This smile

This is the smile of someone who has ordered a sandwich and some home-made chips (which will come in a tiny chip basket) at the Fox and Goose Inn. Who already has a pint of Hopton Ale in front of her to wash it down with. Who had just been complimented by another luncher on the beauty of her camera (Vlad is a handsome chap, you have to agree).

This is the smile of someone who will travel to Cambridge and pick up a darkroom kit that will give her a lens to print in medium format, as well as masks for the enlarger, and trays and tongs and a timer that goes tick-tick-tick.

And this smile will not be wiped away by the rebuffs from the Cambridge university beedles* who won’t let her into the college grounds for love nor money (usually it’s a fiver or so, but this time it was all closed after summer balls and other elitist nonsense.)


And this smile will not be wiped away when it turns out that the person who is selling the darkroom kit lives on a busy road with double yellow lines and the nearest car park is an arm-breaking 10 minute walk away. (Darkrooms weren’t built with ease of transportation in mind).

This is the smile of someone who has means to print and who means to print medium format as soon as she can get hands on some spare parts.

*bowler-hatted & coated porters who will let in anyone of the right age but deny entrance to anyone over 21 or under 18.



  1. The limitations of manual focus self-portraiture meant I had to focus on something other than me, and that pint was so good. I was disappointed with Cambridge – it’s beautiful allright, but access to the colleges appeared to me so limited that it might as well have hosed it down when were there. Though I have to grudgingly admit that the parts that we could see were beautiful enough.

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