Monday, 31 December 2018

Last cycling of 2018

Godstone Green both bikes


The weekend came around quickly, two bank holidays and day off will do that to a working week.

Saturday was warm for the time of year, so we wanted to cycle a bit further than normal. I have cycled to Godstone Green a few times this year when out alone. I climb the Enterdent to add some distance and extra challenge. It had been some time since Matt and I had drunk tea at the green so it was agreed this was to be our destination. With the addition of the Enterdent. This is usually part of our joint route to Merstham and the Hungers End cafe so Matt hadn't rode it for a long time. As is always the case it appears daunting but isn't too hard once you get into it.

The green was bereft of Christmas decoration, which was a shame. I really wanted a picture of the bikes with lights in the background.

Sunday was very foggy, as I left the house visibility was so bad I thought about aborting. But as I rode into the valley it got a lot better. I arrived a bit early so I took the chance to take a pic.

bike christmas lights at the green

The only other lights we have seen this year have been on houses.

Matt arrived as I was putting the camera away, he hadn't noticed me so was looking at the road I normally arrive from. I wanted to walk up behind him and ask who he was looking for, but he turned to greet me before I was close enough. We went the long way to the bus stop, much safer than the Limpsfield Rd. We chatted about what we would do if we won a lot of money. The world had so many places and people to see, getting bored wasn't likely. We could also indulge our hobbies. Matt would devote time to writing, me to photography. We would obviously do more cycling.

He could spend time in his new house by the sea becoming a successful writer.

It would have a studio, setup to meet my requirements. So many studios are just white rooms with maybe a brick wall on one side. Or the sets they have don't suit my style. It would have land I could also use. Even existing or new structures that would make interesting backdrops.

We couldn't understand someone buying a lottery ticket or tickets every week, winning a large sum of money and not traveling or pursuing a hobby. Why would you go back to your old job? I can understand your friends would not have the same lifestyle you now had. But you could involve them in your new life.

Monday cycling was cancelled. My cold that started on Sunday had really taken hold when I woke up. The most debilitating part being the runny nose. I was tired with a headache but I would have gone out if it wasn't for the waterfall that was my nose.

So the last part of the last post of 2018 is a little disappointing.

cold cure and tissues
Other cold cures are available


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Friday, 28 December 2018

2018, looking forward to 2019

Where did 2018 go? I think I wonder at the speed the past year has gone every year. And I look back too.

My photography has included a wedding, more great shoots with Xandria and her mum in September and December

A project to shoot pictures for a clothing designer is in the early planning stages. Location scouting and model choice is happening now. The shoot isn't likely until Feb or March, so watch this space.

My personal projects had more focus. This will be my goal for next year. I want to continue to learn, but I also want to produce more eye catching pictures. The shoot with Natasha had that. Next year I want to be more creative, produce images that insist on a second look.

model in a studio chaise lounge

I worked with two male models, I plan to work with more next year.

Do I work again with models I know or with new ones? My confidence has improved a lot this year, Natasha said as much during our first shoot. I'm not so anxious as the shoot gets closer. Meeting new people regularly has helped me to quickly become comfortable. I think I'll try to do both.

I hope to work with Xandria and her mum again. They both have good ideas and goals they want to achieve. I enjoy the challenge of delivering them. I hope to work with Janayah again.

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Whilst I didn't lead it I did organise a group studio shoot for the Caterham Photography Society. It was a good experience and I was able to pass on some of what I had learned. Maybe if I plan another one it will be more of a teaching shoot with more structure.

Marilyn studio caterham photography society

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I also want to photograph other subjects. 

I use to shoot a lot of motorsport, both on my own and at track-day events. Lydden Hill and Canada Heights aren't far from me. Both great locations if you don't have a press pass.

I have had a couple of food photography sessions, whilst I thought they looked okay at the time. Now I can see they needed work.

Landscape is isn't something I have explored. The most recent time I really focused was in March at the first meeting of the Caterham Photography Society. Although I did take a couple of portraits during the walk.

lake district view



Many years ago I was in the Lake District on holiday. 


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There is also my cycling. I have covered more miles this year, and set some goals for 2019. I want to improve my speed to Canterbury and up Waller Lane.

Looking at my recent pictures and older ones; I have improved but it is harder to keep being original. We cycle to the same places, they have been photographed from every angle. So it will be visit more places and start thinking of different ways to keep the old places fresh.

