This year- Day sixty-two. (england/scotland)
I spent hours today organizing photos on flickr and scanning in 35mm prints and polaroids from the closet. I got through the England/Scotland trip from 2001 and a bunch of random polaroids from the last 10 years. It was nice to have a project and nice to look at photos that I haven't looked at in years. I barely remember a lot of the things in the England/Scotland photos unfortunately. Usually I remember everything. Either I'm getting old or I just don't have a lot of reasons to think about it anymore. I'm not sure which. Probably a combination.
A little background. Mike and I had been together for over a year and had talked about going on a trip when we heard that plane tickets had dropped to like 250 round trip on Virgin. We had an annoying fight about it because he wanted to go and kept saying that but never actually asked for time off or looked into really buying the plane tickets. Shades of much more annoying things to come I guess. But we did get it together and booked it and planned to visit some of my family. Then 9/11 happened and we thought it might be canceled (trip was in October). Everything worked out and I didn't even get overly harassed at the airport (that time, other times were different). A lady in full chador was getting far more worked over than I so I was in the clear. Weirdly, they pulled Mike aside and searched him at security. Also, we had to arrive four hours before the flight because of heightened security post 9/11. FOUR HOURS!! They had a big lego station to play with, which was probably for kids, but we built crap for over an hour to kill time. I barely go an hour in advance now if I can help it. Four hours! That's nearly how long it takes to fly to freaking England.
Long story short, the trip was great. It was awesome to see Denise and Lee and it was awesome to see so much of the UK. We had a blast and realized that spending 10 days together was a breeze, which came up three months later when moving in together was put on the table. In other words, if we were still together, this would be one of those gross memories that couples have that are sickeningly sweet and obnoxious to everyone who is alone have. Trust me I understood that even then. And kind of loved it despite myself. Everyone should have times like that, just as long as they restrain themselves from ever speaking baby talk. That is unacceptable under any circumstances.
The night that we got to Perth I loaded black and white film into the camera. When we woke up in the morning it was a completely dreary day and so was the next day so up until the end of our time at Scone Palace, the photos are really muddy. Weirdly, 8 years later they look really haunted and aged. I kind of like it better now than I did at the time.
We stayed with my cousin Denise and her husband Lee and their kids. Pierce was 4 and Grace was 2 at the time. They were little balls of adorable wrapped up with an english accent bow. Pierce was in the habit of taking his pants off in the bathroom and then running out, through the house, yelling "I've lost me trousers!!" until he was caught and wrangled back into them.
The left clock tower is empty for some ghastly reason that I can't remember. Mike's friend Michael and his girlfriend were there that week as well so when we were in England we hung out some. It was fun. One thing I remember is standing during the ghost tour and the other Michael putting his arms around my waist... not realizing that I was me.... and I assumed it was Mike. When we realized the mistake it was hilarious. Ack! It was like a sitcom gaffe and not something that really ever happens. But it did. The year after that trip they got married. Unfortunately he told me recently that things did not work out. It's really too bad, I like them a lot.
We happened upon a sweet Bob Gruen photography exhibit in Camden from the years he spent touring with the Clash. I have a print from the show somewhere that was up in the old apartment but never made it up in this one... I was just thinking about it the other day oddly enough.
It stinks that I haven't gotten to go on a real vacation like that in so long. The road trip across country was awesome but that was in 2004. After that every trip was either going to see Mike, him coming to see me, or going home for Christmas. Now it just seems to be the time I'm not working and don't want to spend money on trips. It's a shitty cycle. Going to Mexico this year was a good idea and super fun even if the locale wasn't ideal and the trip only lasted like 3.5 days.
All of us marshmallows want to go to the UK so if plane tickets get cheap enough we are going to try to make that happen but only play a few times so it's more of a vacation.
I like to think that I don't look that much different from how I looked 8 years ago but the proof is in these photos. I really do look different. In some ways better (I no longer cut my own hair) and in some ways worse (yikes, have I gained weight). I also just generally look older. Better glasses now though! See, I am trying to balance it with positives. I probably generally am better put together now too for whatever that's worth.
A year ago scanning these photos would have been really upsetting and depressing. Today it was fun. Baby steps.
In the interest of full disclosure, it wasn't awesome to see all the photos of us together, but I just didn't scan those and moved along. Even the really good ones. What a waste of a flattering photograph!