Le Weekend Part 2
Le Weekend Part 2
Kim said it had been three years since he, Rogan and I last met and as our reunion was probably going to be a photo shoot I warned him that the last three years - MTL’s illness and all - had taken its toll.
“If you have ever fancied being photographed like one of the classic movie stars, or in any other context, then just send me a link to the kind of image you like and I’ll work out how I would need to light you to get the same effects. Let’s have a bit of funJ”
And then I went a bit bonkers! All thoughts of a serene, dignified and aged persona flew out of the window as I remembered the spiffing fun we used to have in the Oast Theatre days, and images abounded of Blanche Dubois, Marlene in shirt and tie, Scarlett in the turnip field, Lady Macbeth holding the crown aloft, Her Maj in the Annigonni painting – there was no holding me.
An image of Gloria Swanson getting ready for ‘my profile Mr de Mille.’ floated into my consciousness but was quickly slapped down again. In the end some sanity prevailed and I suggested that if we made asses of ourselves we should at least keep it in the family.
Meanwhile I was mustering a crown and gown for Lady Macbeth, a turnip for Scarlett, ceremonial robes for her Maj, and a fag for Marlene (in the end I bought a pretend one which tasted foul).
Kim and Rogan arrived with beautiful flowers and a stone from Maggie - Kim’s wife, for my fountain; both of which Kim nearly forgot to give meJ
After a relaxed coffee (or hot water with a tea bag dipped in for Kim) Maggie’s boys met my boys viz MTL and our French son M. I think they all would have happily chatted for hours but there was much to do with lunch imminent and siestas to follow, so I gently cracked the whip.
Kim chose the drawing room as a studio, rather than the family room as the light was easier to control. Rogan was the most able, amiable of assistants and it was great to see father and son working so well together. I ventured the Marlene photo would be the most difficult so perhaps that would be best to get out of the way first – also I had the clothes on. I had forgotten how long it all takes to get pose, model and lighting all working together. The camera was attached to a computer so we could check the shots as we went along. Glasses off, glasses on, back to the pose and on again. Just to make things more difficult I had provided a mirror image of the actual shot which when Kim pointed it out just confused me so we ignored it.
I told Kim if we got one photo we were both happy with it would be great. Back in the day the photographer would shoot endless rolls of film for one shot. Eventually we stopped for a lazy lunch and then we all went to different parts of the house to recover. Later MTL woke me to say Kim was in the garden doing Tai Chi. Either we did Her Maj in her ceremonial robes then or perhaps we did that before lunch?
Next it was Lady Macbeth: I put on the borrowed gown and a strange thing happened: my spirits plummeted and I told Kim I would have to take it off. Maybe it was the Macbeth Curse but it was a great relief to be out of it and we decided to scrub Macbeth
. By this time we were all flagging a bit so we relaxed and Kim very kindly took endless trouble taking a family photo of MTL and me and one of father and son. Then M took one of Kim and I in the garden and we called it a day.
After dismantling the studio we decided to drop down to Minehead on foot and grab a bite there. To my embarrassment all the places we tried were either closed or not serving food – in the height of the summer season. Very Minehead!
Apart, that is, from the Chinese restaurant so we thankfully ate quite well there. MTL hadn’t felt like stirring so we returned to the house and chatted more. By the time Kim and Rogan left I felt we all knew each other quite well and I was happy that MTL and M now realised that the bloggers I had already met were not an exception and the majority were decent, interesting people.