If one photo can say a thousand words, how many words would replace the loss of 206 photos?

Through an unfortunate mishap I managed to lose all my photos from the first five days of holiday. Gutted is not strong enough a word to describe my reaction. There was swearing, kicking of hay bales, a strop to my favourite ‘I’m just going to sit here and contemplate the world’ spot [yes, I have one of these in St Denis des Murs], tears, general moping, more tears, an angry exchange of words and even more tears when it was clear that even a computer couldn’t rescue them. Most of all I was livid with myself for being so stupid.

However, one of the more helpful conversations I had after the event was about how we seem to be so obsessed with photographically recording every moment, as though if we didn’t, it could never have happened. Monday’s shots included the laying of the first roof beam and the removal of the final tiles – we know both these events took place. I may have lost some arty shots, but in all honesty, who needs a shot of a wine glass shadow or endless pictures of people in hard hats playing on scaffolding? [Incidentally, do you want to know the least helpful conversation? Someone who thought I’d respond positively to being told that I was I was acting childishly, should just get over it and improve my mood by burning stuff. That didn’t go down well.]

So what of the photos that went astray? This may be even more boring than sitting through a slideshow of 500 nearly identical photos of waves, but I feel a need to record them, just so my efforts weren’t in vain, and to ease the pain in my artistic heart…

Most guttingly, I lost photos from my afternoon in Paris, including my first trip to Shakespeare & Co, the Pantheon, Sorbonne and some general shots of what Paris looks like in Spring (answer: not that magical when the sun isn’t shining and it’s sporadically drizzling), oh, and the Sacre Coeur & streets of Montmartre at night. On the plus side there are no longer images of quite an entertaining (and mammoth) Parisian night out, including a shot of me with a waiter who was coerced to pose with me.

Shots of the neighbours’ petite chevals can be replicated, but what cannot are my daily progress shots of Chateu Duffy – what it looked like when we returned for the first time since August; the quantity of weeding and strimming conducted on Good Friday; the amount of hay shifted on Easter Saturday; or the dramatic developments on Easter Monday when half a roof of tiles vanished, along with many rafters, and began to be replaced with brand new wood. But perhaps it’s better to have lost the shots of dangerous feats? I suspect the wife of the man found swaying a roof-beam high above ground will be grateful not to actually see it with her own eyes.

It’s the fun that is most irreplaceable though. A photographic memory of a hilarious prank played during a game of Hearts in a thunderstorm. The antics of a group of adults Easter egg hunting – including an utterly fabulous shot of our 70 year old chef looking utterly delighted with the discovery of a teeny-tiny Lindt egg. Or the comedy moment when someone sat in a sun lounger only for it to collapse, sending their wine all over them. On the other hand, I’m kind of pleased to be without the countless shots of one particular friend who likes to use their finger inappropriately when they feel that the photo is not justified.

You know what though. There’s one photo I know you’ll be gutted to miss.
Did you know that it’s tricky to put a hoodie on while wearing a hard hat? Yes. I guess you probably thought that was obvious. I didn’t though…however, knowing my own stupidity, that feat will probably be repeated.

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