…is one of the precepts of creativity according to the studies that were part of my MBA.  That, and Live with Looseness I seem to recall (perhaps inaccurately).

The trouble is there were, according to the Open University, about a dozen of these and I can only remember two!  Not to worry though, I employ the latter in my day job as a trainer and facilitator, leaving me plenty of time to use the connection precept elsewhere.  It’s at the heart of my approach to photography really – see what a situation has to offer, accept the possibilities and then try to find an image or two from the process.  (Perhaps that’s another reason for the reactive nature of my work!)

It does pay dividends though to be open-minded.

In Yarm this weekend to kill some time while J’s daughter was taking a class, we might have sat in one of the many coffee shops that overlook the Georgian High Street.  Perhaps, as the weather was unusually warm we might have found a table on the pavement, at which point I would doubtless have been tempted to photograph the architecture of the buildings opposite, or perhaps the passers-by.  Such is the pull of Yarm’s main thoroughfare, that it does tend to distract you from other features nearby.  Just last week I had a conversation with a colleague about the fact that for most of my life I hadn’t really noticed the huge railway viaduct that bestrides the housing just west of the High Street.

So to shake myself out of this complacency I suggested we take our coffees for a walk down to the riverside, another part of the town that I’d previously neglected.  It was beautiful by the water, which flowed sluggishly by, rippled only by the slightest breeze and the occasional waterfowl.

Needless to say I captured some typical watery imagery.  All very picture postcard but nothing to write home about!

Looking for somewhere to bask in the sun we spotted a bench slightly removed from the river’s breeze, but next to a dishevelled individual hunched over a crossword puzzle book and alternating between cigarettes and swigs of Stella Artois from a supply of cans stashed beneath him.  That might have been off-putting for some but we sat down and were deep in conversation when he spoke up to enquire whether he might ask us a question.

And so began a fascinating conversation in which he;

  • declared that I have “banker’s hands”,
  • advised us of places to visit on our forthcoming trip to Barcelona,
  • told a number of weak jokes,
  • flirted with Janey,

and challenged us to provide a definition of love!

Not what we were expecting from our Sunday morning coffee break, but it did provide me with an opportunity to challenge him in return before booking a taxi to get him safely home.

Some would have shunned him or avoided the seat in the first place, but we choose to receive his wisdom, and of course a photograph…




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