It was my birthday during week 4, and we celebrated with a very tasty lunch at the Anglers pub in Walton-on-Thames, with a real fire and a view of the river.
I often wish that my birthday were in the middle of summer, so we could celebrate outside in the sunshine. One year, we went to Gibraltar for my birthday week – it was heavenly!
I’ve even considered having an “official” birthday, like the Queen – perhaps this year I’ll actually do that.
In the meantime, I enjoyed the cozy warmth of the pub – even though someone else had bagged the seat right by the fire!
One of my creative adventures took me to Canary Wharf, London Docklands, where I spent the day taking photographs and filming. I had been there a couple of times before, for business meetings, but I’d never had the time to have a look round.
It’s a strange place. The glass and concrete termite mounds and the underground shopping mall and food halls are a hive of activity – but outside, there’s hardly anyone to be seen. Mind you, it was a very cold day.
There’s a plaque in the floor of the shopping mall which reads: “London used to be known as the City of Ships. A thousand vessels a week passed through the docks.” In the 1960s the docks fell into disuse. In the 1990s the land was re-developed to house London’s financial sector.
Canary Wharf is like a city within a city – with its own creche and hospital, and the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) weaving its way through and connecting it with the outside world.
I did enjoy photographing and filming the shiny, reflective buildings – but I have to admit I would have felt much happier if the old Victorian warehouses had still been around, and not simply relegated to the role of museum.
The photographs above are of one of many sculptures and other art works on display in Canary Wharf.
I found out about this video, of a talk by Australian photographer Shantanu Starick, through Eli Trier, and I just had to share it.
It’s good news for Scanners…
Basically, through his website Pixeltrade, Shantanu has been travelling the world for free, for the past two years, in return for taking photographs – and trading on his willingness to photograph pretty much anything, rather than being a specialist.
What a wonderful idea – to be able to do what you love, for people who appreciate you, without having to worry about how much to charge or how you’re going to be able to get to where you need to be.
I would definitely be happy to trade my creative talents in return for some exciting adventures – albeit on a much smaller scale.
Shantanu Starick: How I Went Two Years Without Spending Any Money from 99U on Vimeo.
This week was busy with hospital appointments for scans and results (all good, hooray!) and ongoing treatment (no more chemo, though, hip hip hooray!).
In between, I managed a long walk by the river Thames in Kingston – not my usual walk, but a bit further along, towards Surbiton. I was on the lookout for walls to photograph, as part of a prompted photo challenge which I’ve since abandoned because it didn’t resonate with me.
This was one of the photos of walls that I took – it’s part of the outside terrace belonging to a riverside restaurant, and I rather liked the combination of logs and bricks. It reminded me of the log pile you get next to a cozy real fire.
I had intended to post a photograph of something I painted during an “art as therapy” workshop at the hospital – but in the end, I chickened out. Not that it was so terrible – but it was in response to the prompt: paint where you are right now. Which I found difficult to articulate in paint.
The truth is, I’m not totally sure where I am right now – and that’s OK. I feel as though I’ve been given yet another chance – and this time, I’m going to make the most of it. So I’m not making any plans – I’m just going to enjoy life one day at a time.
Excuse me while I burst into song…!
I came across the idea of “Project 52″, posting a photograph each week for a year, on Erica’s website – someone I’ve met in Xanthe Berkeley’s “A Year of Creating Time Capsules” community. Then, through the same community, I found references to the project on Teri’s website, Milina’s website and Jodi’s website.
I’ve tried, previously, to post a photograph every day on the blog – but the longest I’ve ever managed to do this is for a month. Even then, most of the time I’ve ended up using photographs from my archive, rather than new photographs, because I don’t go out every day, and there’s not much of interest to photograph at home…
But I reckoned that even I should be able to manage a photograph each week – especially now that I’m committed to getting out to film at least one video per month during 2015. In fact, I take a number of photographs that I don’t get around to using in the films, so that will be a good source – like the photograph above, taken on the South Bank while filming for my Festive London video.
I quite like the way a weekly photography project ties in with my mantra of Taking Life As It Comes – in this case, I’ll be photographing my life as it happens. My intention this year is to extend my boundaries, to explore and experience more of life, and to express myself creatively. So, hopefully, I’ll have something interesting to report on!
So, at the same time as doing at least one video per month, I’m going to have a go at posting a photograph each week on the blog. I’m already two weeks behind, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to catch up. We’ll see how I get on…