******* child locks, I know they're a good idea and all that but I came close to yanking the thing off. And I was trying to get out of my own damn car! Impatience not being a virtue.
It was Apple Day 2010 (Oct 21st) and I was on my way to the residence of Tom Dunbar, my most patient wife Lisa was driving, alongside her up front was the lovely Beer Widow and I was in the back with an effervescent Pete Brown. I'd had less than a skinful, but too much too drive, so I was thirsty but still had work to do. There was a full moon (or thereabouts) and as we arrived I had already attempted the door release before I was even aware I wanted to get out. Having realised I just seen the establishing shot, my heart was racing. It was all set, everything felt right, there was no more time to waste, except I was trapped. I kept trying the lever as if it might change its mind but it didn't. We were already late and I had that desperation that rises in you get when you're late for a meeting. Now to make things worse, there was the frikken door lock to deal with and I was still stuck in the car -ARGH.
Anyway, when finally released I grabbed my gear and leaped into position focused entirely on getting it before the moment was lost. Putting up a tripod on uneven ground in the dark is difficult enough anyway, let alone when you're in a desperate hurry. I had just about got it when I saw my next idea.... I grabbed my tripod and so the night continued.
What I am trying to describe is how difficult it is for me to retain a modicum of patience, method and thought when I'm really passionate about something, something like cider anyway. Photography should have an element of spontaneity but it should also be considered and approached thoughtfully. Maybe this phenomenon happens to all of us? After its triggered, something deep in my brain stirs- the reversion starts, my behavior changes and I become childish. Processes become unprocessed, thoughts race excitedly, I tense up and things get a little wilder. I ignore loved ones easier and become more self indulgent and selfish than is acceptable for an adult. Whilst that often means I have more fun, it can mean I miss my target, really irritate the Mrs only to really regret it later. Its got something to do with zoning right in, like finding the heartbeat through your finger when searching for a pulse, you tap in, follow the rhythms and then I seem to get stuck there. Is this obsession? Only in the best possible way... surely? I never feel that bad about it because it can help my work and my work is important to me but I feel it would be better if I could minimize it somehow.
Anyway - aside from Toms unique crazy French press that he picked up in Brittany, the most important two things I remember from that night are:
1 -The kids. It was so lovely to see them involved, stimulated and made welcome. They were fascinated. I assume they were allowed to stay up late and that always makes you feel special. Cidermaking this way is special and that's why its important to teach the next generation about it early on. They got stuck right in, taking turns twisting the press arm, stuffing apples here and there, excited and bubbly. It felt right. Them being there really added to the atmosphere in the same way a child can re-kindle the spirit of Christmas for an adult. I was proud of their parents who I had never met before. Cider people are good people and these cider parents were good parents.
2- The hosts. Tom is his partner Amanda are lovely hosts and really generous. They laid on food for the assembled crowd (who were pressing as a community for the Kingsbury May Festival where you can find me staggering annually.) They keep pigs and had made some of the most fantastic sausages I have ever eaten, they served bread and cheese as well as Tom's own cider. They put a pot out for contributions (to which I added a healthy paper note) and just wanted everyone to have a good time. And we did! Thanks guys - you know how to roll.