Mary Ruddy

The photos I sent you were chosen for their feel-good quality. This sounds pithy and perhaps insubstantial, but it is of great significance to me and perhaps for us four as a family (I’m only sorry you can’t really see the baby in the sepia-toned shot). We have had what feels like a horribly hard time facing tragic bereavement, financial stress, rough mental health and family pressure, and these pictures represent moments when I have felt happy and relaxed. The first, taken in Paris, comes with a feeling of great escapism. We went on a ‘holiday’ that turned out to be a suffocating experience giving us all a trapped feeling, and the photo was taken at the moment we had just broken free and were enjoying a beer in a cafe. I was also, without knowing it, in the early stages of a longed-for pregnancy. The second picture was taken on a tiny steam train on the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway on a hot, hot summer day. Amongst the stress and worry, this wonderfully relaxed and happy baby was born and we have been able to delight in him and here the simple pleasures of ice cream, fish and chips and train rides.