click photo to enlargeAnyone who knows me well knows that I am lukewarm about Christmas. I don't especially look forward to the arrival of the festivities, and do tend to be glad when the calendar says January 1st. It wasn't always so. As a child I couldn't wait for it to be upon me - the special food, presents, and events all being something to relish. When my children were small I enjoyed it enormously through them, and always strove to make it something special. But, as I've got older it has palled somewhat for me. I really dislike seeing the arrival of Christmas merchandise in the shops during early October, the conspicuous consumption doesn't appeal, and the frenzied shopping in December is something to be avoided or endured rather than enjoyed. I continue to like some of the traditions, and the carols have an enduring attraction for me, but on the whole it's not my favourite time of year.
What also impacts negatively on my feelings at this time is the period between Christmas and the start of the new year, a sort of hiatus when the country has ground to a halt apart from "The Sales". That particular week is the only one in the year that I'm glad to see the back of. During those days I'm ready for January to start, ready for the chance to look forward and to plan rather than to look back, and I'm ready for the daylight hours to start to lengthen. If, after reading that, you think I must be pretty miserable at Christmas, let me say that I'm not. I don't ask much of Christmas - time with my family and friends, a few good films on television, and weather that lets me get out and about, walking with my camera, - that's all I require to be entirely happy.
So why, I imagine you may be thinking, does today's photograph show a lonely, frost covered bench in the unused corner of a frozen cemetery rather than colourful holly against a blue sky (last year's Christmas shot), a festive bauble (2008), or Christmas coffee (2006)? Does it reflect an end of year gloom that has descended on the Boughen household? The answer to that is a resounding no. The fact is I've simply been too busy to shoot anything more suitable, and this was the next image in the queue for posting!
So, as I take a break from blogging for a few days, let me say to everyone who visits on a regular or a sporadic basis, Merry Christmas to you and to your nearest and dearest, and I hope you have a splendid new year! Now I'm off to see when the 1951 film version of Charles Dickens', "A Christmas Carol", is on TV. Alastair Sim is the definitive Scrooge - my hero!
photograph and text (c) T. Boughen
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 45mm
F No: f9
Shutter Speed: 1/50
Exposure Compensation: -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On