As of today it has been more than 20 years since my brother passed away.
He would have been dismayed by the Labour Party condition but may well have embraced the SNP transformation. I shall never know.
He would still, I am sure, have been cheeky, funny, irreverent, charming and serious about facing up to inequality. I think he would have been a Teacher. He would still be thin and would have laughed at my fat belly!
All of this is supposition. He shall never be any more than he already was. Which was more than enough.
As a young man two people in particular seemed to me to have been blessed by some God.
They died roughly a year apart when I was in my very early 20’s.
One was a musician and the other was a photographer.
Andrés Segovia dominated classical guitar. Some felt he was too vain and assumed too much. His version of Recuerdos de la Alhambra – which featured as a theme tune on a popular tv programme – was often the first, and only, classical guitar many people knew. The other celebrity player was his “pupil” John Williams. Those two, along with the wonderful Julian Bream, seemed to have everything I could ever want. They travelled, they met artists and they played guitar beautifully.
My other passion was photography. For good reason, Henri Cartier-Bresson was always singled out as the doyen. The pinnacle. He was a master of his craft and very widely known. However, for me, the photographer I admired most was Ernst Haas. He managed to take wonderful colour and black’n’white images. His striking image of an oily sky in midwest America adorns most picture shops on the high street and is even sold in Ikea. It is nothing to scoff. It is because he took images with colour which you can look at time after time and still enjoy. Few photographers manage such balance and composition.
Google Ernst Haas and look at the range of his images – or visit his Estate website then realise he was pioneering this. He was discovering colours and shape in photographic images. Faster and with more acuity than most.
I just realised it has been almost 30 years since both these men passed away. It seems no time at all.