Filth, abandonment and ruin – the title of my self-help book, an autobiography of sorts. All of these things are pretty appealing to me. I’m not sure what piqued my interest in it, possibly some of the amazing Instagram urbex and rurex accounts I found, but there is something so gorgeous about grime and how it looks. I have dragged myself into some pretty gross holes to get a shot I liked the look of, fallen over, with my usual ballet dancer grace, in the pursuit of some ‘really pretty’ crap under a rock. However, the best places to find these things is on property owned by someone with a penchant for barbed wire and stern warnings. Sometimes these folk even threaten you with their menacing dogs…I usually end up envisioning a coiffed Bichon Frise.
While I’m sure some trespassing occurs accidentally, for the most part, whether literate or not, it is pretty clear when you are not allowed onto a property and an intimidating trespassing sign usually strikes the fear of dog in me. Invariably, I stand around like a small child needing to wee hopping from foot to foot, wondering if will I get arrested and put my family name to shame by having my mugshots pasted on the seven electricity poles of my home town for setting foot over the boundary. On the rare occasion I work up the nerve to jump the wall, or fence, I spend the entire time only mildly thrilled by the treasures I am discovering, and mostly preoccupied with aforementioned thoughts of being in a chain gang wearing some seriously unflattering, bad hue of jumpsuit.
I understand that there is the small matter of illegality here but there are those people who trespass not to steal or destroy, but to explore and admire. The ‘leave no trace’ policy of much of the rurex/urbex community is a good one which the vast majority adhere to, but there are always a few tools who make a mess of some beautiful neglected sites so, if you see someone looking nervous and weak bladdered on your land, I promise not to maim you, your kin or damage your property. I also solemnly swear that if I fall over and break a leg I will not sue you coz, let’s face it, I won’t have a leg to stand on.