In just over a weeks time I will be back at work preparing for the new intake of students. The summer has flown in and I haven't managed to do a quarter of what I wanted. Creatively I have only managed to take photographs on one occasion at the Collodion Workshop I attended in June. My time has been dominated by parental duties - looking after my daughter as she recovers from surgery.
Today, for the first time in weeks, I felt confident to leave my teenage charge and fulfil a commitment to visit my friend the composer David Ward. David lives a couple of hours drive away from me in rural Aberdeenshire.
Finding my way to his countryside idyll would have consumed me with terror before I had a smartphone with Sat Nav. It is fair to say that technology has made my world larger and widened my skill set. Whether it be an App that can navigate me around the globe or a website that allows me to view video tutorials from practitioners of infinite specialism. Indeed even my own website has enriched me, through the cultivation of new friendships and rekindling misplaced ones.
The journey northwards was leisurely and affecting. I wondered whether I would be able to distinguish the difference between the Aberdeen, Angus or Fife countryside if abducted, blindfolded and dropped off in a country lane. I am sure there would be clues.....the colour of the soil, the construct of a farm dyke, the style and materials in which a cottage had been built, the ripeness of the crops.
I arrived late morning at Davids humble abode, a two storey cottage hidden down an unassuming single track lane. The worn signage protecting its identity.
It has been a while since we last met but there where no awkward silences. We chatted about what was going on in each of our lives and the creative projects preoccupying us. At the moment David is half way through a collaborative project writing a commissioned chamber opera on the theme of Brexit. After lunch I was treated to a private preview of what David had written so far, a synthetic computer synthesis replacing the orchestra and singers. To accompany, David turned the pages of sheet music and conducted so that I may understand where the lyrics fitted. I was moved by his kindness and sharing.
The drive homewards was equally leisurely and affecting.