This morning as I lay in bed scrolling through the news, real and not so real, on Twitter and Facebook, slurping my coffee as I do, I was extremely grateful that in amongst the plethora of photographs of kids dressed up as zombies and witches, I stumbled across an image of someone’s garden. Just below it, my FB friend had written, “Foggy London; despite what people think it doesn’t happen that often here.” I checked the time the image had been posted. Just 39 minutes earlier. “What?? Fog! Now?!?” I thought to myself. With mounting excitement I pushed up the blind and sure enough there it was in all its lovely, wonderful glory. Gorgeous thick white fog. “Yippee! And then, “What on earth am I still doing in bed?”
I yelled to Son No 1, “Get dressed now. We’re going for a walk!”
Poor boy, looking like a child who had been roused in the middle of the night to escape marauding invaders, he pulled on his clothes and joined me downstairs less than five minutes later. I was waiting for him just beyond the corner of our street trying to avoid being run over while I took photographs of a silent fog laden street, my face still vaguely covered in the remnants of fake blood and too much gothic eye make-up from last night’s Halloween party. And I can tell you I was far more excited by the weather than the copious amount of sweeties that had been on offer.
“Come on,” I beckoned, “there are photographs to be taken!”
As we strolled through the streets and park we bumped into plenty of other people bearing cameras of all sorts. Fog is really one of the prettiest photographic opportunities and I couldn’t believe I’d been languishing in bed while there was this soft white sky on the ground all around us.
As Son No 1 and I walked, we chatted as we do about all sorts. He’s growing into a pretty good conversationalist although I’m not sure he thinks the same about me.
“Oh no, mum! Not another lecture on physics!” is what he says to me mostly nowadays. I think he must mean philosophy or sociology since that’s where my studies are focused at the moment and my grasp on physics is tenuous to say the least. He asks me about buying something; I rant about Marx. He asks me a question relating to sex ed classes in school; I rant about Freud. And I’m just coming to Althussar and Derrida; poor sod! It’s beginning to get to him. Still, he’s 11 and I’m 44 and his mum, so I win! Nevertheless I decided to spare him any further lectures (read ‘diatribes’) and tell him about my nightmare instead.
“… and then I looked at my camera and it was plastic and green and didn’t have any of the functions of my real camera. And a weather phenomena was just beginning to occur and I couldn’t work out how to use the piece of junk I was holding and ….”
“So in your mind not having the right camera is a nightmare?” he asked incredulously.
“Did you not hear me. It wasn’t my camera! It was plastic and green! I couldn’t work out how to take the pictures and it was a wedding and I was missing all these great sky shots. By the time I found my real camera again I’d missed the beautiful skies. Oh, it was awful!”
He threatens to turn back and go home without me. But I have the croissants and biscuits we’ve picked up on our travels, and so somehow he finds a way to stay, and we have a great morning together while I take plenty of foggy photographs which probably bores him a little less than my usual ranting, before heading home a couple of hours later eager to start cooking a roast dinner and take a look at what I’ve got. Of course, as always I spend most of the time looking through them criticising myself and the mistakes I see all over everything but there are a handful that certainly made leaping out of bed on a Sunday morning worth it. And I didn’t have to put up with some shitty plastic green camera suddenly appearing round my neck where my actual one should have been as had happened in my slightly prescient dream about photogenic weather.
Anyway, by the time we head home, Son No 1 is extremely pleased with all the steps we’ve taken since we’re tracking and comparing our daily activity on our phones. It’s not even 11am and we’ve pretty much reached our daily target already. “See. We achieved,” I smile. I think about letting him know how our morning relates to my Visual Culture studies in some obscure way, but since for the moment I think he agrees with me, he’d be very pleased to know that I get a grip and stop myself. Phew, I hear everyone say on his account.
Here’s one of may favourites from our walk. Have a great week whatever you’re doing. I’ll be catching up with work and tidying up post half-term and Halloween chaos.
(c)Sarah-Jane Field 2015