Peter Gabriel sang the line “I talk in pictures not in words” in his 1980 song “…And Through The Wire”. I think that way too. I’ve always had a very good imagination, I often have to fight hard NOT to visualise some of the things I hear, especially some of the sad accidents I’ve been told of in the last week. Abi’s mother told me of one in the studio, my parents of the death of a friend while we sat in a restaurant having dinner that evening. Best not go there. Being haunted by images in your mind is horrible. As they said in Inception, thoughts are viral. Once in they grow and it’s next to impossible to get them out.

The human brain is capable of some strange things when deprived of sleep. I’d gone to bed far too late after doing some image sorting editing and uploading, spending some time on Flickr, my own web site and a wedding album.

I got a phone call at 07:30 from someone who thought it was Friday not Saturday and couldn’t get back to sleep. In that strange state between being asleep and fully awake I had what must have been a lucid dream, my subconscious trying to get a message through. Abi was in the pink dress getting on a bus via the exit with a bunch of her friends, battling against the closing doors. What on earth? Why not the front of the bus? Why public transport? What was the significance of the doors? And why did I have some of the lyrics to “Perfect Stranger” playing over and over in my head? Okay I’ve been listening to Magnetic Man like crazy, being a new dubstep convert, but why that track when it’s one I love but don’t play quite as much as “I Need Air”, “Crossover” or “Getting Nowhere”? Sigmund Freud would have had a field day I’m sure.

Then it was like a whole £10 dropped hard and loudly in a sudden rain of pennies. A real O-M-G! moment!

15 months ago I’d got on a train to Victoria and stood by the doors. A young lady got to the doors and thought twice about getting on as it was about to depart. She kept looking back up the platform. Getting on she then called “Come on Abi, Blu!”. I only knew of one person called Blu… I’d photographed him and his friend Abi a number of days before as part of my couples street photography. I’d recently finished my 100Strangers project and still had the bug.


The images from June 19, 2009

Around 470 days after that windy photo moment I got to meet Abi again in a shop in town. I’m a little ashamed of myself for not making the connection. I knew the face, of that I was certain, but I just couldn’t place it, the context had changed. Sorry Abi! In my defence I must say that in 1.8 years that passed you’ve turned from a pretty girl into a beautiful young woman. My own daughter and step son have been growing up and changing, but as we see each other most days the differences are more subtle and go unnoticed until we either look back over old photos or Sophie tells me the contents of the wardrobe are too short yet again!