I was 12 when I took this photo. The first photo ever taken with my first camera, bought with my very own money I had been given on my Confirmation Day. Cards had come in the post from Aunts and Uncles, each one wishing me well and each with a crisp £5 note inside. The money had given me the chance to buy something I had always wanted. My very own proper camera.
I loaded the film in nervously and held the camera in my hands. 27 was the number in the round window. 27 opportunities to capture an image. "But what?" I asked my Granny who was staying with me. "Anything you like", she replied. I asked could I take a photo of her. She smiled and agreed. We walked into the garden where the sky was blue, the sun shone brightly, she wore a deep fuchsia pink cardigan and clutched her prayer books tight in her hands. Her hair was white and fine, blowing with the breeze that sent ripples through the green leaves behind her. I told her to say cheese, she smiled, I clicked.
It took a couple of weeks to use the rest of my precious 26 chances. I don't know what photos I took with them. They are long disappeared, in a dusty box, who knows where. But the first photo. It was beautiful. I was so proud of it. Ten years later I was given a small silver photo frame as a wedding gift. It could hold an image smaller than a credit card. I found that first photo. With the majority of the greenery cut away the image of my granny perfectly filled the small frame.
And now almost three decades after it was taken the photo still sits in the frame. The image has faded, washed out, only a hint of the original colours remain. The frame is dulled and has had a few bumps as it has weathered the years and the moves from house to house, country to country. But the memory. It is still bright and fresh, rich fuschia and glossy green, blue skies, white hair and love, so much love that the years cannot fade...