Saturday, 13 November 2010
Having weighed myself last week and discovered, to my horror, that I am carrying the equivalent of a litter of shetland ponies around with me, I have embarked on a diet.
I'm trying to come to terms with soup, something with which I do not become regularly involved. Oxtail is very nice however, and I've come to like Red Pepper with Goat's Cheese, although the Chunky Vegetable is far too much like watery minestrone for my liking. I've never liked minestrone much at the best of times, its only saving grace being that at least it had the decency to appear with some pasta in it. Now, it appears in disguise, with no pasta, trying to pass itself off as a vegetable medley. Get thee gone, Chunky Vegetable! I have seen through you to the bottom of the bowl, quite literally.
Van Gogh painted a twisted church, so I thought I might like to photograph one. Why, you may ask, would a committed atheist want to go about photographing churches? Well, despite the curious and deluded ideas behind their construction they are in the main quite beautiful creations. I'm often struck by the paradox that many artists (and indeed composers) have produced religious work of outstanding quality. Than again, many creative people, including myself, are a bit bonkers. There was a lot of money in it too, back in the day. Many a painter made his reputation and a few bob by knocking up the odd crucifixion scene, or an instructional mural. They were like graphic novels for those in the congregation (nearly all of them) who could not read.
Through my window I can see the weather vane of the local church which, being the godless soul that I am, I have never attended. Nevertheless, the spire and the golden cockerel which spins in the wind are a comforting sight. Sometimes, when the weather is more inclement, the outline of the construction can adopt a more sinister appearance.
Taking photographs of TV offers great opportunities for experimentation. I must confess that some post production was employed in Photoshop to doodle in certain areas. However, I think I like the air of mystery which is created by this.
I had a dream in which Damien Hirst and I were taking long exposure photographs of Janice Battersby from Coronation Street. Sadly, I don't know Damien Hirst, and I'm sure this is a project that neither he nor Janice Batterbsy will ever be interested in, and even if they were, they'd probably go ahead and do it without me.
Monday, 8 November 2010
Today's photo is an infrared view of Brompton Cemetery. Unusually for me I have chosen to keep it in colour as the otherworldliness of it is highlighted much better.
The diet, despite my trepidations, isn't too bad. I've signed up on t'internet to a company that sends me all my food for a month, divided into breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners. The first day has gone ok. My butterbean and carrot soup was surprisingly edible, and the Paella - which featured tuna strangely - was quite filling once I'd added a couple of roasted peppers. (I'm allowed additional vegetable accompaniments within reason).
It's often worthwhile photographing the doodles one composes during a meeting while one's colleagues are discussing the merits of 'going forward' and 'making a difference.' Such work can often offer an insight into one's state of mind and possibly highlight deep-rooted anxieties.
I'd be grateful for suggestions.
As I embark on a diet tomorrow in an attempt to combat the state of my fat liver, I thought it best to weigh myself in order that a chart of progress could be set up.
Oh, the horror! I'm on the obesity cusp, which, now I think about it, is a good name for a fat rock band, Obesity Cusp, or else for a portly Victorian jewel thieif and international spy.
Saturday, 6 November 2010
There are five thousand stories in The Bush of Shepherds, and this is one of them. (The picture is another story altogether.) Last week, I found a black Nokia phone on the tube, and since then have been attempting to reunite phone with owner. Unfortunately, the owner of the phone doesn't speak very good English, and so I have been negotiating the terms of return with various of his friends.
Someone rang me last Saturday and I told him I would be free all day Sunday to meet up and hand the phone over. No one rang. Then I had a call Friday morning, and gave someone else my address so that they come and pick it up. It took about twenty minutes to spell out the name of the street, and consequently I suspect no one wrote anything down as no one turned up.
Today, however, I was coming out of the second hand CD shop in Shepherds Bush when my phone rang again.
'It's about this phone, Mr Rob,' the man said. 'We are not sure how far away you are.'
'Where are you now?' I asked.
'Shepherds Bush,' he said.
'So am I,' I said. 'I'll meet you outside Morrisons in five minutes. I'm wearing headphones and a green parkah.'
I'm not sure why I handed out the physical description. There was no one else but me waiting outside Morrisons. In retrospect I regret giving him the short notice as a few minutes later a rather breathless pair of Turkish men staggered round the corner and waved at me.
They were effusively thankful, which was nice. I was a little disappointed that no one suggested sexual favours by way of a reward, but c'est la vie.
The next time I find a phone on the train however, I'm handing it in to someone official and letting them deal with it.
This is my street. Even without the long infrared exposure it's a bit of a surreal area in itself, tucked away between Housing Estates and within two minutes walk of an Underground Station that no one has ever heard of.
Christie, West London's best known serial killer, lived just around the corner and frequented what was my local pub. I was barred once, for two days, for impuning the honour of the landlord's wife. Sadly, it was turned into a hideous theme bar in the Eighties, with decor so garish that no one dared enter. It was closed within weeks and then demolished. I think there might be a community centre there now. I've never thought of change as being a particularly good thing. In this case I am right.
Thursday, 4 November 2010
I think it might be interesting to post a photograph a day for the next month or so. I'm a surrealist at heart and firmly believe that surreal situations occur everywhere, but that only certain people can see them and make them visible to others.
Whilst on the South Bank this summer I turned a corner and was confronted by this gentleman, in the act of assembling some form of costume. The lady emerged from around the corner just as I raised the camera, and adds somehow to the strangeness of the scene.
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
My experimental photography has taken a strange turn, as you can see. There's very little photoshop involvement, apart from a black and white conversion and some dodging and burning. It's all old-fashioned smoke and mirrors. Hopefully, I can post some more when I've developed the technique a bit further.