Look here you lot! I know it’s a funny story, to have your camera pinched by a bored orangutang, but I have been feeling a bit sad after the lost lens debacle to be honest. I can replace the lens but it’s just that it was my first professional one. The lens I used on my first paid shoot. The lens that gave me an eye to see again in some of my darkest days after my Mum died and with her two year anniversary approaching I have grown thoughtful. But the fates don’t let me moon about too long and the opportunity to get to grips with the Nikon 35mm I have brought with me was presented yesterday.
It was my day off. I was doing that thing people who work six days a week and long, drawn out late hours do….lying horizontal on the sofa refusing to move! Whilst eating Khmer biscuits. It was as I crunched down on a banana cream (they are good, you should try them) that I heard the drums.
When I was a girl, my Mum and Dad would take me down to Padstow in Cornwall, UK, (the town of my conception but that’s a whole other story) to celebrate May Day. We would walk the streets following the sounds of the locals drums as the towns people sang in the Summer from sunrise to sunset. Quite what the Khmer crew were singing and drumming and dancing outside my front door about I am just not sure but from what I can garner the men in masks were playing monkeys. The white one is called Hanuman, the green one is called Palee. (The performers being monkey gods is a bit ironic really considering the reason for my recent mood! I’m glad there wasn’t an orange one…)
That aside, in their costumes and with their ‘fool’ like gestures I am reminded of West Country Mummers plays, of red and blue ribbons streaming from the main performers top hats in the breeze at Padstow and of my darling Mum singing and excited that summer has come again. I hold emotions fast as the Khmer performers and musicians dance for me and I watch. Feeling the drums deep inside. Then I grin. Then I laugh. And I run…for my camera. And a very, very, big tip.