This cross stands on a hillside in rural France. I walked past it late one evening in August 2013. I couldn’t make out, or understand, enough of the text to be able to learn who it was put there for, or by. But its presence there, quite literally in the middle of French nowhere, was touching. Whoever put it there was driven to do something in lasting memory of someone important to them.
I was a boy, my bedroom faced west. I loved watching the sun set. The backdrop wasn’t the prettiest, gasometers, tower blocks, and the like.
I take a lot of sunset photos. I’d never really wondered (until now) if that was some sort of throwback to a childhood fascination. But it has to be reasonable to assume that a great many of us, even if we are unaware or in denial, are stuck in patterns of behaviour that became established when we were young.
I know, I know … this is a terrible shot. But that’s not important. I took this from the balcony of The Brook, a live music venue in Southampton, last June. I’d managed to score two tickets to see Johnny Marr and his band at one of the two small-venue ‘warm up gigs’ they were doing before they embarked on the festival circuit.
I took my eldest son with me. It was his first ever gig. Johnny Marr has been a hero and an inspiration to me since 1983, so seeing him live was a really big deal. Taking my eldest son with me made it even more special.
At the gig, someone I’d never met before recognised me from Twitter and came up to say hello. The day after, this photo got Retweeted by Johnny’s drummer Jack Mitchell. It was a great night and produced some excellent memories.
Taken at around 3:30pm on 13 October 2012, Christchurch Meadows, Reading. It was sunny and it was raining. My youngest son said “there should be a rainbow.” We turned round to see two. If you look hard you might be able to see the end of the rainbow.
I wish there wasn’t as much tree in this shot as there is. I fired off about 15 shots, on two different cameras. This was probably the strongest. I spotted the cloud, which I thought looked like it was on fire, while I was on the ground floor of my house. I took this shot from my son’s bedroom window – the highest point I could get to, before the light changed too much. I had no idea when I starting shooting that a plane would come into view.
In July 2010 I spent a weekend camping and climbing in Snowdonia, Wales. It was a trip organised by my eldest son’s school. The whole class went, each child took a parent with them, and it was to mark the end of their final year in primary school. It was one of the best weekends of my life.