PEOPLE 200 – LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY – AND A MODEST MILESTONE

 

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Long ago and far away

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I like to photograph in a spread of genres, including people.  I don’t do anywhere near as many people photos as I’d like, rarely having sessions solely devoted to the genre, but, nevertheless, this post is something of a satisfying milestone – my 200th People picture.  And so, for number 200, here is a selfie – me, long ago and far away, with a very, very dear friend …

Out birdwatching in Kenya, on the rift valley floor behind the Ngong Hills, I think; probably late 1970s.

What to see?  Well, the absolutely wonderful VW Beetle that I drove throughout my years in Kenya.  It was so good at negotiating mud (it often had mud tyres on the rear wheels), and also off-road – and it survived more punishment than I’d ever have believed possible.  Luckily, soon after acquiring this wonder, I was put in touch with a specialist VW garage, and however bad a hammering this car took, they fixed it.

Such was my disregard for such things in my younger days, that there was water in the passenger compartment for several weeks during one wet season.  Every time I accelerated it sloshed down to the back and got the passengers’ feet wet, and when I braked the tide came back in up the front … I mean … what was I like in those days? ….  And saying goodbye to this absolutely wonderful car when I left Kenya was one of the great wrenches of my life – the moment remains sharp, and painful, in my mind.

And then the accoutrements of an out and out birder.  Around my neck, treasured 10x40B Zeiss Dialyt binoculars, which also took a lot of punishment and which I still have.  And my finger is in the page of a bird guide >>> we’d obviously just seen something interesting and piled out of the car to get a better look at it – and “it” had disappeared, leaving us with the leisure for my (unknown) companion to use my OM-1 to take a picture of me.

And finally, the place.  I mean, only a few miles outside the capital, Nairobi, and just look at it.  Open country, wild, with thornbushes and other scrub, not at all on the tourist track – but with this good dirt road going through it, and with the possibility of exploring off this road, motorised or on foot, wherever we wanted – a naturalist’s dream!

I miss those African days very much, but still find the solace of open, rough country below big skies out on the Somerset Levels, especially on the Tadham and Tealham Moors.

Click onto the image to see a larger version in a separate window.

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About Adrian Lewis
Photographer working in monochrome, colour and combinations of the two - with a great liking for all sorts of images, including Minimalism, landscapes, abstracts, soft colour, people, movement, nature - I like to be adventurous in my photography, trying new ideas and working in many genres. And I'm fond of Full English Breakfasts and Duvel golden ale, though not necessarily together.

19 Responses to PEOPLE 200 – LONG AGO AND FAR AWAY – AND A MODEST MILESTONE

  1. Sallyann says:

    I love the idea of the water in the footwell sloshing back and fore and back again as you push the pedals. Happy memories indeed. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Do you remember the year of the bug? I had a beige ’61 in 1971. Before my first husband left for ‘greener pastures’ we purchased a ’71 Triumph Sprite (I believe it was called Sprite.) He took the new car on his way out the door and left me with the bug. I couldn’t have been happier.
    AND LOOK AT YOU!! 😍

    Like

  3. Meanderer says:

    What a wonderful way to mark your 200th people post! Super selfie from your days in Africa. Those bugs have always been cool, haven’t they; so distinctive in their design and sound. I always wanted a Citroen 2CV – the plums and custard one; totally flimsy but boy, what fun!

    Like

  4. bluebrightly says:

    I love the details you note, especially your finger on the page of whatever it was that got away – how well I know that feeling, having birded for many years. Love affairs with bugs are legion, aren’t they? One in my past – owned by my ex – developed a hole in the floor through which I could see the streets of Manhattan zipping by…I confess I gave him a hard time about it. But I understand your pain! Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Another birder, then, Lynn >>> good stuff! I look back on those birding years now, effectively 1967-2002, and sometimes wonder if it was all worth it, but always end up concluding it was, since it took me to great places, I saw wonderful things (both avian and other), met many wonderful people and did a lot of research and writing, incl A Bird Atlas Of Kenya. And I still very much love birds now and see them as an integral part of any land/city/waterscape – they raise my quality of life!

      And Beetles, oh yes. Love your hole in the floor story! And can also remember getting the windscreen (windshield!) covered in mud and having the windscreen washer bottles empty, and just being very glad I’d had a few beers earlier on in the day… 🙂 …..

      Like

      • bluebrightly says:

        Hmmm…sounds a little rough! 🙂 Bird Atlas of Kenya – impressive! I haven’t had many travel opportunities in exotic places, but my mother visited Kenya years ago, and loved birding too, and who knows, maybe she had a copy! It’s nice to imagine she did anyway. I can’t imagine life without them – they animate!

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  5. athyfoto says:

    Happy days eh? Thanks for sharing your memories here. Like the bonnet lock by the way 🙂

    Like

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      My pleasure! Yes, happy days – and a lot of the mindlessness and worrylessness (not sure that’s a word!) of (relative) youth. We all had those bonnet locks as that was known as a weak point on the car. How my car was never stolen I’ll never know – in Uganda, VW theft was so rampant that people had to take off the (?) rotor arm from the engine when they left them for any length of time. Thanks for your thoughts! A

      Like

  6. krikitarts says:

    I am once again astounded. We must have been siblings in a previous life. You will Not Believe what I’m sending to your InBox.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Gary, my good friend, this is seriously weird!!!!! Siblings in a previous life? I wonder …

      But I have had a stranger experience than even this. I took an American couple on safari and, from day one, it became apparent that the husband and I were incredibly alike – even the wife said that she simply couldn’t believe it. We were only somewhat alike physically, same build and height and so on, but mentally and behaviourally we were very, very close – it really was strange, and all three of us were completely floored by it.

      There are more things in this world than we know about I think. A 🙂

      Like

  7. great shot, Adrian. I really should take more people pictures.. but.. hey I guess it’s not my thing. Love the bug! a neighbour has a yellow repro one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Adrian Lewis says:

      Well we are all different, Sheila, we all have different photographic interests. The car was a delight. Prior to moving to Kenya, I’d been doing a lot of rough off-road driving in Arabia, in Land Rovers. And so, in Kenya, the VW became my “cheapo Land Rover”, and it did do extremely well. I still feel a pang when I hear one of those old Beetles go chugging by! Glad you like the shot! Adrian 🙂

      Like

  8. paula graham says:

    Those were the days..my friend.

    Like

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