You see, the thing is, I used to have a job which involved me driving fair distances around Kent, Sussex, Hampshire, Wiltshire and a bit of Dorset. 200 miles for a breakfast meeting? No problem, be on the M3 by 0530 and it’s tea and crumpets in East Sussex by 0900. Always on the passenger seat was a camera, for those just-in-case moments.
Today I found myself moving between Putaruru and Te Awatmutu in a delicious early afternoon light, and I was overtaken by the sense of contrast in having been down that road a number of times, but never having seen it before. So, as I drove past a jerry-rigged washing line, strung from a tree across an otherwise clipped and bare expanse of lawn, sheets billowing and snapping in a force 3 funnelled past Maungatautari, … I pounced on the camera, checked the rear-view and spun a decided u-turn.
I was going to photograph it from the road, but, I’ve been irked by my cowardice of late, so I went straight up the drive, made peace with the uneasy elderly labrador and hailed the property owner as he shuffled about his business. Standing tall and as broad as I could muster, I simply asked: “Hey, I really like the sheets snapping in the wind, can I get a photo?” - as I extended a name and a hand.
“You do what you want buddy” - as he shook my hand, his head and dismissed himself with a chuckle and an askance glance at the washing line. Even the labrador seemed let down that I wasn’t selling Amway, Snakeoil, or someother Mountebank’s salve: But, I got my photos and left with a broad and cheery “hooray.”