Monday, 12 October 2009
So, with rain beating on the roof, and the garage guttering, spluttering, as years worth of dead leaves diverted the flow of downpour, from downpipe to house wall, and Carol thinking Jane Eyre needed another airing, I decided to just spend the whole Sunday in the gallery, open for sales but mainly cracking on with all the jobs to do.
So why is it, when you have made these worthy and sensible plans, having finished that third or fourth mug of tea before heading off, does the sun suddenly splash it's tantalising, teasing rays of warmth across the street and onto the gently blowing trees over the neighbours fence ? !!! It KNOWS that such delectable delicacies of delicious dapples just make an artist delirious with desire! Even the lovely, luscious literary lover I'd lain with that morning was needing more fresh air than Jane Eyre, so one cuppa later and we were off for a coastal walk, and all plans for framing were shelved - HAPPINESS, ESCAPE, FREEDOM, LOVE and LEISURE, we both started living the moment we left the house.
We didn't drive far in order to maximise outdoor time, and after finding that we'd left all the maps in my van, not Carol's car, we set off using just our memory of the "You are here" panel in the car park - I love being prepared :-) The black rain clouds were shifting Northwards, rapidly bringing sheets of blue sky and warm winds up from the South. Within 10 minutes we were stripping off and within 20 minutes Carol was down to just her skirt and bra (fortunately looking gorgeous) and my little LowePro rucksack was proving surprisingly Tardismic !
The Strait was calm and the sun bright and intense upon its surface. The orange and white sails of the yachts from the Plas Menai water-sports centre silently swept back and forth, revelling in the last of summer breezes. The beach was long and hard-going, large irregular boulders made for an ankle twisting journey and the heightening tide hastened our discomfort, as small peninsulas rapidly became truncated by the flood tide. Carol and I seem to have a penchant for getting ourselves into deep water :-)) Fortunately, we were higher than high tide, elated even - we were feeling happy, positive and thoroughly alive, though really we were half dead from the heat and effort :-)
We relaxed into an easy lane walk, sunny and romantic, past Rose Hips, Sloes, Elderberries and lush Blackberries dripping off every bush on our fruit aisle journey back to the village. We stopped at a gateway where a huge pile of hay bails combusted in the sunshine, backdropped by the cool hillsides of Snowdonia. I took two frames of the scene above using my zoom 70-200 f2.8, tripod-mounted, and then moved the tripod onto the tarmac to swap lenses.
There was nothing I did, or could do. I just turned to the camera to watch the whole unit, camera on tripod, arc towards the road at accelerating speed - it was one of those seconds that could have taken 20! I remember the complete journey from apex to horizontal, in slow motion, just like the swing of someone wielding a sledge hammer - THUD - no smash, tinkle or rattle, just thud! I stood there for a second hoping it would pick itself up, but it didn't. I went over to help. The weight of the camera had slammed the lens so hard into the tarmac that the solid metal filter bezel at the front of the lens had dented badly. I worried about the camera itself, but put the damaged lens away and mounted the wide angle lens instead. I couldn't believe that a day of such joy and elation had become so flattened :-( The Asprin of half an hours blackberry picking in evening sunlight soon wore off, when I discovered that I could no longer see ANYTHING through my camera and that on removing the lens, the mirror mechanism had separated into its three component parts - it looked terrible, for such a beautiful piece of engineering. The juicy flavour of the day was now just too diluted for me to enjoy.
And of course I still hadn't done any of the printing and framing I'd promised myself :-( Even knowing that my main working tool had now disintegrated, I had to find the strength to go into the gallery to complete all the framing for the Pier House Café and Victoria Hotel. I worked late into the Sunday evening, finally returning home at around 10.30.
The positives ? Well of course the beauty of, and love for my wife; the joy of shared escapism; the warmth of the sun and the lushness of the land, were a reality. The generous offers of help from peers on my professional lists were warmer than the sun. From the same source came suggestions that I might use this as an opportunity to change to a smaller, lighter and even better lens. The knowledge that there are so many people dealing with things far more important or life shattering than a broken camera, helps me to put things in perspective. So even sitting here with £7000 worth of broken camera, I still feel this has been a good day, and I am looking forward to joining my beautiful wife for a restful night before starting the insurance procedures tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who has offered help, and indeed who have just showed sympathy, you are all wonderful!
All words and images are the intellectual property of © Glyn Davies, 2009.
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