Saturday, July 25, 2009

Flickr profile July 2009. (removed by me)

I tried using my Olympus OM1 film at half term in Yorkshire and, disappointingly, found it heavy to carry around and had problems with batteries for the light meters which was irritating although it still felt good and crisp to use in hand. If I ever have a LOT of time on my hands I might do film again.

Meantime I had my Olympus digital camera gear stolen last December and I've replaced it with a Nikon D90 and two lenses and a rather good flash gun. So far I really, really like this new kit although getting my head around the amazing array of facilities it offers is mind numbing. Next I'm going to learn Lightroom and maybe Photoshop.

The Fair Pint Campaign has taken on a life of its own since January when I last added to this profile. Amazing.

It's 2 January 2009 now.

The saga of my rent review on my business has brought me to the point at which I am likely to be forced into bankruptcy within a couple of months, the arbitrator in my case being 'against me' and for the Freeholder; a situation entirely inequitous and unprovable by wither arbitrator or the Freeholder but I don't have the financial resources to take it further, having been to High Court already, which essentially found in my favour, returning the 'Award' back to the arbitrator to either recalculate or justify. He has neither recalculated nor justified his original Award, which he is sticking to, but to have his intransigence scrutinised further by the High Court means my going back to the High Court which, as an individual, I cannot possibly afford... ergo the Freeholder wins and I am made destitute. Plus Ca Change C'est La Meme Chose.

I recommend looking through sets and not reading any of this. Although I recently (May 2008) set up the Fair Pint Campaign with a few friends and it has taken off incredibly well. The motivation for this is the result of the outrageous stuff I mention below about corporate greed which has seriously affected my mental health. There's a lot more about it here:

We're making history. Honest.

SPeCAL View my DNA at

This 'special spell with Flickr' tool was developed by: Erik Kastner who, I reckon, should get a medal for doing it

In January 2006 I found Flickr and immediately fell in love with it. I've settled in to flickr using it partly to ruminate on my photographs, partly as a visual diary and a bit to try to get other people to see what an oddly underprivileged place Camberwell - my home town - is and how it should be a lot better. I try to show the good the bad and the ugly of the area. Perhaps too indiscriminately at times but I don't have much time to moderate myself better. On that I don't have time to browse flickr friends' photos as much as I'd like so apologies now if I don't respond to invitations or messages. Time is a freight train that never slows to let you off. I've started deleting myself from groups because of this. I see I shoot I post; no computer intervention except for upload and storage. I don't use negative any more and doubt I ever will again...

Now it's 2008. I bought a whole load of film cameras and lenses in 2007. All Olympus OM stuff that I could never afford when I used film - all at ridiculously low prices in mint condition. I Haven't used them yet. I bought them as a reaction to being very depressed. It didn't make me less depressed. Ahem. The anti depression pills have done that. Fighting a battle against a massive company for several years that seems to have no end takes its toll you see. Photography is a therapy, and escape. I find so many things so beautiful that I photograph almost everything. A visual blunderbuss. I've been thinking about narrowing this down for many years but have never found enough time to decide what to concentrate on. I'm working on that side of things right now (February 2008).

garden portrait

Most people’s mantra about photography is “I could have done that”
but the beauty of Photography is: they didn’t.

I like to keep equipment to a minimum. I use a Fuji E900, which I take everywhere, and an Olympus E400. Both fantastic little cameras that do most things I want them to and I’ll learn what I don’t know with time. Each share some characteristics of the Olympus OM1 – the camera I was in love with from when I was 19 and is still my dream touchy feely camera.

Caius Petronius wrote this in AD 66:

"We trained hard, but it seemed every time we were beginning to form up into teams we would be reorganised. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganising, and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress, while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralisation."

Generations of great thinkers and observers have gone before us and left us with knowledge we wilfully ignore and still we repeat this behaviour. *sigh*…

If you're interested, do read below bearing in mind I wrote it late at night with consideration and I mean it all. It ain't heavy but I don't have a brother OK? Otherwise save yourself a bit of time; look at my pictures and tell me what you think of them. Ta. In advance. Please use sets, the stream often makes no sense at all.

