30 September 2009


"Yeah, course you can!"

David said this cheerfully and with great kindness. Throughout the photographs and conversation, this is what came across most strongly - that he is a very kind person.

"I'm a sales manager. But business is not great, it really doesn't seem to be for anyone right now.."

"..one of the bravest most frightening things I ever had to do was to fight off an angry dog that was attacking my son. It went for him as he was riding his bike. It was terrifying actually"

29 September 2009


"The list of things I'd love to do is just too long!"

Sarah kindly stepped out of the bright sunlight into the dappled shade, on a very hot day, to let me take her picture. She is very bright yet self effacing and easy to spend time with.

"I'd like to write a book. It would be non-fiction, probably something about foreign travel, international development, hard to explain, but it's one of my interests..."

"..one of the most striking moments in my life was when I was staying in India. The contrast between rich and poor was staggering. Near a hotel, that was made into a kind of palace, just outside the amazing gates the scene changed and it was poverty. It felt very uncomfortable. And humbling. Actually that experience has affected my whole life since, and the decisions I've made.

28 September 2009


"I most remember having my mother read my stories..it's a shame that not so many mums read stories now"

Blamtina was very amused and slightly embarrassed about being photographed. Her little daughter in a buggy helped keep the whole thing light hearted with her merry chatter.

"I live in Leeds but am visiting. I like it here. I came to Leeds from Zimbabwe to study. I studied Business Management. I do miss Zimbabwe though...!"

27 September 2009


"oh alright. Go on then"

I felt rather guilty photographing Simon, as I felt he wasn't at all sure about it, despite saying yes quickly. He looked momentarily very relaxed just as I took the photograph, but he seemed by nature very shy and quite private. So I worked especially quickly and we didn't talk long. I was especially grateful.

"I think contentment is the most important thing to me. Music is a big part of my life, always has been...I play the violin..."

26 September 2009


“the most important lesson my parents taught me….was probably how to use a knife and fork”

I laughed out loud at this reply, I enjoyed Chanel's sense of humour very much. She was stood with some friend's and they also enjoyed it. She was quietly spoken, but I suspect could be fairly outspoken if the need arose! She seemed pretty strong

“I’m good at drawing. And I’d like to be a famous actress”

“..I’d like to go to Egypt too!”

25 September 2009


"I trained as teacher originally, and did teach for a bit. But it was all a bit too structured for me. I have worked as a builder for 30 years instead"

Bruce was very patient, but a little baffled by my questions. When I asked if he'd ever done anything outrageous, he struggled to think of an example and wasn't interested in some of the examples given by his wife and daughter! He found it easier to think about what he still wanted to do

"I'd like to go gliding, I'd like to go in a glider"

"...but I'd hate to be in a submarine.."

24 September 2009


"I was a precocious child really. Not in a good way either. I was unkind to my brother"

I was surprised at this, as Jen seemed far from like this now, difficult to ever imagine her being unkind. She was great to work with and interested in the project

"I most remember moving house when I was a child. I was 6 years old. And it was the same day as Charles and Diana's wedding"

23 September 2009


"my earliest memory is of sitting on a patterned rug in my Nan's garden"

Barbs was a lot less than thrilled at being photographed, but said yes out of kindness. Provided she could tell me to remove it if she hated it!

"..when I was a child, I used to wander the neighbourhood and knock on people's doors - asking "can I come and watch your telly?' My sister used to have to come and find me and bring me back"

22 September 2009


"probably the best thing that's happened, for me, is meeting Rosie"

I worked especially quickly with Sam, as he doesn't hugely enjoy being photographed. He found talking easier. He spoke very honestly and the way he described things made me smile

"I remember going to see a punk band live. A huge gig. I was so caught up in the whole thing, and seeing them arrive on the stage, and being there, and all of that, that I actually kind of cried! Which felt odd, not what I expected, but it was so powerful. The band were called Rancid!"

21 September 2009


"I think I've learnt most of all to enjoy the life you are given"

Joe talked to me about his work with young offenders. I imagined that he was skilled at this, as he not only had a great sense of humour, but also a healthy respect for those he worked closely with.

"I do enjoy my work. I was very proud because artwork produced by those I worked with won The Koestler Awards - these are awards given to artworks created by offenders and prisoners"

"I'd love to Scuba Dive, just to experience..what that must be like. But I'd hate to be locked in a cage with rats!"

20 September 2009


"I worked in Romania, in the orphanages..I think I do talk about it a lot though!"

