From St Cede 645 AD, to Ladies in pants and Self Propelled Guns in an afternoon!

Took a blunder down that Essex place t’other day to go and visit St Peters on the wall. Now contrary to popular belief, Essex actually consists of more than Thurrock and its dire Ikea store, and that mind numbing bollox “The only way is Essex”  Reality Tv show, which is of the highest order of bum gravy. The countryside in the surrounds of St peters is properly chocolate box, that is if you don’t mind biting in to one of the chocolates and finding an old magnox reactor as a centre, saying that I prefer them to the praline ones. And to be fair as magnox reactors go, the one at Bradwell isn’t too ugly, I’ve seen worse. . . .  But then after a few pints I kinda find any nuclear reactor kinda funky, them beer goggles have a lot to answer for!  Ho Hum! I digress. . . .  The countryside around that part of Essex is fabulously old England with wonderfully quaint olde world villages and hamlets. In fact I am now planning an ale trip to Maldon, the home of several excellent breweries :o)

So myself and my buddy Andriy the Russky and his dog Tamm the unsociable arrived at the the little car park at the top of the track that leads to the chapel, and blunder off in a suitably jaunty fashion. Halfway down the track I noticed that there were two WWII pillboxes either side of of us in the fields. Result! Double Whammey! For those unaware, I have a little photographic project on the go called “killer views” where I hunt out nice warry looking pillboxes and bunkers and photograph them from the outside and then from within through the embrasures (Firing ports) to obtain the afore mentioned “Killer Views”.

So Orft I jolly well hobbled to the nearest one to poke it with sticks

Picture taken of me snoutin out the bunker, By Andriy Korol . . The Russky! on his phone.

It looked pretty funky up close, the embrasures were a bit overgrown so I swore at the brambles and nettles and gave em a good beating until they lay down giving a clear field of fire.

I then attempted access. Much swearing and cursing, they may have heard me in Kent! Some fecker had half filled the entrance with rubble. I have arthritis and suffer from terminal curmudgeonlyness, the ale takes the edge off but there is no cure. so any strenuous activity such as standing or sitting with out the aid of a cuppa tea brings the worst out in me, so having to crawl through bleedin rubble, well you can imagine. But I eventually got inside and added some more images to the collection. Grumpy, biffed and scraped, covered in burrs and nettle stings . . .  But Triumphant! Huzzah! No one quite understands me . . . .

Pillbox St Peters on the wall Southminster ©LeeThornberry 2012
Killer View St Peters on the Wall East. ©LeeThornberry 2012
Killer View St Peters on the Wall South ©LeeThornberry 2012

 

With another pillbox “bagged ” we then set off to st peters. Its a stark looking block of old stone full of foreboding and history, It had been standing for 0ver 330 years when The battle of Maldon took place in 991 and Brithnoth let his sense of fair play get the better of him and he lost to them thar pesky Vikings. It was very bright and getting the shot I wanted involved lots of grumpyness and swearing carefully placed filters, but overall I was pleased with the results.

St Peters on the Wall ©LeeThornberry 2012

Even though it was a lovely day with blue skies, and eric the little white cloud, the scene still portrays a sense of the the eerie, which is what I was after. So Results all around. I got the images of St peters that I came for, and bonus images for my killer view project. I shall return though as I think that the place would be even better with dark stormy skies, and this would please me greatly.

Tam the unsociable rests after a hard mornings weeing on things

 

It was as we were making our way back to the car that I received the text, ” Would you be interested in photographing ladies in their pants?”  Intrigued I pursued the text, After further enquiries I found out that Tanks would be involved as well . . . . Ladies in pants and tanks! A good day out in anyones books. The shoot would be for a company that makes boxer shorts specifically for women. I agreed and eventually I undertook the shoot and had a great time, but thats for a future blog. However, I shall leave you with a taster :o)

Ladies in Pants onna Tank ©LeeThornberry 2012

 

FOCX Combat Shorts ©LeeThornberry 2012

Yellow Pollen and Pillboxes

Well I went up to the fens t’other day for a beer festival at wicken. Great little do held at the village recreation ground, they had slung up a big tent, had a good selection of ales and ciders, a BBQ and a couple of bands . . .  and it didnt rain! Result!

I decided to have a little snout around the locale before every thing started to get too badly out of focus, the ale plays havoc with me auto and manual focus, perhaps it’s something that I should bring up with nikon. Perhaps their clever little boffins could come up with some sort of clever ale stabilisation system for their lens’s, I would be ever so grateful. Someone once said that I shouldn’t drink and take photographs at the same time, I told them that sadly it was the only way that I found them to be remotely photogenic, and not to let the door hit them in the arse as they left the building! Some people eh!

AnyHooo, I took a blunder around and about and up and down a few lanes and I spotted a pillbox that I thought maybe a candidate for my little “Killer Views” project. It looked to be, from where I was standing, on a slight rise. So quite probably the view from within would be pretty cool, I thought. So i decided to make an effort and get out to it. Now I’m not sure of the type of oilseed rape that they grow up there in the fens, but they seemed to have breed this nasty little yellow git with some sort of Triffid! Up me trouser legs, up me nose, wrapping around me legs, tripping, slipping and in general trying to commit alsorts of GBH to my person. Very unsporting! I eventually got there, covered in pollen, looking as if I had done 10 rounds with Crusty McCustard the world all in custard powder wrestling champeeen of the fens. That’ll be very yellow to all those not in the know.

Pillbox and Rape ©LeeThornberry 2012

Out of breath, sweating like the head of Essex Social Services after a phone call from the Home Secretary, I squaged meself in through the entrance and peered out through the firing points. . . . .  RESULT!

Killer View Wicken Church ©LeeThornberry 2012
Killer View Wicken Church. Mono ©LeeThornberry 2012

A great killer view of the village church beyond the fields of oilseed. I converted to mono in SEP2 and I think I have one for the collection.

I made my way back to the lane via a shorter less difficult route that I had completely failed to spot initially, even found a plank of wood thrown over the ditch that surrounded the field :-/ so could have saved meslf a fair amount of hassle on the journey out to the pillbox, if I had actually had my wits about me. Is the photographic eye nurtured at the expense of the common sense look where you are going eye? PAH!

So I wondered back to the ale in a slightly yellow fashion with a feeling of acomplishment. I could tuck in to the “Idle Dog”, “Woild Moild” and “Trembling Rabbit.” Stuff my face with burgers and hot dogs, pretend not to like the band, knowing that I had at least made an effort and achieved someting at least vaugely photographic during the day.

The 0430 wake up to get out and catch the sunrise over the fens was a different matter altogether! Ho Hum! 🙂