Reflections Sandbach – Meet Clive

Life in sunny Sandbach carries on but my reflections tonight to to the serious issue of mental health and friendship.

On any journey one makes, one will always, inevitably meet friends and foe. In a month that has seen mental health finally get Royal recognition and had its awareness raised to unprecedented levels, I thought it right to introduce you to Clive.On my journey I used to post to many photography based Facebook pages, seeking approval, searching for praise and beating myself up when it wasn’t forthcoming. Spent most of my life doing such but that is not for now. “What was wrong with it, why wasn’t it working?”

On such an occasion a comment appeared, I wish I could remember exactly what was said but I was intrigued. So a conversation, quite public, quite honest ensued. I had met Clive. A spade is a spade in his view. Doesn’t mince his words and can get to your soul within 30 seconds. A man who reads mankind like nobody I have ever met.

Over the weeks we got talking, Clive loves his photography and is a font of knowledge. We have a plan to produce an exhibition highlighting mental health issues. He has some work that is stunningly shocking and thought provoking. I have none, yet, except perhaps here? He suffers, like many of us do….

So, last year part of my extra curricular activities took me to The Smoke on regular occasions. I thought it would be good to meet him down there. I shall be honest, if your children or loved one said, ” I am off to London to meet a total stranger!” you would have slapped them…

With a certain amount of trepidation I saw a guy across the road, sun was shining but a slight icy- cold flow was running through my veins. Within minutes I had met the most influential person who would influence my work, thoughts both to photography and life for years to come. The sort of person you warm to instantly, an old friend, a cozy fire of a man or a warm pair of slippers that provides comfort and peace when needed.

We had, well I did, a fabulous afternoon clicking away. Clive is old school in that his kit is fabulous and all prime lens stuff. Provenance of each lens is known and he introduced to the famous David Bailey phrase, which I can’t repeat here… but light is light  so use what you have…

Since then I often think about him, we FaceTime on occasions and like true friends, it matters not if it has been a week, a month or whatever. He is a true friend and I thank him for that.

Mental health issues hold so many people back, not allowing them to reach their goals whilst those without compassion look down, denying help where needed. One day mental health issues will receive the same status and treatments as those other ‘killers’.

Thanks Clive for being there…