I had come to the junction and was about to turn right on to the main road when my mobile phone rang; I hastily pulled into the bus stop lay-by and answered – it was BBC Three Counties Radio.
Sarah Jenkins was at the other end of the line and asked whether I might be able to contribute to a phone-in this very afternoon, on the subject of the morality involved in retouching women in advertisements that would be promoting the idea that all young girls should be size zero stick insects, if they ever hoped to look beautiful and attractive, and she even said someone had commented that retouching should become a criminal offence!
She asked a little bit about me and asked whether I had actually done any retouching of that nature, to which I replied that I had retouched photos of numerous actresses and personalities for other photographers and publishers, but not to specifically alter their bodies to conform to skinny and tall, as opposed to natural. I briefly mentioned a few subjects to establish that I could genuinely respond from my experience and said I would be happy to be contacted by the Roberto Perrone Show at 3pm.
I now had even less time to reach the gardens, take some photos and return to get a gallery of them up on the blog! An irony was that as I had set off initially, the wind was chilly so I dived back in to pick up and put on a sweater. Arriving at the centre, the wind had died and the sun was gaining strength and as I went around, I became quite hot and sticky, but I did mention to two gardeners: Jan and Bridey whom I meet there that I was taking part in the phone in, and let on what the subject was – I am not totally without vanity!
I rushed around hurriedly and as I was leaving one of the two, Bridey was sitting in the shade of an arbour unbeknown to me and I heard a familiar voice say: "I think someone maybe in a bit of a hurry!" I turned around, chuckled and grabbed two more shots before I reached the exit.
Although some shots had variants, I used all but one image and the number precisely completed the grid, so no waste, I felt reasonably pleased with the result and had started on the processing as the phone call came through at three o'clock.