According to wikihow, there are 15 steps to becoming enigmatic. Well I can’t comment on all of them, but in recent days I’ve been involved in an exchange of emails that certainly demonstrate some of the steps listed, in particular the following:
- Keep silent more often than not
- Don’t be so keen to fill in the gaps
- Be cautious about how much information about yourself that you share
- Make people work hard to get close to you
My correspondent goes by the name of Mrs Smith. No forenames or even an initial. Just the most common English surname. Of course it might be genuinely her name, but she’s giving nothing away.
Looking for a new piece of inspirational coastline to shoot at sunrise I asked her advice as someone who walks her dogs on the east coast. Not the Durham coast, or even the North East coast. The East Coast. Suitably vague.
Eventually she recommended Seaham to me. “Aha.” I thought, “Progress”. I offered to share my pictures with her.
Seemingly not any picture will do however. She already owns some lovely imagery of the coast. I’d better be on my mettle then. Oh and she really likes black and white pictures. Me too, but that brings a whole new level of challenge when you’re trying to capture a sunrise where you can usually rely upon the rich colours to do most of the work. Nevertheless, I picked up the gauntlet.
Arriving at Seaham at about 8.00 am, it was still dark so I thought I’d have plenty of time to find my location, set up my tripod and shoot away. First realisation that I’d underestimated the lady in question. My usual haunt has two miles of unbroken and accessible shoreline running from Whitburn to Roker. Get to Seaham and it’s take your choice time. Seaham Hall Beach maybe, or Vane Tempest? Continue south past the harbour and there’s Chemical Beach, which is itself separated by Noses Point from Blast Beach. I parked at Noses Point and walked towards the harbour. Plenty of cliffs but no way down. At least none that I could see in the first light of the day.
Even the harbour was protected by tall fencing at this side, so that was out. The sun had broken free of the horizon now, and I returned to my car duly defeated. Stopping briefly by the North Pier where there was less fencing I got one decent picture and then headed home. To add insult to injury, a few minutes later the sky burst into flame though by now I was miles from the shore.
Fifteen love to Mrs Smith? Not quite for this was Thursday and I’d promised the pictures on Friday. This was just a recce.
Friday brought a different outcome.
Wonder if she’s called Angelina? I’ll never know.