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I don't do new years resolutions. It wasn't my intent for this post to list some possibilities that's for sure.

I guess I'll have to see what 2019 brings.



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Monday, 24 December 2018

Cycling at Christmas

Christmas is nearly here, which means a couple of extra days for cycling.

sunrise bike leaning against post
Saturday 22nd at the bus stop

Saturday was a good day, the slow way to the bus stop and back. It's a nicer route, avoiding lots of  traffic, with a few good climbs. It was much warmer than last week, so no falls this time.

Sunday's ride was a washout, heavy rain and cold winds. Out intended destination was St Leonard's Church. We don't go there very often, but just recently it's become a popular place. It was where Matt and I discussed our obsession with drinking tea.

Monday was much better. It had warmed up a lot, we decided to go to Flower Farm near Godstone. This is another half way stop we don't go to very often. I don't know why, it's not very far; about 17 miles there and back. If does mean a steep hill on the way back, but it always seems worse than it is. Once crested we always say, "that wasn't so bad". 

A very good part of the ride is the food at the farm shop. Tasty cake is always on the menu for us. They served it this time with a couple of slices of apple so it was good for us too.

We met at the green a little later than normal so the farm was busier than usual, but our favourite spot by the fire was free.


flower farm cake and tea
Monday at Flower Farm for tea and cake.

Christmas Day is a family day so no cycling, we hope to be out again Boxing day.


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Sunday, 16 December 2018

You never know what's around the corner

at the green christmas lights in the background bike leaning against a tree


Frosted grass was an indication it was colder than yesterday, but as I started my ride it didn't seem so bad. Must be all the layers I had on.

The roads were wet, but they didn't appear to be more slippery than expected. The sun was just coming up.



When I took the picture at the top of this post as I waited for Matt; all was good. Two rides in a weekend, it wasn't that cold and not too windy. Perfect.

Matt arrived and we set off the slow way to the bus stop.

This route avoids a lot of traffic on a fast road, includes some hills to make the short distance worth while and the bus stop has covered seating. Makes the tea break pleasant. And we are obsessed with our tea.

Up and down hills without a care. Through puddles, chatting and all was well.



And then, bang. I'm picking myself up off the road.




It was low speed, and the back wheel went first, so I was able to get a foot down, and hop for a bit. But the bike got away from me and I lost my footing. And down I went. A gash on my knee was all that I had to show for it. My knee is also a bit stiff, but I guess it would have been worse if it had happened as we descended a hill at speed. If Matt had had a camera my heroic efforts to stay upright would have been recorded. You'll have to take my word for it; I used all my ninja skills.

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Saturday, 15 December 2018

The last photoshoot of 2018

headshot window background


The last photoshoot of 2018. And it was really productive, as it always is with a good team. They both had clear ideas about what they wanted, and came well prepared. You always have to adapt a bit if you're not in a controlled environment like a studio. But I think that adds to the challenge.

The plan was for two looks; one a bit edgier than we had previously shot and the second more editorial.

Xandria's mum found the location, a good call considering the weather. It's so much nicer working in the warm.


gold coat stairwell
 The first setup wasn't particularly well lit, a dim stairwell, with one window. I think it worked for the theme though. I used a speedlight to add a bit of punch to the lighting. It was attached to a remote trigger and placed in a softbox. I try to use off camera flash as much as possible, it gives more control and options.
gold coat stairwell on the step

blue floral dress, blue lipstick window background

blue floral dress, blue lipstick window background
The second setup was completely different; against some big windows. It still needed the softbox to balance the background exposure and to give some depth.







We have started a search for a location for the next shoot.

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Sunday, 9 December 2018

tea obsessed

tea bikes bench leaves


Cycling yesterday, and neither of us had much time so we headed to a church that was close. It still means a few hills but we get home earlier. The only problem is no covered seating. We didn't intend to stay very long so it didn't really matter.

We talked a little about brexit, but concluded as we always do that no-one understands it. Or what's going to happen. It seems most of the loudest voices are of those with agenders. The quiet majority will just have to wait an see.

The rest of the time we talked about Christmas and how we would spend it. And of course how much extra cycling we would get in because of the holidays.

The picture above sums up our cycling, we are not in to massive distances, or light weight. I bring food, Matt a flask, and we plan our route so that we can stop for tea. The few times we don't bring our own it's because a cafe is our destination.

