Yesterday I astonished the known world by both taxing my car and getting my tax return in on time. As I sat outside the post office tearing round those irritating perforations that still surround tax discs, I remembered finding the above. I discovered it in 1972 in a old barn at the back of a (then) derelict house in Cranoe in south east Leicestershire, a distraction from a friend and I busily photographing a very pretty girl sitting up on straw bales, as one did. I remember it was very hot, and was thrilled to find the paper disc in the dust behind a pile of bricks. Next to it was a big rusty yellow oil can with the legend 'Golden Film' on it, which somehow suited the afternoon. How had it survived for thirty years? The fountain pen inscriptions tell of a black Austin 13hp car being parked up here in 1942, the war raging on outside. I wonder if it's still out there. Anyway, as I prepared the image to show you, I realised that the owner had had precisely the same trouble tearing the disc into a circle.
I am a designer, writer and photographer who spends all his time looking at England, particularly buildings and the countryside. But I have a leaning towards the slightly odd and neglected, the unsung elements that make England such an interesting place to live in. I am the author and photographer of over 25 books, in particular Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2006), More from Unmitigated England (Adelphi 2007), Cross Country (Wiley 2011), The Cigarette Papers (Frances Lincoln 2012), Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012) and English Allsorts (Adelphi 2015)