It has been a long time since I spent so much time in London. My mind’s pulse is at last returning to the slow, steady rhythm of our chosen home place. During the last week we have had two small dogs in our charge which has served to decelerate my descent into pastoral torpor* by reason of the regular walks around the hamlet that were occasioned by their stay. Half of the inhabitants of the hamlet, five souls to be precise, were on holiday which changed the landscape dramatically. More accurately, the lack of people presented the landscape without distraction.
The hope sapping proliferation of powerful images from every corner of our shattered world has little or no effect on us save for the momentary firework display Oohs and Aaahs. War photography has to be one of the most self obsessed professions as it’s only true value must be as a rite of passage for the photographer. The shattered bodies of reality meld with the painstaking reproduction of gore that is our daily entertainment. I mention these feelings of mine as the images I captured on those walks represent an unremarkable death. The death of a way of life that will have as little effect on change as did the famous photojournalism of the child on fire with napalm from the Vietnam war years.
Today, the missing will have returned and the landscape will change from a film set to real life for as long as its heart still beats. I have a feeling that these pictures will be the basis of a book of pictures and words.
*I have loved that phrase since I heard Dame Edith Evans address it to Squire Western in “Tom Jones”:
“Arouse yourself from your pastoral torpor, Sir!” to which the Squire replies
“Madam, I despise your politics as much as I do a fart”
Fantastic words which somehow fit perfectly into this landscape. However, the two small dogs that accompanied me on my walks could not wait for their master and mistress to return. Here there are staring out of the window, ears cocked for the sounds of a familiar car.