Beauty in Newport – it exists to those that seek it

Two years ago I went out one day and sought beauty in Telford. Two years ago, I found some beauty in Telford. Admittedly, not a great deal, but some. I wrote about that beauty.

Today, I felt inspired by a chance conversation with a good friend to seek some more beauty. This time, I decided to look for beauty in my new hometown of Newport. So my Canon camera and I took ourselves off with high hopes and a light heart. Newport, after all, isn’t Telford. Newport has a long history. Newport is pretty. Newport has a certain gentle, pace of life which differs to Telford’s more frenzied feel. Newport is old. Newport is quirky and eccentric. Newport has lots of lovely coffee shops. Newport has a Waitrose. Newport is an expanding town with much to offer. 

Ironically, I didn’t take as many photographs as I did on my visit to Oakengates and Telford two years ago. Newport is a very beautiful town, and I feel I need to go out again another day to discover more of its wonder. I found some elements to capture, just not quite as much as I felt I found in Telford. Is that because the pockets of beauty in Telford lept out at me, being perhaps fewer and further between? Is it because Newport is all-over beautiful so that renders it more difficult to pin-point pockets of beauty here? Or is it because my idea of beauty is a little off scale and my love of the 20th-century urban landscape means I found more to seize in Telford? I think it is a combination of all of the above.

There were a few photo opportunities that I reluctantly shied away from, such as the line of mobility scooters waiting patiently outside Waitrose; the two elderly ladies huddled under a blanket on a bench in the centre of town, heads bowed close together sharing a delicious piece of gossip; the downtrodden-looking pregnant woman with the Boots bag under her shoulder, complaining into her phone in the underpass between town and Waitrose; or the permanent resident who I see every time I go to town pensive and deep in thought as he stared at the offerings in B&M’s window. As I have said before, I am no Martin Parr. I’d love to be more like Martin Parr. That status is ahead of me, somewhere. I need the confidence to be more Martin.

In the meantime, I did manage to find some tiny gems of brilliance (in my eyes at least) and I offer them up here. I always find myself attracted to abandoned objects, whether they be purposefully abandoned, loved and then hated, or just other people’s rubbish. To me they are pregnant with potential narrative, often more than one, and that is what excites me as I wonder the streets whenever flâneurdom strikes.

Everyone’s ideas of beauty differ of course. Here are a few of mine.

First find: colour, contrast, simplicity.

What’s not to love about the contents of a bin?

Oh the stories I could come up with for these. That is a blog entry all by itself.

Newport is full of such cobbled streets.

I don’t think there is a Weatherspoons in Newport so how did this end up there?

It’s a cliche but I can’t resist a good line of bins.

Newport is a very British town.

Last but not least: a rather poorly executed balls and giant penis.

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