30 April 2009


"I remember one time going to visit a hostel to see if they could give me a room, everyone said that if you got an interview there, then you'd definitely get a room. Well, they then said 'no, we don't have a room.......but would you like to have a look around anyway?' and I was dragged around this place, looking at all the rooms...and the warm beds...and it was like 'look what you could have won.!'. I thought, well, they are either insensitive...or sick..!"

Fiona was selling The Big Issue. We chatted about how things were for her. She was laughing and said that she didn't know what to do with her face as I took the photograph. I said 'well, you could just pretend you are messing about in front of the mirror' and she pulled this face for me!

"Years ago, I was doing a protest, in Derbyshire, about some environmental damage that was going to happen. It was real living in trees stuff...and then from there I ended up living in squats, it all sort of went down from there. I'm in a hostel place now until I can get my own home, not an easy place to live in. There are lots of people that haven't learnt how to look after themselves at all. I cope better than some, I'm used to the knocks, being a bit older - but I don't know how really young people cope with it.

29 April 2009


"I'm really proud of the things I make as a Silversmith"

Linda was bemused by the idea of being photographed but agreed in any case. It was a windy day and we did struggle a little as her hair flew all over. She laughed easily and took it all in her stride.

"I was quite a giggly child. I still am really! If I'm afraid of anything, I think it would have to be long term illness. The thought of that can be really frightening sometimes"

28 April 2009


"Well...I am a childminder and I love cats"

This tickled me. I said to Maureen as I took her shot that she had a kind face and then I joked 'but then for all I know, you could eat babies!" She looked a little disconcerted and then told me this.

Maureen was very softly spoken. And also in rather a rush as she had a child to pick up, so we couldn't talk for long

27 April 2009


"That's what everyone calls me"

I asked to photograph Red and he agreed after I made a small donation towards a beer. Infact he said I could take as many as I wanted, he'd even take his shirt off. I did take two in the end.

"It's a good job you asked first, or I might have walked over and started shouting at you"

We talked about his hair. I'm sure that's not a very original thing to ask about. "It doesn't take long to sort. It's just imperial leather. That's all"

What I like about ths photo is that I remember that he could probably seem quite threatening, but you can also see something of the boy he once was.

26 April 2009


"Next month, I'm off to travel the world. These are all the sorts of things I should have done 25 years ago really, but I never could have then"

Francis has a naturally very serious looking face. I find these as interesting as any other - sometimes more so. I felt nervous approaching as he sat with his coffee and cigarette outside a cafe. I felt sure he would say no. Not only did he readily agree, he talked very easily also. And when I offered a handshake at the end, he stood up to do so. I was struck by his height - he seemed very tall.

"I was a stockbroker many years ago, times can be hard for all sorts of people. It didn't work out. Changed direction completely. Went to drama school - but it's only the top 1% that ever make it there. I've not really done anything since"

25 April 2009


"I'm not frightened of anything because when I find something that is challenging, I challenge myself to overcome it. Mind over matter"

And here is Wally Webb, radio presenter for BBC Radio Norfolk. He came to visit me in his radio car yesterday morning to talk about this project on 'Breakfast With Bumfrey'. He agreed to be a face for this project and chatted with me a while after the interview.

"I have been doing this work for 28 years now and I always say I retired 28 years ago because I love the work so much. Each day I wake and cannot wait to go to work. The biggest risk I ever took was leaving the RAF all those years ago - but I am so glad I did it!
One of the best things that's ever happened, a great achievement, was a charity banger racing thing I took part in. I started off 42nd in the field and then won it! And I didn't even realise I'd won when I passed the line as I was so into it! It felt great! That was back in the 80's but I've never forgotten it!"

24 April 2009


"I love being outside"

Paul was with a man and a woman doing some landscaping work. He did very well to be photographed as he did, as both his friends were teasing him a little. I asked what he was scared of - he replied 'nothing' and his friend quipped 'women!'.

