I liked Sarah’s series of photos that glance down at her shoes (especially this one). Loafing round the garden yesterday, I decided to be a real copycat and try something similar. Turns out there are certain obstacles to this kind of shot here!
25 May 2012 Leave a Comment
23 May 2010 Leave a Comment
It’s hot and muggy, which might explain the difficulty sleeping. I sat in the garden with mother and sister, and said “it’s impossible to completely capture a place,” and they said “what do you mean?”
“If you take photographs of the garden, it’s not like the real thing.” Of course not.
The insects buzz against the deep, inviting shade; the leaves and grass shimmy, the daisies pop against the lawn. A warm scent of flowers wafts on the breeze. The sky is blue, the sun burns your skin, and the clouds move in stately pace across the sky. A beetle crawls across your foot, and the cats walk around and try not to look bored. Bring out your camera and everything is flattened and dulled; the sun goes in, the insects disappear and the clouds fade.
Still, we try. Nothing will beat Virtual Reality as an art form once it really gets going… they’ll put the bugs in too; don’t think they won’t.
I did my best with my Canon… took photos of everything that moved and a lot that didn’t, and the day went dark. A breeze sprang up, and the air felt full of incipient rain. We went inside and looked out at a thunder storm with rain plashing down. I wasn’t good at capturing that either.
I’ve complicated my photo reorganization by adding to the mass of stuff to sort through — but it wouldn’t be such fun if you didn’t get new ones to look at.
23 May 2010 4 Comments
“I’m reaching out towards the moon and it’s just out of reach of my searching fingertips. The ugly black shadow of Microsoft falls between me and it.”
It was an email I sent my sister 4 years ago. When searching old email archives to ascertain when I bought my digital SLR, I didn’t expect the first email I opened to say that. I almost felt sorry for my sister, but perhaps she was in the know!
I’ve been reorganizing my photos and graphics to include whatever older files I can dredge out of the past, and only a couple of days ago came across this:
It is not pretty or interesting, but illustrates a key moment in the story touched on by the email above. I’d bought my new camera and was struggling to get my PC to recognize it — it needed specific drivers, and they were hanging instead of installing. I finally pulled my PC into some sort of shape (including a reinstall of the OS) and tried again to install the camera drivers.
I took the shot with my Canon when I realized we’d succeeded! I was so happy that I could have kissed the monitor — kiss ‘n’ tell, if you like.
“Our whole lives are on the computer,” said Sandra Bullock’s character in The Net, and she’s right — though I’m thinking more about the minutiae of our home lives preserved in eye-boggling detail — with enough gaps to leave us wondering if we really know ourselves.
I don’t know if it’s a full moon tonight, but I couldn’t sleep. I had to sit up and write for my blog. I was thinking about all of you — how I feel some of you are friends, even though I’m not all that clear what you look like! When you’re trying to pull together the scattered pieces and bits and bytes of your life, and when four years ago seems like a lifetime, you do think about things like that. I may not always be around, and I’ll skip away and reorganize my past life when I could be talking to you more, but that’s part of the elusiveness that’s woven through everything…
I was playing Dido’s Life for Rent again — I associate it with leaving my house, of which there are many photographs. After wading (with difficulty) through the cats’ mug shots, I started on our Christmas photos… and Dido’s singing got all plaintive. Fear overtook me at the sight of how time has already trickled away. Xmas 2002 seems like yesterday, though it’s now viewable through the ancient pixellated lens of a 1.3 megapixel Olympus Camedia.
When my attack of collywobbles was over, I felt relieved but weak…. but I also blame EA Sports Active for that. It makes me do eternal laps, and I’ve been shaky all day! Not enough to want to sleep, unfortunately.
Life burns, simply by passing… but I can’t leave my older files to moulder on yellowing CDs. That would be betrayal, and I can’t help feeling that if I bring them back into some kind of accessible order, everything will make more sense.
