Summer Evenings in the Pub

A couple of weeks ago I was working at Celtic Manor Golf Course – the venue for the 2010 Ryder Cup – just outside Newport in Wales.

Somehow, and I have no idea why, television cameramen seem to end up in the pub a lot. Whether it’s at lunch time, after work in the evening or even, as has been known, for breakfast. Perhaps it is the transient nature of our job and a consequence of being freelance. We congregate together to catch up with each other, gossip (about the industry and upcoming jobs), stave off the demons of insecurity that come about when you are freelance and fight the loneliness of being away from home and staying in hotels. Either that or we are all borderline alcoholics.

Many people assume it is a life of glamour and travel to exotic places, but it isn’t. Personally speaking the majority of my jobs do not involve travel – unless a crowded rush hour London Tube counts – but I am lucky enough to occasionally work on various golf tournaments (and no, I do not play golf). These do involve being away for about five days at a time and while I mostly seem to end up standing in the driving rain in Scotland, Wales or Ireland for hours on end I do sometimes get lucky. There is nothing more pleasant than working outdoors in the sun in Spain, France or Portugal for a few days.

My plan a few years ago, when I first started working on the golf, was to take my camera with me whenever I could and hopefully find the time to slip off and take some photographs. Unfortunately the hours and locations we work at (and the magnetic pull of the pub) make this close to impossible. Until Celtic Manor a few weeks ago.

The sun had been shining all day. The location on the River Usk and a relatively early finish made me think that this time, I was in luck. Then word went out that there was a pub that served fantastic food nearby owned by Chris Evans called The Newbridge Inn, right on the banks of the river. Four of us planned to meet there (you know who you are Murray, Pat and James) and I felt sure, deep in my bones, that I would get there just as the evening sun was making it’s way over the horizon, reflecting in the river, all beautifully photogenic. And it was. It was a gorgeous location, and I could so easily have made my way down to the river. There was a fallen tree in the water creating a beautiful reflection, full of potential. But…but we had arrived just twenty minutes too late as it was all, only recently, in shadow and it had been a long day and the company was good and the pint so cold and the food delicious and…

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