Yesterday was the seventh Sunday of physical distancing restrictions, and we woke up to grey skies and 12C after a week of sunshine and warmth. Whereas Minou spent the whole day on Saturday asleep on the bench on the balcony, yesterday she curled up on an armchair indoors and refused to move. Rather than stay in and listen to de Pfeffel babble on and wave his hands like a mad man, Ed and I got in the car, put Spanish Love Songs’ Brave Faces Everyone record on to play, and drove down to the Lickey Hills for an evening walk. The contents of the speech had been leaked anyway, so there was nothing to be gained from watching it live.
Minou is such a sweet, kind, gentle cat. She puts up with all of my nonsense, and just accepts that life with a photographer and filmmaker involves lots of posing for photographs and light tests. I’m working on improving my off camera lighting at the moment, and since Ed is in school this week, I asked Minou to stand in and model for me.
I dug out my flash trigger the other day. After finding a new battery for it I convinced Ed to sit for some portraits so that I can improve my off camera flash technique. While I’m used to and comfortable with off camera lighting for filmmaking, off camera flash for photography is a different beast and I have found it quite intimidating in the past. It’s hard when you can’t see the light you’re shaping, and there’s a lot of trial and error. I decided to set up in our living room to take some portraits this afternoon, not thinking that I’d come away from the mini shoot with anything to show for it, but I surprised myself.
Every December as the last leaves fade to dust and the world around me descends into a frenzy of overconsumption, I dream of spring. I dream of the first day it is warm enough to go out without a coat, of longer daylight hours, and I dream of the equinox winds which freshen up the city streets. I conjure birdsong to drown out the sound of relentless 80s Christmas music, and I close my eyes to imagine the world painted pink as it is each spring.
In the late summer of 2018 construction work began on two high rise tower blocks north and west of our flat. As seasons passed I watched as planning permission was granted, the old buildings on the two sites were demolished, foundations were filled and the steel skeletons of the two towers climbed ever higher. By the spring equinox I was worried that the tower to the west of us was going to block golden hour.