By “The Photographer’s Assistant”
Monday can be a very gloomy day in other peoples’ lives. You can wake up on a Monday morning, having had a simply glorious weekend and feel shattered and just plain miserable, or you can do what the Photographer and the Assistant do. The Assistant has got up very early and is busy enabling a quick exit. You can defy the pile of work on your desk, put on your coat, hat and gloves, lock the doors. Leave it all.This can even be done on your way to work, though at a different place on the by-pass etc. If you haven’t got money, forget that too and just do this. You would not believe the difference it will make to your week. Simply defy your mood, stop off and buy yourself a bacon roll, if possible with an egg as well. Boost your own worth and defy the norm. In addition, you will give you, not your employer, more time in the day!
The Photographer and his Assistant, having abandoned the office and home, strap on the rucksack and set off for the little town. Its hard, but if they have had that good a weekend, they deserve to suffer! The hills are a huge and a heavy climb, but eventually, when you have mounted the first hill and turned one corner, the sight you see will really take your breath away. You will see the expansive high moor, and if you are lucky, it will be shrouded in a gossamer mist. It is, at this very moment that you will know why you came to live here. If you can think of anywhere more beautiful, then you are very fortunate. As you climb down the hill, you will come to the bridge. It is narrow and a curse to the motorist, but a delight to the walker. The river below is a magnificent sight and you might see a heron if you are fortunate. There follows another enormous climb when you feel that your lungs might burst and then you are there. You are in the little town.
As it is an early Monday morning, you will see waste disposal trucks and delivery trucks pushing and shunting in the little square. You can’t just be an average driver, you have to be outstanding to win this battle. We should suggest it as one of those Top Gear challenges. No expensive foreign trip, just a hair raising adventure on Dartmoor!
Here we are. We have arrived. We are outside the deli, where whatever the weather, we eat out under the shop front. Our chairs await. We are expected. Felt cushions have been put in place in expectation of our arrival. Our tea mugs have been warmed and all is in place.
The baguettes are so stuffed with bacon and the eggs so delicious that they ooze out of the sides. Once the Assistant wore her best and most expensive walking jacket, purchased by the Photographer in a moment of concern for the bedraggled appearance of his companion, and it got covered in egg yolk. Desperate mopping took place, but it has lost a little of its lustre. The two tucked in and emptied the generous tea pot into their mugs. The warmth of the tea defrosted their hands and it flooded through their veins.
The two surveyed the scene. As the shops opened the local inhabitants began to appear. The butcher was busy about his tasks, as customers looked thoughtfully into his window. What to eat on a Monday when you had had too much to eat at the weekend? It couldn’t be anything so luxurious as a piece of chicken, or, alas, a duck breast. Perhaps some mince would suffice? If you added vegetables it might last until Wednesday, when the next decision must be made. Oh dear! The two companions looked dubiously over at the chemists. Some surprising inhabitants were going in and out. Last week’s prescriptions were being collected. There was Old So and So. They hadn’t seen him for ages. He was slouched down and looking thoroughly glum. Oh dear! There is a huge amount of greeting as people go past and one rare meeting. The Only Black Artist in Devon is passing by. He stops and has a chat. His art is continually going up in the world. The Photographer sighs. It is not the same for photographers. Sometimes, they are recognised after they have died. He thinks of his photographs in the stock library on the internet. Sometimes, he is paid a very small sum for his work. Oh dear! The Artist is on his way to North Devon. Ever on the go, he is catching a bus. It will be a long haul.
The breakfast is followed by deeply contented sighs and small luxury purchases of cheese or even, when feeling flush a delicious pie for lunch.
Appetites satisfied, the two head for home, meeting a huge recycling truck as they ascend the narrow hill. By now the little streets are busy, but the companions are long gone. As they descend to the last hill, they spot one of the village’s oldest inhabitants. They pass the time of day and continue on their way. The two must be home for mid morning as the Photographer has an urgent call to make. The Photographer sees smoke in the far distance and goes to speak to The Gardener. The Gardener is well known to the village and had, in the past, when he gardened in a garden bordering theirs, helped the Photographer when the Assistant found the work too hard. A happy conversation ensued as the Gardener continued with his bonfire. Gardens of the past were discussed and happy memories were explored. The Gardener was respected and the Photographer took some pictures.
The Assistant arrived home and put the kettle on the kitchen range. She knew that the Photographer would want a rest and some coffee before the urgent tasks of the day were done.
Mid morning was spent over a delicious cup of coffee, beans having been purchased only that morning from the deli. The Photographer having made his call gave out a contented sigh as he surveyed his Monday and found it to be very pleasant, especially as he had the rest of the day ahead of him. He thought of his daughters, who would have a long day at work, and many years to go and both he and the Assistant felt sad.