I am not being sarcastic in my title. I do believe the elderly have an inner beauty that others lack. Sometimes it comes across as a serenity, a resignation with their lot or indeed a deep satisfaction with a life well lived. Other times it comes across as an outer grumpiness (think Victor Meldrew) that masks a soft heart underneath. We had the ‘angry young man’ so why not the angry old man? As I slide downhill into late middle age I feel proud of being a curmudgeon. I like being grumpy. I’ve earned the right! And I look forward to mellowing when I am in my dotage. But not just yet please. My aunt, may she rest in peace (although I doubt it) was the most warm-hearted and grumpiest person I ever knew. Never married she did so much good for others but was a staunch Labour party supporter and would throw things at the TV whenever Margaret Thatcher came on. Sterling stuff! “That ****** woman”, she would shout. Hard to argue with the sentiment. She had little tolerance for well, anything much. And I take after her, I fear.
This lady smiled and waved at us as we walked through Sai Kung today. I approached her and asked in my broken Cantonese, por por, ho m’ho yi ying nei? Grandma, may I take your picture? She consented. I took only 2 frames and this was my preferred shot, in both colour and black and white. (For the techies this was at ISO 3,200 with the 5D mk III).
I will have a print made and take it to her.
I hope you like her.