Brian Rope Photography

Brian Rope Photography

Words in Focus

Starting Point

There are various starting points throughout life's journey. The most obvious one is when we are born. These days human births are frequently recorded in an image. When I was born that didn't generally happen, but I do have a photo of me at just three months.

Another important starting point for me was when my parents gave me my first camera on my ninth birthday. It was a Kodak Baby Brownie and I still have it. It was the beginning of a life long passion for photography which has taken me on many adventures - and continues to do so. So whatever I write in this blog will usually be illustrated with photos. It is also why the blog says Brian Rope Photography at the top. The subtitle for the blog, Words in Focus, was the name of a small enterprise that I started years ago when I was unemployed for around seventeen months. It ended without ever really getting off the ground because I found employment and had another new starting point, but it has continued to exist in the email address I established for it and which I still use today: Because I had completed a Diploma in Freelance Travel Writing and Photography I had thought then that I might make a living by using the skills I had learned. A full time well paid position seemed the better new starting point!


Beginning this blog is yet another starting point for me. For some years I have sung with the wonderful Strange Weather Gospel Choir. Recently though I made a decision to withdraw from the choir (an end point) in order to spend more time on my photography and to do some writing. Hence this. It remains to be seen where this latest starting point will take me. Maybe nowhere!


I have asked myself what is the point of writing a blog. Who is it for? Just me? If so, what is the point? I do read a small number of blogs written by other people. Almost all of them are by friends who are photographers or are traveling to interesting places. So maybe some of my friends might be inclined to read my new blog. Who knows? But I have decided it doesn't matter. It can just be for myself.


Right now I am enthused about the idea of writing, even if nobody else ever reads what I write. Many years ago I embarked on an autobiography. I wrote 5000 words of it on and off over a period of some years, but have not added anything for a long time. It was also a project just for myself. I knew that I would never even seek to have it published. Although I probably did hope that maybe just one of my descendants might possibly be interested in the contents one day. Perhaps I will add to it soon - another starting point? Of course, if I never write another piece on that autobiography or on this blog, they will become end points! But perhaps things I write about in my blog will find their way into the autobiography! Perhaps some of the things already in it will find their way into this blog. In fact I might do that right now.


My birth certificate indicates that I began my life outside of the womb at Matlock. In fact I was born at Willersley Castle in Cromford, a few miles away from the Matlock birth registration centre sub-district in the English County of Derbyshire. My birth certificate records that dad, James William Rope, was Gunner 1076690 Royal Artillery (Laundryman) at that time. Mum was (still is) Eileen Elsie Rope (nee Davey). So the starting point for my life saw me spend my first few days at Willersley Castle - a wartime hospital for mums evacuated from the London bombings


At the same time that I emerged into the world another, far more significant, event was taking place on the other side of the world in a country that was to become my future home. On 3 March 1942, the Japanese attacked Broome in Western Australia. So, I was born a "pommy" and, later, became an "aussie".

Broome was attacked at least four times by Japanese aircraft during the war and the 3 March 1942 air raid was the worst, killing at least 88 people. Nowadays Japanese tourists visit Broome and the town holds an annual Shinju Matsuri (Japanese for festival of the pearl) which celebrates the Asian influenced culture brought there by the pearling industry. Broome's Japanese cemetery is the resting place of 919 Japanese divers who lost their lives working in the pearling industry. Many more were lost at sea, and the exact number of deaths is unknown.


A lot of starting points and end points there.


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