I went with the mother person and my French friend to Sheffield Park yesterday. While taking some rather precarious photos (read as standing on a branch of a tree that leans out about a metre over the water and taking pictures from there), I took off my flip-flops so they didn’t fall in. And I didn’t put them back on again until we left.
This is the first of the photos I took barefooted. I had climbed up this tree to take a close-up of a pink flower I could see, and while mother person called out to me to be careful and not drop my shoes / camera / self in the pond, I ignored her in preference for actually taking the pictures I wanted to take.
She was fine with me not having shoes on at that point, as if they fell in the pond I’d struggle to retrieve them, but that was the last time I got away with it.
I walked around for the rest of the day barefooted and learned several things:
1. Grass is more comfortable than a gravelly sandy path.
2. Mud is very soothing and comfortable.
3. Small children look at you enviously, parents look at you worriedly, and old people look at you fondly as if they remember what it was like to be young and not wear shoes.
Not that I’m any stranger to going barefoot. Last time my french friend stayed with me, she took a photo of me walking barefoot home from the park, because my shoes were rubbing. I was once sponsored to spend an entire day barefoot (and it rained, and then hailed, and then snowed, and my feet went blue), in order to raise money for charity. The conductor of the orchestra I used to be in called me “Sandie Shaw” because I never wore shoes while I was playing (and then had to explain the reference to me).
Another risk I took was taking photos very close-up of ducks. I like ducks. I think they’re amazingly funny birds, and very cute. However, when you’re barefoot and you’re about three inches away, you need to be careful. If they were to attack, you’d lose your toes.
My french friend Alison also very much liked the ducks and took a lot of photos of them. Poor things, they’re all photographed out now, I expect.
It’s funny watching Alison and I take photos. She’s got a DSLR with fancy lenses; I’ve got a bright red compact digital camera. (I used to have a black one, but it broke.) Even so, I try and mess with the focus and colouring in order to take more interesting photos, as I think they’re always nicer to look at.
For example, I enjoy making the image focus on something close to the lens and then slightly blur the rest of it. I don’t photoshop my pictures, mainly because I don’t have Photoshop and can’t afford to buy it, so any effects you see in pictures of mine are just camera trickery.
On that note, yes, the sky really was that blue! The first proper summery day this year, I think – at least since I finished exams and was allowed to go outside, not that I do that very often.
I took a lot of photos while we were away including many of castles and old houses and things, so I’ll be sharing those soon. In the meantime, I have a chapter to finish.
(PS, any TCWT-ers whose posts I’ve not commented on – I will do so. I’ve been without proper internet a lot recently.)