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  • Writer's pictureTony Holden


Do you enjoy looking at photos – how do you respond to them?

This recent photo is Tony in a wheelchair pushed by Barbara in Epping Forest [photo by Victoria]. [1] Anyhow, we got talking about photos at a time when seeing those we love has been curtailed. [2] I know that not everyone enjoys having their photo taken. [3] And again, some people find looking at old photographs leads to painful memories of those they have ‘loved and lost.’ [4] But, occasionally there’s something in a photo that “really takes your eye.” [5] Roland Barthes, in a wonderful book, describes most photographs as having an average effect. He uses a Latin word [‘punctum’] to suggest that this general response to a photograph is sometimes ‘disturbed:’ it is like “an accident which pricks me, or bruises me, is poignant to me, is an arrow that pierces me” [‘Camera Lucida’ 1980].

Footnote - I don’t need the wheelchair indoors for this rare neurological movement disorder diagnosed 2010.

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May 05, 2021

Lovely to see you both - hope you are both well. I don’t know if you remember me, I was at school with Sian and Adam at Sandringham Primary School.

My name is Anusree Biswas and my mother and I were talking about your kindness Barbara and wanted to say hello. My email is

kind regards,


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