Every time I open my laptop, I see a price list of Cecil Beaton’s photographs. A bare printed list of 76 pictures that I saw in an exhibition of his photographs in April, 2017. The folded paper prevents the keyboard imprinting itself on the screen.[Read more…] about Photos and Maps
To 180 and Beyond
I don’t know that I’ve ever had a truly original thought. That said, this is consecutive journal post number 180. That’s six months of nothing new every day. If journaling was darts …
Caveat emptor: my daily musings may be incomplete and incorrect.
Today’s photo was taken across Dublin Bay through haze this day three years ago. The digital haze clearance and clarity adjustment has introduced an unnatural light effect that is curiously attractive. I had been introduced to the MTO lens the year before and I finally made my way back to the owner with a Canon adaptor. I liked the idea of a 1000mm lens so much that I bought a second hand copy I saw sitting cheaply in Mr CAD Photographic in Pimlico. My MTO-11CA was built in November 1993 from the 1950s design and I’ve already journaled some results from when we lived in London.[Read more…] about To 180 and Beyond
Patagonian and Fuegian Tales
‘I passed through three boring towns’ was the start of a chapter that changed the way I thought about travel writers yet again. It helped that I would visit them after I read the chapter. Both visits were stopovers of a kind. One by commercial jet, the other by ship seeking shelter from two cyclones that seemed to merge just to scare us off.
I had found In Patagonia in a shop in Buenos Aires in late 1995. I was living in a hotel on Avenida de Mayo just a stone’s throw from the Casa Rosada, the Presidential Palace. Carlos Menem had just been re-elected and there were almost weekly protest marches on Thursdays. Once, a firework cannister was directed at me for watching the passing flag, banner and placard waving throngs from my third floor hotel balcony window.[Read more…] about Patagonian and Fuegian Tales
Beaks and Travel
I was sitting alone in a cold, damp bed-and-breakfast type bedroom in November 1995. It was a dreich Scottish night in Aberdeen and I started to read The Beak of the Finch (1995). It remains a stand-out science read and one of the most influential books I’ve enjoyed. The room was cold enough that I felt the need to wrap myself in blankets pulled off the bed, wishing I was like the Tierra del Fuegans who needed no clothes. Darwin was a great diversion when I was undecided; besides being cold, I couldn’t be sure if I was humiliated or amused.
‘The mind is our beak, and the human mind is ever more variable than the brain’ wrote Jonathan Weiner in The Beak of the Finch.[Read more…] about Beaks and Travel