After all the battles and the wars
The scars and loss
I’m still the queen of my domain.
[From 'This Land is Mine' by Dido]
11 Apr 2010 2 Comments
The following news snippet was pointed out to me recently:
More cat owners ‘have degrees’ than dog-lovers
I wonder if people with degrees tend to be more bookish and less sporty or active in general… there’s always been a link in people’s minds between writers, artists and cats. An artist or poet is not going to be happy at being interrupted in the middle of their great masterpiece by a canine wanting to go out! It would no longer be the Man from Porlock in that case, but the Dog from Porlock.
Any other ideas?
14 Jan 2010 7 Comments
My computers are gathering dust. I’m hardly ever in this room this month, and it’s in the same pristine condition it was just before Christmas. I know that will change later… I’ve just got new things on my mind to think about and work with. Nothing of blogworthy note. Well, OK…. Mum asked Santa Claus for a Nintendo. It’s usually parents having to get those for their children, but it worked the other way in this family! Yesterday I was watching her have a snowball fight without going outdoors, while I got on with a jigsaw puzzle. But I’ve had a good go on the Nintendo as well, so it was a Christmas present for both of us, really.
Went to the supermarket today and got a bottle of Beet-It juice. It’s wonderful. I used to love carrot juice but they changed the brand and the new one is a let-down. I used to dislike beetroot; I tried it several times from the jar, but could never get used to it. Then one of Mum’s friends gave us homemade creamed beet… and that converted me. I’m pleased, as I always had a feeling I might like beet if I just had it in the right format!
A neighbour’s husband and son went off to sledge down the hill behind our houses. Unfortunately the husband shot straight into the burn at the bottom (lots of rocks and trees) and wound up with blood trickling down his face. The ambulance men wanted to know what a 55-year-old man was doing sledging. I don’t know… the same urge that drives a snipe into a suburban garden, perhaps? Snow changes everything.
Today it’s 1 C, but it’s been colder than that — there were days when you opened the door in broad sunny daylight, and the cold was outside like a hard wall. You put one hand out and it froze. I opened the back door one perishing night because Delilah was standing pensively besides it. She looked at the ice stretching away into darkness, and then looked pitifully at me, as though to say “you’re not throwing me out in that, are you?” Today the ice has mostly melted away, but it was ‘snailing’ yesterday when Mum went to town. We got some strange bobbly ice in buckets and things, where hailstones had frozen fast.
I finally snapped a shot of one of the cats drinking from the water fountain…. this one is Delilah. I had to turn the camera to get all of her in!
Going back to the jigsaw and the Nintendo now….
26 Nov 2009 2 Comments
I’m probably not the coolest person in iTunes tonight. I’m going through a pile of CDs to see whether or not I like them… many were charity shop gifts from Mum that I never got around to trying. Two CDs so far came back with the message ‘Couldn’t find the song titles online – do you still want to import them?’
I said “no” (I never fully saw the sense of importing them, except that it means I don’t have to get up and rootle through a mound of CDs when I want to hear Enola Gay by OMD. But what does it mean that they don’t have the song titles… that my CDs are not the hottest ones out there?? Twice in a row!)
I didn’t like the first CD (so let’s forget what it was) but I found myself enjoying the second… something I’ve never listened to in my life before, by a band that didn’t sound familiar… Quern in Concert 2. The other CD was too high-pitched for me, but Quern had good, strong, resonant notes and voices. Good, good. I relaxed. Then I came across something a bit spooky…
I’ve mentioned before how I keep getting ‘musak’ in my ears in default of anything else (could be the brain filling in where there’s no sound, or not enough to make sense of something). I had no idea where certain bright tunes came from, but I was halfway through Track 11 (Selection of Strathspeys) when my hair stood on end. That sound was definitely one of them. Track 12 was just as familiar (Scandinavian Touch), as was Track 13 (Music of French Canada).
