I blame Steely Dan.
Ever since they issued their ‘comeback’ album in 2000 Sarah and I have been pausing at particular points on sunny walks and saying ‘Look, two against nature!’
Steely Dan, 2000.
And increasingly over the years we’ve been taking ‘arty’ photographs of this moment. Us two, silhouetted against all kinds of nature. Sometimes we might be sat peacefully on a beach.
Like here on Ynys Llanddwyn, Anglesey.
Then, next minute when the sun comes out…
Autumn walks are particularly good for long shadows in mid-afternoon.
Note witch’s hat.
And last autumn, of course, after a year of steady rain, the boulder clay cliffs at Thurstaston were being washed away.
Much to Sarah’s amusement.
Cue spreading the cliff mud on me. A rare violent ‘Two Against Nature’
Another one. An apparent punch to the head on New Year’s Day at Greenbank House. Surely not?
Still dancing in May.
Still friends. And Sarah’s got another hat.
Over the years there have been variants. One against nature?
Not quite right. Where’s the other one?
This is Boxing Day 2002. It never developed into a viable series.
One that did is ‘Sarah’s feet in nature.’ Developing into ‘Both of our feet.’
On Iona in 2009.
And, too much of this for a few years there.
Feet in a hospital.
And this one looks at first glance like a ‘Two Against Nature.’
But is in fact an artily over- exposed photo of Sarah and an Anthony Gormley figure, on Crosby Beach in 2007.
Meanwhile, back on Iona.
This one of us from the back was taken by a passing American, a complete stranger.
He didn’t tell us he’d taken it. But later that day he recognised us, in the same hostel as he was staying. And said he’d taken the photograph as he’d never seen two people ‘So content with each other and so absorbed in each other and the place and the moment.’
That’s how we are. Life is a sequence of present moments. Some with long shadows.