Albatros : Wells Next the Sea, Norfolk – 2007 | Photo by Enid M Flint
Well the blog has been quiet for the last few months due to my Mum’s death in December after a five month battle with cancer. She was 69 years old.
To be honest i think i’m still processing the events of last year. The whole horrid situation in 2016, from Mum’s cancer diagnosis to the day of her funeral, seemed surreal at times and moved with a speed that was hard to keep pace with. Then it’s over and you have to pick up the pieces, and get on with life again. Not exactly easy.
Fortunately Spring is nearly here and I’m starting to turn my thoughts again to photography. It’s a sort of therapy if truth be told. To start with I’ve been going through my archive and I came across some of my Mum’s photographs saved alongside mine. Ten years ago she got a small Pentax Optio S7 digital compact after the photo bug bit. Over the next decade she enjoyed taking photographs here and there, but one image always did stand out from the rest. Her best shot.
The photograph above is what i always referred to as her ‘best photo’. The one she had to beat. It was taken just as the Albatros ( a sailing ketch with a fascinating history) was being tied up in the harbour after a trip out. My Mum was always fascinated by the people in the image. Were the two figures on the right hand side of the photo related – mother and son perhaps? She always thought so. Was that the father leaning forward? Only the crewman with the mooring rope is obviously identifiable.
It has the look and feel of a painting. The way the figures stand on the deck, the light, the framing of the photo and even the subject matter all lend themselves to canvas. Sadly my Mum never had the opportunity to surpass this photograph, though it has to be said that it would be a tough image to equal, let alone surpass.
An out-take from last year’s trip to Edinburgh. Going through the images again recently i noticed someone waving back at me – so much for not being spotted!
Slightly fuzzy? Well… yes does though it appears to be movement blur. They walk fast on Princes Street! It made me smile though and they seem happy to be in the photo. Obviously i was concentrating so much on taking the image i failed to notice them.
Sadly this year’s trip, due to start yesterday, had to be cancelled due to my mother’s illness and the deterioration in her health. Another time. For now, it’s about planning future trips and thinking about the photography i want to create.
Rievaulx Abbey, North Yorkshire, UK. The impressive ruins of one of England’s most powerful Cistercian monasteries. Photographed in mid September 2016
The bedroom i had during my Norfolk trip ( I visited at the end of last month) featured a rather large bedside table that was soon covered with this little lot.
I realised that it’s a pretty good appraisal of me and my interests. A portrait even. Not much is missing from the picture.
It also reminds me of a photo i took in Callander, Scotland a couple of years ago that was along a similar theme.
On the phone – Market place, Helmsley – North Yorkshire, UK
With everything that’s going on at the moment (see the last blog post), it’s nice to be able to get brief escape from it all even if it is only for a couple of hours.
The fact that there will be no Scotland trip this year also weighs heavy.
This image was taken in the nearby market town of Helmsley in North Yorkshire. The town is small but gets a huge amount of visitors each year, though i would say that the people in the photo are most probably locals.
It looks like i’d been spotted by the woman sat third from right.
Cancer. I knew it was somehow. My mum had lost quite a bit of weight over a period of weeks and her health issues seemed to get worse. June was about tests and when the dreaded C word was first mentioned. On Monday it was confirmed she had cancer and around 12 months to live.
Cancer. Such a short word with the impact of an atom bomb. The word seems to stay fixed in your head. I’m still processing the news with a mix of emotions – feeling strong one minute and in tears the next. I feel very alone even when people are around me.
The uncertainty is there. You can almost touch it. Next week will be about chemo and whether she can have it. Her low weight of 7.5 stone may stop that from happening though her strength does appear to be returning. Looking at her breaks your heart though.
So for the next few weeks it will be about processing the news and helping mum. All the plans we had for this year are depending on results, tests and a bit of good luck. If possible we will try and get her to Scotland for a holiday. Make the most of the time we have.
I’m angry. I’m heartbroken. I feel cheated. My mum did not deserve this. The only thing we can do now is get on with things and make the most of her remaining health. As a message on some flowers she recieved said ‘stay strong’. That’s what I’ll have to do too.