If people are that anxious, they make me anxious. They make me too afraid to snap, as if by not taking the perfect picture of them as they want to be seen, I’m failing them and they’re failing me. It’s the reason why, I suppose, I don’t have lots of pictures of people on this blog, despite wanting, desperately, to take them. I simply don’t have the guts to say, once I’ve taken a pic, ‘Oh god, that’s dreadful, your teeth are awful! Let’s do that again, shall we?’ (Joel and Ted don’t count, of course. They never fail me.)So, that’s why I can’t show you (yet?) a pic of the amazingly lovely old Italian woman who comes to the restaurant for a drink in the afternoon with her husband and Lucky (‘Lookie’) the dog. She nearly squeezes me to death each time she sees me, and brings food. Oddly enough, several customers bring food as gifts: this Italian woman is an amazing cook – her last offering was a mix of baked aubergine, tomato and fennel. She goes to Italy to buy her fennel because she thinks the stuff you get here is too moist. She’s not even a foodie… she’s just Italian. I can’t cook back, of course, not at her level. I wash out her tupperware containers and return them filled with thank-you scented candles, postcards, whatever. She counters with yet more food. It could go on forever. But if I point the camera at her, she goes wild. There’s no point in trying. When I do get good shots of people, it seems to be because they’re calm and in their element, like this one of Elie, the chef at the restaurant, in the kitchen. He is really a terrific chef, and I’m not saying that just because he’s ours. Yesterday he did a duck terrine with four-spice powder (not five!), with an unusual clove-y flavour. Jeez, can he talk food, however. He and Joel’s uncle can spend hours discussing how to roll a ham, hams they have loved, hams they have hated, hams with too much salt, hams from this or that part of the world, the price of hams… You can insert pretty much any word instead of ham, too. I tried to take a picture of them talking ham, but they both suddenly perked into photo mode and looked like… they weren’t talking about ham anymore. Maybe I need a telephoto lens, so no-one knows I’m there.
Anyway, there you have it. That’s my explanation for why I’ve posted a load of photos of amazing trompe l’oeil windows, which I notice every day, instead of people.