Thursday, 19 December 2013


Few things are as exhausting as a first baby.  Yes, there's the interrupted sleep, and the endless round of feeding and nappy-changing, but underlying all that there is also the energy-sapping, ever-present anxiety.  I have never felt so nakedly unprepared as the day we brought our son home from the hospital in a brand-new car-seat, plonked him down in the middle of the front room, and contemplated this new, inescapable presence in wordless terror.  What have we done?  What do we do next?  As so many have observed, babies do not come with a handy and informative owner's manual.

In preparation for a certain upcoming 60th birthday, I have been looking back through my pre-digital photo-files, and digging out some of the better images.  This one has alway been a favourite.  I came into the front room one afternoon in that first year, to find my partner fast asleep on the sofa, still wearing a violently-patterned work-top.  The composition and the chinoiserie effect of the clashing patterns seemed perfectly to express the deep opium dreams of utter exhaustion.

No comments: