We recently bought a new mop – the old one looked worn out. I didn’t take much notice at first. But then I saw Mary, our niece, soaking the new mop and putting it on the balcony to dry. Apparently new cotton mops have to be ‘broken-in’, by soaking them in clean water for at least an hour.
Now I was intrigued. The new mop, drying on the balcony, reminded me of a cartoon character. In the late afternoon sunshine, the cotton head resembled a mop of tangled hair.
Needing to re-open our shop, I went downstairs – and between serving customers I pondered. The sight of the mop made me smile – it had the makings of a picture. But something was missing (and I wasn’t sure what).
I found my answer in a cupboard, where Mary had put the old mop. It can be a cliché, but often two (of anything) make a more interesting picture than one. Viewers are invited to compare and contrast, to wonder how the two elements relate to each other.
My biggest challenge was working out the best time to take the picture, then getting up early enough. The first time I tried, the light was already too harsh by 7.30am. The highlights were burnt out and the composition didn’t work. So I set my alarm for 6.30am the next day and had taken this second version by 7.00am.
With a new companion and time to stand and stare, Mr Mop is thoroughly enjoying his retirement.