Trying

I’ve left this too long – it’s four months since I wrote a blog entry here and I intended to post at least once a month. I meant to but I didn’t make the effort necessary. You know when you ask someone to do something or come somewhere and they say, “I’ll try…”? They intend to do it – they want to come – but are not making any promises. They might get a better offer, not feel like it, forget, be too busy. Not really good enough though is it? To try means to make an attempt or effort.

Something I’m attempting to do at the moment is to change my lifestyle. Change takes effort. The path of least resistance is inertia, the status quo. For as long as ‘the norm’ is safe, familiar and comfortable or at least doesn’t actually hurt too much, it’s the path to follow, it’ll do. It’s what I do - it may not be ideal, or even what I want, but it’s what I have – and I have a lot that’s just fine.

So… why change – and what, when and how? Because needs must – and I must work as I need income, now, by whatever means possible. It’s not a question of ‘trying’ because it’d be fun, interesting, different. It’s about having an idea, making effort, taking action and creating opportunities. One thing really does lead to another, as long as that thing involves doing. I’ve been meaning to call you… I was about to text you… we must get together… I really should… I need to… I think I might try to… Good – yes – ok – go ahead.

I left it longer than my good intentions. I forgive me. It’s done and like any self-respecting procrastinator, I’m glad.

 making an effort

making an effort

80 came to see, observe, be present at - and know at first hand

From 10th April to 7th July 2017, an exhibition of my work is on show at Cloisters Chambers, 1 Pump Court, Temple, London, EC4Y 7AA and the private view was on the evening of Friday 28th April. It was an overwhelming experience for me. I'm still a bit discombobulated. EIGHTY of my family and friends were there - from so many different chapters of my life - and the love, goodwill and feedback were all just astonishing. Can't wait for the NEXT one. Well I can, for a while...

The exhibition isn't open to the public since it's mounted in barristers' conference rooms. However, it's possible to arrange access and an evening viewing directly through me. (Please use the form on the Contact page of this web site).

Here's what it's about:

Thirty photographs are displayed in six rooms:

Your ice-like reception features Franz Josef Glacier in South Island New Zealand – on it and above it. The sheer scale, power and time worn splendour of glaciers is awe-inspiring. The corridor is illuminated by diverse properties of light sampled in Borneo, New Zealand, Ireland and England. Since photography means drawing with light, the medium literally is the message - transient, elusive and transformative. Meet monkeys in the Pritt Room – momentarily ‘captured’ whilst wild and free in Borneo and Bali. The expressions, mannerisms and bahaviour they share with us are miraculous and disconcerting. Single colours and black dominate the landscapes in the Platts-Mills Room. The limitations of the rectangle mean that ‘like being there’ is not an option so I’ve played to its strengths and say ‘just look at this’. A sea lion couple are your only hosts in the Turner-Samuels Room. More genial animals would be featured if space allowed. People, religion and colour characterise and define time spent in India. The Cox Room evokes a mere taste of this potent concoction.

 witness - the hands of a white faced Saki monkey

witness - the hands of a white faced Saki monkey

The difference

Bach is playing on the Marshall Bluetooth speaker. This afternoon I walked the dog of a tragically widowed jazz saxophonist. Facebook tells me daughter two is in a helicopter flying through the Grand Canyon as I write this. One of my oldest friends has been homeless for several months now. I just got a brilliant 2-4-1 deal on new bi-focal glasses and sunglasses. In less than an hour I encountered at least six people begging in Richmond high street today. After six months’ gestation I’m totally prepared and excited about hanging my show this weekend but was told yesterday the place is being decorated.

And so on and so on… good or bad fortune, real problems, first-world problems, satisfaction, frustration, other people’s lives… What’s a person’s life made up of if not a mixed bag of experiences, encounters, emotions and events? It’s all relative and it’s all apparently random – chance – a lottery. Yet only the other day in a conversation about over-eating and weight gain, I was maintaining that we all, always, have choices – that no one has to be a victim to circumstance. I sited a number of times in my life when I’ve made difficult, life-changing decisions. But is that right? Does everyone have the capability or the opportunity to make changes? Is it a ‘luxury’ to have choices? Am I ‘lucky’ if things go well? Do people contribute to their own suffering?

Rhetorical questions. Context and/or perception is everything. The best answer I’ve found so far is ‘The Serenity Prayer’.  

 context and/or perception is everything

context and/or perception is everything

That's all very well

Today is Thursday. For some reason I've liked Thursdays ever since I was old enough to know or care what day of the week it was. The sun has shone constantly here in West London. Everyone in my far-flung family - and there are a lot of them - is, as far as I'm aware (which is acutely) - healthy, solvent and reasonably happy. The car that I drive is reliable, quick and looks good. I found out a couple of weeks ago that rather than having to move this July I can stay on in my flat indefinitely. A week on Saturday I'm going on holiday to Barbados with Kay for a fortnight. This afternoon (and most of yesterday) I built this web site from scratch and though I say so myself I'm pretty pleased with it. In April I'll be mounting my first ever one-man show in central London; an exhibition of 30 photographs, mostly taken last year on a trip to Borneo, Bali and New Zealand, with a smattering from England and Ireland. I can't wait.

"That's all very well" I hear you say. And who wouldn't?

There's always a 'but' isn't there? I usually manage to find one - plump and ripe for the picking - swollen like a blister ready to pop. Something to criticise, feel a bit guilty about, get a resentment towards. A crackle on the speaker, a stone in the shoe, the 'priority' on the To Do list that fails to get ticked and has to appear on the next one. It's 5:30 now and the light's fading. I'm not fond of dusk - it makes me uneasy. But it's Thursday, and a few lively tits are flitting in the tree outside my window. What's going on for you? Care to comment? I hope it's all very well.

 we're all in this together

we're all in this together