“Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” Albert Camus
@19syllables and I have done a lot of walking this winter. We are so lucky to live close enough to each other that even during the depths of lockdown we have been able to regularly meet for walks.
When Christmas was abruptly upended she met me in the woods with love and hugs and ‘call me any time’ words. In the depths of cold muddy January she bent over laughing as I slipped and screeched and clung to a tree. When one of my closest friends died in February she met me from the virtual funeral and we sat on a bench for tea, carrot cake and puppy (teenage dog, actually) cuddles. Once rules relaxed in March and we could be more than two there’s been gin and fizz and tea and cake in gardens with lovely Honey.
This week we finally did what we do best and headed off on a mini road trip and photo adventure. To wild and windy and slightly post-apocalyptic Dungeness we headed. We ate fish and chips, drank tea, wondered over dead creatures, went round and round in circles looking for public toilets and confused a woman by taking photos of her trousers on the washing line (they just looked too good against the backdrop of the nuclear power station!).
And of course we got naked!
Along the way we were plotting more naked photo adventures to go on with our friends but on Friday it was nice to just be the two of us. I can’t wait for a summer of ridiculous fun!
I tweeted a version of this image a couple of weeks ago but this is the shot I was saving for the blog. Here I am, naked, looking out over the countryside from a beautiful cabin nestled in the trees, camera at the ready. Yes, I am definitely in my element.
If you follow me on Twitter you may well ha e seen me tweeting photos from a gorgeous cabin near Epping Forest.
It’s no secret that one of my favourite things to do is organise amazing outdoor photography adventures. Booking that place way back in the darkest hardest days of January was the best idea. Having that to think about and look forward to has been one of my lights at the end of this very long and very dark tunnel we’ve been in
It was chillier than I would have liked (especially at night!) and the forest was way busier than when I’ve been before but chilling out in beautiful surroundings was a tonic. It feels a very long time since I whiled away time just staring at a view and reading a whole book in a day. It was a luxury.
On Friday afternoon @19syllables and I spent a gorgeous couple of hours sat around Honey’s fire pit drinking tea and eating cake. 19s promptly started fishing skeleton leaves out of the pond and laying them out of dry.
“If I fall in you’re not allowed to laugh,” she said. “If you fall in I will laugh so hard I’ll let out a little bit of wee,” I replied. She didn’t fall in. I took a dried leaf away and promised to do a photo with it.
There’s been so much ‘this time last year’ chat this week, offline and online. One whole year! It’s so strange reflecting on the past 12 months and all the things that have and haven’t happened.
It also means that it’s a year since I started my distancing diaries photo project. Had I known that it would reach 122 daily images before I signed off for the summer of freedom, I may not have started it, but I’m very glad I did. Once the winter lockdown season kicked in I moved on to my Scenes on Screens project.
I’ve been very happy to have these two projects this last year but this weekend I’ve been plotting two photo adventures for later in April when we have more freedom and I am so excited for being out and about with real people in locations that aren’t my flat or my computer screen.
And before you know it, here we are at the end of February. February Photo Fest is closed for another year.
As ever, it was nice to have something creative go focus on during this cold grey month – even more so this year. I’m happy I managed to get the usuals spirit of collaboration into my month, by using archive photos and through my Scenes on Screens week, although I hope hy next year I’ll be able to do the usual in person photo adventures. Thank you to everyone who took part and allowed me to grace the pages of this blog with their naked forms.
This is the last shot in my close ups and unusual angles week. Do you know what you’re looking at?