Rosie remarked that her boyfriend takes the mickey out of her whenever she mentions the work she did there, so feels like she should shut about it. But I did want to know more and so asked. And it had clearly made quite an impact on her

"..some of the children were moved on, those who were HIV positive. One little boy, I wish I could remember his name, no idea why I can't now. Anyway, he was deaf..and I taught him some signs. Then I didn't see him for a long time. And when we met again, he remembered them"

19 September 2009


"what gets me through is looking forward to tomorrow"

Berris had a look of fantasy about him, quite captivating. And it was about more than his large beard and floaty hair. His manner and his words had the same air about them.

"In 1964, I had a terrible head injury. I was travelling on a scooter, leaving one girlfriend to go to visit another....and I was wearing a very good protective helmet, But I was knocked off. Cut my head right from here (pointing at top) right to the back . I was told in 1999 that maybe I could just about consider myself recovered from the shock of it. It was too big to ignore. I have memory problems and my speech is slow. It was life changing, but I don't think who I am changed. The me is just the same. I get lost all the time, but I rather enjoy it! People always help. It was a worry when I travelled around on my trips. I worried that the coach might leave without me for instance, if I wandered. It would have been very awkward being left in Russia. But it never did"

"...I paint. Really I should be painting....I'd love to travel to the Far East. I loved Istanbul. My mother grew up there. I never went as a child, but when I did go, it felt strangely like home"

18 September 2009


"The bravest thing I ever did was ask my boyfriend out"

Alison was very gracious about being photographed. Somehow I thought she'd say no, but it was no problem at all.

"I'm a barrister. I had to study hard and for quite a long time. It's okay. It pays the bills"

Towards the end of our conversation, Alison said she'd love to go to Italy one day. This is the third time in one week that Italy has come up in a conversation with people on the street!

17 September 2009


"I went to Bulgaria, with family and friends. I loved it. It was friendly..and it was cheap too"

Although Sam agreed, she was a little wary of the whole thing. She was fine once she felt clear what it was all about

"I'm really really terrible at lying. My parents taught me never to lie and I'm really bad at it anyway!"

16 September 2009


“a journey I make almost every day is from Yarmouth to Norwich. I work in drainage works”

Ricky agreed as long as he didn’t have to move from where he was sitting! He was very cheerful and easy to work with.

“I did a parachute jump once. It was amazing! We had 5,000 feet of freefall too. Absolutely brilliant!"

15 September 2009


"I'm Emma Elizabeth. I'm from Derbyshire really. And sometimes the Derbyshire in me comes out - you know?"

Emma was incredibly funny. She would say something mischevious to me and then follow it with a playful punch on my arm - I almost felt bruised by the end

"I worked at Pleasley Vale Mills in Derbyshire for years. I'm 80 now you know. It was on the telly, that Most Haunted programme. Years ago, if the girls didn't work hard enough, they would get taken to the top tower bit and pushed off and were killed! I didn't know that when I worked there. I'd have worked a bit harder if I did - just incase you know! ha!" (punch..)

"I loved my grandma, she brought me up really. My dad did show me once where my parents conceived me. In an orchard 'in there you were made' he said. I think now - blimey, no wonder I'm fruity!" (punch...)"

14 September 2009


"I suppose you want me to take my sunglasses off"

I did ask Bob to remove this shades, mainly to avoid a reflection of me taking his picture! Instead we have a reflection of City Hall!
I spotted Bob with some other bikers. Quite a burly bunch. I had to take a bit of a gulp before approaching but they were all very friendly. And amused.

"When I'm not on my bike, I'm an HGV driver.......when you have been doing this a while, you know the best way to live on the road, the best places to stop and to eat....some are much better than others"

13 September 2009


"..that woman recently that had the social services on to her because she smacked her son for swearing at her. That's mad. If I'd sworn at my mum, I'd not have hit the ground for 50 yards.."

Lesley was a little cautious about being photographed but decided he didn't care actually, as having no computer meant he'd never see the image

"...it's gone too far the other way, kids don't know where they're at now..."

"..my niece came to visit from Canada. I hadn't seen her for years and years, thought I never would again. Such precious times. And she still recognised me straight away, so I can't be ageing too badly. I think how you age and how you look has to do with how you think about things. People are always grumbling about little things, you have to just let it go.."

12 September 2009


"One day I want to run my own festivals"

Lucy is studying travel and tourism at college and has very definite plans and dreams.

"I'm proud of myself for getting back to college. I'm enjoying it"

Lucy was initially concerned that she had nothing to say, but actually it was fine. She was easy to talk with.

