As I Walked Out One Evening

The evening in question was some weeks ago, when summer still reigned and the evenings were balmy. Through the twisted coils of a barbed wire fence, we looked on towards the local cricket ground, the grass barely stirring in the light, confidential breeze.

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Within sight of hard-earned victories of edged fours and triumphant sixes, where better, when the light is fading, than a lonely cemetery? It is not often, in crepuscular twilight, that the eye is drawn to the ground, and rewarded by life in silent, still form.

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The stillness was broken by the call of birds returning to roost in routine rounds: blackbirds and starlings and, yes, jackdaws, crossing the sky in large, raucous numbers. Black, canvas flags, loose and adrift.

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The day passed the baton to night in faltering glory. The air sweet and temperate, prophets were not yet speaking of russets and absence, as the light died blissfully and unresisting. Our sleep was restful; our dreams fired.

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After The Slap

I don’t know where exactly this photograph was taken, but it is of a strawberry seller, in 1877.

By the look that the woman is giving the guy, and the way that he holds his hand to his hang-dog face, I reckon that she has just given him an almighty slap for taking a strawberry without paying.

What do you guys think?

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A Colourless Cocktail

It has been a while since I have indulged my love of old photographs. Here are some that have recently caught my eye:

This is a street in Sweden, the day that the driving pattern switched from the left hand side of the road to the right. Looks like the drivers have all dropped an acid each. “Stop the taxi-I think I’ll walk!”

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These are damaged and melted mannequins after a fire in Madame Tussaud’s, London, in 1930. How realistic is that woman on the end? Looks like she’s dropped her dart. And one of those severed heads is peering up at his own backside. That’s the kind of view I always end up with every time I book a hotel room.

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Ban the bikini! Cover up your ribcage! And why have these women got babies’ faces on their knees?

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I really hate the idea of bringing animals into the hell of the conflicts we create. It’s bad enough to see them cower in response to the fireworks on bonfire night.

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These are Princeton students in the aftermath of a freshman v sophomores snowball fight in 1893. That must have been some snowball fight! It looks like an outtake from a Rocky movie. “Yo Adrian- I threw it!”

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