What To Wear When You Work At Home & Other Thoughts

It’s 9:15 here and I’m still in my jammies. In a few minutes, I’ll change into my work clothes which often look like the photo below that John took of me the other day. That’s me with my sweet little Canon G11 that allows me capture most of the images you see here, at least those I’ve taken since September 2010.

My work at home attire must meet certain requirements, comfort and flexibility for movement are key so I can crawl out onto to the rocks if necessary when I want to get close to my subject. My camera must be in my other hand because I’m trying to get that stick out of my shot without falling in the water.

I need to tell you that this spot is walking distance from the house here in Cornwall and not  a photo from New Zealand as John and I like to refer to it when discussing it in passing as in, ” You know the river spot that looks like it’s from a Peter Jackson movie.”

Yesterday, I attended a planning strategy meeting. I left the laptop and cell phone behind and took notes the old-fashioned way with a pen on some small squares of paper which I carried in my pocket and scribbled on when I had an idea I thought might work for a novel I’m writing. I was interrupted a few times in the lanes by passing cars requiring me to give way. Some even caught me with pen and paper in hand which must have looked funny given I was dressed for a run like in the first photo. (The photo below is one of the lanes in summer)

There were some other distractions though, seven to be specific. Unlike the old days when a colleague might drop by to discuss a project, my distractions were a different sort. Having intentionally left my camera at home yesterday, I have to substitute a couple of older photos taken on days out like yesterday. Distractions that like to give your hand a lick and wag their tail with delight are always welcome in my world.

This was taken in the buttercup field I’m always referring to in other posts.

Here are a few examples of past work clothing.

I had to wear this look five days a week for three and a half years. It made getting ready for work in the morning very easy.

I’m on the far left in this shot taken during my pharmaceutical career. I won a sales award that night. Judging by the look on my face this must have been taken before I won it. This company did not like for women to wear slacks to work even if it was a suit. Not sure how the woman in the back pulled it off. ( I never realized the size of those shoulder pads, yikes! )

This was taken on a day when I did a presentation along with a local physician who talked about HIV related anemia. I remember this day very well because an older man on crutches (permanent, not temporary) came up to me later and shook my hand. He held it a bit longer than one normally would and said, ” You’re a writer ” which was totally out of context for the event and certainly unrelated to anything I had said that day. I remember I got all teary and had to work to keep from crying.

His look was intense and later when I asked someone about him, they said he had a gift for knowing things and that people went to see him for help. They stopped short of saying psychic as he didn’t like to be called psychic, but said he was known for helping people with his gift. It was certainly an unexpected gift to me that day. To have a stranger sum up something so important, something I barely allowed myself to think about as a real possibility given my work schedule and other things, well … I’ve never forgotten it.

I worked with these ladies on projects a time or two. This one was a breakfast on World AIDS Day. Three of us were working for pharmaceutical companies while Debra at the far left, organized the breakfast and worked for a local hospital at the time. She went on to work with Karen who is standing behind me. Karen ended up working for my old company when she and Debra where downsized from her longtime employer.

Sometimes my work day attire was more fun that other days and I had to hang out with half-naked men. No jokes please about that fanny pack or bum bag, depending on your country of origin, that I’m wearing around my waist. It was a company giveaway and I had to do it.

This was a bad phone photo of me dressed for work in 2008 when I was working for a local hospice. I was in a doctor’s office at the time and wanted to email John a photo of me at work. Can you tell I like black?


Elizabeth Harper - Wedding Photographer 2009

Here’s a job I love doing and what I generally like to wear when I’m working. (Note … I hate to shoot posed group shots like this and only do it on request) I’m not sure who to credit for this photo.

John took this one of me shooting from the balcony of a church in Barford, England as the bride was entering. I like to wear black when I photograph weddings and so far no one has yet to confuse me with a waiter. If anyone ever asks me for a drink, I’ll just smile innocently and say, ” Yes please.”

That’s it for today, I’ve got to tie on my work shoes and hit the road for another planning meeting. Sometimes I talk to myself when I’m working through plot lines and yesterday I got caught by an older man who I didn’t see working behind a hedge in his back garden. I felt obliged to stop and explain and I’m still not sure if what I said made sense. His Cornish accent was pretty thick and one can only say, “Pardon?” so many times without feeling foolish. It’s the kind of thing that could come up later in pub conversation as in, ” Aye, did ya know that American girl talks to herself when she’s writing her notes in the lanes. “

Sounds like a partial blurb for a book jacket in a way … American author, Elizabeth Harper, wrote much of her first published novel on notecards while pretending to run through the lanes around the village in Cornwall that she calls home. It was only after hearing a bit of good-natured pub chatter about her antics that she decided on the title, ” Mad Lizzy ” for this well written first book.

It’s actually not the name of the novel I’m working on, but I like it so well that I might use it for something later. What do you think?