The first time I visited Castle Combe was during exam leave. It was a gloomy day in the middle of the week. I needed to go somewhere quiet, and far away from exams. I drove home, bundled the dog into the car and headed for Wiltshire, not really knowing what to expect beyond a photo I’d seen on Instagram and a scene from War Horse.
I quickly fell in love with the village, and my dog did too. I wrote a blog post (that I have since deleted), using Blogger and some photos I took with my phone. I’ve been meaning to remake that blog post. So here we are, two years later. My blog has been migrated to WordPress and my phone upgraded to a posh dSLR.
On the first day I visited Castle Combe, a classic car drove over the bridge at the end of the village whilst I was stood opposite taking photos. I watched and photographed and my exam woes floated away. This time, I was the one driving the classic car over the bridge – something I was doing as part of my job. My sister was stood opposite taking photos for me, because the Instagram obsession is taken THAT seriously now, that it’s somehow become my livelihood. I couldn’t have envisaged the scenario back then.
I was still visiting Castle Combe to resolve a feeling of discontent, though. This time, I felt as though I’d lost sight of what I really want from Instagram, through working on so many collaborations and chasing numbers. Something that had started as a means of escaping reality had become something I needed to escape from. Ironically, in heading out to take photos I found that escape again. Even if we did visit on a busy weekend.
I guess the moral of the story is that Castle Combe is my happy place.