The longest photo session I ever did took nearly nine hours. I think I should make a note of just how much effort went into it – not for my sake, but to recognise the infinite patience of my photographer/wife.
Things to do on a summer holiday…
I had figured out a route that would let me get some sunrise shots in an outdoor swimming pool with weird rock formations around it, a small picturesque fishing village, the ancient university town of St Andrews, and a scenic coastal railway station. I could bring changes of costume for each location, and get all this done by breakfast (or so I thought…)
First, I had to set the alarm for 2am. we spent an hour getting ready (me putting on makeup, she getting a thermos for hot drinks and snack bars for the next few hours).
Then I had to drive through the city centre dodging drunken students at 3am, when it turned out that my usual route out was blocked off by a labyrinth of bollards (the city’s transport chiefs love to mess around with car drivers) and further on at a bridge, by a police van with strobes (I assumed someone was having A Very Bad Night, either on the bridge or not long off it, but apparently nobody was hurt). We finally escaped town about an hour later than intended thanks to some hasty re-navigation. It then turned out that our destination -the Kingdom Of Fife– had turned into a massive 20mph zone.
So by the time we got to Cellardyke tidal pool, it was over 30 minutes after sunrise and about five minutes off the maximum high tide. The pool was completely submerged. Well, shit.
You get used to cobbles. Eventually.
Dainty, isn’t it? (The village, I mean…)
Some people live in great-looking little houses.
Instead, we went up the road to the tiny fishing village of Crail, where I found a quiet corner to change dresses and into my heels.
Early morning at a quiet little harbour…
Uh, just realised there’s a boat with ‘KY’ right next to my backside; you shouldn’t read anything into this.
On the up-side, there was nobody about, apart from a Japanese tourist taking photos, and a guy in the harbour sorting out his boat. No problem! The sun was over the horizon and the light was good.
It was like that when I got there…
Fancy visiting The Pends? It Depends.
After that, to save me constantly changing in and out of my heels, her ladyship drove us further up the coast to St Andrews. For the sake of helping to differentiate each scene, I wore different coloured tops and belts over the dress. I did try changing the dress in the car, but ended up giving a trio of male students heading home a bit of a show. Being St Andrews students, they were too polite to catcall, point, or stare for longer than thirty seconds (I think they managed about twenty).
If I move away, the pillar falls over.
This is where princes and princesses learn stuff and shiz.
…in which I pretend to be clever…
We got there before 6am, taking in photos of the cathedral and the Pends, the university (where any security guards would’ve gotten a weird show from all the cameras around St Salvator’s Quad), and the golf course… where two SUVs containing a group of gigantic US golfers with bad dress sense jumped out to take photos of themselves right at the spot we were hoping to go. Dammit.
So I photobombed them.
My only regret is not seeing the looks on their faces when they saw what I was doing right behind them. Sadly, most of the view was taken up with stands for The Open. If I gave even a mouse-sized shit about golf, I’d’ve realised this beforehand… but at least the early morning skies were spectacular. Incidentally, until 2014 the Golf Club was men only. If it still was, I could really have fucked things up for them.
Golf is a good walk spoiled.
We then drove back to Cellardyke, where the tide had lowered enough to reveal the pool. I’d been unable in my researches to find out how deep it was, and I had a choice of a decrepit paddling pool, or the larger pool where I couldn’t see the bottom.
The water was lovely.
I went for the paddling pool, going barefoot on smashed up 1930s concrete and seaweed. It was filled with a load of sea flora and small fauna (I hoped it wasn’t being filled with sewage or anything – it was manky enough as it was!).
This pool was ancient, decrepit, manky, and full of sea critters. The smile is fake.
Trying very hard not to fall backwards into the sea…
You can swim in it too (if you dare)…
By this time it was about 7.30am, and instead of having the place to ourselves (nice and quiet and private), I was being watched by joggers and dog-walkers and people from the nearby caravan site fetching supplies.
This pool has spent about 80 years getting smashed to bollocks by the North Sea.
One of them was an old man walking his dog. He sat on a bench and took in the Twist swimsuit show (which began with my beloved photographer saying, “Well, we’re here now. Come on, strip, motherfucker!”).
I bet that gull had a great view.
I struck every classic swimsuit pose I could think of, as best as I could. If only the old guy knew he wasn’t looking at who he thought he was looking at. Still, he had a big, wide, happy smile on his face. And when I say smile, I mean leer. He was clearly having the best start to his day he’d had in years.
Been seen to lean by a keen teen in jeans means I’m unclean?
It was getting busier, and more people were stopping to watch: TIME TO GTFO.
I made damn well sure to find a spot hidden by the sea wall where I could get changed out of my swimsuit… into a shiny little black dress. Regular readers will have realised by now that I’m not averse to standing out from the crowd. I can only assume that the caravan park crowd thought I was doing a walk of shame or something.
You’ll notice I’m kneeling in a paddling pool; there’s no way I was jumping into the one behind me.
We went for one last shoot at Aberdour railway station, this time watched only by Scotrail’s security cameras and a middle-aged couple waiting.
I’m amazed I could squeeze into this dress…
I’m trying to ignore the middle-aged couple staring at me…
I should point out that we still hadn’t had breakfast. Her ladyship was in dire need of coffee. I drove us back to Edinburgh, utterly exhausted.
I’m blue dab-a-dee Aberdour, dab-a-dee Aberdour…
My lack of peripheral vision from the wig only caused one near-RTA (thankfully the other driver was happy to let me know with generous application of their horn).
You just stick your thumb and and hitch a ride – that’s how trains work, isn’t it?
By the time we got back home, it was getting on for 10.30am. That’s eight and a half hours, people! THIS is why I love my wife to bits: there’s nobody else I’d go on adventures with! 🙂