Denver in 35mm – May 2013

Denver - 35mm (1)Film can be a royal pain in the ass; there’s no getting away from it. Entrusting your memories to flakey old equipment, chemicals that expire without giving any warning, and convoluted focussing systems can often leave only frustration, fraught with difficulty and pitfalls. However, it does mean that months after you’ve been somewhere and forgotten things, you get to re-discover them as the image literally develops before your eyes.

Denver - 35mm (25)The picture below was from the day we went to the Lakeside Amusement Park. Grace was especially keen to take me here… from the first time we ever met actually, but nobody else was all that enamoured by such a plan. I think the words were something along the lines of ‘Yeah maybe we’d go if we wanted to get stabbed’. To be fair, I’m sure that’d make it feel more like home. The place was like some sort of ramshackle, kitschy old attraction filled with obscure rides that definitely wouldn’t pass health and safety legislation in the UK. That didn’t bother me, till my glasses got all scratched up on some rollercoaster… which I can only describe as being some sort of bullet that you cram in, which then violently burls you round at 180 degrees as if it’s going to throw you over the edge to a sticky death below. I normally trust the engineering and regulations of places like this, but Lakeside…? Hmm. You should really go look at the website linked above. It’s a 90s dream. Apparently you can even get married there. Now there’s an idea…. Grace was very apologetic about the lens incident, but for somebody who wears these things to the Cathouse, I tried to explain that that was the least stress that they’ve been put through over the years.
Denver - 35mm (2)This is Scott, studying the menu at a seafood place in the ‘Highlands’ neighbourhood in Denver. The city is full of names derived from Scottish origin, but I can never get used to this one. For me, the Highlands is a vast, windy area with jagged mountains… not a trendy suburban district, so it’s always a strange juxtaposition. Perhaps stranger though, is when you consider where Colorado is situated in the North American continent… and begin to question just how on earth they get fresh fish in. Have a look on Google Maps if you aren’t sure what I’m on about. But hey, this is America – and where there’s a consumerist will, there’s a way.

Denver - 35mm (3)We (or at least Scott and I) opted for mussels and chips – which were usually $15, but half price on Tuesdays… working out at something like £5, which was definitely a bargain. I’ve had dreams about that food ever since, and it’s almost enough to sway me into migration.

That said, I don’t just look this happy purely because of the seafood… it’s just a shame that all of the best pictures of Grace and I seem to be out of focus. Hmm… Probably shouldn’t dwell on that too much, or I might be forced to come to the conclusion that I’m like an old pinup model, and begin to smear vaseline over the lens (just the lens – steady) before anybody takes pictures of me.

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Denver - 35mm (6)Can you tell I’m wearing a pair of sunglasses over my regular gegs below? It’s not a great look, but needs must. I’ve finally given in and ordered some prescription sunglasses. Have you ever been out in Glasgow and it gone from pishing it down to blinding sunshine? Okay, admittedly maybe not that often, but it does happen – and for those of us afflicted with less than perfect eyesight, it causes a problem… partly because inserting contacts is a labourious task at any point.

In this I’m drinking some strawberry moonshine mixed with mango ‘lemonade’ (which is still rather than fizzy over there… baffling) – which has real, full strawberries flavouring the booze. It’s very alcoholic, and one of the tastiest drinks I’ve come across. I may well be forced to import it.

Denver - 35mm (23)There are geese that live at Natalie’s flat, where we were staying. I had a traumatising incident during my childhood where I was chased through a field by a flock of these beasts, and so I’ve never forgiven them. Myself and gees have been, from that moment, mortal enemies. There was no chance I was getting as close as she did.

The film has also introduced a bizarre sort of vortex on the right hand side, which is quite pleasant.

Denver - 35mm (7)We played tennis one afternoon in the sun. Well, other people played tennis. I took part in the time-honoured tradition of kicking a football against a fence for a while, complete with the annoying chinking sound of a chain fence. We all know what I’m talking about.

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Denver - 35mm (8)Scott was very proud of his lawn-mower, and I have to say I liked it too. I enquired about why we didn’t have one at my mum and dad’s house, to which I was told: “Aye, I’m sure the nice manual lawnmower was shiny and rust free in the American climate, but it’s not quite the same story when it’s left in a garage in Glasgow for 8 months out of the year.”

Aye, fair point.

Denver - 35mm (24)This is when we went out for ‘Asian’ food. I have to be honest and say I can’t quite remember what region it was from… Japanese or similar I’m sure. They had huge koi fish floating around outside which you can just about see… I want one for the flat. Think I’d get away with hanging it out the window in High Street…? Hmm, maybe not.

I can hear Grace’s voice in this picture now: “What are you even doing?” – forever unimpressed with me taking pictures.

She’s just going to have to get used to it.

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Denver - 35mm (13)It was Cinco de Mayo whilst I was over there, and we got to abuse the fact that we had children in our midst to have a crack at smacking a pinata to bits.

Denver - 35mm (9)I actually have one of these sitting in the living room from years ago. I couldn’t bring myself to smash it up. Not sure where I’d even hang it up mind you.

Denver - 35mm (10)Natalie was a dab hand at this. I think she has issues she needs to work out.

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Denver - 35mm (18)Before long, the beast was felled… and all that remained was… well… something rather sinister.

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Denver - 35mm (21)Kodi took the head with us when we headed out later in the day, and used it to bewilder passing cars.

Who says you have to grow up?

Denver - 35mm (16)We kicked a ball about, despite it being stupidly hot. Chris managed to kick it right into the face of one of the kids… and I laughed heartily purely because it wasn’t me.

Of course, then I managed to repeat the trick to the very same child.

Well done Stephen.

Denver - 35mm (22)It all got too much for Grace.

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Denver, Colorado – USA
May 2013
Lomo LC-A
Konica VX200 – expired 2002

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