I was looking over the many pictures I have of the cycling. There are a lot with the Stanley flask in them, plenty of cake, cereal bars and sandwiches.

cup in a bench lichen

The bench looks to have been in the churchyard for a long time, plenty of lichen on it. And another example of our obsession with tea. My cup reflecting the lichen covered surface. I didn't realise until I zoomed in how scratched it was. It has traveled many miles over the years.

No cycling today, it was just too wet and windy. Hopefully it will be drier for the next few weeks, it will mean it's colder. But we don't mind that.

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Group shoot city walk

This was a little different for me, a group shoot.

natasha at the end of the photoshoot on a bench


Ashley on slatted seats
Ashley on slatted seats




















Eden on a horse cart
Eden on a horse cart
I prefer one-to-one shoots, I like to take my time, get to know the model and develop on my ideas.

But this event ticked a few boxes for me.

1. I wanted to work with Natasha again; our last shoot was brilliant. That session allowed me to develop the picture ideas I had planned and produced a great set.

2. It included four models, including a man. This would mean less standing around and another opportunity to work with a male model. The last time was with Sam.

3. It was to be a walk around an area that I had wanted to shoot in. Natasha had done this before so it took the guesswork out of location scouting.

As is the case with an outdoor shoot at this time of year, I checked the weather reports during the week. I don't know why I do this, the forecast is not often accurate until very close to the day. I must like to torture myself.

One of the models didn't turn up, Natasha just adapted. It didn't really affect the shoot too much, it was a social group and we chatted and gave advice. We acted as mobile light stands for each other. I wasn't the only one who had brought remote triggers. I held the lights for others and they did the same for me. It made a difference being able to control where the light was coming from.

The two other models, Eden and Ashley, who arrived with Natasha were great. They coped with us photographers, without stress. A model friend of theirs was in London and stepped in towards the end. I don't think anyone felt too let down. 

The theme was to have been Christmas, but the area was too interesting to just make it about twinkling lights. The first one below is next to the Lloyds building, the grey and chrome was a contrast to Eden's red hair and black coat.


 And this one used a statue nearby. I wish I could say that I noticed the guy in the poster and composed the shot to have him glancing at Eden. But alas I only noticed as I opened the picture on my computer.


Here are two pics that kept on theme.

christmas arch


Ashley took a break and laid down on a couch in the pub. The flash was on the table next to him pointed at the ceiling, so I took this shot.

Ashley laying on a couch


And to show how rebellious we all were, we got moved one twice. The first time from a pub, it was a big one and we were out of the way, but there were flashes going off so I guess it was inevitable. The second time I really don't know what the problem was. We were using a paved area fronting some shops and cafes. They were closed so we weren't in anyone's way, or blocking access. To be fair they gave us a bit of time, but that might have been because it took a while to notice us. The walk started at Leadenhall Market and no-one minded there.

It started raining and it was past 3pm so it was time to head for home. 

It's not the first time I have been moved on by security guards. The shoot with Sam a few months ago was the last time. Before that I had a problem on the South Bank of the Thames, I'd only taken one picture and the guards came running. Tourists continued to snap away as we relocated. I think it's the "big" camera. It can't be security because even basic cameras, or phones have the quality needed for any potentially nefarious uses.

I'm not sure if I have any more photography projects this year. Xandria, who I last worked with in September is next weekend. Other that that it will be pictures of Matt and I cycling through the winter for a while.




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Saturday, 1 December 2018

The weather isn't much better, but my mood is.

cycling in the rain by a puddle


My post earlier about not cycling has a part two.

My wife knows how much I benefit from cycling, mentally as well as physically. And I guess she doesn't like me moping around the house. So when the rain eased a bit she suggested I should think about venturing out.

And I am so glad I did. The rain had abated as I left the house but the roads were very wet with big puddles. The wind was still making its presence felt, especially when it caused mini showers, blowing water out of the overhanging trees. There were also some real showers, but I wasn't bothered by them. I was warm and headed for home by then.

Riding later in the day meant more traffic, which lead to more encounters with poor driving. But my mood was lifted so much, the morons couldn't bring me down.

I'm at home now, showered and contented. I'll avoid the television with its repetitive news bulletins and listen to music. Eat dinner with my wonderful wife, and maybe have a glass of wine.

Happy days.

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Before I am ready for it, another working week will begin.

rain no cycling garden


Last weekend I was tired, and it rained heavily; that meant no cycling. This weekend I was looking forward to riding, but...

