Bridge of Exasperated Sighs

Not a cute angle.

I took this picture on the old railway line near Kirk Michael. It was May, and the gorse was huge, thick, and outrageously yellow. In some places, it was growing right across the former narrow-gauge line, leading to snagged jeans and some frankly rather ungainly bunny hops.

The photo was taken at a mercifully clearer point, where the line used to pass under the road.

My eye was caught by the framing of the meandering path off into the distance, through the arch of the bridge. I took the shot and continued on my way along the path in the pleasant late spring sunshine.

A few days later, I was editing the photo and spent ages trying to get it levelled up. I tilted it one way, then the other, to no avail. Every possible angle had an air of wrongness about it. When I tried to pivot the picture using the centre of the bridge arch as a point of reference, the path veered off alarmingly in a way that was knuckle-suckingly worse.

Eventually, it dawned on me; the bridge is skew-whiff, not the photograph. From left to right, the bridge is sloping downwards. When I look at it, it still rankles, even though it’s an accurate record of what’s actually there.

As any rational person would do, I looked at the area on the satellite option of Google Maps for more information. If you follow the road in the direction of the downward slope, it does eventually lead to the sea. Which is, I grudgingly concede, a reasonable explanation for why the builders of the bridge, centuries ago, put the gradient into it.

I forgive those long-deceased navvies, but with this vexing photo to remind me, I will never forget.

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