Nice Day for a Black and White Wedding…

So, I am on the train back to Kings Cross after the wedding of Nick and Katie at Allerton Castle in Yorkshire, which was a thoroughly enjoyable affair.

The title of this post refers to the daring, and entirely lovely, black and white theme of the wedding (for example the bride in white, the bridesmaids in black, or the black and white invitations, table decorations and so on…), but the day was so much more than just production. Don’t get me wrong, the organisation was slick and the whole thing looked great and at least to this observer seems to have gone off without a hitch, but there were two other factors that made it so much more than that; the bride and groom were so happy, and it was a lot of fun.

I go to a lot of weddings, although not as many as some people I’m sure, and I’ve started to realise that my generation seem to have a knack for making the day fun, something that it is always in grave danger of failing to be for the vast majority of attendees.

I’ve known Nick all my life, and there was something special for me to be there at his wedding, even though our lives have diverged somewhat since our mid twenties, due to geography more than anything else. Seeing his Mum, Dad, Brother and Grandma all so proud and happy, and getting to spend time with them aswell was a real joy. I also met some cool new people, who I hope will actually keep in touch – they did say that they would.

All in all a very successful weekend – of course I’ve still got to get across London and out to Reading on a Sunday, which as we all know is just the short name for ‘Day of Rail Chaos’, so there’s plenty of time for it to all go wrong 😉

Here’s hoping you, my dear reader, have also had a pleasant and fulfilling weekend…

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EOT


The wonders of living in The Future(tm)

Greetings Earthlings,

Welcome to The Future, just Now Flavoured!

Ok, enough, I will stop with the ‘amusing’ living in the future references, but seriously people how cool is this; I am in the Standard Class carriage of a train, in the UK, and I am connected to the internet… For Free!

That’s right Virgin, Cross Country and First Group – For Free!

Hooray for National Express (Rail), and their properly forward looking approach to customer satisfaction; if only I had more reasons to use their services…

Now it’s not all wine and roses, because I am a bit peeved with National Express for other reasons, but I have to be honest that allowing me to blog, catch up with email and find instructions for running an OpenSSH server on the Virtual Windows Machine on my Mac without needing a dongle or a connection to my phone is just marvelous! So on to the bad news…

I am on my way to the wedding of perhaps my oldest friend, Nick (The Vet)… No that’s not the bad news! Anyway, I booked my rail tickets about three weeks ago, and arranged a simple journey to Knaresborough for myself, that would leave me time to get to my hotel, check in, and still make the matching on time. This week, National Express announced planned engineering works between York (my connecting station) and Knaresborough, meaning that the last leg of my journey would need to be made by bus and at a considerably slower pace. Now, instead of arriving at my destination with time to spare to organise my life, I will have to barrel off the replacement bus and into a taxi with all of my luggage and arrive at the venue on the very last minute, which I hate, needing to find a kindly member of staff who can provide me with safe luggage stash space. Having discovered all of this I made the extra effort to arrive at Kings Cross early this morning, in the hope that the staff there would be able to offer me an alternative train at a nominal extra cost, considering the circumstances. How much do you think it was going to cost to modify my itinerary..? Over fifty quid! I could not believe it! They’ve already had the better part of £100 from me for travel over this weekend, and then having frustrated my original booking by announcing changes to the service after I’d booked they are unprepared to offer any kind of reasonable solution.

People wonder why I hate trains, why I get pissed off about MPs getting thousands and thousands of pounds worth of travel paid for as an expense when I don’t get any kind of help with my travel requirements, or why I loathe the fact that every train company in Britain is on the receiving end of millions of pounds worth of subsidies annually, but to me it’s obvious why I loathe trains… They are unreliable, over-crowded, and worse still, grotesquely over-priced – I can fly from Heathrow to Ediburgh with a week’s notice for £40-£50 less than I can travel between London and Edinburgh by train from Kings Cross. Now I don’t know about you, but in my world the idea of domestic air travel being cheaper than traveling by train, particularly considering the massive differential in environmental impact, is seriously fucked up. Still it’s okay, I can use the internet while I’m being ripped off and crammed in…

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EOT


At last, someone who gets me… *wink*

Despite the subject line above, I don’t actually believe that I am all that misunderstood, or that I’m completely missing the mark with my work, but I wanted to share the following critique from Matt Miller with those of you who do not frequent Net-Model, as although I don’t agree with everything he said about the photo below, he does get awfully close to everything that I am trying to portray / evoke with the picture, after absolutely zero prompting from me – frankly I hardly know the guy…
Low Key Art Nudes - Sam

“Maleghast

I have been thinking about this one today for some time, Its quite disturbing and I have been trying to think how I can put the why into words … it’s a theme of unease that permeates much of your work … I like it in the same way I like anything that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up

I’ll get the constructive out of the way first as there is really nothing to say … the single brutal light source, just enhances the disturbing qualities … just a small hot spot on the upper arm betrays what otherwise appears to be a very carefully crafted image …

So why is it disturbing? Well firstly it’s the stiff aggressive pose, in a dead centre uncompromising composition … this is contradicted by the models exposed naked body, the viewer is already back footed … She should be vulnerable but she’s not, instead she projects authority, She stares at the viewer but her eyes are hidden in shadow, they like her expression cannot be read … she takes everything but gives nothing … despite the blatant exposed nudity this is not a sexual or even a sexy image and it should never be confused with an art nude …
This image is about power projection …
The image is so carefully balanced the slightest change would change the entire dynamic of the image … if the model for a moment looked away or relaxed it would tell an entirely different story …
Bold and dangerous … just my cup of tea … “

I just want to take this opportunity to thank Matt for taking the time to give me real feedback and for trying to unravel the meaning at the heart of this image, and in so-doing giving me a lot more confidence to carry on, to continue my journey of discovery that is my pursuit of my art.

