Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Brenda Murray, Local Historian

Brenda, 85, is a formidable woman, of that there is no doubt. Hale and hearty, she has not spent a day ill in bed for 45 years.

Her preferred mode of transport is the bicycle, and of modern technology she will have no truck. I can personally vouch for the fact that she does not lack omega oils. When I arrived at her neatly presented house for the arranged shoot there was something distinctly fishy in the air.

“You don’t mind if I finish off my lunch”, she stated, rather than asked, “I am running a little behind time”. It was grilled sardines and salad – "delicious", she declared, "my favourite".

No, Brenda’s raison d’ĂȘtre is to bring to the public attention the historic aspects of her native area, Seaforth, and by so doing help to reverse its decay. She is determined and perseverant and marches straight ahead in her mission. No one denies a request from Brenda Murray, and certainly not Brenda herself.

“ I have far too much to achieve still”, she informed me, “so will be here on Planet Earth for quite some time yet”.

A week after our shoot, Brenda arrived to collect a small print of this photo. She was appalled.

I found her reaction rather intriguing, for I thought she, of all people, would be taken with the well-preserved period details of her face. But no, Brenda is like anyone else after all. She preferred a more benign image with her bicycle!

Update February 11th, 2010: In my original version of this story, I mistakenly said that Brenda lived in a bungalow. When Brenda finally returned her release to me two days ago, this note was attached : "A bungalow would not suit my personality. Living in one is for people who have given up and want an easy life".

I rest my case