We have a limit, a very discouraging, humiliating limit: death. That’s why we like all the things that we assume have no limits and, therefore, no end. It’s a way of escaping thoughts about death. We like lists because we don’t want to die.
– Umberto Eco
via Susanne Beyer and Lothar Gorris <http://www.spiegel.de/international/zeitgeist/0,1518,659577,00.html>
I’ve started work on a project that involves (in part) searching through some old VHS tapes mostly from the very early 1980s. This was not long after my father – Ian Graham Ellis – had bought a portapak style JVC video camera (consisting of a large handheld camera connected to a shoulder-pack that housed the VHS tape). Among taped TV shows and documentaries*, I stumbled across this footage of me practicing tennis down the end of our street in Masterton, New Zealand. I reckon I was 11 or 12 years old, and this wall was my home away from home – Dad and I even painted a tennis net on it, as well as a service line on the road itself. Any tennis aficionados out there will note the semi-western forehand grip (I suspect I was mimicking the legendary Bjorn Borg who played with a full western grip) which was coached out of me … and my forehand never recovered.
* Truth be told, there was a LOT of footage of me practicing tennis. Sorry Dad.