Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Calendar girl

It's Craft Day in the office. I'm tempted to say to you: 'don't ask', because it's all really rather bonkers and I do have quite a bit of work to think about first before this little team building exercise.

But Craft Day it is, as initiated by our new editor. She, indeed, has arrived at work in a very nice wool dress that she apparently knitted for herself last winter.

I had been intending to bake some Lebkuchen or a Stollen to bring in, but what with Monday night's table-moving saga and then an unexpected bar shift last night, the opportunity has not been forthcoming.

It remains to be seen what I'll do. I have a delivery of 2010 calendars due – so perhaps showing one of those around the office will suffice.

It was a year ago, after a colleague had had calendars produced from her family snapshots, that I decided to give it a whirl.

The resulting calendar had no family snaps in it, but was a selection of pictures I'd taken over the previous two years. I tried to be a bit arty and, not only were the pictures seasonal, they alternated between monochrome and colour. On a few of the pages, I used selections of three related pictures.

Just recently, my Mother announced that she didn't 'understand' one of these. It was a shot of some old London buildings, pictured as a reflection in a motorcycle mirror.

Curtain Road

It was one of my early shots and took a certain amount of effort in capturing the reflection without seeing me and my camera included in it.

It would seem that my Mother cannot cope with anything other than the most obviously chocolate boxy. So to an extent I have given in and tried to make sure that this year's calendar is as straightforward to 'read' as possible.

I still have an idea of what will happen when she looks through it.

'No, Mother: there is nothing here that you won't 'understand'.

'Yes, Mother. That is a picture of door with a great big door knocker and a tiny grille on it.

'Why did I photograph a door, Mother? Because it was an interesting door, Mother.

'Look, just turn to the next month: that's a church, Mother. Nice and easy on the eye.'

Not that such a subject doesn't have entirely it's own risks.

When we first visited Berlin in 2002, I sent my parents a postcard of the Berliner Dom. Once back at home, I was on the phone to them when my mother told me off for sending a picture of a Catholic church.

'Mother: it's a Lutheran cathedral.'



There's a new photograph of that in the 2010 calendar too. But I expect no repeat of the previous comment.

There really are times when I feel a sense of awe at the ability of some people – and my parents in particular – to complicate life by demanding a naive level of simplicity in certain things.

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