On My Lunch Break

Recently, I took my camera – the big, bulky Fuji – into work.

The past couple of weeks (!?) have been beautiful and sunny; the light lovely and golden for most of the morning and most of the afternoon. And now, as it is lighter in the evenings, the light is quite perfect as I am cycling home. Close to home was a spiral staircase that I had never before noticed until it was illuminated in the golden light of the setting sun. It was a darn pretty spiral staircase, despite its insalubrious surrounds (the back / industrial end of a large hospital). I decided the following day that I would take my camera to work and make some photographs.

Just before lunchtime, I took a phone call which bled into my lunch hour. By the time the phone conversation finished, I was (a) starving and (b) short of time: there were only 20 minutes left of my lunch break. Scoffing down my salad (cous-cous with purple sprouting broccoli, grapefruit and haloumi), I rushed outside with my camera around my neck, forgetting to throw a coat on.

It was a little overcast, so instead of trying to capture the way the light shines on rows of identical terrace houses, I looked at all the beautiful spring flowers in my workplace’s neighbours’ yards. Some of the flowers were teeny-tiny and I, of course, wanted to macro the heck out of them. However, I was very, very cold. And shivering. This seemed to somewhat magnify camera shake (strange, I know) and I had to contort or prop or lean or hug myself to minimise the problem. Still I managed to capture a few nice shots (per me).

I find it hard to forget this forget-me-not.

I had intended to take some snaps and return to finish off my lunch well before my other workmates returned from their lunch. Unfortunately, I tarried due to the various challenges of macro-photographing flowers while shivering and not trespassing.

I was crouched beside a low brick fence, trying to capture a close-up of Southern England’s Last Snowdrops of 2010 when I heard my boss’ voice, “Oanh! What on earth are you doing?” He could not see that I had a camera. I leapt up. “Photographing flowers!” He laughed, a warm and amused laugh. “The daffodils?” “Nah, not them, they’re a bit boring. But the snowdrops! Aren’t they sweet? And I bet these are this year’s last ones!” As he was returning to work, I turned the camera off and trotted into the office with him. Lined up outside the office door were the firm’s smokers, taking their last few puffs before returning to work. I smiled at some of them but most were staring with slight frowns on their faces at the camera around my neck. I suddenly, and uncharacteristically, felt self-conscious.

Blushing, at least, warms you up.

Not actually the offending snowdrops - those photos failed. These were taken a day later in one of my town's central city parks.

Back at my desk, I put the camera into its bag and returned to work. My phone rang – it was the trainee in the department.
“Hi! What was happening at lunchtime?”
“I saw you rush out of your office with your camera and then you and Boss came back from lunch together? What was going on?”
“Oh, nothing. That was just coincidence.”
“Was there something exciting happening? Why did you take your camera?”
“Um, actually, I was just out for some photos of flowers in the neighbours’ yards. Boss caught me out. Like you obviously have as well!”
“Oh, so no bomb? No celebrities?”
“Er, no. Though I could make something up if that would be more interesting?”
“Okay. I heard – um, name a celebrity for me, um – Bear Grylls – yeah, him – was coming down to film a segment about that unexploded ordnance they found on L— Road a few weeks ago. He was going to dig into the pavement with his bare hands and -”
“Ha ha!”
“Sorry, nothing more exciting than some flowers. It’s Spring! And they’re so pretty!”
“Oh, right. Well, um.”
“Have I sparked gossip?”
“Yeah, we were just wondering, that’s all.”
“Nah, I’m boring.”
“Yeah. Okay, back to work! Bye!”

Most of my workmates already think I’m quite bonkers and odd and weird and nuts, but somehow, still pretty boring. Just rack this one up as another one.

A little field of forget-me-nots.



    1. wandering chopsticks
      I, too, am a fan of small and delicate flowers or perhaps small and intricate. I love when I get right up close to a flower – either with the camera or just with my eyes – I notice little details. Like the inside of the forget-me-not has mini-yellow flower inside, and on some flowers, white tendrils swirl from the yellow flower onto the blue petal.

      Plus, Brisbane is too warm for both these flowers so as old-fashioned as they are, they are rather exotic for me!


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