"I am glad I have looked after my health and kept active. I've always worked outside - always done physical work"

23 April 2009


"I'm from Sweden, but I live here now. I like it here a lot"

This shot of Oscar almost looks like he'd rather I wasn't taking his picture, but it was a momentary expression and I like that it looks a little edgy. Actually, he was completely happy to be photographed. He spoke gently and was kind and easy to work with.
We talked about what kind of a child he was - the girl that was with him said 'oh, you were very sweet' - he looked at me and agreed 'yes, I was quite sweet'.

"I think I would like to parachute from a plane. Yes, I think I'd like that - but actually, really I don't know if I could do it when it came to it. But I like the idea"

22 April 2009


"I was the last shunter on the Middle and Great Northern Railway. I'm 72 now"

This old Norfolk Railway was closed to the public in 1959 and closed to freight in 1964. When I met John he was working hard (on a very warm day) around some track as part of a project to bring an old Norfolk station back to life - a station that was first opened in 1882. Track has been laid, rolling stock donated, flowers are growing. Volunteers are busy all over the area.

21 April 2009


"I would love to go and see the Orangutans in Indonesia! I went to Indonesia, but didn't quite make it to do that!"

Monique was a bit taken aback by my request, she came around a corner just as I did and I quickly asked before even really thinking about it. I was a bit surprised also. But she was very good natured about it, simply replying 'yeah! Why not?' (music to my ears!)
And even when I suddenly became completely incompetent with my camera, fumbling about in my rush, she added 'it's okay, I'm not really in any hurry'.

I asked - what she was good at? This is a
question people often seem to struggle to answer, but I still like to ask it on occasion...

"What am I good at?.....That's difficult.......I'm good at socializing!"

20 April 2009


"My music is the most important thing to me. I'm proud of taking my music out there to share"

Ayalo was sitting with two friends and was very happy to be photographed. He felt flattered to also be noticed for something other than his music and called me afterwards to tell me so. He said it gave him a real boost. I was thrilled about this!

He also told me that he often plays music with others at St Gregory's Church on a Sunday afternoon

19 April 2009


"Well, I don't see why not!"

..was Peter's cheery generous response to my request to photograph him. I explained to him where the picture would be and he laughed
"is this..the internet?....I'm afraid that is all rather beyond me! I will let my daughter know though, she has it! And the grandchildren!"

Peter was a lively easy character to talk with. It was easy to photograph him, despite being on a very narrow pavement by a busy road with people passing very close by us every few seconds. And he was on his way to a meeting, so had to be quick - we talked as I took 3 shots.

"I've had many many jobs. One of the first was mining - between the ages of 18 and 21. Then I joined the army - was based in the Middle East. Now....I have two lovely daughters...and the grandchildren"

We shook hands. He remarked 'your hands are VERY cold dear!'. I replied - 'yes, I've been walking the streets for a while!'
We both paused in realisation.
He just smiled, then laughed, and as he began to walk away - said 'that doesn't sound QUITE right dear...'

18 April 2009


"We are all from Zimbabwe. We live here now and we come here every Sunday to worship and meet together"

I had walked passed this church many times before and had heard the wonderful heartfelt singing inside. As I walked there on this day, many of the congregation were preparing to leave and packing up their cars. Joy was walking down the street carrying lots of things, and was taking her shoes off as her feet were aching. Some singing could still be heard inside. An older lady was leaning against a car talking to somebody inside and also gently singing to the hymn playing inside the church - a baby snuggly wrapped on her back snoozing. The atmosphere was warm and the feeling of community very strong.

Joy was happy to be photographed - though slightly cautious about where the picture would be. Once I explained again, she seemed more relaxed and she proudly showed me her two lovely children that were standing nearby.

17 April 2009


"I've travelled to a lot of places. I love to travel. The best place I ever visisted was the west coast of Australia, it was incredible"

Jean was very interesting. She seemed very serious and rather aloof, even when talking - but this concealed a warmth. She remarked that I was left handed - as she is. I wasn't surprised at this - she sort of reminded me of myself .

