Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The lovely Ian

I saw Ian the other day again, (for those of you who don't know what I am referring to you can see my original post here).  Last Wednesday was is the first time I had seen him since I took his photograph in the cafe which I met him at, before the snow set in and ground Edinburgh to a standstill we kept missing each other ;-( but then there he was and his face lit up as did mine and Anders as he is just such a delightful man.

He was sitting there having a coffee, and Anders and I asked if we could join him which he was keen to have us do.  We chatted, and he said he had been thrilled to get copies of the photos together with a photograph of Marvin wishing him a Merry Christmas.  We asked him how he had been keeping as I was genuinely concerned how he had been with all the snow we had had.  We had not been across town for nearly 3 weeks because of the snow, so wasn't sure how he had been, but he said fine.  He had dressed up warmly, and gone outside he wasn't going to let some snow stop him from living, and you know that really made me so happy.

Proudly showing us the other photographs that had been taken  as he knew I had been keen to see them.
We carried on talking, and he showed me some more boxes of sweeties he had purchased to give to people for Christmas.  He said he had bought each of the people who lived in the sheltered housing complex where he lived a box, and also all of the staff in the cafe and had even gone to the effort of purchasing Polish sweeties for them as there are a few there who are from Poland.  Anders and I were just so genuinely happy to see him and to see the joy in his face and knowing he was doing something nice to the people who he felt made his every day special too.  What a charming man he really is.

As we were now chatting like friends, I asked him what he had done in his younger years and he said he had been "a rover".  I burst out laughing and said "a charming rover I bet" to which he giggled.  He then explained that he had had many different jobs and said the main thing in life is to know the basics.  If you know the basics you can survive and get on in life and clearly that principal worked so well for him as here he was happy and content.  

He said he wanted to bring in the other photographs that had been taken to show me so we agreed to meet him in the cafe the following day at 12.30 which we did.  He was there waiting for us and as soon as he saw us his face lit up and we sat down.  Anders and I had our usual bowl of soups and Ian said he just wanted a Latte as he had already had a nice bowl of soup.  He then proudly showed me the photographs which I just loved as they had captured the man Ian wanted to be, relaxed and confident.  In his head he said he was still young, but he was aware every time he saw himself that he was no longer a young man, but in his head he was and it was hard for him to sometimes accept that.  He wasn't sad about it, he said it in a very matter of fact way, and I looked at him and smiled and said, I think that is true of us all, if we are lucky enough to be all there upstairs, then that is how old we feel which usually is a lot younger than we really are.

Ian and the favourite of the two pictures he had had taken by the Photography student because he looked so relaxed.
He then presented me with a copy of his favourite of these two photographs as a Christmas present which I was so shocked and delighted at getting.  It is such a sweet thing for him to have done and I told him I would have it framed and would cherish it, which I really will.  Anders and I were both really blown away by it as clearly the chance encounter we had because of my camera was something that made an impact on us all.


I told him I was so touched and delighted by it and also that he really had not needed to to which he replied "you did a kind thing for me by taking my photo and keeping your word in saying you would give me copies.  Not only that but you also gave me a Christmas photograph which you didn't have to and it is something that meant a lot to me".  I replied "Ian, you were the one that did me the great kindness in allowing me to photograph you" and we all smiled and then I just gave him a huge hug and kiss to say thank you to which he said "you have sparkly eyes too" and then looked at Anders and said "your wife said I had sparkly eyes, but she has them too" and I did at that very moment, how could I not, he was just so delightful and had done such a kind gesture that was so completely unexpected and so heartfelt and welcomed.  

Who would have thought that my Olympus Pen would have made such an old man happy because of taking his photograph, that is really lovely.

Merry Christmas!

the long road


  1. A brilliant story with this delightful series of photos! It is so wonderful to hear that impromptu moments can offer treasured memories!

  2. What a beautiful story and memory for you all to share!

    Merry Christmas!

  3. What a sweet man. He has such a kind, wise face.

  4. What a wonderful picture. He sounds like a wonderful person.
    So glad that you shared your story with us.

  5. It's so great that you've met such a wonderful new friend.

  6. I am so glad you all liked reading the story behind the photographs. It came as a bit of surprise I have to say but then life is like that I suppose when you start to see things through the eye of a camera!

  7. He is so lovely...he does have kind,sparkly eyes. Have you told him that many of us are now getting to share in his smile? Those photos of him with the other photos are so great, really enjoyed the post and meeting Ian again. Funny how people we don't even know can affect our lives in some sweet way. Perhaps that's his gift and yours. Feeling better today??

  8. I am so glad you enjoyed this Anika, and it is funny how these things happen. My throat is still really sore and Dexter and I could both stand in for Rudolph if Santa gets stuck over here! Red noses, sore throats and just found out my sister now can't come over as her cat is really really unwell where there is the potential for him dying the same way our cat did earlier this year :-( On the bright side, at least she won't get this cold from us which I wouldn't want to spread to anyone.