I spent this weekend walking the streets of east London looking for more images of my man and beast series. Plenty of street art around incorporating animals which makes life easy in some ways but adding interesting human content to the photo is proving somewhat harder and involves a fair deal of standing around in the cold waiting for something to happen. Good fun though, beats working any day. This one was taken in Hove a few weeks ago, it’s alright but there is a better one to be had, I’ll be going back.
This is my chum Martin (see post titled letter from Vigo) with his pet dog Snapper in Edinburgh a few years back. He sent me this little reminiscence about his encounter with Goatlass
Proud to meet Goatlass.
A young man of puberty I avidly remember lying in my bed adjusting myself while staring at the spines of my brother’s penguin classics paperback book collection and being fascinated by the curios titles to be seen there. One such title was ‘Giles goat boy’ by the American writer John Barth. Imagine then my curiosity when I caught wind one day of a conversation in a pub up north (where it’s grim) concerning the antics of one certain ‘Goatlass’ famous locally for her capacious, ravenous and yet unselective appetite. Might she be the long lost sister of Giles goatboy? I earwigged that she lived up in Bronte country so gathering up one of my badly damaged and unreliable cameras I quickly made my way up to the town of Hebden Bridge at the confluence of the River Calder and the River Hebden, near Halifax (which is neither hell, nor Hull). Initially I made no progress in tracking down the woman but eventually I was introduced to her son, Billy, who informed me that in fact his mother had many aliases in the locality, including, ‘fat cow’, ‘fat twat’, ‘the old fucking fat bitch’ and the ‘blob’ and I should continue my enquiries bearing this in mind. It was another week before I came upon Goatlass by a barn on a farm, chomping feverously into a huge pile of vegetables of perfect condition and yet of size not quite appropriate for modern supermarket shelves. Having waited patiently while she drew off a copious quantity of fetid water from a nearby manger we sat down upon it and I began to ask her about her life. No she wasn’t the brother of Giles goatboy, indeed she didn’t know who the fuck he was but she explained her mission in life was to consume as many of the vegetables as possible rejected by the supermarkets of the region. Quite some task indeed and worthy of much admiration to devote ones’ life to reversing the trend of criminal food wastage. She later accompanied me back to the railway station at Hebden Bridge, despite blizzard conditions, I think she was probably glad to see the back of me. During our walk I captured a picture of her (see below) in a decisive moment as she was stooping down to retrieve a potato she spotted on the pavement. On returning home from the district I pondered over my adventure and realised that I was indeed proud to meet Goatlass.
After one month of meat avoidance (as opposed to full on vegetarianism), the regime which I began at the start of the year is still holding. I will confess though to reluctantly eating lasagne as a guest at friends house one evening, I didn’t want to offend and they weren’t to know my change of heart about meat eating, but apart from that I’ve been a good boy and not missed it a bit. The rest of the family have pretty much joined in as well.
The photo was taken at Brighton’s Gay Pride in 2013.