"Luckily, despite being from a generation where many were taught not to be left handed, my father - he was a chemist, a bright man, did not try to stop it"

She had a good humour, even when I completely put my foot in it by remarking 'yes, you look tired' after she told me she was exhausted from lots of walking that day. They were visiting from Liverpool.
I offered, as usual, a handshake at the end and got a very warm handshake in response

16 April 2009


"I'm a Romany Gypsy. I'm not travelling now. But I grew up travelling and I was born in a trailer"

Charlie was pushing her little boy in a buggy down the street. I noticed her face - her strong eyes. I remarked as I took her photograph that she looked like somebody that could take care of herself. She told me that when she was a child she had **** in some newspaper and thrown it at her older sister during one of their conflicts. I said I wasn't sure if I'd write that or not - I think really I was checking out with her if I should. She replied 'why not? You could write poo instead?' She laughed a lot.

I asked her what she was most proud of. Without a moments hesitation, and with great emphasis, she replied 'my son'.

15 April 2009


"Perhaps you can photograph my friends instead?"

Once again, I had somebody trying to get others to be in the frame instead. But he was happy enough to be photographed once they had fled.
Mariusz was working on a market stall at a European Market here

"I am Polish. From Ramsgate. We are not making very much business here today, not enough people are around"

14 April 2009


"I have a secret desire to live in LA....but I feel sort of like I shouldn't want to do something like that. But wouldnt it be interesting?! I don't know when it became a bad thing to want to live somewhere like that, but it feels like something I shouldn't admit to!"

I really enjoyed chatting with Megan and the friend she was sat with. She is honest and very easy to talk with. She was interested in this project and then joked that she felt she ought to think of something really witty to say

"I don't know what to do! What do I do with my face?........."

As it happened she was very easy to photograph, I liked all 3 shots. In the end I chose this one for here, as it captures the strength of her personality. But I also added another to the slideshow.

"My parents are not really the type to teach me things in the way some parents do. Not in that way. They've left me to work a lot out for myself"

13 April 2009


"I got robbed last night. I had £30. I was going to use it for a B&B for the night, but I got the lot taken"

Mike was sitting against a wall with his lovely dog Daisy curled up snoozing on his lap. He was a gentle quietly spoken man who clearly adored his dog. The other shot I have is of him staring down at his dog, I added it to the slideshow, as I couldn't decide which to use for this page.

"I sleep wherever I can find really. I'm always getting moved on. Or you get abuse from people"

12 April 2009


"I was scared of spiders...for ages...years. But I'm not now. I started with picking up little ones. Not picked up any big ones yet really..."

Pia talks. And talks. She told me this herself, so am sure she won't mind me mentioning it! She is incredibly social. I first spotted her in a shop where she works, a week or so ago. She was talking with a friend that had come in. I liked her energy and decided I'd wait around and ask her when she had finished talking with her friend. But after 15 minutes or so, I had to leave and decided I'd come back another time.

On this day I wondered if she might be in the shop and headed back that way.
As I approached the shop, she was dragging heaps of cardboard across the road and talking loudly and laughing with some people across the street. I decided to follow her to ask for her photograph. She wandered down an alleyway to some bins, oblivious to me walking behind her. When I asked her, she didn't hesitate to let me take her picture.

And neither did she really stop talking. Telling me about her night out the evening before...and that she is 51....and that she is called Pia because her father is Italian. I got 2 quick shots of her not talking, but they really don't capture her anything like this picture of her doing what she does best! Then we walked back together to her shop, and she chattered all the way.

"I'd really really love to go on the Eastern Orient Express! Wouldn't that be amazing? I'd love that"

11 April 2009


"I'm proud that I have my own business"

Jamie was working on the steam train. He lives in Peterborough, but travels every week to work as a volunteer at this Norfolk seaside town steam train.

"I'm actually a mechanic. I was made reduntant from Ford and since made my own business. It is surviving the recession because no matter how bad things get, people always need to get their cars fixed!"

10 April 2009


"Probably the worst thing I ever did as a kid was shave my hair off.."

I spotted Tony in a cafe and he agreed to be photographed, but wasn't overly thrilled about it! He also had other staff about that were teasing him throughout the whole thing.

"I play for Sheringham Reserves. I scored a goal yesterday. We won the game"

9 April 2009


"I was always taught to be myself. And to keep Jesus in the centre of my life"

I spotted Anthea strolling down the high street of a seaside town. She was happy to stop for a photograph and explained that she was on her way to the local Salvation Army morning worship.
After I photographed her, I spotted many more members walking in the distance.

