Back In ’77

Photo: D. Stirling

I first got into photography when my cousin suggested we should visit our local photo supplier and buy a couple of Minolta cameras and a few Rokkor lenses. So we did — along with tanks, chemicals, trays and an enlarger. And film, of course.

We shot just about anything and everything. On one occasion we travelled to our impressive parliament buildings which were closed because of ongoing sectarian violence. In 1976, while local politicians raged at one another and the death toll mounted, our Province was governed from Whitehall (direct rule). Under a cold blue sky we harmlessly shot slide film for an hour or so, and met no one. The entire area was deserted with none of the barriers, gates and chains we see today. I still have the slides I took that morning.

The following summer below the Mourne Mountains my cousin returned to our rented caravan and woke me from a very pleasant afternoon doze by calling my name over and over. Not one bit pleased — to put it mildly — I stuck my head out the door to see what on earth he was going on about.

It’s probably the only photograph of myself that I’d want to keep. Sadly, age kept coming while the hair kept going.

The same day.
Photo: Northern Ireland Parliament Buildings.


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