Some of the time that they spent in the afternoon, she borrowed his camera and explained how he could make similar adjustments to settings to those she was making. She watched him trying and checked what he’d done before telling him to press the shutter button. He was completely delighted by the results and by what he’d learned. By the time that their train pulled into the station, Mel was exhausted. Jamie, on the other hand, couldn’t wait for an opportunity to put into practice what she’d told him.
‘You’re a really great teacher, Mel,’ he said when they reached the station car park. ‘It’s no wonder that it’s you the regulars always want to talk to.’
‘I’m not just a pretty face then?’ she teased, laughing.
‘Whatever I answer, Mel,’ he said, ‘I’ll be in the wrong – neither a “Yes” or a “No” will satisfy you. “Yes” would be wrong because I’d be insulting your intelligence. “No” would be wrong because the word “pretty” is totally inadequate.’
It was her turn to blush. Her question had been rhetorical, but his answer had revealed a side of his thoughts about her that had been totally unexpected.
‘You are too gallant, kind sir,’ she said as she climbed into his car, but once they were on their way back to her home, she made sure to switch the subject of conversation to the expected delivery the following day of the latest model update to their most popular camera range.
As she’d half expected, once through her front door at home, she faced a barrage of questions from her family about the day she’d spent with Jamie.
She wasn’t quite sure that she wanted them to dig too far into her head just then. She hadn’t made her mind up yet about how to interpret what he’d said.
To make matters worse, her dad was teasing her about her ‘date’ with Jamie,
“Trust Jamie to be so bloody literal,” she thought, “Anyone else would have just laughed it off, or passed the remark back in banter. “Oh, you think you’re pretty do you?”
The trouble was, on Jamie’s lips, a comment like that would have backfired. Some people are good at telling jokes – Jamie wasn’t one of them. The other problem was that his remark had taken her back to that night in the park café and the conversation she’d had. She eventually remembered, however, what his comment had reminded her of – a diplomatic husband. Rather than a would-be boyfriend. “Or was that just Jamie being Jamie?”
It was a pity really. She did like him very much, but he was too serious. He wasn’t exactly boring – he just wasn’t very exciting.
Then again, she thought, “I suppose that Craig could have been exciting to be with if he’d had money and been less controlling. Perhaps you need money to be exciting – able to afford fast cars, helicopters, speedboats and skiing holidays. If Craig had been rich, he’d probably have wanted to live a dangerous life.”
She turned images of such a life over in her head.
“What would being exciting but poor look like anyway? Accepting dares to run across the railway lines or swimming bare-ass naked in the canal at night?”
She decided that she wouldn’t dismiss Jamie as an idea for the moment. She’d wait to see if he were to make anything like a clear advance to her.
Last weekend, I went to Liverpool to try my hand at street photography. The outing didn’t quite turn out as I expected. The landscape photographer in me took over and I took more architecture shots than images of what was happening on the street. I did take a few street shots though, and I’ll feature them first. This will be quite a long series.
The first shot shows a group of young women queuing outside a restaurant. The city was buzzing with crowds seemingly desperate to exercise post-Covid freedom.
I used my Pentax KP 24 MB cropped sensor camera with a 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. The shutter speed was 1/15 seconds at f/8 and 60 mm. The ISO was 100. The shot was handheld and post-processed in Lightroom.