The Look of Where You Are

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I miss the countryside. I’d be lying if I said otherwise. Part of me feels cross at taking photographs, looking for patches of colour, flowers, sky in a world that has become so urban again.

But another part of me knows I need to learn and keep on learning how to notice, and honour, what is here, now. Read More

A Patch of Waste Ground

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november flowers

If you follow the path down from the end of our street, there are steps that lead down to the car park, the shops, and the pub.

There’s a piece of rough ground to the side of the path, left by a negligent, or thoughtful, council to run wild.

It’s full of wild flowers.

Even today, on the 5th November, it is rich with flowers,

enjoying the end of the season,

faces turned up to the sun.

This Is Not the News

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The world is hungry for news. We’re fed on a diet of it constantly: the stream of bad news, breaking, breaking; the social stream of updates, stories, photographs, snapshots of a life we must strive to make quirky, interesting, new.

Even when you’re trying to be more quietly reflective there’s pressure to find something new to say: an alternative perspective, a different way of looking, a snippet of wisdom or a fragment of comfort.

I feel quiet in the hunger for news. Read More

In the Footsteps of the Poets

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breathing out poetry

Finally, I made it to Little Sparta, the garden and home of the writer, artist and poet Ian Hamilton Finlay.

He had a particular interest in concrete poetry: from the Little Sparta site –

he became interested in Concrete poetry, in which the placing of words is not dictated by syntax, instead laying out on the page an image which discloses its meaning by juxtaposing sounds, shapes or references.

The gardens, which are a thing of beauty in themselves, are full of this concrete poetry, woven into and part of the gardens, and the landscape beyond. Read More

Other People’s Photographs

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He shared a photograph of the morning, breaking over the city, the buildings still night-lit, only the hint of a dawn.

She shared some pictures of a walk in a fields in the mist, then the sun breaking golden, through.

They don’t normally share photographs, either of them, but they were good, really good.

I was teeny bit jealous. These were the kind of pictures I was supposed to take!

I was (I am glad to say!) a larger part glad, and hopeful that perhaps my own practice had played some small part –

Some encouragement maybe that you don’t need to ‘be’ a photographer to take photographs, you don’t need a fancy camera, you don’t need to know anything about apertures or lenses, you just need to be willing to be open to the moment and capture what you see,

And let the day break over you like the dawn, or the sun peering through the mist,

Or a rainbow, arcing, on the hill.