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Posted on 22nd November, 2011

People photography along the Regents Canal, and trad jazz at Hackney and Leighton Buzzard / Linslade.


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I spent a few minutes on Saturday thinking whether I should phone Barack Obama, and offer him my solution to the debt limit problem in the United States. After all, my considered advice could cut through the extremes of opinion he's already getting (including from those I suspect Vince Cable refers to, when he talks of right-wing nutters perhaps?). But then I thought: why should I offer the wisdom of my 60+ years for free, and anyway, how would Obama be able to pay my hefty fee for that advice, unless the debt limit was raised first? Obviously not at all, I decided. So instead, I thought about something closer to my own world. This also relates to what has been referred to as extreme right-wing in nature, the actions of Anders Behring Breivik in Norway on 22 July.


Amy Winehouse message on window in Hackney


My website went live just one day before the events in Norway, and you obviously know it is called RobBolerShootsPeople. When I chose that title, I believed I was being quite original. In addition, I was using a phrase that would grab attention I thought: after all, isn't that why many of us are on the web? However, 'very insensitive', and 'very poor taste' are the terms I've heard most often, and it has made me think, I have to say. One possible barrier to changing it though, is that I've obviously paid for my domain name for a fixed period. Even so, I had a look on the web for possible new inspiration, but out of curiosity, first searched for 'shootspeople'. To my surprise, I found that the term was far, far from unique, and I've therefore decided that I will stick with RobBolerShootsPeople.


Later on Saturday, I attended the Leighton Buzzard / Linslade Canal Festival along the Grand Union Canal, and took the opportunity to capture a few 'characters'. (Dare I use the word capture I wonder? Will someone assume I've kidnapped them?). Unfortunately, I didn't see any of what I think of as 'boat people'. Ie: those who actually live permanently on the narrow boats, and who often present their whole life story in their faces. Even so, it was a very interesting event, with great entertainment in the form of English Miscellany Morris Dancers, Syndicate New Orleans 4 Trad Jazz Band, and Beats Working, who played Irish music.


On Sunday, I visited London. I love the place. In the words of Rupert Murdoch's recently-deceased News of the World Sunday newspaper, all human life is there. I love it's cosmopolitan, diverse, and culturally-rich atmosphere, where you can be almost anyone you choose to be. I even appreciate much of its architecture: a far cry from the sterile town I live in. But people photography was the main aim of course. Not street photography in the view of some purists (see my 'about me' page), but definitely so according to my definition (which is as valid as anyone else's).


Most of the time I walked the towpath of Regents Canal, between Camden and Hackney, and actually did find real boat people there. In fact, I found a great selection of individuals to snap. Not purely along the canal mind you, as I didn't fancy swimming through the towpath-less Islington tunnel. In addition, my final destination in Hackney was about two thirds of a mile from the canal. Between the canal and that final destination, The Globe pub, I came across the Amy Winehouse memorial message written on a window (see picture above). Why on that window in Hackney I don't know, but I suppose there are similar messages in the US, Australia, Timbuktu, etc. Anyway, The Globe is home to trad jazz every Sunday, and a great session by Bob Dwyer's Bix and Pieces made my long walk well worth the effort.


Overall then, a week-end with a good mix of picture-taking, real ale, and trad jazz, but got home to find out that Obama didn't need my help anyway. Oh well, can't win them all.


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