Someone once said that an image is a collection of lines and shapes that evokes memories and emotions (*), and if this is the case, I am addicted to images. Like any serious collector – be it of beermats, vintage tractors, or artificial limbs – I am always in search of new and pleasing images to add to my collection. Unlike most serious collectors, I am surrounded by possibilities and unchallenged by competitors: which brings me to the man with the hat.
I found him at the edge of a picture of my late Auntie Miriam, who was posing on a boat on Lake Windermere eighty years ago. Far be it from me to suggest that Auntie M should be ignored (just ask my brother what happened to him when he once tried to sneak past her cottage window!), but I have cropped her out, and set my focus directly on her chance fellow-passenger, the man with the hat. There is something enormously pleasing about the pose, something casual but relaxed about the stance, something slightly mysterious about the subject of his concentrated stare, and something enigmatic about his smile. Thus, the man with the hat is welcomed into my collection and takes his place in my virtual gallery.
(*) Having done a Google search for this quotation and found no results, I am inclined to think I invented it!