Dungeness, Co. Kent

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In 1986, Derek Jarman took his partner Keith Collins on a trip to Dungeness. “There’s a beautiful fisherman’s cottage here, and if ever it was for sale, I think I’d buy it,” he said and as the two approached the cottage there was a ‘For Sale’ sign in the window. Jarman bought it and spent much of his time there, creating and enjoying his ‘nuclear garden’ up to and until his death in February 1994.

‘Prospect Cottage’ still stands, in the shadow and perpetual hum of Dungeness nuclear power station. It is bordered by brilliant golden gorse, surrounded by 3,950 acres of shingle beach. Its front garden’s a little less organised than before. We did not venture round the back.

On the side of the black and yellow building are written the words of John Dunne:

The Sunne Rising

Busie old foole, unruly Sunne,
Why dost thou thus,
through windowes, and through curtaines call on us?
Must to they motions lovers’ seasons run?
Sawcy pedantique wretch, goe chide
Late schoole boyes and sowre prentices.
Goe tell Court-huntsmen, that the King will rdie,
Call countrey ants to harvest offices;
Love, all alike, no season knowes, nor clyme,
Nor houres, dayes, moneths, which are the rags of time…
Thou sunne art halfe as happy as wee,
In that the world’s contracted thus.
Thine age askes ease, and since they duties bee
To warme the world, that’s done in warming us.
Shine here to us, and thou art every where;
This bed thy centre is, these walls thy spheare.

As mentioned before, I’ve wanted to visit Dungeness since I saw Jarman’s work at the Barbican retrospective in 1996.

The ‘sunne’ did shine on us as we combed the beach for photogenic objects. My series overlaps and hopefully complements the one at Hydraganic.com.

Whitstable: spratts & sprogs

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We hurtle down the M2 to Whitstable on the North Kent coast. Two women falling asleep in the sun, Mr Hg behind the wheel. Will we make it in time for the table at noon?

17 degrees according to the sign on the rent-a-boat building, but it feels warmer. Upstairs in the restaurant’s a cinema — but the seats are stacked with boxes and the first floor is under construction. More seats for hungry customers.

A waiter cleans lobster at the bar. Outside on the beach kids play with the waves while daddies strap their bellies in a wet suit. Their grown up toys are catamarans, jet skis and motorboats. The need for speed. Where are their wives?

Steaming mussels, baked cod, Sancerre. Mr Hg laughs when I take a first bite of my pudding and light up like a four-year-old.

We buy sweets and books.

Some photos of Whitstable

Castle window, Bretagne, France


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Taken around ten or more years ago in Brittany in France, with an Olympus OM10. Probably the first time I ever tried to use stops. Found it today while looking for another shot, taken 30+ years ago. Didn’t find that one, of course.