"It was the best advice I got. It helped me on my way and has always helped me with anything! I have been involved with the Salvation Army all my life. I was taken to my first meeting as a babe in arms"

8 April 2009


"I don't come from Norfolk. But I've lived here for some time now - and I just love it"

I walked past Karen initially, but then walked back. I hesitated to ask for two reasons. The first being that she was sitting eating her lunch outside a cafe in peace and I don't like to disturb people that are taking time out. The second being that as she is quite classically beautiful, it might not necessarily mean an interesting photograph. But her face is also a kind warm one, and I do like the picture very much. It helped that she was sitting against a dark background, it almost looks like a studio rather than a street shot.
She didn't mind at all being disturbed and was very happy to talk a little while after two shots.

"I was quite a risk taker once. Had a one way ticket travelling around the world...but now I have a child. So things are very different. But this is good actually, it's lovely to have my feet on the ground and for everything to be calm. Like a relief.
Really when I think about the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me, it all somehow comes back to my son and what I get from being his mother"

7 April 2009


"Well you get some youngsters now that just wreck things around them and all of that. And I just never would have dared do that. I just wouldn't have. I don't know if it was how I was brought up. Especially my mother. Just..respect...you know...
Even if I dared say, like in conversation, 'that John...over the road.." , it would be 'oi! It's Mr Smith to you.."

Kenneth was talking about just one of the ways in which the world seems so very different to him now.

"I would say I was happy. That's important to me. I think I've always been pretty happy really. I'm a country boy. I ran a farm for 14 years. Working hard and being outside works for me"

6 April 2009


"I'd love to paint something that I'd be proud to hang on the wall"

Mary was walking with her husband and agreed to be photographed. I felt this had more to do with her friendly and kind nature than liking the idea itself!

I asked her what she was good at and she struggled to think of something. Her husband volunteered that she was good at lots of things. Eventually she agreed that she was quite a good cook.

"I'm learning to paint at the moment. I'm really enjoying it. But have quite a way to go yet.."

5 April 2009


"I am most proud of my family. This is the most important thing in my life"

Nesar had very little time, so I had to work especially fast. He felt unsure about the idea of being photographed and wanted to be sure that he knew what it was for. Once he understood, he said it was fine.

"My parents taught me to always be honest. And so I try to teach the same thing also"

4 April 2009


"I enjoyed playing on Cromer beach as a child. But I also remember really loving a holiday on The Isle Of Wight and climbing on some huge dinosaurs!"

Bekki had lived in Norfolk as a child and then moved away with her family. But the family had recently moved back. It felt really good to be back here.

"I'm studying Art. I'm most proud of my art achievements. I got a triple distinction for my B Tech"

3 April 2009


"I was born at the beginning of the war. But I was really a very happy child.
I do remember seeing the doodlebugs flying over again and again. I've always been afraid of fire since, that's never gone away"

Frankie was with younger members of her family and they were preparing to go for a walk. But she was happy to let me photograph her. Infact her granddaughter photographed me photographing her. I could hardly object of course!

"I think it's most important to just not expect too much to be given to you in life! Enjoy the free things that are around you"

Frankie reminds me of some of the beautiful ladies from the old black and white movies.

2 April 2009


"I'm very glad I have my little dog. You can rely on a dog. She comes to me and checks I'm okay and looks after me"

Rene has had many harsh times in her life, all through her life. Too many awful things to happen to any one person really. And she spoke very matter of factly about them, a kind of resignation.

"I think one of the things I should have done was to stay living on my own. I did it for 40 years...and I should have stuck with it. Still, it's my birthday this very week, and I'll be 80"

1 April 2009


"My family and friends are very important to me. They are the most important. I am from Spain. I am the headchef here. I go to see my family at least 2 or 3 times a year, but they come here to visit me also"

Maria was sitting on a step in a doorway with a friend outside a restaurant. As I walked towards her, she smiled - but remarked 'hmm, you have a camera there!'.
She was fine about being photographed.

"This will sound strange. But I am frightened of balloons! Just balloons. Since I was a child I have been afraid of them"