In the bleak midwinter

In winter the light is never right. The low sun hides behind buildings and trees and makes shadows fall heavier throughout the day. What little daylight there is at the weekends is usually missed, the result of a long lie in after a long night out.

I had some photos developed last week. The dimly lit, poorly composed, grey, speckled, lifeless snapshots document an attempt to squeeze any kind of productivity out of a bleak British winter by the coast.

My first thought was whether there was any point wasting my Saturday afternoon writing something to accompany the photos. In the same way, each Winter I often ask myself whether there’s any point wasting my Saturday afternoon rolling around a damp car park in two pairs of socks to keep my toes from freezing. I did write something though, you’re reading it right now, and the dimly lit, cold, grey, rain speckled, lifeless photos will hopefully give you a good idea of what we put up with every year between the months of November and March.

Although we don’t thrive on cold winters (as the saying goes), we don’t skive on the evening outings either. The beauty of it being so cold out is that we have the town to ourselves. Aside from the odd heard of white shirts and short skirts on their way to some awful club night after downing ‘cheeky vimto’ in the ‘spoons, we don’t get hassled filming tricks on the High Street in the dead of night.

When we do find the time to get out in the daylight, the search for new spots (or new ways to skate old spots) never ends. In the dilapidated wasteland of the old Ekco factory by Priory Crescent, this untouched red rail sent some much missed colour through my lens. (Better luck next time, ay Matt?)

There were two trips made to Lakeside shopping centre over the Winter. On the first, we visited these stairs. Matt Wil and Jamie stepped up, but only one trick was captured on film. The second trip was more fruitful – we left the skateboards in the car and collected some furniture from Ikea instead.

Back at the affectionately names ‘shitworks’, Matt spotted this ramped ‘gap to grit-bin’ in a passage between two buildings. The floor was as rough as you can see in the photo, and was made slipperier by moss and leaves that had grown or collected over the years. The foot of the ramp was particularly bad, and as we spread the grit to dry it the heavens opened and put a slippery sheen of moisture on the grit-bin as well as the ground – none of this stopped Matt from giving it a go.