If I knew how I'd put some lovely pic in here and make it all colourful and lovely.

355 SE5

See? You live you learn. some elementary html. A man called Mr Normal taught me that. He deleted some time ago which made me feel like I'd lost a friend.

I’ve spent all of my life trying to be me but somehow I've put a lot of me on hold for most of my life. I was almost me for six months in Chicago in 1980. I sometimes wonder why I’m not me but it's what is life - being an only child, maybe not competitive enough. Wappen. I'm still that little seven year old boy up there: brought up in Nigeria and Newcastle and Northumberland and never quite recovered. But it's given me a perspective I like and a weirdly permanent optimism I can't fathom - especially when I consider what a crock of shite we’re making of the world.

I've a pretty brilliant woman who calls me ‘boyfriend’ because she won’t marry me and two mostly always, except when I get head-butted or goolied by mistake, utterly gorgeous boys who aren't very smelly yet. Can't wait until they hate me because they are them and I am me, how long have I got? Maybe six years if I'm lucky, plan is to fool them into thinking I'm cool forever... I'll see.

I kind of own a pub in Camberwell, London, England (that’s the other side of the Atlantic from AMERICA, not New England). Except I don’t own it. Feudal Landlords own it. Well they manage it as part of an estate that’s owned by Royal Bank of Scotland. Very good at csr (corporate social responsibility) they are (RBS) so they aren’t bothered about what happens to the people who rent their pub estate because other people (i.e. a company), called S&N (Scottish & Newcastle) who are a bunch of charlatans, liars, bullies, cheats, swindlers and scumbags do all the dirty work, like squeeze every last drop of profit into their own bulging coffers. I don't know how they sleep at night. Still it keeps me off the streets. And keeps me staying up doing this. You has to have a hobby innit.

The experience of running a pub - as opposed to the experience of running a business - is stressful beyond ration. It's something to do with being in bonded labour to those filthy barstewards above (who incidentally couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery even if it were to save them from being burned at the stake).

So I’m parent, publican, patrician, photographer, philosopher, permanently perplexed, partly pissed.

Don't get me wrong. I know the world is a marvellous place, full of beauty and wonder. I love it. It makes me want to cry it’s so beautiful. We have all the habitable wonders of an entire Universe at our feet but we don’t see it. And I can't ever understand why collectively we don't treat it like it’s that. It’s not just that we can’t even respect other human beings; we are mortal and we're killing the one thing we really can't be without: The ground we stand on, the air we breathe and the water we are: this is all ONE. We are part of this ONE and this ONE is going to get rid of us; as sure as pterodactyl eggs was eggs, we’re on the way out unless we change our ways.

That’s what my boys will really hate me for… being part of this nonsense we call civilisation. Collectively we behave like dumbass adolescents on a death wish but we don’t see it. We’re teenage barbarians, very spotty and self conscious. We can’t see beyond our greasy dirty fringe (bangs). We’ve got to grow UP!

It's all a bit short sighted isn't it. Why are we like this? We haven’t had time for our emotions and intellect to catch up with our brains and technology. We spend $10 BILLION per space shuttle flight. What's it all about? What for? Spy satellites? In some odd notion that we can escape if we fuck it up here?

Escape? To where? It's never goign to happen. Not in our civilisation's lifespan. Unless we discover how to neatly access wormholes and steer ourselves to destination Far Reaches of The Universe with accuracy; harness post light speed transportation technologies; find how to make our bodies survive zero gravity; cosmic ray bombardment and non oxygen based atmospheres; even then we have to find that little needle in the haystack of billions and billions of delighfully pretty, shining boiling hot gas balls and their satellites that don't support life. We ought to learn and get it right here before fantasising about all that don't you think?

Paradise is right here under our noses. It smells good and, by golly, it looks good. Just look around here Flickrmates… and see how good it tastes, it's everywhere.

By the way; don’t blame George W. Bush, he’s just a kid. Blame his parents. They’re the ones who should have known better. Of course I blame their parents or, at least, their parents' parents.

And don’t let your kids blame you. Be Good.

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