Monday, February 20, 2006

A good old buoy from Fleetwood

click photo to enlarge
When I was a boy I could never spell buoy! I knew it rhymed with what I was, but I couldn't remember whether the "u" came before or after the "o"? It wasn't a major problem - the word doesn't crop up very often in childhood chat. But it did become an issue when it appeared in spelling tests set by perverse teachers!

Eventually I got it and all was well until I heard an American actor pronounce the word in a film. He said "Boo-i"! Once I'd worked out from the context what on earth he was talking about, all my childhood concerns returned. And they were compounded when, in another film, I heard the American hero, Jim Bowie - he of the eponymous knife - referred to as Jim "Boo-i"! It was puzzlement heaped on confusion. But, all's well that ends well. I eventually worked it all out and accepted that Americans go their own way on pronunciation as well as spelling.

This old buoy is exhibited near the ferry terminal in Fleetwood, Lancashire. It is big and orange - useful attributes for any buoy. However, when I came to photograph it I couldn't achieve a composition that satisfied me. The shape was great, but the background was confusing. So I decided to use just part of the buoy and set its deep orange against the blue sky and the nearby gorse bush. I quite like the result. However, I do have one reservation. My photograph makes the buoy look a bit like a cannon - perhaps the sort Jim Bowie would have used at the Alamo!
photograph & text (c) T. Boughen