Perfect

Today’s post comes to us from Port Huron Steve.

I recently posted about discovering several hundred scanned slides from trips my erstwife and I took in the United Kingdom in 1974 and 1975. Most of the original slides were good, but the company that converted them to digital files did poor work. After being scanned the images were badly underexposed and had harsh tones. I spent five weeks editing the slides, making each image look nice, or at least much nicer.

Last Friday night my daughter invited me to her home to deliver a marathon slide show. I presented about 500 edited slides and explained the circumstances of taking them. I talked so long I lost my voice. As my daughter drove me home I realized, with some surprise, that I had just experienced a “perfect” evening.

This surprised me because I am not comfortable calling anything perfect. That is such an absolute word. My experience of life keeps showing me that everything we experience is good or bad in relative terms. I am skittish about absolute words and absolute judgements.

And yet the slideshow evening could not have been better. For a storyteller, an ideal moment involves telling stories to an adoring audience. For a photographer, sharing images with people who are thrilled to see them is total joy. For an old storyteller/photographer what could be better than an evening sharing old images and their stories with family members?

Actually, I learned that there is a way that such an evening could be even better. Something already “perfect” can become nicer.

On our first British Isles trip my erstwife and I spent three days in the Cotswolds. The Cotswolds are a region of England where the countryside and the villages are unimaginably charming. Visiting there feels like stepping into a Beatrix Potter storybook. Perhaps the most appealing Cotswold town is Bourton-on-the-water. Its homes and shops were built centuries ago with locally quarried rock. The architecture is consistent, dating to the same period, and perfectly charming. A little stream runs through the heart of town, with stone bridges arching over it. The honey-colored stone used for all buildings is offset by many by countless lush flower gardens.

Bourton has a famous model village. Local craftsmen created a perfect model of the town that includes all the homes, churches and shops just as they looked in the 1930s. Each building was recreated with meticulous detail at a one-to-nine scale. Topiary trees and shrubbery line the tiny stone buildings. The stream is there, of course, along with those cute bridges. While the model town is accurate in scale, a few buildings have been given big windows so visitors can peer inside to appreciate how perfectly the interiors have been duplicated.

Because the model village occupies a significant area, logic dictates that the model village has to include a miniature model of the model. And it does!

The cherry on top of my perfect evening was watching my grandson grasp the concept of an infinite regression of models within models. “Wait, Grampy,” Liam cried. “So the tiny town has a tiny model of the town in it? Whoa! That’s awesome! And does the tiny model of the model have its own tiny model?”

Yes! Of course it does! Liam’s smile improved an evening I thought could not be better.

What kind of day or event would be perfect for you?

44 thoughts on “Perfect”

  1. I imagine a day in the summer when the garden is all weeded and watered, I am not at work and there is no cooking or baking to be done, husband has no plans in the kitchen either, the house is clean, the temperature outside is about 70° and there is no wind. I will sit outside on the front stoep on the bench that I have lined with cushions, and I will read and/ or nap.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yesterday was an almost perfect day, I was noticing in the late afternoon – it was a Monday, a day which I try to keep relatively clear as Husband usually needs the car. Husband was home, too – the senior center where he usually plays pool was closed, because of the Martin Luther King holiday. It was very cold outside but cozy inside; we made some food together, and played a little cribbage. I watched CBS Sunday morning (live stream since we no longer have a TV) while he worked on a jigsaw puzzle. I made some headway on a draft for a UU talk, and even got to do a tiny organizing project.

    It’s rare for us to have a day when we’re both home, able to kick back and relax. I started a blog piece about one aspect of the day that I’ll finish soon and submit to WP.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It sounds like it was a wonderful evening. I’m not sure if members of my family would sit still for 500 slides or not. No doubt the storytelling makes the difference.
    In what probably says something about me, my first takeaway from the part about the miniature village was, “Why a nine to one scale? Wouldn’t a ten to one be simpler math?” After a little thought, it turns out it wouldn’t. In the 1930s, Britain still used Imperial measures—feet and yards, as we do. The metric system wasn’t adopted until the ‘60s. So for the builders of the miniature village, nine to one meant that every yard equaled four inches and every three yards equaled a foot. Given the measuring equipment in use at the time, ten to one would have been much more complicated.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That’s a smart observation, Bill.

      When I got through the first year’s trip, about 200, slides it was getting late. People had things to do Saturday morning. But my audience insisted on seeing the second year’s slides. I was surprised and certainly felt appreciated. After 200 they knew what they were asking for!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Steve, I’m surprised people even sit through a slide show — especially that many slides. It sounds lovely, but many people would consider that the most boring of evenings, lol.

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        1. Oh, yeah! I remember (in excruciating detail) a slideshow my erstwife’s parents displayed once. The best part of the show was how dark the room was. I was able to sneak out and get more scotch when my glass was empty.

          The best thing about that show was photos of a random dog that wandered into my in-laws’ campground. They were embarrassed that they photographed this dog, whose name they never got. Things got funnier when more and more shots of this dog kept showing up, and some of them had the dog upside down or tilted right or left. After a while the audience would cheer when the dog put in another appearance.

          In the case of the show I wrote about, the audience wasn’t just people. They were family, and the slides were pretty good.

          Liked by 2 people

    2. Nice work figuring out why 9-1 worked for them.

      The model I use at the college is 1″:1′. Which is a decent size for building but it’s large. (Being 45″ wide and at least 42″ deep.
      A lot of designers will work in 1/2″ or even 1/4″ scale. Makes a tidy little model, but tough to work with those small pieces sometimes.
      So it just depends.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. My perfect day was the day I went to Banning State Park, which I wrote about here: https://trailbaboon.com/2018/03/29/my-day-trip/

    There are certain autumn days where the crisp, fresh air, the blue sky which seems deeper than blue skies in other seasons, the leaf colors, and the smells of pines and dead leaves all combine to create a lightness of spirit that words can’t really describe.That was one of those days.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I recall tim saying there are only about 10 perfect days in regard to weather. Those are the ones that stand out in my mind.
    Like Renee, about 70 degrees, low humidity, just enough breeze to keep the bugs away, sitting on the deck in the shade with a drink of choice in hand.

