We decided to give the car a rest after a long day in it the day before when we visited Tintagel Castle and ended up spending our day in Weston-super-Mare walking along its sandy/muddy seafront and taking in some of its attractions, including the museum, playing arcade games on the Grand Pier, and visiting the SeaQuarium.
Whereas we’d been in short sleeves for our trip down to Cornwall this was a day where we needed to wrap up warm as the wind coming in off the shore was bitterly cold. At one point we’d stopped for lunch in a pub and been seated by the door as it had been the only place available at the time; an icy blast every time someone came in or out ensured we wolfed everything down and were back out and walking in short order.
At one point on our walk we became aware of some shouting behind us. A woman with a dog had spotted my camera and wanted to know what lens I had on. I told her and she pointed out to the water which was approaching high tide at that point. In the distance there was something small and red floating and being carried out. “Can you take a look and see what it is?” she asked, explaining that she wanted to make sure it wasn’t a child. I explained I wouldn’t be able to tell with the camera lens I had as it was a wide angle with zoom to only 105mm.
“I’m a professional photographer!” she said. “Let me have a go!”
“I assure you that you won’t see anything. The water is grey. The sky is grey. The thing in the water is miles away and small and clearly inanimate. The sunlight is coming from behind the object so it will desaturate everything further. The zoom will not help. The screen will not magnify to a 1:1 ratio. It won’t show anything. I might get something from taking the photo off onto a computer and magnifying properly but that’s not going to happen any time soon.”
“If you give me the camera I can do it. I’m a professional photographer.”
“I’ll take the photo and zoom in… Look. You can’t tell.”
“Give me the camera. I’m a professional photographer.”
She reached for the camera and I slowly and very obviously grudgingly let her have it. She zoomed, took the photo, looked at the screen. “Oh,” she said, handing it back. “I usually have a telephoto lens when I’m out but I don’t today,” she added and I smiled and said I tend to only take whatever lens I think I’ll use for the day and this felt like a wide landscape day to me. My wife returned to my side from the position she’d taken up behind the woman in order to prevent her running off with the kit (we’re both usually very aware of our surroundings and people and always move and organise our things to reduce the risk of thefts, etc., although it probably wasn’t quite warranted on this occasion). The woman decided that the thing at sea probably wasn’t a person and walked along with us for a while telling us some of the history of the seaside resort before finally heading off with her dog.
“I’m very proud of you,” my wife told me, regarding how I’d handed my camera over to the woman and not told her to fuck off like my face apparently seemed to convey. I then ranted for several minutes about how a “professional photographer” should have more damn respect for other people and their equipment and how it was blindingly obvious to anyone from one look at the equipment I was carrying and my explanation about why the photo wouldn’t work that I was far from a rank amateur, not that that should matter one iota when it comes to demanding someone else’s possessions. “Just drop it!” I was then told so I shut up until now when I could rant some more. Oh, it feels good to vent.
And now for some more photos from along Weston-super-Mare’s seafront.
We’d checked the time for high tide to make sure we’d be on the Grand Pier when the water was actually in as the previous time we’d visited Weston-super-Mare back in 2013 it had resulted in us not seeing the water once and only arguing whether the bright flashes on the horizon were reflections on the distant sea or simply mirages. We can at least confirm now that it is possible on occasion to swim when visiting Weston-super-Mare’s seafront.