I have been musing with the idea of writing a blog post about what I would say to my younger self for a while. It’s a scenario regularly visited by soaps and sitcoms when they run out of ideas but it poses an important notion; if you could change anything in your past what would it be? I was going to include a photo of me at 15 but hell no one needs to be put through that torture.
“In 20 years, you will be more disappointed by what you didn’t do than by what you did” - Mark Twain
There are a few things I would tell my young self but one that has always plagued me was what would I do if I could change one decision I made in my past. One yes turned into a no, one left turned into a right. Mine would probably be to carry on acting; it is one thing I miss in my life now and I always wonder how far it could have gone. It would have more than likely turned into nothing but regret is a beast that eats away at undiscovered choices.
I would probably also tell my younger self to say no to eating that Chicken in Jaipur – that did not end well.
So my question to you is what choice would you go back and change? What would you tell your 15 year old self?
I made a vow that when I got to 50,000 hits on this old thing I would post a photo of my desk as a way to say thank you to all you brilliant readers and so you could see where the magic happens. So here it is in all it’s, ummm, glory.
It is a literal manifestation of my brain; quite a bit bonkers, cluttered and full of useless thing. For the keener eyes in the house might notice some of the many weird and wonderful things that adorn my workspace.
Now I’ve shown you mine, you show me yours…
I love to write but I’m partially illiterate on the side.
Teachers, tutors and lectures alike sang from the same hymn sheet when it came to my grammar. That it was down to laziness, stupidity or –the best comment on an essay- “are you doing this to test my sanity?”
The wonders of dyslexia.
I can read over my work a myriad of times and while the errors may seem glaring to others, they seemed hidden to me. The obvious fades into oblivion when grammar is introduced. Even with someone leaning over my shoulder tutting away they would pass by me undetected like Where’s Wally at a knitted jumper convention.
Sometimes it helps cut the frustration of dyslexia if you can just find a way to laugh at your situation. Although who ever decided to call it dyslexia had a horrible sense of humour. I used to spell it Disexica but it sounds more like an erotic planet than a learning disability looking back at it now.
But whilst twenty something years have passed with my own personal enigma of English thwarting a well dressed sentence help is finally at hand. I call my grammatical saviour, my Punctuation Pirate.
I shouldn’t tease, as my pirate’s work has been crucial in the past whether it be essays, job applications or –yes- even blog posts.
After I’ve posted a blog post a few hours pass, then the phone call.
It begins with a sigh, a hushed swear word then the corrections commence. Thick and fast they come; the ‘I’ve told you about this a thousand times’ or the ‘I really don’t understand what this sentence means’ and the unsurprisingly echoes of my school years, ‘are you doing this to test my sanity?’
Dyslexia should not be something to be embarrassed about I struggle with grammar and spelling, always have and maybe always will. So to anyone else out there reading this; be proud of your dyslexia it can be hard and incredibly frustrating but you are never alone. We can’t all have our own pirates fighting our battles but smile at your silly mistakes and remember they are what make us human.
Yes as correctly guessed by Print and Pattern I am in Paris, or to be precise I am on the Eurostar back to Blighty. As avid readers of this blog will know going to Paris is on my bucket list and this week I have finally been able to tick it off.
Quite simply the place is a photographers haven, with every street and every building oozing with such beauty. The sights that define the city are of course photographic but away from the hustle and bustle (and the tour groups) is where the city really shows her beauty.
There are of course negative points I have come away with. The tour groups that clog the city is sadly something that takes away from it’s charm. The best example was in the Louvre. A place full to bursting with the world’s finest art and yet tour groups (as well as others) focus purely on the one piece, the Mona Lisa. Don’t get me wrong she is beautiful but as the photograph shows people dont go there bask in her beauty or appreciate the artist. It is simply to show that they were there. I know as a photographer that may sound hypocritical but I don’t photograph paintings I put the camera away (for once) and view the art as it was intended, not through a lens.
Grumbling aside, I loved Paris. It is a city of love and I have fallen for her.
The way she makes coffee, her effortless style, the way she looks as the sun sets and rises, her culture, her intellect.
Everyday she became more and more impossibly stunning.
So over the next few weeks I will be posting a variety of Parisian photographs from all over the stunning city. Because you cannot capture such vast allure in one photograph so a collage will have to do.
Empty easels and bare walls. Photographs in bags and portfolio closed and packed.
After six days my first photography exhibition has come to a close.
Before last Thursday I had no clue how it would go and even many, many sleepless nights helped in vain to predict its failure or success.
I am, however, ecstatic to report that it was a huge success! With so many lovely comments from friends, family and strangers alike I have been truly humbled by it all. What I found most interesting about the whole bonkers experience is seeing what were people’s favourites as I am always unable to pick. It was also amazing to find out where people who brought them are from, with some as far a field as America and Japan!
While the exhibition is over don’t worry if you still want to buy one of my pieces, while they are still in the early numbers of their limited runs, simply click here and drop me an email I am bound to be able to sort something out.
I should also announce the winner of the photograph competition as sadly the winner was unable to come to the exhibition, what with her living 5 hours away! Quin Lott I hope you enjoy your Darkened Woods.
While the next few weeks will be busy with ordering all the photographs and packed with packing them, I will be working away with a smile. Thank you to all those who came and everyone else’s lovely words of enthusiasm and luck.
Below are a selection of shots from the reception evening so you can see what you missed!
Its all coming together, finally.
Tomorrow it starts and I’ll be tweeting and facebooking information as it progresses. For now though here is a sneak (and deliberately blurry) peek at the exhibition as it comes together.
The beginning is in sight.
Yesterday I collected the framed photographs and have spent today applying my ‘bespoke’ labels and information labels on the back of the frames. What has amazed me most about this whole thing is just how many processes it has taken to take a thought “oo that would make a good shot” to something hanging on the wall of a gallery. I would list them but needless to say there are a LOT.
The exhibition starts on Thursday so on Wednesday I will be spending most of the day trying every combination to get the perfect look for you all to enjoy. I will of course give you all a sneak peak on Wednesday of what it is going to look like plus revealing the winner of my little competition (which you can still enter here).
Until then here is a few photographs of what I’ve been doing today!
Whats on the back
and whats on the front (excuse my iPhone reflection!)
Wrapped and ready to go!
The Taj Mahal, one of the most photographed buildings in the world. It’s beauty and what it stands for make it not only awe inspiring but also spectacularly sad. It was commissioned by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan following the untimely death of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, and is regularly known as the greatest thing done in the name of love. I have visited it four times now in the last five years and it never fails to move me.
“Not a piece of architecture, as other buildings are, but the proud passions of an emperor’s love wrought in living stones.”
- Sir Edwin Arnold
For eons I’ve been trying to decide if I would do a monthly feature. More importantly what I would do for a monthly feature. I’ve been tumbling between so many themes (graffiti, people, countries, the list goes on and on) but everything seemed horribly cliche.
This continued until someone perusing my portfolio noted that a lot of my photographs are of me looking up at monuments and buildings, attempting to make something that is photographed by everyone with a phone into something a bit unique, and wham ‘Looking Up Monthly’ was born!
Numero uno is the most recent one I took, the BT Tower in London. For those of you who don’t live in the UK it may seem to be nothing but a glorified telephone mast but when it was built in the 1960s it was the tallest building in London and even now its still holds its own in the city landscape shooting up around it.
To many it is an eye sore, but to me it is quite simply an icon in its own right.