Sunday, 21 October 2007


I came across this poem many years ago, I am not sure where, but I noted it down. I recall searching the bookshops at the time, (long before the days of internet), for a collection of Jean Earle poems. But I gave up after finding absolutely nothing anywhere. I am not surprised that I didn't find anything, since even an internet search today comes up up with virtually nothing, apart from the bare minimum. Wiki has nothing.

So dear reader, count yourself lucky to be reading this astonishing poem. Angry, sad, heartfelt and thought-provoking, you won't be reading it anywhere else. Unless you bought the book, which I doubt you have.


By Jean Earle

An old farmer always named one cow
Bluebell - and let himself get fond
Of that one. Ambling in to milk,
He kept his hand on her.

Yet when she left for good - as all must -
He always beat her, hard,
Into the van.

Young then, I did not understand -
When I was old and could not cope with more
Dead weight, how I would thrash my griefs
Into the van. "Get in!
Don't come haunting round my yard!"

Saturday, 20 October 2007

In Two Minds

Sometimes it is both intuitive and immediate. At other times it can take weeks, or even months, for me to select which photo, in a sequence of similar but slightly different 'decisive moments', is to be 'the one'. Sometimes I shelve my decision for a few weeks, and come back later, hopefully with a clearer head. It is encouraging and interesting to see that Henri Cartier-Bresson appeared to suffer from this same problem on occasions, apparently having difficulty deciding which image to print and publish. On at least two occasions he changes his mind and selects another similar but different image later. Two examples below. The first is an image from his book 'The Decisive Moment', followed by the more familiar version. The second is from 'The Family of Man', again followed by the better known version. These examples are not like looking at a contact sheet, but instead reveal how HCB changed his mind about which image he ultimately preferred. I know I have seen a different version of the Seville, Spain, 1933 photo published, the of the kids through a broken wall. If anyone can tell me where, it would ease a nagging in my mind. And if one day I change my mind about one of my own images, I'll be in good company.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

She's Lost Control

I've loved the melancholic and intense music of Joy Division ever since I first heard it on the John Peel Show. So a real treat for me to see 'Control', which I did last night. This is a film about their lead singer Ian Curtis. It's really good. It helped put the songs into context too, as well as being a fitting tribute to the band. Perhaps best known for 'Love will tear us apart', their two albums also includes many other powerful songs, all of which are characterised by beautiful tunes (which you can easily whistle or hum), and memorable lyrics. They have stood the test of time, (my life-time anyway) and are a must-have Desert Island disk. Buy their albums. See the film. Their T shirts are nice too. I still have my original 'sound wave' one, above.

Another YouTube link, why not?


One thing which I was very curious to find out after seeing the film was who sang the cover version of Shadowplay over the credits. I have now found out, and it is none other than The Killers, probably my most played band this year. It all comes a full circle.

I also came across an interesting interview with Natalie Curtis, daughter of Ian, who was one when he died. She says "The first time I heard their album Closer, I thought it was out of this world. I assumed all music was done with that level of style and intelligence. As I grew older, it was a shock to discover not everything was that amazing." I second that.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Tip for Victory

My tip for victory is Lewis Hamilton. Not that I know anything about F1. I haven't watched a minute of it in my life until a few months ago. I took some photos of Hamilton crashing his Go-Kart in June and have been following his progress ever since. Victory in China would give him the drivers' title in his debut season, and make him the first rookie in Formula One history to win the prestigious title. So the best of luck to him.