The editing continues...
I was smiling at the memories attached as I was watching some of the completed shots yesterday. Mainly shots of young children. They reminded me of my own children when they were younger. I took so many shots of Josh and Laila as they were growing up and didn't stop until I left the area. They'll make a nice archive of memories to leave for them. Their world is so different to ours. They're unfettered by the limitations of society, or worse, those that are self imposed. Discrimination, in the negative sense, doesn't exist in their minds until they become infected by adults.
When I think back to the images and faces of children in Nepal and India, I remember a difference: the children of Nepal, in the areas that I visited, still seemed children, innocent. The children that I saw in some of the cities of India were in a different situation. So many were orphans and beggars, wise little heads that already seen so much suffering and experienced a reality that only the poor can.
Part of the delay on these shots is down to going in for a week's therapy at one of the Combat Stress homes. The staff there are very gentle and know how to treat us. There was the usual mix there of guys from different campaigns; the earliest one at this meeting was Korea from the 1950s. It's the one place that I feel understood and accepted without question. I had a great laugh with some of the 'inmates' which always helps balance out the reason you're there..to work on your traumas. Coming away is always difficult because of the mates you make. It's very easy to fall back into that mode of friendship. It's completely different to the general sorts of friends you make in civvy street. A lot of civillian friendships in this country seem to be about what the person can gain from your friendship whereas in the forces you were ready to put your life down for your friends. I find civillian friendships difficult, apart from two, my friendships with Derek, Sue, Heather and Edna. Derek's a 45 year old author and comedian that'd make a good toupee model, as well as a poster boy for tofu. Edna's an 87 year old widow. Sue and Heather are former colleagues from the CAB Service. They're all very open people and accepting. They leap the hurdles that life puts in their way and always do something for others. That's what I love about my mates that are ex-mob, we'll do something for the greater good. I know that as veterans we're not all like that. you get good and bad in every barrel. Richie's involved in a charity called 'Combat Surf'. He helps veterans learn how to surf in the oceans around Cornwall. I was watching Richie's DVD of one of the events and it was great seeing those people enjoying themselves on the ocean.
I did do some autumn photography of the woods while at the home. A couple of the guys wanted tips on using their cameras and advice about editing etc. That helped me as it meant that I could divert my mind and have a gentler time of it, particulary as it was the week of 'Rememberance' with the parade on sunday and the one on the 11th followed by the two minutes silence. It was good getting out in the woods and sharing that time and space with them. I'll post those in due course.
Time for a hot soak.