This morning, the picture above was all I had. I thought I might go out a little later, but as the sun rose it became less likely. Rain isn't always a reason not to go cycling, I rode my first RideLondon through a storm; flooded roads, heavy rain and even hailstones. The first day of my ride to Paris was wet and windy. A lot of the South Downs Way was ridden through showers.

The difference was that I had committed to raising money for charity or I wasn't alone.

To be honest, this morning I received the abort text from Matt as I was typing my own. So I had decided not to go out before I knew Matt wasn't.

That's the trouble with this time of year. The days are short and the weather is disappointing; all week you leave for work in the dark, get home in the dark and then it's wet at the weekend.

The good news is that I have Christmas eve and New Years eve off this year. It means very long weekends and the chance of more cycling, fingers crossed.

Cycling is much more important to me than just a way to keep fit. For a while I can switch off from day-to-day stresses and thoughts. I catch up with friends. There is the adrenaline and endorphins that I don't realise I miss until after the ride has been cancelled. Even when, like last weekend, I am too tired and down to go out. I feel momentarily worse at being defeated. I wander around the house, restlessly trying to find something to do. And contemplating going for a ride. But as is nearly always the case the weather isn't improving and life is now in the way. I have missed my chance. It affects my whole week, I don't feel as motivated and I actually feel more tired. I'd be in a better mood too.

I am looking forward to a photoshoot tomorrow. Will the weather get in the way of that too?

And before I am ready for it, another working week will begin.


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Saturday, 17 November 2018

Remembrance

we will remember them plinth

Last weekend included remembrance Sunday. I watched the various programs over the weekend and was touched by the ones remembering everyone affected by war. It's been said we shouldn't keep having this day and looking back. Nothing I saw glorified war, if anything it should have reminded everyone how pointless war is. We have to remember what happened and work harder to avoid it in the future.

The other programs attempted to show what it was like to have been there. I don't think people realise what it was like. Obviously I don't but I had a connection to both wars. My grandad was in the First World War, my dad was in the Second. He never spoke about it, although I don't remember asking him. It seems as the number of people who lived through it has declined the effort to remember has increased, as it should.

I don't think it's taught in the same as it was, so many today know almost nothing of the two wars. It's too easy not comprehend the incredible suffering they caused. Or any war for that matter.

poppies arch church


The picture above is of a church in Godstone. The poppies looked knitted, I'm guessing the locals have created this special centenary display as have others at churches and schools around the country.
There is a war memorial in the grounds with the date of the war on as is usual. Except the dates aren't what you expect. 1914 -1919. When we saw these dates years ago it prompted an internet search. The usual dates of the war and the ones being remembered this year are for the ceasefire, or armistice. The Treaty of Versailles was signed in June 1919, officially ending the war.

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Nikon 1

autumn leaves hill


I didn't go out last Sunday, heavy rain and knowing it would be a solo cycle meant I just couldn't motivate myself.

Matt had been saying that since buying his new bike punctures had no longer been a problem for him. He said it a lot and so it was inevitable that they would eventually strike; last weekend they did. It didn't affect last weekend, the rain saw to that. But this morning's joint ride was lost. Matt had repaired the hole during the week, but either there was another one or the patch hadn't held. I woke to an abort due to puncture text.

It was a grey morning but I wanted to get out. Apart from anything else I wanted to test my "new" camera. When I first started photographing my cycling I used a big DSLR, a Nikon D70. It went everywhere with me. The short local rides and the longer ones to Paris and the South Downs Way. But on one off-road ride I fell off and landed on the bag containing the camera. It was never the same and frequently wouldn't work. I had by then upgraded to a better DSLR, so I wasn't going to take that cycling. I read a few reviews and bought a second hand Nikon Coolpix 8800. I was lead to believe it was a good camera. It was newer than the D70, but classed as a bridge camera. Something between a point and shoot and a DSLR. I must have been spoilt by the D70 because the 8800 just didn't compare. It was incredibly slow, had poor highish ISO performance and frustrated me everytime I used it.

I had a bit of spare cash and started to look around for a "new" camera. A few years ago Nikon released the Nikon 1 series. I guess you could say it was somewhere between a bridge camera and a DSLR. The specs were good and the reviews said picture quality was very good. Maybe a little fiddly to use due to a lack of buttons. Even minor changes require diving into the menu system, rather than a button press or dial movement.