Earlier, Track 10 (The Skylark) was familiar too, but not in the same way as the following tracks. Probably because it’s sweeter and less aggressive.
There must be some explanation… perhaps these are very common tunes, especially on TV and radio? Or in shops and cafes? I don’t know for sure where I’ve heard them before or why they haunt me so determinedly. I don’t think I do any sleep-playing of CDs! I asked Mum and sister if they play this music, and they both said “Quern? Never heard of them.”
To start with, I found myself reluctant to go through this pile of CDs I’d personally never heard of. I had no problem with anything new when I was younger — as far as I was concerned, music was music, and likely to be good. Nowadays I feel sure that CDs will be dull or inaudible — but so far I’m keeping more CDs from that pile than I’m ditching!
(Places Quern on the ‘keep’ pile. Especially love that Skylark…)
PS: It’s obvious what my cat Delilah thinks of the CDs. I was trying out The Stranglers, whose CD was in my ‘ho hum’ pile because the only song I liked on previous playings was Golden Brown… but now there are a couple more, like La Folie, so it’s still a keeper). Delilah listened with horror to the CD and stared at the psychedelic screensaver squirming and twisting… after five minutes of this, she turned round and hid her head under the curtain. I don’t think she will be going to The Stranglers in Concert any time soon…
17 Nov 2009 4 Comments
Today I was horrified to come home and find that my cat Samson had left muddy pawprints all round the toilet seat and down into the bowl… where he’s probably been drinking. I thought he had grown out of that by now, especially with his lovely cat fountain downstairs!
I warned Mum, and tonight there was a graphic toilet cleaner commercial. “We should make Samson watch this,” I said. The commercial was subtitled, and it zoomed in on a couple of germs inside the toilet bowl. One germ said “hey look, something incredibly thick is approaching!”
“In our house it wouldn’t be the bleach he was referring to,” I said, glaring at Samson.
Mum laughed and said “that germ was Tony Robinson.”
I opened and shut my mouth a few times, then said, “oh, you could recognize the voices?” (This skill in others always takes me by surprise!) Then I began to understand something about the expression he used. “Was he being Baldrick from Blackadder? That whole thing was a kind of Blackadder scene? Who was the other germ?”
Another thing that takes me by surprise is when people praise actors for their roles in animated films… I think “who? Eddie Murphy was in Shrek? But Donkey is Donkey!” So much washes over my head.
14 Nov 2009 2 Comments
Another blogger said a couple of times how, when he feels really strongly about something, he can’t bring himself to speak. It reminded me of when I was saying to Mum how Samson was ‘Octopussy’ because he’s my eighth cat. I opened my mouth to add “Sharky was 007″ and the words refused to come out! I only meant it for a joke, but when you know those cats so well and are so fond of them — it’s not funny at all. They’re all special to me, but especially 007.
I miss him.
I wonder what Delilah is, though…. the 9th Bond girl, perhaps! Who was she?
Just for fun, I typed ‘ninth Bond girl’ into Google, and it said there was no such thing. It kept mentioning Olga Kurylenko, though, and said she was in something new called The Eagle of the Ninth… also in the Bond film Quantum of Solace (which I’ve not seen yet). I wondered what she looked like and clicked on ‘images’, and found myself faced with ranks of bikini-clad photos. “Oops,” I thought, “I better get off this page as I don’t know what Mum will think!”
I switched to a Wikipedia page about Olga, and there was a mug shot of her there. Her eyes are like Delilah’s, perhaps… all cats have beautiful eyes, but Delilah’s are stunning. She knows it, and does that innocent ‘Puss in Boots’ sort of stare (from Shrek) when she’s trying to make you fall under her spell.
Mum came out from her bath, saw the head shot on the Wikipedia page, and toddled over rapidly. “Who’s that?”
“It’s a Bond girl called Olga — I was wondering who she was. She was in Quantum of Solace.“
“Oh,” said Mum. “From where I was standing, I thought it was you!”