Monthly Archives: December 2010

Scream if ya wanna go faster!

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So December, and by extension Christmas, is nearly upon us and I have finally returned to the blog after several weeks absence. Sorry for the delay but I have several good excuses which involve a change of day job (regular readers will know that photography is not what I do full time, much as I love it), a decision to get on with attempting to build a my own photography website, and also a recent flurry of commercial (i.e. slightly paid) work that came trickling in. All three of these things means that the blog has been slightly neglected of late but at the very least it now forms part of my modest website which can be found here.

So why a website? First, people kept telling me that I needed one, especially if I was serious about selling any of my work. Second, the blog was not the best forum to highlight the various different bits and pieces I was doing. And third, it gave the opportunity to try something new. I am NOT a web designer, as you can probably tell, and so I had to go down the route of an on-line flash-based website; primarily for ease of use and also because I am a total novice. I hope to add in some sort of mini shop so that I might actually be able to sell some prints but the functionality is at the moment eluding me and I just can’t get it to work. See told you I was a klutz. In the meantime, if you do see anything you like then please don’t hesitate to contact me via the contact page and I can do a quote for prints – framed or unframed at pretty much any size. But, enough of the corporate whoring…

At the moment the UK could not get much more Christmassy, covered as it is with a sheet of ice. The picture heading this post was taken last weekend at the Christmas market in Chester, my home city, where not only do they have a faux Victorian/German [they can’t quite decide] but also an ice rink and a big wheel. Obviously the picture was taken using a tripod and a long exposure to get the sense of movement from the carousel and I’m pretty pleased with the result. The new camera is shaping up pretty well and I am slowly getting to grips with – even though its a newer model of the old camera some functions have changed. I have also been out with the camera lately to the seaside – New Brighton to be precise – and some of these pictures are on the website too.

Christmas is an odd time of year for me. Being a heathen it holds no religious significance and I am a bit too much of an old cynic and curmudgeon to buy into the ‘most wonderful time of the year’ malarkey. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy the holiday and I enjoy seeing friends and family but I take offence at the wall-to-wall Slade, Chanel perfume adverts, M&S promotions that cost the equivalent of a small country. I have children, which takes the edge of it somewhat; the level of excitement is infectious and its difficult not to get carried away with it – who knew opening a window in a piece of cardboard could be so exciting. I think the idea of Christmas is exciting and cockle-warming but in many cases the reality is a little bit mundane. Christmas Eve, with its expectation and hope, is far preferable to Christmas Day with its excess, over indulgence and family stress, especially when travelling. Speaking to people it seems that many feel the same…

The best Christmas I ever had was when my wife and I went away and stayed in a cottage in the Lake District with some very good friends. This was pre-children and immediately post-wedding – we felt it was the only year we could get away with it. A power cut due to high winds meant that we couldn’t even cook a turkey, so we retired to the pub and got drunk by candle light. In a funny way this was truly magical. The kids’ first Christmases were truly special but now one is a fervent unbeliever [and under pain of death not to share his thoughts] and the other is defiantly clinging on to the idea that Father Christmas is real in the way that reindeers and penguins obviously are. We gave up sending Christmas cards a couple of years ago, partly out of a wish to help save the planet but mainly out of laziness; we do give a donation to charity (no, honestly we do) and the truth of the matter is that even if you send no Christmas cards you still get them, even if you ask people not to send them… it seems that most people can’t remember from one year to the next who they sent cards to and maybe if you are the type of person that tallies such things then you’re not sending them for the right reasons.

I didn’t expect this blog to be such a load of old bah humbug. I do like Christmas. I just don’t love it. I don’t see the need to light up my house like Blackpool or to buy boxes of party food, usually involving prawns. Give me New Year’s Eve over Christmas Day any time – good friends, a roaring fire, red wine, happy children and not a sprout or Turkey in site. And no Noddy Holder, or Paul McCartney, or Chris DeBurgh, or Greg Lake. Besides, there’s only one Christmas song worth a bean and it’s this one. Apologies for the Noddy at the start and rest in peace Kirsty… you were one of the great ones.

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