Oh, and it was very expensive, you could have bought a full size DSLR for the same money. And you needed to buy 1 series lenses. It just didn't make sense and Nikon slashed the prices and then discontinued them fairly quickly.

The quick price drop and discontinuation means they are now selling on ebay at a very good price.


My first impressions are good. Yes, having to go into the menu system to make basic changes is a pain. But I think I now have it setup as I need it for most pictures. Everything else about it is great. It's fast to use, and the picture quality is excellent. I am really going to enjoy using it. And I'm sure I will take more pictures as a result.


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Saturday, 10 November 2018

joggers



The weather forecast for the weekend wasn't good, and as it drew nearer it looked more and more likely to be a washout.

Then the dreaded abort text from Matt. We don't normally leave our houses if it's raining, being on my own made it a certainty. As I went to sleep the rain was lashing down and the wind was blowing.

I woke up to still air and blue skies. So it was an easy decision to go for a ride. Last weekend Matt and I had thought about Godstone, that's where I headed. Being on my own I knew there would be no stop for tea and cereal bars so I took a longer route than normal, including an extra hil; The Enterdent. The recent wind and rain had dislodged plenty of leaves, it looked nice but made for very slippery conditions. 



High speed descents were out, especially if it included a bend. I stayed out towards the middle of my lane for this reason and also the big puddles could be concealing potholes. It meant other traffic had to think more about their overtaking, but that's never a bad thing.

On the way home I came across some joggers, they ran in a group spread across the road. As I approached they parted and I cycled between them. I guess they have a similar problem to me, drivers giving them little room unless they take control of the road.



As a way to keep fit I prefer cycling; jogging just seems harder work. I think it is classed as a high impact activity. I did run a 10k race many years ago, it was okay, but I wouldn't do it again. When I signed up for it I knew my general fitness would get me through but I'd still need to practise. I didn't do much, I just didn't like it. The run went okay, completed in just over fifty minutes. 

Cycling means I can travel further, and have a rest on the downhill bits. It's definitely for me.

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Sunday, 28 October 2018

Conkers

Conkers cycling autumn

Saturday saw a big change in the weather. It was very cold yesterday, frosty grass and cold feet. Matt was back from his trip to Japan so we cycled to the Tudor Rose tea room in Westerham for breakfast.

Regular readers will know I'm not one for lots of words, Matt's the writer after all.

I can remember he said he was on his own for the weekend and didn't know what he was going to do. I suggested he just sat back and chilled out. He thought maybe some decorating was likely.

We parted company near Botley with a plan to cycle to Godstone today. Then I got the dreaded abort text. And this morning an explanation; Matt's front room was to be redecorated.

The forecast was for rain today, when I looked out of the window it had rained overnight but it looked okay. I didn't go far, cold wind and rain does temper motivation. But it did give me the chance to take pictures, my other hobby.

Only a week of work until I can go cycling again.

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Sunday, 21 October 2018

darker mood

black catsuit monochrome

I had an idea for a darker photoshoot for a while. My usual style is what you might call bright and light. I wanted to use more dramatic lighting with an edgy theme.

I considered an outside shoot, but I didn't find a location I was happy with. It had to be somewhere I could control the natural light or modify it either with reflectors or flash. Without an assistant this can be difficult. Maybe I'll try a shoot with an assistant next year.

Now that autumn is here, outdoor shoots are much harder, it's cold and likely to rain. The theme of the shoot was moody, not cold and unhappy.

In a studio I can work slower, more deliberately. I don't have to worry about bystanders and equipment, bags etc are safe. There is always somewhere for the model to change, this can be a big problem and consumes time when you're out and about.

Natasha arrived well prepared. There is always a get to know you period when working with someone new. I meet her at the local station, so by the time we reached the studio everything was relaxed and the shoot flowed really well.

The studio, Murder Mile was darker than I had expected. The flash system had modeling lights so there was no problem focusing. It did mean the lighting was very controllable. I had planned to use two lights at a time and gels, but in the end I used one light for each set with either a ten inch reflector or beauty dish. Keeping it simple was definitely the best way to go. I was able to just light Natasha with the background almost black. Most of the outfits were also black; but shiny so standing out from the background wasn't a problem. As I edited them a realised a lot could be better converted to black and white.

black catsuit monochrome chaise long

colour chair head down feet up
Looked great in colour too

colour catsuit close up


colour chair attitude

The studio had a cage, it was too heavy to move and was a bit hemmed in but we couldn't resist using it. It did mean full length shots were out; I think it still delivered.

cage powerfull look

cage behind bars


The exceptions were the sparkly dresses. Treated to the same lighting they remained in colour. See above and below.

sparkly dress sitting on a desk

And the coat Natasha arrived in. It was too photogenic to ignore.

headshot fur lined hood

My wife saw the pictures and remarked how different they were to my normal style. Reinforcing how successful the shoot had been.

