I have been amusing myself on a damp Bank Holiday Monday by re-arranging the books on my bookshelves. Every so often I move a whole batch of books to the shelves hidden behind the settee in order to make room for books that better match my current interests. Over the years, wave after wave of text books, outdated novels and forgotten biographies have taken this route to comparative obscurity, only to be replaced by whatever happens to be my literary flavour of the month. And looking at the latest migratory pattern, it would appear that in my dotage I am returning to the obsession with picture books that characterised my first few years.
More and more of my "current" batch of books seem to be picture books - collections of old photographs from here, there and all places in-between. Images seem to say so much more than words can describe, offer so many more possibilities, tell so many different stories. The picture featured here is not from one of my books, but from one or other of the collections of old photographs I have accumulated over recent years. One simple photograph, scanned, dissected, and reconstructed providing a framework upon which you can build whatever you like.
Who are these women with such satisfied smiles? Part of that generation that lost the men in their lives to the mud of Flanders? Smiling for what might have been rather than for what was.
Look behind the smiles and what do you find? What secrets, what hopes and what fears? And what was this day at the seaside a break from?
And the lone man. face half hidden by a wooden cap. What do you read in his face. With just a little imagination there is enough there for a shelf-full of wordy books.