I didn’t have a lot of time to take photos on this work trip and the sub-zero temperatures made for uncomfortable camera-handling with my dumbly gloveless hands, but Stockholm looked beautiful under frost, brief sun, and long darkness.
A very long time ago, while I was at sixth form college, I took a GCSE in photography. I loved it. I learned how to develop film, taking out a roll from my camera in the pitch dark, all by feel, and winding the film onto a reel. I learned about aperture and shutter speeds, using an old Nikon SLR that my dad gave me. I learned how to expose photo paper and burn in and dodge areas to make them darker and lighter.
I took a few rolls of film on a First World War battlefields trip and created a highly original piece of coursework featuring a lot of graves. Then I went to a local cemetery and took some more pictures of graves and made a piece of coursework which included the lyrics of the Smiths song, Cemetery Gates. I doubt I was aware of its pointed message about making original art.
A moment’s sadness at a passing of an object that’s accompanied so much of my life. Actually, I don’t know how long I had my old wallet. I don’t know where I got it, or where, so constant that for the past decade - two decades? - it’s seemed always near.
Almost always. I know I lost it twice, first on a train. I helplessly remembered just as it left the platform. But I reclaimed it at the lost property office at Bristol Temple Meads with the heady sense that calamity had been averted.