By the Photographer’s Assistant
The pair of socks had been washed and laid neatly across the kitchen range to dry ready for the next day. Somehow, the socks made a pleasing picture. Our friend walks into the little town each morning when he has the time. He picks up his newspaper and has a simple and quiet cup of coffee before doing his morning shopping. His walk is arduous and fairly long, and he has no idea how admired he is for doing it; especially since he is no longer in his first youth. When the Photographer and the Assistant don’t feel like their morning walk, they have an example to follow.
The simple morning or evening walk is undertaken by most of the hamlet. It becomes a kind of prayer to nature and the beauty of the Moor. It allows anyone who has had a disturbing day the chance for a tranquil and calming period to sort out thoughts and be at peace with what, to most of us is a disturbing modern way of life. We feel that the simplicity of our childhood has been replaced by an exciting, but troubling machine driven age, where that tranquility is rarely seen.
During our visit to our friend with the socks, whilst enjoying tea and a naughty but delicious cake, we could hear a rustling in the bushes next-door, and carried on chomping away. We were discussing with some pleasure the prospect of a local arts and crafts event. Eventually, we realised that it wasn’t our neighbour making noise in his garden, but a group of very large cows! Next, we saw our neighbour, who fortunately knew how to handle cows, gently persuading them towards the field from whence they came. The Photographer and his friend had no hesitation in venturing forth like two wondrous knights on a mission to save a very beautiful garden. Soon, the farmer arrived and took charge.The knights returned to their tea and amusingly speculated on what type of pallet the farmer would find to fill the hole. You may find this hard to believe, but the right sized pallet is quite often the solution to the problem. At this stage of the proceedings, the Photographer’s dog joined the tea, which had now become calming evening drinks. Having been at home when the incident occurred and barked himself hoarse in the meantime, the dog made it perfectly clear that he had warned of this invasion of cows sometime ago and had been branded a nuisance rather than the smart dog that he is and he felt that a Bonio was in order at the very least! (see previous blog “Spring is Sprung…” for his justification (Dartmoor Diary No 31 ))To be honest, his air of self righteousness is now getting on the whole community’s nerves and his arrival outside for his walk is greeted by all with some trepidation. All we can say is that you should try living with him!
Talking of good friends, we have some friends who live just across from the Moor, who are always embarking on new and unexpected missions. They are the sort, who like the man with the socks and his wife can surprise you in the most pleasant of ways.
Recently the Photographer and the Assistant packed all the photographic equipment, lenses, tripods and various odds and ends into the car and headed off for a pleasant evening with them. The Photographer was enormously pleased at the prospect of a new challenge. On arrival at the destination, we found a wonderful welcome. There was an ornamental bucket containing a large quantity of “bubbly” and snacks too, all set out neatly on an outdoor table. We felt humbled and unworthy, but this didn’t stop us tucking in! Arrayed before us, neatly and exquisitely laid out was a wonderful model railway, daringly built on a raised bed in front of a wall in the garden. The Assistant was swept away. What a sight! She has always loved trains. The explanation being that as a small and growing child she had lived beside the old Great Western Railway and crossed the tracks each day on her way to school. What a huge privilege that was. How lucky can you get! The giant and awesome steam trains and later diesels could be admired as they chugged past just a few metres from the family veg plot. Now here before us was a wonderful and successful layout of great quality involving much work and effort.
The Photographer set to work and took a large number of pictures of the trains until he was satisfied that he had a quantity at angles he could work with. A lovely evening.
The bluebell season has been upon us, so off we went to join a walk amongst friends from a local village. Another lovely day spent amongst the bluebells with conversation, and a generous cream tea in a beautiful garden amongst some lovely people. Topped off by an unexpected invitation to see some delightful pictures by an artist in his own home.
In all, the past three weeks in the Devon Spring could not have been a more joyful experience spent amongst the people, some of whom have like us, migrated here to a wonderful welcome amidst the most beautiful countryside.
The Photographer and his Assistant feel very blessed and altogether humbled by this experience. Recording our times here in words and pictures is a real privilege that we are allowed to share with you.
P.S. The Photographer’s bit
Sorry, I just had to put this in. It’s the speedo of a 1948 Vincent 1000cc……..isn’t it just wonderful!