Now I am 50

I am finding that I am a lot more chilled, now that I am in my fifties. It has come a lot sooner than I had anticipated; it does not seem such a long time ago that I was starting out on my journey through life as an adult.  The thirty years I have left, will go even more quickly; any more is a bonus or a burden.  My dad, one day informed me that he had ten good years left, that was a few years ago; focusing us on what it is we want to do with our remaining time.

Prior to my birthday I said to the Woodcutter’s Wife: if anyone asks what I want for my birthday, tell them I am saving for a medium format camera. Thanks to the generosity of family members I now half way to a secondhand Bronica with the aim of capturing the dramatic beauty of the Tanat Valley with the aid of a tripod rather than a selfie stick. I will share these images with you on the gallery in the coming months and years, marking the changing of the seasons.

Seizing a brief moment of tranquility at my desk while the rest of the family is out at the rugby field, I find myself listing to a Johnny Nash record from 1974 and wonder if I am seeing a theme emerging with nostalgic music, dragged across the only diamond I have, whilst thinking about exposing film that will then need to be washed in chemicals at great cost and time. Am I a modern day Luddite, shunning the convenience of streamed music and the immediacy of digital photography? Am I the Grumpy Old Man in the photograph?

I have come to the realization that it doesn’t get much better than this; these are the good old days of the future. The best we can hope for is to be able to sustain what we are doing for as long as we can and make the very best of it, rather than working for the weekend, holidays or Christmas, when we have a brief respite from the world of work. Whilst I sometimes make myself ill lugging great bags of firewood around to keep the customer warm and satisfied, I also take great joy in the social intercourse that comes with it, not to mention listening to my old cassette tapes in the van while I transverse the highways and byways of the Principality and beyond, always on the lookout for the perfect shot. Now I am fifty, I have come to realize that it doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.