This is not a good photograph.
Paul has a point and shoot camera, but a bigger one than a compact: he needs a rather impressive camera-bag. I have a look through his pictures, of vintage race cards, and countryside which must have been beautiful but has made a boring snap. In the bar he snapped away at me, with a basic error: he places my head in the centre of the frame, and includes a huge amount of boring background. So this shot is trimmed. He has caught my “what on earth are you playing at now?” expression.
I never got into the fashion of light cotton minis over thick black tights. I see the point: brash, sexy, a touch grungy, I am too shy for it. I am delighted that dresses are back in the shops, as I like dressing up. I quite fancied a picture of this one flattering my figure. Buying it the day before made me relaxed and happy, and the effect has not worn off. But I feel self-conscious ordering him about, telling him to just snap away repeatedly to pick the best shot, or even posing particularly. That is, I really want pictures of me at my best, and am ashamed of that. When we had the flash on, most of the shot is black as the grey shapes on the wallpaper are reflective. While we could play with poses and angles, he takes shots of me sitting facing him, head in the centre of the screen.
The wine was £5.95 a bottle at the bar, thin but, well, it has alcohol in it. Up we go to the gala dinner. Paul introduced me to D, who introduces me to S. S was bureau manager, but did not go for the promoted posts when the bureaux were merged and now finds himself restricted in doing things he is good at and enjoys. He is 60, why should he have a promoted post? His friend and colleague, a volunteer, has established a relationship with their Conservative MP. Both are socialist, but they found, with some surprise, that she was interested in the poverty and social issues in her constituency, and they work together. The volunteer, a Methodist, impressed me so much that when she said “marriage should be between one man and one woman”, not a common or popular opinion here, I did not argue.
What with the booze, and the company, and the dancing, I finally relaxed, completely relaxed.