By “The Photographer’s Assistant”
“Is it on?”, came a weak voice from the attic. The Assistant looked at the TV screen. Everything on the Moor was tenuous, connected on the end of wet strings and this was no exception. The Assistant prayed that there would be something and there was. She was now reliving the experience of the past 48 hours. The Photographer had fallen fast asleep on the sofa with a Kindle clutched to his chest. He had shut the world out.
When the Assistant had first met the Photographer he was on his way to being an expert on agricultural spraying technology. He was going to save the African continent from starvation. He was a twenty year old on a mission. The Assistant was training to be a teacher and knew no one could save anything, let alone Africa! He spent hours on driving a tractor up and down fields in the most boring way possible. The Assistant was a charitable soul, who was hardly ever anywhere, but on her bike toiling to lectures. She let this poor demented soul sleep at her college away from the noisy and juvenile agricultural students with whom he was tempted to be drunk beyond reason. His work must be finished. His mother was a poor widow living on National Assistance and the thought of letting her down was not to be contemplated. He had used to sleep for hours then, getting up now and then to go and drive another tractor. Now the Assistant returned to these days as he cuddled his Kindle and lay flat out for several hours. This was not good.
It had all started on Friday. As you know, anything that goes wrong happens at the weekend. His Apple computer had been cranked up ready for the next set of photos. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. There was a clear white screen. The Photographer brewed a cup of coffee. Nothing. He had not bought the reconditioned lap top that he had promised himself. He was at a loss. A rare happening. Having reconnected everything except the kitchen sink, nothing. He admitted defeat and got out his bank card. He rang Apple and entered a long and surreal process. The Assistant made cups of tea and stayed silent. If ever there was to be a row, it was at a moment like this, when the engineer inside the Photographer actually didn’t know what to do. The phone call was very useful. The Photographer had a cup of coffee with the Assistant and explained that he had to admit that the machine was suffering from old age, however, there was a solution. It was going to be hard up on the Moor. If it had been a laptop, he could have visited a friend on the right side of the road in the little town. One side of the little town receives quite fast broadband. The other side doesn’t! It would be impossible to transport a 27’’ iMac to the little town. If he had had a portable, it could have helped him with his communications for the repair.
There would be a 36 hour process to repair the iMac, which fortunately, did not take place on line, however, the enabling process would take 5 hours on line, during which the wet string could simply not work, or drop out. With a deep breath, everything started up. During the night, they took it in turns to watch that the repair was progressing. It worked. It had been worth the effort. The Photographer is continuing to use a new operation to help reinstall 30,000 photographs. Some of them can now be seen again on line.
The Moor continued to take its toll for the rest of the week. The rough land knocked the side of the tractor mower off. The part has another week to go before it arrives. The Photographer put more insulation in the loft and knocked the tenuous television connection out. The Assistant painted the huge outside shed and it was all he could do to keep up as he was painting the difficult bits and refilling her paint can. Even though they were tired this had to be done now as the weather was already breaking down. Sometimes, it is impossible to get out for long spells when the weather has finally closed in! In the end though, large progress was made when the log man’s assistants were extremely brave delivering two trailers of wood, backing them down slots in the lane that looked impossible. Now, the log burner could be lit.
There have been some wonderful events, though, that make Moorland life, the life worth living. We are ending with a selection of shots of the month’s events. The Photographer and his Assistant attended a wonderful barbeque with lovely company at the log man’s house, where his wife had made some wonderful dishes. The Throwleigh fete, the Little town’s big Agricultural Show, the lovely teas at Gidleigh Church. The Daughter’s wonderful Sunday lunch. Just living in this community makes every inconvenience worth while.
The Photographer has been awake for days now. Who would miss a single day of those challenging Moorland views!
Next month, the Boyfriend finds a suitable supplier to enable the Photographer to build a log store and the Daughter’s work for Oxjam Exeter Takeover is near fruition. If you like loads of music, tickets for the Oxfam Oxjam event are now on sale. Local Moorland group The Fireblockers will be making a trip off the Moor to support the event. If you are near Exeter, give it a go or look for your local Oxjam. You can help Africa this way!
Here are the links:
or via the simple internet
Some August Event images, just for flavour