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EOT


365 Ficlets – Day #365 ~ “What a Day This Has Been…”

Her skin felt good against mine as we lay together in the sunlight, the warm afterglow of the sex we had been having wrapping us both up in a bubble of happiness.

“Did I already wish you a happy birthday, Baby?”

Her cheeky smile made me feel incredibly happy. I pushed her hair out of her eyes, cupped the side of her face and kissed her softly, eyes open looking right at her, and then;

“You did, Sara, and you are the reason that it is so happy, so soon in the day.”

She laughed, her eyes shining in the morning light;

“So that’s all I have to do to make you this happy?”

She was joking and so I went with it;

“Well, yeah, but the truth is that the more you do it the happier I will become.”

She laughed again, and then became a little more serious for a moment, squeezing me just a little, just to tell me that I should answer truthfully.

“It is more than that, isn’t it? I mean we have that, and it’s great, but that’s not all you want from me is it?”

I squeezed her back, fixed her gaze and replied;

“I love you Sara, all of you.”


365 Ficlets – Day #364 ~ “Hail Mary Play”

“This space is amazing. I just know that Andrea is going to love it. Can you show me around the backstage area as well please, Tony?”

Tony smiled to himself, inordinately happy that he had sold the place well enough that Andrea’s assistant was asking to see the facilities; the front of house had made the right impression.

Ever since he had taken the job, Tony had been looking for a big name performer or act to come to the chapel to ‘put it on the map’ as they say. Andrea was more than big enough as a star and a singer to really draw the crowds in over the Autumn run; “if Andrea McCormack played there it must be a serious venue” and that sort of thing. Now here he was a few moments away from signing the deal that was likely to save the Chapel from its owners worst impulses.

The tour around the backstage area went off without a hitch, and twenty minutes later Tony was waving goodbye to a taxi containing a very contented tour manager, and trying to contain his glee at having saved the Chapel as a live music venue.


365 Ficlets – Day #363 ~ “On Loss…”

There is no end to any of it, there are only new beginnings. That is the koan which my master left me with on his deathbed, and even now, three years later, I find no peace in it. Nonetheless as I stand over the grave of perhaps my closest friend this so-called wisdom offers me no comfort. No, instead it sticks in my mind like a cruel taunt; what ‘new beginning’ could possibly be here for Tessa or for me?

Her grave looks like a wound in the Earth. There is nothing even remotely natural about burial, about placing the dead in the ground. People say that we become one with the ground, food for worms and beetles, but embalming and coffins lead to that future being unlikely. Tessa did end; there is no new beginning for her, not even organic recycling.

Some might say that her new beginning is the afterlife, others might say it is re-birth or reincarnation, but standing over the dark trench of her final resting place, looking down at her coffin I am so completely certain that she is gone; there is no comfort here.


365 Ficlets – Day #362 ~ “Cloister”

“There are too many names there, don’t you think?”

Leonard looked across the cloister, curious to see who was speaking. He did not expect it to be an old friend. Greg had been one of a small handful of people that Leonard had counted as friends in his seven years at the school; they had neither of them been mainstream people back then, and looking at him Greg had not joined the mainstream quite yet, but then neither had Leonard.

“You know that is just what I was thinking, uncanny that! How are you old friend?”

They crossed the intervening space and embraced in a way that they never could have done whilst pupils. Leonard could not contain his curiosity any further, and so he asked;

“What on Earth are you doing here, Greg? I mean I surprise myself by being here, but you?”

Greg smiled;

“I’m speaking at the same event as you. I imagine someone more conventional dropped out at the last minute and I was the only remaining alumnus with any kind of success in their life, albeit not strictly within the bounds, so to speak.”


365 Ficlets – Day #361 ~ “The Day I met Mr. Kinsey…”

“Just relax Sally, you’re going to do fine, I promise.”

She fixed him with a look that was somewhere between resolve and fear and nodded that he should begin.

“So, to begin with, can you describe the first memory that you are aware of when you first discovered that you could give yourself pleasure by touching your own body?”

“You are sure that this will remain anonymous?”

He nodded and smiled reassuringly;

“Yes Sally, I am sure. This session is not being recorded in any way, and as your interviewer I do not know your surname, and I am not resident in the same state as you. Every precaution has been taken to make it entirely safe for you to be completely honest with me, thus assisting the research team as a whole to gather the most accurate detail.”

She gathered herself, and nodded once again, then took a deep breath before she began;

“Well it was not until I had been married for four long years that I first learned about my own pleasure, and it was actually through an indiscretion that I uncovered this private joy.”


365 Ficlets – Day #360 ~ “Cheating Heart”

“Would you like another drink?”

Her smile confirmed Patrick’s assumption that she was in no rush to leave, even though George was waiting for her at home. He moved slowly, enjoying the ritual of putting ice into their glasses, of gently pouring the precious amber liquid over the ice and hearing it float and strike the sides of the glasses.

“Here you are; you should enjoy this, it’s a special edition from the Islay Distillery, I was lucky to find it.”

They sat there, gently sipping their drinks, the silence hanging between them was not quite uncomfortable, but it was not a familiar or welcome one either.

“Patrick, why did you ask me to come here this evening?”

He took another sip of his drink and then placed it on the desk, before rising out of his chair and walking over to Serena’s chair. She looked up at him as he took her glass from her hands and put it aside as well.

“Patrick?”

He placed his hand on her cheek and moved closer, intending to kiss her. She thought about it for a moment, and then she let it happen.


For some reason I’ve been thinking about this photograph all weekend…

Over the weekend I spoke to quite a few new people about my photography, and for one reason and another I kept thinking about this photograph.

Laura

When I got home I checked and I could not believe that I had never posted it, so here it is.

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated…

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EOT