In a rare, I wish, diversion from writing, I started wondering what photo of myself I would put on the inside of my soon to be finished, yeah right, book cover.
This is vital to me now. I’m having a bit of a plot crisis. Without giving too much away, I’m stuck trying to get person A to tell person B something about event X without involving an element of time travel. So naturally I need to put the book on hold and focus on the photograph I will select to put on the inside back cover.
I want to look intelligent, but not too academic. Funny with an air of gravitas at the same time. I want to exude a feeling of, ‘this is someone I would like to go for a drink with, or a game of golf.’ On the other hand I want to be a person you can identify with as someone who would be comfortable alone at times thinking really deep thoughts.
I just needed a photo of me that will do this. I looked. The photos I have of me make me look like, well – you tell me:
I’m not sure what feeling I was trying to portray on this day. Probably an air of aloofness, casualness. The jacket and the jumper (really?) should suggest some kind of rebelliousness. Not quite James Dean but a bit ‘hey look at me – I’m cool and hip’ (what! people don’t say hip any more?, nor cool?). Note hands in my pockets. I would have been told off for that when I was younger but look at me now – Living on the edge. Edgy as f***.
Note background – wall. It says I’m urban. I’m down with the yoofs, living off my wits, off the streets. It’s my old house in Formby, Lancashire. A quote from Wikipedia explains the town in 10 words;
“Formby is affluent with high owner-occupation and car ownership”
But that was then. This is now. I don’t live there anymore man. I’m keeping it real now – back to my roots. Back to Welsh valleys – yeah. Which is actually sort of true, as it happens. Not a purely conscious choice but hey… let’s stay in the now, man.
So this photo doesn’t really fit the bill.
Exhibit B, m’lud.
In this one I think I was aiming for a little bit arty, a little bit edgy here as well. Black and white as well – rad eh?
Note the indistinct painting behind that should say ‘look at me I’m an artist’. In actual fact it was a drawing my young pre-school child did and, like the pretentious, nurturng , supportive parent I am – I put it in a frame and hung it on the wall.
That’s the image I think I’m going for here. Kind to children. Maybe I need a small animal to be rescuing, or a certificate of my support of the RSPCA somewhere, just on the edge of shot.
Also note my stern, unsmiling look. This is partly, mostly, based on being a serious artist. It’s also partly based on my arm getting tired holding the camera. This must have been the twentieth shot I had taken as it really is difficult to focus the camera at this angle. .
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, also note a radical change – indistinct clothing – proletariat clothing. No shirt and tie for me, man. I’m no slave to the system. You don’t catch me working for the man. Well, actually you do. I was working for the Civil Service office in Southport at the time.
Still, it looks a little better than exhibit A, even though it is 2,000% more pretentious. And it is probably one of the world’s first selfies. God I was so ahead of my time.
I shall continue my quest and get back to you ………………….