In accordance with my New Year resolution to try and stop driving by interesting things without photographing them, I give you the remains of an old cottage in Blaston, Leicestershire. For years it has been covered in ivy, and the ground surrounding it a heaven of tangled undergrowth from which sprouted a few beehives. "I really must hop over the gate and photograph that" I muttered to myself every time I drove by. The thing is it's very near my home, and I see it virtually every day. So there was always another time. Until last week, when I saw that the ground had been cleared and levelled, and an ominous planning application poster was tied to a metal five bar gate. Last chance then, so I saw the other side of the cottage for the first time. It was like seeing an old friend suddenly stripped of their clothing, if you'll forgive my doubtful analogy. Just the bare bones really, but nevertheless an interesting object lesson on various building materials. I'm so glad I stopped and recorded it. For certain it will never be seen like this again.
I am a 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) and Preposterous Erections (Frances Lincoln 2012)