Thursday, March 11, 2010
wayside, flyer, dog
While walking with my eyes fixed before my feet investigating ephemera abandoned in the street, for my current series of photographs, I am moved by these signs of spring by the road side, far more attractive than the cast-offs on which I have recently been concentrating.
As I am leaving the house, a man delivers a flyer advertising a pizza delivery company. I take it and I am just about to put in the waste paper box by the side entrance, when I see the pizza man coming back. Although the waste factor of such deliveries is known to be high and the youth, who delivers, it is probably anxious only to get his bundle of advertisements off his hands, I feel a sort of shame, pudeur, the French might say, and bury the flyer in a layer of newspapers so that he will not see it as he passes.
In the skip outside the doctors surgery is a big stuffed dog, about the size of an average two year old child. It has the doleful expression of the unwanted and the unloved. The surgery is about to move to new premises, which is one reason for its abandonment. The other, I suspect, is the now almost forgotten swine flu scare. It is noticeable that apart from requiring visitors to the surgery to wash their hands in anti-bacterial petroleum gel, the administrators have banished magazines and toys from the waiting room, presumably in case they are repositories of germs. In the waiting room a number of patients complain about the absence of reading matter. When I raise the question of the dog in the skip, there is noisyagreement. "There must be a child who would like it", says one woman. "Couldn't they give it to Oxfam! " cries another. How we love our dogs in this country, even when they are stuffed!