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Photographer's Note

It's a very warm, cloudless Saturday afternoon in Toulouse. I've been reading the Guardian and wondering about the infamy brought upon my nickname, and Gabriel Garcia Márquez's famous fictional town, not to mention my apparent lack of originality, by the BP oil leak from the Macondo well in the Mexican Gulf. I wonder if Márquez is wondering too. But then he's already had decades to ponder the dance clubs, restaurants, media company, bookshop, beach suburbs and who knows what else named after the place where Aureliano Buendia went with his father to discover ice. Now I have picked myself up from the floor after reading that BP plan to go ahead with $10b of shareholder dividends, I should put these matters aside for a while and upload a shot taken last weekend in the Lakes District of Cumbria, UK.

This photo was taken against the splintered afternoon sunlight, from the strand beside Windermere in Ambleside, a picturesque post-card sort of town full of tourists in the summer months. I won't go into its history, except to say that this market town probably arose in Roman times, and to explain the origin of its name. The widely accepted theory is that it is of Norse origin and probably developed from Hamel-saetre, meaning a hilly pasture belonging to someone called Hamel.

I had originally focused on the various people walking out to stand on the rocks in the middle distance when a small blond boy ran out and back along the jetty. I would have preferred to catch him further to the left but wasn't quick enough. Looking at the photo later I noticed the rather contemplative stance of the young man on the rocks behind, contrasting with the exuberance of the small boy. Perhaps there were only twelve years between them. It struck me that if I were the boy's parent I would not have allowed him to run out on the jetty alone.

Edited later:
Thanks to Stephen Nunney, I've been reminded of something pertinent to this photo - the mass shootings in Cumbria a few days ago. I had been in transit or in France when this happened and had only brief and sketchy knowledge of it, which slipped my mind. The last of the tragic killings occurred not very far at all from Ambleside.

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Additional Photos by Andrew McRae (macondo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2994 W: 101 N: 5253] (20449)
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