This burst of blogging continues much as if someone has unblocked a dam somewhere and so my fourth post in as many days presents itself. I’m being somewhat repetitious as a trip to the in laws means that West Sussex is again the main feature.
We travelled down on the Friday evening and for once we escaped the 100th repetition of a Henry VIII Horrible History CD and kept the dial locked on Radio 4. We found ourselves listening to what I quickly realised was the concluding episode of Ripley Underground by Patricia Highsmith. I wasn’t sure if it would be age appropriate for a 12 year old and initially James concluded it was boring but as the air of menace and fear rose he became fascinated.
I’m not a follower of Highsmith’s work but it was clear pretty quickly there was no safe division of good and evil on offer here. I found myself explaining the concept of an anti hero and, as so often happens to a parent, being forced to see the world through much younger eyes. Still the family unified in rooting for the talented Mr Ripley who of course in one bound was free with the unfortunate death of some other folk. This is the closest we get to that pre TV world when the family gathered round the wireless.
This was followed by Wilf Self’s dissecting of political party memberships as ‘donkeys led by donkeys’. James recognised its tone and asked if Mr Self was ‘insulting us’. I was able to report he was not but it is a sign of our son’s journey towards the edges of the grown up world that he was intrigued enough to want to hear more. Sometimes I wish I could explain this crazy world better to him but the reality is I’m left as puzzled as he is much of the time.
I took my Fuji GSW690II which has a 65mm Fujinon lens. It is the biggest negative I can produce on a carry round camera and 8 shots on a roll forces a degree of discipline. I found the bag full of Ilford FP4+ so went with that as the film. The big family lunch was bracketed by the traditional trip to Emsworth followed by a walk around Chidam’s hinterland. A harsh midday sun in Emsworth was followed by sinking sun in Chidam.
I lived in Emsworth as a kid for a brief period, probably in about 1965. I only thing I really remember about the town is the giant humbugs they sold at the station. The idea of which proved more exciting than the actuality. Damn, those things went on forever. I bought my first Airfix kit, a Spitfire, from the town’s toyshop which I built with the same ham-fisted skill I have brought to all my creative pursuits since. On this trip it was not loading the film quite correctly in to the Fuji, thus resulting in only 14 shots instead of 16…ho hum.
I was eager to process on Sunday when we returned and went for 11 mins instead of the 15mins suggested for Rodinal 1+50 @20 degrees. They turned out perfect and after figuring out how to get an Epson V700 to scan 6×9, looked good on the computer screen especially with an Antique Light tone. And yes, I know the picture of Gillian and James is out of focus – drat and double drat.