I was bouncing down a winding dirt track in a golf buggy, facing backwards with my camera bag on my lap and Joe the landscape gardener hanging on alongside me, following the twisting ravine that carries the stream from a rotunda on top of a hill to a Palladian Bridge and pool at the bottom.
“Are the brakes designed for this sort of thing?” was my question.
“Can you swim?” was the answer.
The third person in the buggy, facing forward, was freelance reporter Louise Jew.
The fourth person, and driver, was Lord Cobham, of Hagley Hall, near Stourbridge.
Work is being done on the currently private estate with a view to opening it up to the public, and I was there to photograph his lordship with the newly renovated Palladian Bridge.
Landscape gardener Joe Hawkins and Viscount Cobham joked and jostled for position on the edge of the pool, while I maintained some sense of decorum by leaping onto a steep little bank, before thinking, if I start sliding down to the water’s edge, what do I drop? Nikon or decorum? Sounds like a Latin motto…
Nikon or decorum in Palladio est.
Anyway, nothing happened, apart from a very pleasant morning hobnobbing with Joe Hawkins.
And his lordship.