Another month gone, another batch of photos uploaded. May turned out to be a month of transition and change. The lockdown largely ended and shops and restaurants opened up. I got new trainers. The weather belatedly turned from cold and miserable to warm and sunny. And Debenhams around the country closed their doors for the final time after 230 years of trading.

The Bournemouth branch of Debenhams opened in 1972, the year I was born. I’ll add that to the growing list of things and people that I’ve outlived. I long ago outlasted the likes of Jesus and John Lennon. By the time I hit fifty in October, I’ll be able to add the likes of Whitney Houston, Al Capone and Alvaro Obregon to the collection.


This One Time In Mexico

This year marks a full decade since I departed Mexico and came back to the United Kingdom. I still miss Mexico, warts and all. Indeed, it’s the warts that I perhaps remember most fondly and most vividly. Sure, the food, weather and lifestyle were fabulous. Mexico City gave me better material for blogging. I had two weeks off every Christmas, Easter and summer. And, thanks to being self employed, whenever else I wanted, personal finances allowing. But that’s the sort of standard stuff that is done and dusted within two minutes of a conversation starting. It’s the random, freaky stuff that makes a good story, usually finishes with a chuckle, and someone muttering ‘only in Mexico’.

There was this one time… Mrs P went to the local Pollo Feliz rotisserie to buy some flame grilled chicken for dinner, and came back with two boxes. One had the tasty chicken in it, ready for eating. The other had a live chick in it. As a gift from Pollo Feliz. Because it was Children’s Day. So of course. Why wouldn’t a chicken restaurant give away live chicks to families in Mexico City? We ate our chicken while its offspring ran around the kitchen floor, tweeting and pooping.

There was this one time…I went to go get my hair cut at Augustin’s salon, just fifty metres down a back alley from our place. But he wasn’t there, because he’d been murdered over night. Someone clubbed him to death with a toilet seat, peeled his face off and then did something with it. I never did find out what happened to his face, but I did find a new place to get my hair cut.

There was this one time… I got off the metro at Cuatro Caminos and found a load of spent bullet cases all over the place. Must have been a pretty wild party the night before. I guess. I kept one as a souvenir.

There was this one time… that there was a pretty big earthquake, late one evening. Big enough that everyone in the block evacuated. I ran outside in my T-shirt and boxers clutching a bowl full of my pet terrapins. The reputation also damage was immense. For years to come people would abandon their terrapins on my doorstep.

There was this one time… that posters appeared all over the neighbourhood, with an artists impression of a serial killer. He had just killed another victim. He had been nicknamed the Little Old Lady Killer. Except it wasn’t a he, it was a she. The culprit was a semi-famous female wrestler. Still, that wasn’t as weird as the time Super Porky’s pair of midget wrestling buddies were killed by an accidental drug overdose by some prostitutes they’d taken to a dodgy hotel for a night of debauchery…

There was this one time… that I was watching a guy on the street passing a metal ladder up to another guy on the roof of a single story building. They were carefully trying to navigate it between the wall of the building and some power cables. I thought that this was likely to end with a bang and one or two dead folk. I wondered exactly how they thought this would end. Then there was a bang and one or two dead folk, and I realised that I would never know how they thought it would end.

Perhaps one day I should write a book. I already have the title. There Was This One Time In Mexico.


Project 365 – B Sides

My favourite photo album on my hard drive is the 365 project I created in 2008/9. It’s full of memories. It was hard work to put together, but that’s because I focussed too much on taking quality photos. I tried to do another 365 in 2012, but quit after two hundred or so days. I again fell into the trap of trying too hard.

A 365 project should really be a record of one’s life over a year. It’s about memories. Creativity is secondary. I’m really enjoying the 365 I’m doing this year, because I have got my priorities right. That I’m also pretty happy with the creative aspect of a lot of the photos is not the important thing.

The big difference this year is that I’m using my iPhone exclusively. It’s always on my person, It’s so easy to grab a shot each day. And the camera on it is really very good. In fact, I have yet to take my Fuji out of its drawer this year. I think that Fuji now exists only for holidays.

This leads me to finish on two points. Firstly, because it’s so easy to grab a shot a day, I usually end up with more than one. I could easily do a 365 of B sides. But I won’t. Except for today. The photo above is a B side.

The second point is that I’m now a little sad that I bought the vanilla iPhone 12 and not the iPhone 12 Pro, with the better camera. That was a poor decision on my part. All being well, I will correct that error in September with the purchase of an iPhone 13 Pro.