Most Interesting

June 18, 2010

Summer in Fulham

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Lloyd Davis @ 12:46 pm

One late Friday afternoon I was walking with a good friend down the
Chelsea bit of Fulham road. It was one of those leisurely days and
ambling along to a pre-dinner drink ourselves, we saw her walking in
front of us. She captures the essence of Chelsea – the dress, the
chignon, the shoes, the hangbag and most wonderfully, the bottle of
champagne carried freely in hand. Waiting to cross the road I managed
to get a good photo and that is how the cab and the red pillar box
came to complete the vibe.

June 10, 2010

Make a risible difference

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Lloyd Davis @ 9:43 pm

http://www.flickr.com/photos/greycap/341000786/

This photo was taken in Waterloo at two o’clock in the morning on New Year’s Day 2007, as I stumbled drunkenly out of a friend’s party to try and find a train home. I had walked a few yards past this advertising hoarding before it clicked in my mind that something wasn’t right. I turned back and had another look, then burst out laughing.

The original advert was part of an advertising campaign by the Metropolitan Police to recruit more police Community Support Officers: civilian, non-warranted staff who support police constables in neighbourhood-level policing. PCSOs have been controversial, with some describing them as toothless and others seeing them as police officers on the cheap. On the other hand they tend to be recruited from the communities they are policing, and have a much higher proportion of recruits from ethnic minorities than the Met’s police constables do.

This bit of guerrilla graffiti by street artist Dr. D sides more with PCSOs’ critics than with their fans. The original strapline was “Make a visible difference”. The bit obscured at the bottom by the passer-by says “You’re just a grass with a badge”. What made me smile in particular was that at least 50 police officers were assembled just round the corner to deal with the crowds at Waterloo station. None of them had noticed; or at least, they were pretending not to have noticed. I had to fight the urge to run up to them and shout “Look! Look!”.

I’m glad that Flickr thinks it’s my most interesting photo; I certainly think it is. When I look at it I remember that special feeling, as if you are participating in some kind of festival of misrule, that comes from wandering drunk through the streets of London on New Year’s Eve. For one night the city gets taken over by its inhabitants, and the police and the councils are temporarily not in charge. The changes to the poster somehow summed that up for me: I was in on the joke, and the police officers round the corner were not. And that is why I still smile every time I see it.

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