The abandoned cinema site in the centre of Tunbridge Wells has been scheduled for redevelopment for about 10 years. It is a large corner block with two sides facing the street. On the street sides there are shops, now empty like the cinema. The town's gilded youth did not waste time, once the shops were empty, before breaking the windows. Fascinated by shattered panes and the light on jagged edges, I manage to get to them before they are boarded up. These are some of the results including two self-portraits in the top photograph.
The way we live now. It occurs to me today to put a wastepaper basket under the front door letter box to catch the flyers that come through with every post. Most of them at the moment are political and those that aren't are for fast food or restaurants. Today rather than put them straight into the paper recycling bin I collect them so as to see how they reflect the way we live now. From the Green Party comes a smiling photograph of Caroline Lucas, our member of the European Parliament, and leader of the Green Party of England and Wales. This is one leaflet, which I won't throw away because, although I can't share many of party's views, it seems to me to be better written. The UK Independence Party has a photograph of Winston Churchill, to which is linked the slogan: "Say no to European Union". The British National Party has a photograph of a spitfire and says "British Jobs for British Workers. The Liberal Democrats leaflet says "Britain and our neighbours - Stronger Together Poorer apart". The Royal Express offers:" Kebab - Chicken - Burgers". The National Health Service leaflet concers swine flu. It has a photograph of a man sneezing into his hand with the slogan "Catch it, Bin it, Kill it", recalling the Second World War advertisement "Coughs and sneezes spread diseases. Trap the germs in your handkerchief". So far nothing from the Conservatives or Labour.
Alone in the house in the basement kitchen this wet afternoon, I note that a light comes on in the adjoining dining room. Who could that be? It is the sun coming unexpectedly through the window.
Nothing to match "Labour isn't working." Or the one urging people towards contraception by way of a 22-year-old man, his cardigan (Yes!) stretched over his bulging stomach, sloganed: "If men got pregnant..." The latter was all the more poignant because of the young man's lengthy hairdo.
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