Wednesday, February 28, 2007


This evening my youngest son, having viewed my blog for the first time commented that there isn't really much to write about, in that everyday life isn't that interesting. That isn't a quote, of course, more my interpretation of what he said. I think there's a criticism in there somewhere - he was probably being tactful to be kind. I suppose he has a point. I could say - "got up, went to work, came home, watched telly and went to bed". I suppose, many people would identify with this rather generic description of a typical day. Some people seem to be living one long adventure, conquering new peaks every day. However, I think that in even the most exotic living locations and lifestyles people would still pretty much say the same thing. I have lived in many different locations in the world, and even though people would pay a lot of money to visit them, living there becomes routine once you've got over the initial surge of explorotary fascination. Where I live now, here in Cambridgeshire, it all seems very ordinary and, well, boring. The countryside is flat for as far as the eye can see, mainly devoid of trees. You can drive for miles without seeing anything of any particular interest. And yet, people come from all over to spend their holidays here. I have become blind to the positive aspects of my environment. Being a keen photographer helps me over this, because it forces me to look around me and see things differently. Since most of my photography takes place in this area, I've learn't to find pictures, inspiration and interest in all sorts of things which would otherwise have just passed me by. Without photography, I would probably have found very little interest around here and be contemplating moving away.

I am fortunate in that I have lived what many people would call an exciting life. Its all a matter of perspective. Things which excite me might be a complete turn off for someone else. I get excited when I think I've taken a really creative photograph, or hear beautiful music. As I write this I am listening to Pachelbel's Canon which is so beautiful, I am quite literally carried into another world when I hear it. The everyday things can be things of beauty, interest, and for some, even adventure.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Expressing myself

A few years ago, after losing the will to live trying to run an "Amway" business (just friends helping friends - remember that one??), I gave it all up and decided to become an author instead - like you do!! I then parted with around £200 for a correspondence course which absolutely guaranteed you success - provided you completed every part of the course. This was all well and good until I realized there were parts of the course I had absolutely no interest in whatsoever. I wanted to write novels - not all this other stuff. Anyway, I did the first exercise (my observations in the local "Cromwell" museum), sent it off and got an extremely good response from my tutor. That, however, was as far as I got. I just couldn't find any enthusiasm for exercise 2, 3, 4,........ for knowing that I would HAVE to do some stuff which would launch me into the realms of sticking pencils up my nose, wearing my underpants on my head and saying "wibble". My course pack made a good door stopper. Eventually, I sold it on at a car boot sale to an enthusiastic young woman who has probably now won the Booker prize. Anyway, what am I trying to say? It is simply this: writing this blog allows me to be a published writer, writing about what I want to write about as my whim takes me. And another thing - writing this blog gives me a reason to write. You see, I love writing for its own sake (so long as its not too dull), and if there is one person out there who enjoys my writing, then it has to be worth it.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Photography mad

Today we intended to do all sorts of things - like paint the spare bedroon, clear the dog turds from the dog run, change the universe etc etc... My first obstacle was getting out of bed, as after spending the working week having to get up at some unearthly hour and walking around like a zombie for half the time - until I woke up, that is, I felt pretty much glued to the bed when I didn't have to get up. Anyway, after finally dragging myself out of bed and wandering around like one of the undead, my dear wife gave me a Cumberland sausage sandwich, which revived me enough to enter the land of the living. We went out to the garden centre, shops, you do, before realizing what we really wanted to do was jump in the car and go somewhere to take some photos. Only trouble was the day was dull and grim and at first I wasn't sure if it was a good idea. My dear wife insisted I was a wimp, fair weather photographer and not committed enough. With that we walked the dog, jumped into the car, and drove to Wansford which was the nearest place I could think of which might offer some worthwhile views. It was still very dull and grey when we got there. We wandered around, snapping the odd shot here and there - and then the sun came out! Wonderful! At this time of year the sun's light washes at a low angle over the countryside giving a depth and vibrancy to everything it touches. We photographed everything in sight we thought might make a half decent picture - even a man in a canoe paddled obligingly up the river and smiled as we frantically ran off a series of photos of his passing. We finished off with a pint in the Haycock - marvellous. The moral of this story is don't be dictated to by the weather, and don't stand for your wife calling you a wimp!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Day one of the great adventure

Well, here we go! I've never written a blog before so this is now uncharted territory.

Today has been pretty busy. Work was steady and the day was bright. I got excited this evening to discover I'd sold my second photo through an on-line photo library. Photography is my passion. I would like , eventually, to make a lot of money out of it, but in the meantime the important thing is to build up as large and as varied a collection of good photographs as possible. The picture sale this time was quite surprising as I didn't rate the picture much at all. It was a straight forward street scene in Cambridge. I had even thought of deleting it from the library at one stage, but now, of course, I'm glad I didn't. Just shows, even what y0u think as naff stands a chance!

Today is my eldest son's birthday. He brought his girlfriend around to our house to have tea with us and receive his presents. His girlfriend brought him an unusual present of having a star named after him. She chose a star in his birthsign, Pisces which was apt. Unfortunately, it isn't actually visible at this time of the year, from this latitude at any rate, so we'll have to wait until August or so to view it properly.While he was here, he down loaded the latest version of NASA Worldwind for me. Astronomy is another passion I have, by the way. Not only did it have the Earth, but some of the other planets including Mars which is really fascinating - for me at least. I was able to zoom right in and "travel" along valleys and over mountains etc - magic!