    And the days I am out in the field and the sky is that perfect blue and the clouds are the perfect puffy white. And I just have to stop and close my eyes and try to get that mental picture of it all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. closing your eyes and getting a picture of that time and place is called going to your happy place in my world
      was taught tat as a self hypnosis tool years ago and don’t get there as often as i’d like

      Liked by 4 people

  6. Sometimes a perfect day is as simple as most of my clients cancelling due to weather or illness, so I have the whole day to slow down and do paperwork. I also think the most perfect time to be on a college campus is when all the students are gone, and it is quiet.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I used to work as an academic adviser. We’d train in early September. I remember a day that had spectacular weather. One of my trainees said, “The University is such a wonderful place! And then they let all those damned students in . . . .”

        Liked by 4 people

    1. Renee, you are reverting to a way of thinking in which things are relative. That’s where you are probably most at home, and I usually am. You expected one kind of day with many claims on your time. When fewer claims were made, you felt relieved and happier.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. steve’s day may be the perfect day

    doing something you love with people you love and finding you have more than you can ask for and everybody wants it all

    pretty good

    you tube slide show in order steve?

    Liked by 1 person

        1. that will be interesting to see where you choose to land upon your return when you know so much about hte city but have liam and access to him to factor into the equation. mac groveland for you. eden prairie for them 20 minutes away and they started the light rail to ep in earnest this past go round. be a cvouple years but im guessing a train ride from university to ep will be a regular route for many i really like the way the twin cities are shaping up.

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        2. i gather your daughter is an analytics geek steve, if you’d like me to introduce hereto a couple of the companies here that are good employer her job description is coveted in the twin cities tech community right now
          no better location on the planet
          silicon valley is way to strange seatle too caffeinated
          minneapolis is a nice blend

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      1. the slides mean nothing to me. i need the storyteller. thus the request for a youtube video showing the slides. i dont know if you lose quality on this format but you can talk over each slode and that is the only way i would want to view them

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        1. I have no idea where I’ll be this summer. And I confess I’d forgotten how I posted about this a few weeks ago. Moving back looked sure then. Some of the family would have us go. Some would have us stay. I don’t argue either way, for I’m happy being in either place, and I worry about those who would have to do the heavy work of a move.

          So forgive me. This is not a settled matter.

          Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ve been thinking about this on and off all day and I’ve come to the conclusion that in order to fit in all the things that I would like to have in a perfect day, that day would need to be about 72 hours long.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. A little gardening, a little cooking, a meal out with some of my best friends, walk in the neighborhood with the dogs and YA, nice weather would be a plus. Talk to my mom on the phone. Maybe go to the State Fair a little bit, read and spend some time in my studio.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. A perfect day would be one in which I have no need to wear a watch or carry a timepiece, because I don’t need to be anywhere at any particular time. A really good cup of coffee would start the day. And music.
    I think the weather would be warm, and sometime during the day I would be on a riverbank, burying my feet in the sand. Everything seems right when you have your feet buried in warm damp sand.
    Lunch would be a picnic, and dinner would be served in a nice restaurant where someone would bring a bottle of wine and a nice dinner. A good friend would split the wine with me. There would be conversation.
    Then home and a comfortable bed with a couple of cats to purr contentedly. And music.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. the summer of 1972 i jumped into the vw and drove to the canadian rockies via saltlake with my girlfriend and broither in the blue skies of june and picked up my friend in salt lake city. halfway to northdakota we decided to stay off freeways and enjoy the secondary roads. that made all the difference.
    the weather was perfect during the entire summer and we went form one page of the rand mcnalley to the next always looking for the most scenic roads . my friend in salt lake was wondering what the heck was going on because it took us two weeks to get there. upon getting there i lost my dog and it took a week to find him, then we set off through the back roads to the canadian rockies and banff and then jasper. ive told before about the favorite place on the planet in jasper park a couple miles outside of the city of jasper and we spent 3 weeks there. each palce we went was better than the place before. on to vancouver down the coast. paxcific coast highway to la where my girlfriend grew up duaghte rof one of the original control data founders. got down to san bernadino and rand out of time and had to head east northeast and be home in 30 hours. evern that was an enjoyable part of the trip. i had never marathoned a drive before. and have only doen it a few times since. you feel bad missing a whole part of the world cause its dark out but the part you get to see makes up for it. (even thought that part was freeways. that trip was vegas to denver. the trip i took last year was vegas to pheonix to oklahoma route and was beautiful.
    the weather the scenery the people
    what a perfect trip. i was so gald i took it when i did. i talked my dad into lettng me at age 17 and my brother at age 15 go because we might not get too many chances to do this in our l ives. cant argue with that he said. $ 600 wit gas at 29.9 is all it took groceries included. what a perfect summer.
    ask about my trip to the uk in 1986. another good one.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. When I was doing the online dating thing, I got to know a great many women. I once asked one of them to describe a perfect moment. She didn’t hesitate. She would like to get up just before dawn in some quiet corner of the Hawaiian Islands. She imagined walking down to the beach and watching the sun come up over the Pacific.

    It was a pretty scene. But I noticed that a perfect day for her involved a moment she would experience alone. I didn’t say so, but I knew she was not the person I was looking for. I have had quite a bit of being alone in recent years. A perfect moment for me, I have discovered, would have to include at least one other person I love.

    Liked by 1 person

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