Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Vintage(ish) Swim Mystery

12 years ago I was living in South London and on a viciously hot day in the summer, I was returning home from walking the dog in the park. I cut through an alley and in a small yard that opened out onto our road, there was a suitcase, torn and broken and lots of pieces of paper flapping around in a hot wind. I would have walked straight on by, as one always does walk past the detritus of urban life, if I hadn't happened to look down and see the rather handsome young man above staring up at me from the gravel. It turned out that the pieces of paper were all photos, maybe forty all told, and they had clearly been scattered from the suitcase. I scurried around picking up as many as I could find, they trailed down the pavement and some had made their way into gardens and yards but clearly, this suitcase was the source. The suitcase was completely empty. It was almost as if someone had chucked the suitcase from a passing car and given the photos the opportunity to escape at the same time. I handed them in to the police and after the requisite number of months had passed I decided to go and claim them myself (the suitcase I left behind). And I have had them ever since. They show, mainly, a family yachting holiday, I think in Northern France, but strangely there are almost no clues at all in these photos that could be followed up on. Even the name of the boat completely eludes the lens, despite the fact that the boat features in numerous photographs. All that can be said really is that here is a middle-aged, middle-class couple on holiday with, presumably, their son who is in his late teens or early twenties and the fashions would appear to indicate that this is the mid-nineties. I'm sorry there is no satisfying end to this story... they remain a mystery...

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