"I remember as a child being taken to the hospital to see my little brother and sister, twins, just after they were born. I was only two years old, but I do remember being lifted up to see them in the little cots. I was so excited"

11 September 2009


"It's weird, I hardly remember anything from before I was 10, apart from hurting myself at nursery school one time. I think the rest of it was happy"

Rob was incredibly easy going and interested in the project. When people understand the project quickly, it makes the process very straightforward

"..I think the bravest thing I ever did was probably buying a one way ticket to Katmandu with my wife, before we had children. We lived there for three years. We did a tefal course, and worked out there"

10 September 2009


"I'd love to go to Rome, to watch opera at the big theatre there"

I was extremely grateful when Gill agreed - as I knew she was saying yes really to help me out rather than out of any desire to be photographed!

"Family is most important to me I think...and being healthy...it's lovely and I feel so lucky that both my daughters are living nearby. They've both travelled all over different parts of the world and yet they now both live nearby, I sometimes can't believe it really!"

9 September 2009


"I want to have a career in dance. I run my own dance company. Hip Hop. Street. That sort of thing"

This was a moment when I nearly made a bad mistake, I actually wrote 'darts' in my little notebook. Thankfully I realised I might have misheard as it somehow didn't fit with what I saw stood before me, and I corrected it to 'dance'. Scott is very tall, and very striking. His face has such strong structure. Yet his personality couldn't have been more gentle and unassuming

"I spent two amazing weeks in South Africa. Table Mountian was amazing. I loved it there"

"I grew up in a town, but when I remember back then, I loved staying in the country with my nan"

8 September 2009


"I remember my nana dying. I was 3. I found her. I walked in and just said 'what's wrong with nana?' and she was just dead in her chair"

Everything Michala said intrigued me and made me smile, even this story. As she talked further, it was clear she had made peace with the event and remembers it with the same fond humour that she remembers her nana with. She told me everything in a matter of fact fashion, but not at all lacking in sensitivity.

"I lived with her. And my dad - he was in the army. I loved her. She had had breast cancer and she had false breasts. And I used to carry them around in a basket when she wasn't wearing them, It was just how things were. It was all fine"

"...I work part time as I have a 12 year old daughter. That's all going fine. She's great"

7 September 2009


"I remember destroying my toys. It was a phase really. I just liked breaking things apart. Sometimes using my dad's bolt cutters if I could get them"

Chadd was a little embarrassed but completely co-operative. He had a good understanding of himself

"..I hated school. Didn't suit me at all. Work does. Just getting on with it, doing stuff. Especially engineering, works well for me. The way school was didn't work for me at all"

6 September 2009


"I loved a trip I had to America. The East Coast"

David was sitting quietly smoking a cigarette outside his workplace. He was calm and good humoured as I approached

"..best day of my life was getting married. I'm divorced now, but it was still the best day. It doesn't take that away"

"..I've worked in retail all my life. Even at school I wanted to work in retail, but I just work part time now. You have to slow down a bit eventually"

5 September 2009


“I’m relaxed. I like music. Normal teen stuff really...and to go to gigs”

Alexandra was one of those incredibly easy people to photograph. She remained completely composed and chilled.

“..I think I’d like to travel the world one day”

“..and my advice to the world would be...forgive and forget!”

4 September 2009


“I’m part Scottish. People are always surprised to hear that. Half Scottish, Half Italian”

Marco spoke of what a mix it was having one parent from Glasgow and one from Italy and that nobody ever really believes the Scottish part! He was bewildered by some of the BBC voices questions from the clipboard Hugo carried - including 'who would you like to buy ice cream for?' - so he just pointed to my son and remarked 'that kid there - Alfie'.

“..I want to be a game keeper one day”

3 September 2009


"yeah, go on then, take my photograph, anything for a bit of fame!"

David was walking through The Forum in Norwich, looking at the exhibition there when I approached. He was totally bewildered at first, but readily agreed after a little chat

"I'm here today looking up my family history, I'm actually living in The Midlands now.."

When David talked about his childhood, his face softened and he smiled gently

"...there are so many good childhood memories....I have so many... I remember sliding down the firemans pole when I was about 6, my dad worked as a fireman during the war. I lived in Beccles then"

2 September 2009


"I was a good kid. School was alright too"

Stewart was very easy to talk with, despite being with a group of friends who could have easily made him feel very self-conscious

"I'm training to work on aircraft. And I've got a motorbike. I've got too much to lose to ever get into trouble. I'm busy doing all sorts. I work as an athletic coach with disabled children too"

1 September 2009


'I'm frightened of spiders...when they land on me"

Corinne agreed to be photographed. I asked her in the middle of a very bright sunny car park, not the best setting, but she agreed to walk a little way towards some shrubs!

"I'm most proud of my children. I'm most afraid of dying before my children..."

"...and I'd love to climb Mount Kilimanjaro!"