Picture of a judge's wigThis Is Not A BLOG!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 01/12/14

Out Of Shot

I think I've remarked before that I dislike having my photograph taken.

I seem to be OK when it's one of those formal jobs, when I'm doing my Old Stoneface number for a building pass or something along those lines. But if I so much as dare show the slightest animation in the fizzog, then something goes wrong. And if I go so far as to smile (even with my teeth in), well...

I was provided with further collateral for my view that, if the camera doesn't lie, I've got real problems when my niece e-mailed me a pic last night. It was taken during my nephew's wedding reception a couple of weeks or so ago. There I am, standing next to the happy couple. They look absolutely marvellous. I, by contrast, look...well, retarded.

This is not just a rhetorical trope on my part. Whether it was the lighting, or the angle of shot, the slight fuzziness of the picture, or whether - as I fear to be the case - it was just me, I do look for all the world as if I have been let out of the day-care centre for a couple of hours, suitably chaperoned.

I think what doesn't help is the very thick lenses I have to have in my glasses. They seem to create an appearance of terminal, slow-witted barminess. But I've always shied away from the idea of contact lenses: partly because I can't bear the thought of sticking my finger in my eye to put them in; but also partly because of the thought that - because of the necessary thickness of them - it would make me look like one of those horrible Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, like the ones the historian Dr John Davies had when he was my hall warden at Uni. You know, the ones with eyes like chapel hat-pegs.

I am stuck with the face I have, as are most of us. And like all of my other physical shortcomings, I'm going to have to live with it. Orwell apparently said that by the time a man is fifty, he has the face he deserves. I had no idea that my karma was was bad as that.

So if you should ever meet me at a social gathering where photography is taking place (that is, almost all of them now, what with these new-fangled phones and wotnot), please don't hesitate to come over and introduce yourself. I'll be easy to spot; just look for the guy with the brown-paper bag over his head...