Giving in to the overwhelming urge for a nap, this older couple simply parked on a street in England, locked the car, and gave in to that urge. They were completely oblivious to the amused pointing and kindly laughter of everyone passing by. Sweet, eh?
It was such a retro look that my head fairly well snapped when I saw it on ample display in Newcastle Upon Tyne in the north of England. Really ‘Big Hair’ on women of all ages. I don’t think I’ve seen such a generous use of the teasing comb and cans of hairspray to create that sort of back-combed volume since the 1960s.
What was even funnier was that we were in a vintage bookstore at one point during our four weeks up there and there was a book on sale that was a ‘Look Back to 1960s Newcastle’ — and all of the women in that book would have been the mothers or grandmothers of the people we were seeing on the streets. Some of the folks in the North of England seem to have gotten stuck in a time warp!
Regional trends included the messy buns — the sort of teased up and pinned up look that Brigitte Bardot used to do so well — or tight buns — teased up and smoothed into not-a-hair-out-of-place firmness with gel or hairspray. And we saw this look on women from teenagers to senior citizens. We were checking out at the grocery store one afternoon and it was everything I could do to not snap a quick pic with my iPhone of the middle-aged check-out clerk who had a bright red beehive hairdo that was towering above her small face!
Then there was the range of hot pants on display (on some icy days in February?) — thankfully on the really young girls and not on the middle-aged gals who shared their love of Big Hair with a large percentage of the Newcastle demographic. Interesting too that once we returned to London and Norfolk from our month up north, we never saw a beehive, teased bun, or hotpants look down there!
Apologies for the graininess of some of these. I did snap a few of them on my phone!
When Mark and I met in London at the beginning of 1994, I commented one afternoon on an activity that the Brits engaged in — quite regularly — that I considered to be quite odd behaviour given the weather.
That activity? Eating ice cream — LOTS of it — usually in cone form — in the dead of winter. No matter how icy the temperatures were, we saw people in every city we visited perched on a ledge eating an ice cream cone or sitting on a bench at the seaside doing the same thing. There might be ice on the roads, occasionally even a smattering of snow, but there they sat, bundled up to the eyeballs and eating an ice cream.
What I found even odder, and sweetly funny, were the people who would drive to the seaside to purchase their ice cream from a mobile van or a beachside hut and then sit in their car with the heater running as they gobbled it down whilst watching the icy waves crashing upon the seashore.
So here we were on a wintery day two years ago in the north of England, at Whitley Bay on the seacoast just outside of Newcastle. The wind was so high that afternoon that it knocked me sideways when I got out of our own vehicle! The second picture that is just of the seaside and the lighthouse is a more accurate idea of how bleak it was that day. Absolutely no one was game to sit on those seaside benches to watch the waves on that particular afternoon. Brrr!!!
But back in the parking lot — yes — the Mr. Whippy van was doing a good business. The lot near the lighthouse was full of people happy to sit with their engines running and the heater on as they ate their ice cream and watched the crashing surf beyond. Crazy, eh? Or just sweetly eccentric perhaps.
Stationary (for now!) — and serene-ISH (heavy on the ish!)…
Since we returned to Australia, purchased a house, and are knee deep in renovation dust (there’s a plan — trust me — there’s a plan), I am temporarily stationary in one town. What a change from the 2010 through early 2013 years of being on the road through multiple countries and living in several parts of France. And yes, we would both tell you in a heartbeat that we miss it ever so much. The evolving plan involves a revisit of that European lifestyle — but not quite yet.
One thing that I didn’t particularly enjoy was never having the time to adequately keep up with photo editing. So one of my tasks for now is to diligently work through my back catalogue of images, edit them, and then forward them on to my various agencies.
My sleeping hours are incredibly skewed right now, so I’m taking my inspiration today from this lovely bit of sculpture. It was actually a decorative element on the corner of a larger statue’s plinth in Dresden, Germany.
See that serene face? Note to self — soak it in, Deborah — soak it in!
I am continuing to go through unedited images to upload to my own portfolio site as well as my agencies in Europe, the UK, and New York. And I continue to discover new images that really speak to my love of human interest photography — my same primary interest back when I was a newspaper photographer.
This was taken in Berlin, Germany — and the man in the pic was a commuter at the end of his day — taking his bike down from street level into the train station below for his commute home via the wonderful train system in Berlin.