Friday, December 10, 2010

The Memory Man

My mornings go something like this: Eat a light breakfast, drink orange juice, swallow one cod liver oil capsule (joints),  and one zinc pill (colds and flu). I walk the dog. I've walked him after breakfast every day since he turned up on my doorstep, I've never missed a day. I realised too late that I'd made a rod for my back with the walks, now the dog considers a twice daily walk his legal right.

Depending on the route we take and the people we meet, the walk can be anything from a half hour, to an hour. Post walk cleaning the white dog can take up to 10 minutes. Then I make tea and turn on the PC. (I've left out certain morning routines, but I can assure you I'm clean and presentable for the walk).

The first task of the day is to check my photograph sales. These are online shop sales, not agency sales. If I have any sales, I cross my fingers and walk to my photograph file to retrieve them. If the crossed fingers work the photographs will be in the file, but sometimes crossing my fingers doesn't work and the photo isn't in the file, this is because I forgot to replace it the last time it sold. Drat!

This is exactly what happened yesterday morning. It was an order from the US for 2 prints, one I didn't have.  Normally I would contact my laboratory, order the required print, then wait 4 or 5 days to have it delivered, but today is the last posting day before Christmas to the USA. I felt it my duty to ship out the order to arrive before Christmas and that meant an hours drive to personally collect the print.

There was an hours wait at the lab, so to kill time I visited a little cafe and had a delicious home baked roll with bacon and egg. The cafe was pleasant enough but it had odd acoustics, entering teh cafe was like walking into Phil Spectors wall of sound, but the wall was produced by 4 elderly ladies having tea and fruit cakes.

After the cafe (and to get to the point of this post), I walked into a charity shop run by  The Cats Protection League. I went straight to the bookshelves and there among last years celebrity cook books I found the 2 books at the top of the page. "Documentary and Anti Graphic Photographs" is a reproduction of a 1935 catalogue of the New York exhibition featuring Henry Cartier Bresson, Walker Evans and Manuel Alvarez Bravo. All but 2 of the Cartier Bresson Images I've seen many times before, but the 2 I hadn't seen are spectacular. There were several Walker Evans I hadn't seen before and a handful of the Manuel Alvarez Bravo that were new to me.

The other book "Once Upon A Time in Wales" by Robert Haines, provides an intriguing look at a Welsh mining community in the 1970's. The seventies don't sound that long ago, but the photographs in this book are from a time I barely remember, but the memories came flooding back after looking at these photographs. The seventies were hard times for some. Excellent photographs. The books cost £3 each.

Today I bought another book, but from a from a bookshop. 52 lessons to improve my memory. I've made a start and in lesson 1, which I completed 2 hours ago, I can still remember a tree, clock, mouse and car. That's real progress. I'll let you know how I progress.


  1. yes Tim I also saw that memory book somewhere, but for the life of me ! oh well i'm sure it will turn up again, my excuse is that I don't have a bad memory, I am just too busy thinking of other things.

  2. A "Half English" at the cafe followed by charity shop serendipity! Have fun beefing up your memory (are things slipping away or do you just want to be more fun at parties?).

  3. Think that, since you left Spain, you are cracking up mate!



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