See this view? It’s where I spent a huge amount of my teenage years. Doing homework, listening to music.
It’s something of a small miracle that I even have this image. Back in 1979 I had a very sporadic interest in photography. This photograph exists solely because I had a few spare frames left over on a roll that I shot at my college. As one often did in those days of 36 exposure roll film, I shot a small set of not particularly considered images to end the roll and get it ready for developing.
I’m glad I did. Without this record, the only impression I would have of this room – now long gone from the family – would be what my memory could conjure. Admittedly, my memory of this room is not that different from what I see here but it’s pleasing to have confirmation.
The details are interesting. Pens and paper. I was probably working on an essay for one of my biology classes. A text book. The cup of tea. A vinyl copy of David Bowie’s “Lodger”. All sufficiently underexposed to lend an air of mystery to the collection.
No computer, cell phone or compact discs. The entire consumer digital revolution yet to come. A few years later I would buy a Sinclair Spectrum personal computer, loaded via an interface with a cassette tape recorder and viewed through an analog television. But those technological marvels were yet to come. Anything I wrote in typeface came from a manual typewriter.
I had no conception at that time of how my life would play out over the following years. Not even my wildest imaginings approached what was going to happen.
Given that I, much as I do now in truth, spent a lot of time daydreaming this is secretly pleasing. It shows me that life will always have surprises. I like that a lot.
The photograph? Again, another of those emotionally resonant images that do not necessarily speak to anyone else but remain priceless as far as I’m concerned. I’m so lucky to have them. These days I make more of an effort to collect them. Just as well really.