Meeting an Old Friend’s Brother at Twilight for Photography Fun
As previously mentioned in an earlier chapter, I used to be very good friends with Mark Pelling, who was in my year at School in de Stafford. We had drifted apart over the years and I had barely spoken to him on Facebook, that’s where his older brother, Daniel, added me as a friend some months before. I never really knew him at School, only seen him around a few times. He’d made some comments about my photos I’d recently taken and wondered if I would like to meet up to take some pictures of light trails one evening. I wasn’t sure at first as for all I knew he could have been a serial killer or something. But I thought, what the hell, life is too short and agreed to meet him to take some photos on the bridge over the M25. I was really nervous about meeting him at first as it had been a long time since I had seen him, plus my confidence had taken a battering since Phil. Not that I was looking for anything at the time anyway. It was just the nerves of meeting someone new I guess, especially male. He picked me up from home and we drove to the bridge just off Merstham with my camera equipment. Daniel didn’t have a Tripod so we had to share, he also didn’t have a digital camera and was still using film, I thought to myself that he could end up with a lot of wasted exposures. That’s why I love digital, you can delete the crap. But he had a good size lens and some cool filters, which I got to try out. We got there in time for the sunset. Though it wasn’t the most spectacular in the world as it was too hazy, Daniel got some nice shots on his, yes, film camera, whereas I didn’t. I was feeling a lot more at ease and comfortable now. It was like we had been friends for a while and I was glad we’d agreed to meet up again to take my photos. Once the sun had set, it was that magical time for taking photos; Twilight. When the sky is a dark blue colour, just before it goes black, that is the optimum time for snapping away. And I did. I got some excellent light trails of the cars whizzing by on the motorway. We were in the perfect position as well. You had the street lights going down the central reservation, the headlights coming towards you and the tail lights going away from you. I even caught some indicator flashes of cars overtaking. I must have done something right as I won a First Prize Award for it a year later at the Bletchingley Horticultural and Agriculture Show in their Photography Section. We chatted for a little while before he dropped me home after we finished taking photos. It was nice to catch up with him and odd to find out how we had lived in the same places at different times. When I lived in Foxon Lane, he was living in Stafford Road (next door to my Aunt Franky), and then when I was living in Stafford Road, he was living in Foxon Lane. We also both worked backstage on the Macbeth play at de Stafford which I never realised. I was stage hand and he was one of the technical crew. I checked the programme when I got home, as I keep stuff like that, and low and behold both of our names were on there. It really was a small world after all. I could certainly see myself becoming very good friends with this guy, I thought at the time. He told me of his love for Handbells. I had absolutely no idea what they were, well, I know what they are, but I didn’t know you could make music with them. My knowledge of handbell ringing stemmed back from when I was at Marden Lodge and the teacher would ring one at the end of break time, to let us know when it was time to go back inside. He played me a piece of music he had on his phone, and I have to admit, it wasn’t really my cup of tea. Maybe it was the song or the quality, but I didn’t like it. A few weekends later we went down to Brighton on the Sunday. It was a really nice, sunny and quite warm day. Again we got some good pictures and went on a long walk down to the Harbour. It was a pleasant day out and with good company too. He came round to the house a few times and played Guitar Hero with Abi and me as well as shared our Jack Daniels, it was a good laugh and he got on well with Drummond too. Everyone was saying I should consider perhaps seeing him as more than a friend. At the time I wasn’t interested in looking for anything like that. All I wanted was a good mate that I could hang around with and had a lot in common with, and I seemed to had found that with Daniel. I didn’t want to jeopardise any friendship we had. I went on my friend, Kat’s hen night, and for the majority of the night, Di (one of my work colleagues) was badgering me about Daniel and kept saying life was too short. She told me I was scared. I wasn’t scared of anything. Or perhaps I was. Perhaps I was scared of taking a chance and being a complete failure again, thus having to move away and start again somewhere else. But most of all I was scared of losing a good friend. While everyone else was getting drunk and enjoying themselves, I was cradling a bottle of water and pondering things through. I was supposed to be taking photos for Kat’s hen night but unfortunately my mind was elsewhere so couldn’t get on with it. I kept wondering whether I should take a chance. I had a chat with a very drunk Kat and Di who both convinced me to give it a go, so I text Daniel and said I was willing to give it a go if he wanted to. The rest they say is history and we’ve been living in each other’s pockets since.