I know, this is a cheat but I just wanted an excuse to post another image from Falmouth 1977, from a time when orange was just a fruit and not a telco and apples were for eating not touching. This local painter does not look exactly happy in his work but the weather is gloomy and there is a sharp wind blowing across the harbour – perhaps he just wants to go home.
I cheated with something else too – the orange is sampled from here 🙂
This is the entrance to Chirk Tunnel on the Llangollen Canal; I am hidden in the dark as the narrowboat enters the 495 yards of dank dark underground waterway dug into a Welsh hillside. The boat is the Anglo-Welsh Water Daffodil which we hired out of Nantwich in 1977; once considered a very desirable boat, the odd example can still be seen on the waterways in private hands, most in a sorry state.
At the entrance, nearly hidden, stands young Alice waiting to be lifted back on the boat before disappearing down the rabbit hole. I have not kept on good terms with Time who is not to be trusted – I realise that this version of Alice Liddell will now be in her late thirties:
`If you knew Time as well as I do,’ said the Hatter, `you wouldn’t talk about wasting it. It’s him.’
`I don’t know what you mean,’ said Alice.
`Of course you don’t!’ the Hatter said, tossing his head contemptuously. `I dare say you never even spoke to Time!’
`Perhaps not,’ Alice cautiously replied: `but I know I have to beat time when I learn music.’
`Ah! that accounts for it,’ said the Hatter. `He won’t stand beating. Now, if you only kept on good terms with him, he’d do almost anything you liked with the clock’.
– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.
This provides the perfect excuse to insert the Tom Waits track, Alice:
By coincidence I was about to post these two images under another topic but conveniently they seem to fit this week’s photo challenge. During the week I watched the BBC Imagine story of Vivian Maier, the nanny and amateur photographer whose prodigious talent was only recognised after her death in 2007. Predominantly she photographed the streets of Chicago and New York in the 1950s and 1960s leaving a precious archive of more than 100,000 negatives which were only saved from oblivion quite by accident. The photographs are a delight and surprisingly, they were all shot on a twin lens 120 roll film Rolleiflex, a less than discreet device which would have demanded a close-up relationship between subject and photographer on some very mean streets; not something I would like to attempt unless I was relaxed about losing some teeth. These two examples are not intended for comparison with Vivian’s much superior work but they do demonstrate how close I was prepared to get on the 1970s back streets of Dundee with a similar camera – a twin lens Mamiyaflex. Vivian would work from about three feet for some of her street subjects – I only felt comfortable at something like thirty. Cartier-Bresson worked with a Leica 35mm for good reasons.
(click on the images to enlarge)
I do not claim to have a photographic memory in the normal sense, quite the reverse, I suspect I have a memory which is in large part based on photographs. We recently took a trip along the Llangollen Canal, a place I last visited in 1977; the odd thing is I could remember virtually nothing from the previous visit other than the well-known highlights such as Chirk and Pontcysyllte Aqueducts. This prompted me to go searching for some pictures I was convinced I had taken with a Mamiyaflex C330 on 120 roll film – I could find no black and white contacts but eventually came across some colour positives. For some long forgotten reason I had temporarily abandoned Kodak’s black and white Tri-X Pan in favour of colour; the results looked good held up to the light but with no suitable projector they were filed and forgotten. There were no prints, no album, no hooks for associated memories, so the detail of the trip was lodged in the brain’s discard folder and drip fed to the recycle bin; so this is the conundrum – how much of my long term memory of events is based on the actual experience and how much is based on a collection of pictures. The evidence would suggest it is mostly the latter; regardless, it was an interesting exercise akin to time travel with a few surprises along the way. I will eventually do a ‘then and now’ post but I was quite taken by this pair of hotel boats ascending locks somewhere between Hurleston and Ellesmere. The first is my favourite because it shows something maybe I had never noticed before; just beneath the tiller can be seen a brown dog nosing its way, uninvited, into the boatman’s cabin. This will be Kerry, our delightful red setter who went through life convinced that the entire world loved her and would welcome her muddy paws regardless of circumstance; she was mostly right:
Click on the images to enlarge – the original 120 positives were scanned using a fairly ancient Epson Perfection 1650. The associated TWAIN drivers are not supported beyond Windows Vista and whilst 120 film is supported it fails to auto-detect the format – the solution is to switch everything to manual and scan the transparencies individually – tiresome but worth it.