I am so pleased with what we achieved, I'll be returning to the studio, with Natasha again.

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Saturday, 20 October 2018

There's nothing else to compare

As I got ready to go cycling this morning the radio started playing Can't take my eyes off you by Andy Williams. Marcia, my wife, knew what was coming; I turned to her and started singing. And as I had hoped, she started laughing, shook her head and covered her ears. I'm not a good singer so I can't blame her. This always makes me happy, so riding on my own with a chilly start didn't seem so bad.

Even better, as I walked downstairs I blasted out the chorus and I could hear Marcia laughing again.

Then when I got on my bike it was brilliant, I was in a very good mood.

I stopped to take a picture, even the sun rays were pointing in my direction.

sun rays across the road early morning


Then at the bottom of a hill near home I saw how nature tries hard to overcome adversity.

sunflower at the side of the road


I'm guessing no-one planted the sunflowers, they survived all by themselves.

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Sunday, 14 October 2018

I want to ride my bicycle

I'm on my own while Matt travels the world for the next two weekends.

To go out or stay in and if I do go out, where to go; are the questions I ask myself in this situation. I nearly always get out on the bike with only a little wavering. Except if it's raining, and cold. So I stayed inside and wrote this blog watching the wind blow the rain nearly horizontally across the garden.

rain on the window

I went out yesterday and it was great weather; I was looking forward to the same today despite the forecast. Hence the title of the post; I want to ride my bicycle.

A quick internet search suggests the lyrics could mean almost anything you want. The world wide web can appear to be just a collection of strongly held opinions on every subject. Most are vehemently supported and vigorously defended. To the point that a discussion can quickly degenerates into pointless personal attacks. I rarely post my opinions, it's just not worth the hassle of justifying them to potentially closed minded people who hide behind their computer's. There are only a few people with whom I would share my thoughts; I know them personally, and we have discussed our views face to face in the past. Most of the time I just move on.

It is a shame that a tool putting most of human knowledge at the fingertips of so many causes so much division. Discussions become polarised faster than face to face exchanges are likely to.

The internet can be a force for good against injustice, it's why some countries either censor or block access to it.

It can also bring people together, in a way not possible before.


“Look after yourself and each other” 

-- Jerry Springer





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Saturday, 13 October 2018

Barriers

I was on my own this morning, it meant my mind wandered as the miles passed under my wheels.
I was headed for the churchyard, the long way. I needed quiet roads, you can't switch off but you can chill out. Nearing the end of the lane I came across a fallen tree, it completely blocked the road.

fallen tree cycling

I had a choice, try to pass through or under it or turn around. It wasn't too difficult to pick my way through and I was quickly on my way

It got me thinking about life and the many barriers we face. They aren't all physical.

Some are for good reason, rules and laws are there to protect us and set limits.

Then there are those set by people to bar entry or achievement of others.

Both of these forms of barrier can be challenged if they are unfair or discriminatory, people can do it on their own or get together in groups. It's not easy but we do live in a country that allows it. I'm thankful for the struggles of others who have ensured this is the case.

The hardest barriers to conqueror may be those we create ourselves. Those voices that say we can't do something, or we don't deserve it, we're not good enough. I have many and each one I struggle with almost daily. It's tough because I don't talk about them, I don't want to be a burden or bother people. There is a worry I will be judged; damn it's that voice again. Everybody is the same, I guess some deal with it better.

I try not to allow myself the choice to turn around or give up when faced with a barrier; I force myself to attack it head on. My photography is proof of that, and a way to remind me what I can do. Meeting a new person isn't easy, a photoshoot is normally just the subject and me, I get more than just pictures from the session. They show me the voice that says don't do it can be silenced, at least for a while. Each time it gets easier to quieten or ignore it. The barrier gets a little smaller.

With the loud one silenced I can hear the other voices that says I can, I deserve it, I am good enough. Why are they so small and quiet most of the time?

With each victory over the louder voices my goals become a little more achievable, it might still be a struggle.

But it is possible.


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