many of you who just use photos or words and photos. There are many of you who have definite photo styles – I’m still looking for my style, but I would cast it in the Walker Evans mode of  “vernacular photography” -For years, without a serious photographic style or mentor,  I have been snapping away at subjects that would cover Martin Parr, Al Wei Wei, Diane Arbus and Walker Evans, but for as long as I have been taking photos, until quite recently I had never actually heard of these iconic photographers. I was an exhibition of Diane Arbus photos in Paris in 2011 that put me on the track of serious photography. I didn’t change what I was doing, I just found a famous photographer who had taken the same photos that I was taking – so when I found Raymond depardon, Walker Evans and Martin Parr, pretty much by accident, I found that I was doing the same thing but without influence.

I think I do venacular photography, but I do a lot of street photos and urban photos, I just take clichés that I think are interesting, with the simple precept that “I am shooting this because no one else will bother.” The problem is now that with camera phones and Instagram, everyone is photographing everything, from what they they, what they wear to what they crap.

My computer is so old that I can’t use Instagram or any other site apart from Flick’r and, I refuse to use a camera phone. Phones are for phoning not for taking photos – yes, I still have a good old camera.

So, here I am off to London and then a tour of Northern France plenty of photo opportunities, but what is the style – Street? Urban? Venacular?

Here are a couple of clichés to highlight my problem. A photo of a smoker in the street and a photo of a building site. I think my  photos are valid, but what is the style. As for the building site, the photo depicts the changing face of my town. One day this photo will be historic – meaning that the vernacular becomes the past. For you to judge. I’l just keep on snapping – but I want to get on Instagram. I want worldwide circulation, I want people to see these photos, because they are no more or less crap than any other images you might see on the Web.

Cheers

Street Urban Venacular Historic Building Ste

One for the road