My boots are aida-worn. A week or so later they split at the seams, and I swap them reluctantly for black leather and wooden heels.
When he comes to visit, B and I treat ourselves to spotty and stripy pancakes...
...and cream teas in town. It's been a long time since we've enjoyed a weekend like this, when his visit has avoided sabotage by my workload and we've had time for not just ourselves, but us. On the way home in the car we take a wrong turn and get stuck in an alley. I get nervous about nothing, and Blade navigates an eleven-point-turn, and we head for home again, but at the roundabout I joke that I will never be a photojournalist because I can't handle little upsets, and he says that's ok because I handle the bigs ones instead.
Baking at Ellenden 3
My bedroom is directly above the kitchen, and late at night I smell delicious things slipping through my window. Yessica is baking chocolate and walnut cookies. (When she's done, she brings me a whole tin.)
Parkwood in the morning
Sometimes it is still easy to get lost on campus. I often make my way to Romanticism at 9am in the quiet fog. The end of term is like the mist. Every time I think I have nearly reached it, it seems to move ahead again.
We've been collecting textbooks for Read International for six months, and it's nearly time for them to be shipped to Tanzania. First we have to database every title, and box them appropriately for the schools which will be receiving them. I organise a boxing day at our storage site with our volunteers, and we get to work. (It's harder than it looks. Deciding which school gets which book, and how many, is a battle of heart and head. Boxes have to be coded to help us when we get on the ground in July, and we have to compile a full database for Tanzanian customs, or the shipping containers won't make it to the mainland. It's a lot of work, and a lot of responsibility, and it scares me a little bit. All the best things do.)
After my birthday, my family comes to visit. We go out for a meal in the city, and everything is bright and relaxed and happy, and I like having them here in my city. When the food arrives I want to take pictures.
Dad finds this odd, and later emails me: Something very weird indeed about photographing what you're about to eat. A pre-consumtion, or a translation from the domain of the real to the domain of the image, with all that unleashes for philosophical gibbering and the higher bull... He includes some links to writing by Jean Baudrillard, and they're dense but interesting. (I wish wish wish I could take a photography class again next year.
Summer on Campus
It is very almost the end of term. I have ten exposures left of my Kodak Gold roll, so Milly and I wander campus when the sun is out. The above is not a true double exposure; I overlaid two unedited shots in Photoshop when the film came back:
Campus is alive and beautiful. The photographs are hazy but there are barbecues and football matches and kites flying on the hill outside the library. You can see all the way to the cathedral, and in the distance the horizon is dotted in patchworks of yellow rapeseed fields and budding green trees.
I try another overlay - one I didn't plan in advance:
Now I have my tripod and a timer, I try out self-portraits on Acer for the first time on a wonder down Crab and Winkle Way. They are very still and quiet, unlike the images Aspen produces, and it makes me reassess my film work a little.
(Yes, my rolls are far stiller, far quieter. I am scared of chancing moments on a medium which leaves me guessing for months until the images appear back in my hands. My films aren't choreographed, but they are hesitant. If I want to photojournalise, spontaneity is key - that's why used Aspen in Africa. Can I trust myself to capture the most important moving moment on film, the image that won't wait? Maybe not. But then, my best photograph from Swaziland appeared as a negative before it appeared on my computer. I should trust my camera and my instincts more.)
Acer is a little out of sync, so taking doubles in-camera results in pictures which don't quite match up. I must be doing something wrong - I'll investigate on the next roll. But as the final weeks of term begin to settle over campus they bring, for me, the last days of my first-year study at Kent. I only have one exam this year, and it's not until the end of May. Going back to Norfolk at the end of term is fairly final, and I won't be living in Parkwood when I return in September as a second-year. My homes consistently criss-cross now, overlapping like my film doubles, and soon I will be looking out my window on another view; one which may not marry-up with Canterbury's horizon line, but in which I can fit myself just as well.