In the process of upgrading to my new iPad Air I came across photos that predate all my iPads and also my three more grown-up Leicas. This photo is nearly five years old so reminds me how much technology I've amassed in this time. I haven't upgraded my laptop in that time, it's getting on for six years old, and annoyingly is really showing its age. Upgrading my iPad data was torturous and even though I have the latest Lightroom software, the incredible sluggishness every time I try and do anything with my laptop drives me back to post-processing on my iPad instead.
Five years ago I wouldn't have heard of Lightroom, neutral density filters, off-camera flash or why you'd use a ten-stop. I maintained a food and travel blog rather than a photography blog and really craved that depth of field, that soft bokeh look, wouldn't know what to call it and, more importantly, had no idea how to achieve it.
At the time of this photograph, obviously I had no idea it would be my very last Christmas there. So many details of my childhood home is etched on my memory and this photograph just transports me right back to this spot admiring the just carefully laid table for a festive feast, with the scattering of silver snowflake table confetti, glittery strands of little balls and velvety crackers. The crisp white and silver linen napkins and matching tablecloth. The best silver-edged crockery is out from the cabinet The skinny black Christmas tree decked with gorgeous silver and white ornaments with matching shiny silver parcels underneath. Opposite are the new French windows leading out the wintry garden flanked by the elegant white leafy curtains.
It was five (sometime fleeting, other times very long) years but it was as if it were yesterday. I can spell the fabulous aromas of the beef fillet wrapped in Parma ham and the Winter PIMM’S with thin slivers of apple heating on the stove. I can hear the festive music emanating from the speakers, see the candles on the mantelpiece flickering and feel the anticipation of the evening ahead.
If I'd known this would be the last time, I would have drunk in every tiny minute detail so there’s not one second I would forget, ever. I would wrap all these days up in a big silver and white box with a bow on top so I could unwrap it as a special present each Christmas Day.