Over the past few months here at Casa Creakingbones , She Who Must Be Obeyed and I have put a lot of effort into decluttering.
Several trailer loads of accumulated bits and pieces have been taken to the local rubbish tip and many boxes of books and magazines have been donated to charity.
The most difficult task for me was taking the decision to rid my studio of the 35mm and medium format monochrome photographic negatives I’d accumulated over more than two decades of serious photography.
Additionally I decided to also dispose of hundreds of monochrome prints I’d made prior to closing my wet darkroom.
Combined, the negatives in their folders and the prints, some mounted and some not, filled the back of our long wheel base two seater Land Rover.
Unceremoniously we tipped the lot into our allocated space at the tip.
That left the fate of thousands, not an exaggeration, of colour slides, safely tucked away in their wooden storage boxes, to be determined at a later date.
I’m sure that many of us can remember the absolute boredom when, on a visit to a friend or relative, the slide projector was suddenly produced and 36 or 72 slides of recent holidays where exhibited, accompanied by a commentary, for example, ‘this is me at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.’
We too are guilty of inflicting that pain on others and now I’m in the process of exposing myself to pain a different type as I review my slide collection prior to the its ultimate disposal.
This time around though I’m not being as brutal. I’m retaining slides that bring back memories of special times and events.
Then, when time permits I’ll scan the slides and make selected digital prints.
Middle Eastern Archeology has, since childhood, been an interest of mine and way back in 1976 I had the opportunity to visit Jordan, Syria and Israel for a few months as a guest of the British School of Archeology headquartered in Amman, Jordan.
Fortunately, I was given unlimited use of the Schools Series 2 Long Wheel Base Land Rover.
As you can imagine, I’ve a substantial collection of slides from that experience and here are three examples.
I learned early on in my visit that as a westerner,not long after the 6 Day War, it was a good move to not draw too much attention to yourself when moving around unaccompanied in Jordan and Syria . To that end I learned a smattering of Arabic, unfortunately now nearly all forgotten, and often wore the traditional keffiyeh and agal and carried a set of worry beads.
I still have those three items and a few years back the following image was taken of me during a talk I gave about my 1976 experiences.
My interest in Middle Eastern archeology began when as a lad I read Lawrence’s ‘Seven Pillars of Wisdom,’ and histories of his WW1 desert experiences. Lawrence used many of the desert castles as bases during WW1 and I was fortunate to visit and photograph many of them during my stay.
As my slide review progresses I may add another chapter to this adventure.
Hoo roo for now.