Tuesday, 29 June 2010

17. Life


A fly bit me. It was a horsefly, boldly clinging onto my arm while gingerly piercing a hole in my arm ready to sup on my blood. It would not get off. I don't blame it; it was doing what any horsefly would do. 

Thursday, 24 June 2010

16. Beached


I've been off from my day-job today. I woke up unable to get up! So it's been a day of forced rest.

It has not been too unpleasant. The sunshine has been very welcome and I've spent the afternoon looking through my portfolio and deciding where to go from here. It has been an interesting experience looking at my old work and seeing how much I have developed my own style.

Over recent months, I have found it difficult to know exactly where I want to go with my photography and writing. Before, I was led by luck and circumstance but now I have the opportunity to choose what I do from now on. However, I have been hesitating because I get the feeling that whatever I choose now will be something set in stone in the future.

Much in the same position I found myself this morning, unable to get going, I have floundered like a beached whale. But now that the tide is turning, and I know what I want to do, I will soon be able to be free again.

Monday, 21 June 2010

15. Contentment

Gwithian Beach

I have been very busy over this last week, although on Saturday I caught a train to Plymouth so that I could attend a meditation day course. It was entitled "Freedom from Attachment", which was extremely beneficial.

The day was beautiful, the food wonderful, and, by the time I got home, I felt a wonderful sense of calm that can only be experienced, not described. And, if that wasn't enough, we went out for a walk to our favourite beach when I got home which was the "cherry on top" (the ideal way to end a day).

I've always been very wary about mentioning religion or spirituality on my blogs. On my old blog, I noticed that I would either invoke negative responses or get no replies at all when I wrote anything that was even close to the subject. This has always fascinated while, at the same time, confused me. Doesn't all spirituality have the same aim? To find some kind of peace and happiness?

I came back from my day out with a little bit better understanding of my current practise; that practising contentment can bring happiness, and that it is important to live for the moment and let the past and future go. I think that in today's world of commercialism, and after today's announced budget changes, a little bit of contentment can go a long way.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

14. Last Light

Last light

We were walking in the countryside, enjoying the last of the warm, Summer light: "The Golden Hour". There was a fresh fragrance of wild flowers, the hum of bees making their last minute rounds and a wren telling us off with a shrill call for trespassing into its territory.

After the busy weekend, and an expected visit from an "External Verifier" for my course tomorrow, I really needed some downtime. I've been finding it difficult to switch off the "you should be doing this..." thoughts lately, especially when I have the computer course and my desire to write fiction, together with the NVQ work, plus a huge list of other things that I never seem to get around to, so when Kirsty asked if I wanted to go out for a walk, I nearly said no. I'm so glad I didn't.

I was talking to a friend at the weekend who has made me really think about taking care of myself. He said that if you don't pay attention to your body's little warnings when you're 30, it'll stop you in your tracks when you hit 40. Coming from a man who knows, I'm rather inclined to believe him. My body is definitely telling me that I'm doing
too much. And, although I want to live as much as I can now, sometimes I have to save my strength for another day. ;-)

Monday, 14 June 2010

13. Buried


I've been buried in work over the weekend (hence the topical photograph). As well as my computer course, I'm working on an NVQ level 3 in Business and Administration.

Coming from a predominantly academic background, I nearly always underestimate the amount of work required for vocational courses. I thought it would fit in nicely with what I'm doing and, you know, be a back-up qualification if my plans were to fall apart with the computer course. While I underestimate the work, I also tend to over-do the work that I'm required to do because I'm so used to writing up detail when, in fact, I'm only required to write down skeletal information. I find it confusing. This weekend, for the first time, I asked what is too much, hoping to cut down my workload.

It's times like this, when there seems to be too much on my plate, that photography comes into its own. While meditation helps calm my mind and makes me feel at peace with myself, photography is my escape.

Friday, 11 June 2010

12. London

Canary Wharf

A weekend away in London had me feeling exhausted by the time I got into work on Monday morning. It wasn't so much the travel, even though the trains were both delayed, but the endless walking we did through the heat-saturated streets. Waves of warmth rebounded off pavements and buildings, and there was little shade to protect us from the fierce pounding of the sun on our skin. Nevertheless, it was time well spent.

We visited the Gherkin building, the Tate Modern (always a favourite of mine) and the Imperial War Museum. The journey itself was useful for giving us both time to relax and study. It was a very good weekend away. And, of course, it helped very much that we were in a four star hotel happily ordering room service and luxuriating in the little creature-comforts that every hotel offers.

I love visiting London. Not because I crave busy city streets, but because of the culture, the museums (always the museums), and the underground (I love going on the Tube). It's like a blast of "life" that the quiet lanes of Cornwall just do not have. Of course, it's always nice to be able to retreat back to those same country lanes when I've had enough of the city too.

This time, I didn't feel like I'd had enough of the city. I would have been happy to have stayed another few days. A pity, then, that work was waiting for us both. And, for me, piles of papers to organise, and an NVQ to prepare coursework for.

The above photograph was taken outside our hotel - directly opposite Canary Wharf. It was a superb view.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

11. Clinging on


The other day, we stopped off at a local nature reserve in order to find things to photograph. I was particularly interested in finding some damselflies or dragonflies. After much hunting, I finally found two tiny ones (one of which was above, although it moved off pretty soon after this was taken and I wasn't going to follow it through the marsh!).

Most kinds of photography require a degree of patience but I think that Macro-photography requires a special amount of it. It's hard work just focusing on something that small, let alone having to deal with whatever it is flying off and leaving you with nothing to photograph! But I think that's why I like it; it's an excuse to practise patience, which is never a bad thing.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

10. The perfect evening

Trevance Cove

Last night, we went for a little walk around our village. We could hear the distant roar of the waves at the cove as we ventured into new areas. The weather was perfect, a blue sky with little cloud, and that low-lying Summer Sun which always seems to bathe everything with a golden hue. There was a certain feeling in the air: Summer.


I always feel that if I'm not out there experiencing life, then I'm not really living at all. I'm really not the stay-at-home type who watches soaps (far from it). So when I get to go out and really make the most of an evening as beautiful as last night, I'm living my life well. :-)

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

9. Life on the Edge

mamma bug

We were on a photowalk last night, taking photographs in a field left to fallow, when I came across these little beetles. There were females, like the one above, heavily laden with eggs, and males that were wandering in search of the females. I've never seen such beautiful beetles before.

The thing is, the females were so heavy that, because they were often in precarious positions such as gripping onto the underside of leaves, they would sometimes lose grip and fall off with a tiny thud into the undergrowth. A life in macro, with no awareness of the hugeness of the world, that one tiny drop was probably like half a lifetime of falling...like a huge event for those tiny creatures.

I watched the beetles and thought about how each of us have our own little dramas with little grasp on how small they really are in the grand scheme of things. Like ranting at the person who has just cut you up on a roundabout (because it's such a big event, right?), or the argument you just had with your partner is like the end of the world as you know it. I'm as guilty as most people for making such small little molehills seem like mountains.

I love macro photography so much. It allows me to view the world in a completely different way. Sometimes, it's not just about seeing the grand scheme of things but also seeing that even the smallest thing can feel so huge.