Saturday, January 22, 2005

BoshamI have just found a nice fun game on Flickr. Go to the popular tags section. Enter the name of a town near you, and look at the top 3 related tags in bold. What do they say about collective perception of the place? Some are predictable, such as London returning England, tube and architecture. Some like Portsmouth get swamped by a different Portsmouth. Some are baffling: such as Poole being intrinsically linked with Cornwall (Cherbourg I'd understand, but somewhere a couple of counties over?)

[I know the list is very biased, but I was trying to think of places, and therefore coming up with those that mean something to me, if only "turn right after the pub". Just be glad I thought Four Marks would be too hard to find].

Alton: towers, brown, food.
Basingstoke: underpass, aircraft, animal.
Bournemouth: beach, blue, sea.
Bracknell: Andy, Bracknell Festival, BW.
Bude: Cornwall, England, 1980.
Chichester: apple, apples, Bosham.
Exeter: cathedral, architecture, moto.
Farnham: beer, Craig, green.
Godalming: Treo, stone, stonehead.
Guildford: train, clouds, England.
Midhurst: bondcars, England, postcard.
Petersfield: autumn, Britain, driving.
Poole: car, Cornwall, England.
Portsmouth: New Hampshire, NH, Virginia.
Reading: book, books, newspaper.
Salisbury: church, London, people.
Southampton: 04, 13th, 1643.
Swanage: family, me, old.
Taunton: castle, Christmas04, England.
Torquay: holiday, Australia, BW.
Wareham: Dorset, blue, clouds.
Weymouth: beach, yachts, Amy.
Winchester: architecture, England, cathedral.

Cornwall: sea, beach, sunset.
Berkshire: UK, Aldermaston, England.
Devon: England, beach, holiday.
Dorset: England, beach, UK.
Hampshire: new, England, sunrise.
Middlesex: fells, November, POTD.
Somerset: UK, New Jersey, aurora borealis.
Surrey: tree, ducks, bridge.
Sussex: England, painting, gardens.
Wiltshire: sunset, UK, landscape.

What does it imply about Aldershot that there simply are no photographs with that tag? Although Andover, Camberley, Dorchester, Haslemere, Petworth and Woking [and virtually anywhere in Devon] were all blank too.

Did anyone else notice how Reading brought up book, books, and literature? Obviously I can't be the only person to have been stuck in Reading station with nothing to do for one hour and forty-two minutes.

[What do you mean reeding not redding?].

And when I've not been wasting time on Flickr, I have been wandering around trying to use up film. And then being surprised when I reached the end. Unfortunately I seem to have relapsed to churches, churches, and churches, oh, and for the sheer hell of it, a bridge or two. So now I'm worrying about how well most of the shoots will work in black and white.

Carrying a camera provokes some odd reactions. When I did it ages ago in Notacity, I kept getting hit upon. But today in Tweeton, everybody glowered, except for a grey haired woman clutching a neatly folded copy of the Daily Mail (and the man who told me the name of a church, and got it wrong). What on Earth is going on?

I really must learn to take pictures of things which aren't buildings, or the cherry-blossom outside said building. But in the High Street I tried, and realised that my shot of whichever old coaching hotel would be infuriating filled with stuff I didn't want there. Like ugly signs and shopfronts, ugly cars, and many ugly people cluttering up the frame. I think I need to learn to seek different aims in such situations (although it would be helpful if they weren't carrying one-handled plastic bags, miscellaneous long things, didn't look so haggard, and did you have to wear that coat?).

Oh, to live in a photogenic world...

...would be hell, because I'd be the token ugly one.

Other thoughts for today:
- What happened to all the snowdrops? In places where I remember massed carpets, there's hardly any left.

- Why were there a great many ridiculously priced cars, and souped-up less expensive cars suddenly descending on the library at lunchtime? The two people I've mentioned this to said drug-dealers. I'm not really sure drug-dealers tend to drive round in convoys of about 30, all with throbbing exhausts, and have their dealings in twee town centres at ten-past-one on a Saturday.

The next suggestion is that they were going to a wedding. 30 expensively, not necessarily smartly, dressed, young, or pretending to be young, men, each in their own car, with no passengers. Odd wedding that. Also, there's easier parking near each of the nearest churches.

But they weren't run of the mill cars (not even for round here, where there is a mill with a row of Porsches parked outside, on double yellow lines). There were assorted big Ferraris, a couple of molten-looking things I didn't recognise, an Aston or two, a clutter of Audis or similar, and couple of Golfs with too much plastic, extraneous lights, and holes drilled in their exhausts.

My guess is a post-racing lunch, but I dread to think which roads they had been using.


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